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Ephedraceae, Ephedra andina, canotu, pingo-pingo – South America

August 28, 2011

This South American bush is called pingo-pingo, which literally means “tubes”. It is also known as canotu (which means “joint” or “hashish cigarette”), solupe, and transmontaga.  In Chilean folklore the plant is a symbol for “he-men” and heartbreakers, probably due to its aphrodisiac effects. The plant is used in folk medicine to treat bronchitis, asthma, and whooping cough (Mosbach 1992). In contrast to other species of Ephedra it does not contain any ephedrine although vicenine – I and – II as well as flavones and camphor oil have been demonstrated to be present.

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