The Health Benefits of Cha De Bugre

Cha de bugre is a substance often touted as a natural weight loss aid. Also known as "cafe do mato," cha de bugre is the fruit of the Cordia salicifolia tree (a plant that grows in tropical forests throughout South America). Often roasted and consumed in tea form, cha de bugre is also available as a dietary supplement.


While cha de bugre is typically used as a weight loss aid, some alternative medicine proponents claim that it can also help treat the following health conditions:

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Gout
  • Heart disease
  • Herpes
  • High blood pressure

In addition, cha de bugre is said to fight off viral infections, protect against cancer, and stimulate circulation. It is also used as a coffee substitute when brewed into a tea.


So far, research on the health effects of cha de bugre is extremely limited. The few available studies include a report published in Planta Medica in 1990, which found that cha de bugre may help prevent cold sores. In tests on cells, scientists found that cha de bugre may help destroy herpes simplex virus type 1 (the virus that causes cold sores). However, more recent research on cha de bugre and cold sores is lacking.

Although cha de bugre is purported to promote weight loss by suppressing appetite, there is currently a lack of research to support this claim.

Preliminary research suggests that certain other natural remedies may offer appetite-suppressing effects. For instance, there's some evidence that capsaicin may help reduce appetite, possibly by decreasing your levels of ghrelin (a hormone involved in promoting hunger).

If you're looking to lose weight, the National Institutes of Health recommend following a weight-management plan that pairs healthy eating with regular exercise. Keeping a food diary, getting sufficient sleep, and managing your stress may also help you reach and maintain a healthy weight.

In addition, there's some evidence that certain alternative therapies (including yoga, meditation, and tai chi) may support weight-loss efforts.

Some studies also indicate that drinking green tea on a regular basis, maintaining optimal levels of vitamin D, and increasing your intake of fiber-rich substances (such as flaxseed) may help promote weight loss.


Due to a lack of research, little is known about the safety of long-term or regular use of cha de bugre. However, there's some concern that using cha de bugre in combination with certain medications (such as lithium) may produce harmful effects.

It's important to keep in mind that supplements haven't been tested for safety and dietary supplements are largely unregulated. In some cases, the product may deliver doses that differ from the specified amount for each herb. In other cases, the product may be contaminated with other substances such as metals. Also, the safety of supplements in pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, and those with medical conditions or who are taking medications has not been established.

Where to Find It

Available for purchase online, cha de bugre can be found in some natural-foods stores and in stores specializing in dietary supplements.

A Word From Verywell

Due to the limited research, it's too soon to recommend cha de bugre as a treatment for any condition. It should be noted that self-treating a chronic condition with cha de bugre and avoiding or delaying standard care may have serious consequences. If you're considering using it, make sure to consult your physician.

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