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Andiroba (Carapa spp.)

Last Updated on May 19, 2021 by MyFormulary

Alternate Title

  • Gobi

Related Terms

  • Andiroba oil, Carapa guianensis, Carapa procera, Carapa granatum fruits, gobi, Touloucouna.

Background

  • Andiroba is a tree native to the South American rainforests, in the same family as mahogany. For centuries, indigenous Amazon populations have used all parts of andiroba, including its seed oil, for a variety of purposes. Andiroba oil has been used as fuel for street lamps and as an insect repellant in oil lamps. It has also been used to make candles and soaps.
  • It is sometimes used as massage oil. Andiroba oil is also applied topically to treat wounds, bruises, insect bites, rashes, ear infections, and psoriasis. Warm macerations of andiroba have been used to relieve symptoms of arthritis and rheumatism and to cauterize wounds. Andiroba may also be taken internally to stimulate digestion and to treat coughs.
  • However, there is currently a lack of high-quality human studies supporting the effectiveness of andiroba for any medical condition. Several compounds in andiroba, including terpenes, and various alkaloids, may have beneficial effects for a variety of conditions. The most promising uses for andiroba oil are likely as an insect repellant and anti-inflammatory.
  • Andiroba is not listed on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) list.

Evidence Table

    Disclaimer

    These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

    I – I


    C C – C

*Key to grades:

Tradition

    Disclaimer

    The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

Dosing

    Disclaimer

    The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

  • Adults (18 years and older)

    • Andiroba lotions, creams, and oils have been tested for their insect repellent effects, although it does not appear to be as effective as DEET and other insect repellant products.
  • Children (under 18 years old)

    • There is no proven safe or effective dose for andiroba in children.

Safety

    Disclaimer

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

  • Allergies

    • Avoid in patients with know allergies or sensitivity to andiroba, its constituents, Carapa spp., or members of the Meliaceae family.
  • Side Effects and Warnings

    • Use cautiously because safety data for andiroba and its constituents are lacking.
    • Deep skin burns were reported in a newborn girl after andiroba (Carapa procera) was applied to the skin. The fruit of this species is known to contain cyclic terpenes, which cause inflammation when applied to the skin. Avoid in infants or in those with skin sensitivities.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

    • Andiroba is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence.

Interactions

    Disclaimer

    Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

  • Interactions with Drugs

    • Use of andiroba with other insect repellants, such as DEET, may result in additive effects.
  • Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

    • Use of andiroba with other insect repellants, such as DEET, may result in additive effects.

Attribution

  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration ().

Bibliography

    Disclaimer

    Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to . Selected references are listed below.

  • Hammer, ML and Johns, EA. Tapping an Amazonian plethora: four medicinal plants of Marajo Island, Para (Brazil). J Ethnopharmacol 1993;40(1):53-75.
    View Abstract
  • Konan, YL, Sylla, MS, Doannio, JM, et al. Comparison of the effect of two excipients (karite nut butter and vaseline) on the efficacy of Cocos nucifera, Elaeis guineensis and Carapa procera oil-based repellents formulations against mosquitoes biting in Ivory Coast. Parasite 2003;10(2):181-184.
    View Abstract
  • Miot, HA, Batistella, RF, Batista, Kde A, et al. Comparative study of the topical effectiveness of the Andiroba oil (Carapa guianensis) and DEET 50% as repellent for Aedes sp. Rev Inst Med Trop Sao Paulo 2004;46(5):253-256.
    View Abstract
  • Saxena, E and Babu, UV. Constituents of Carapa granatum fruits. Fitoterapia 2001;72(2):186-187.
    View Abstract
  • Seignot, P, Guyon, P, Hasselot, N, et al. [A deep skin burn caused by the local application of a traditional oily ointment of Senegal (Carapa procera)]. Med Trop (Mars.) 1991;51(1):91-92.
    View Abstract
  • Sylla, M, Konan, L, Doannio, JM, et al. [Evaluation of the efficacity of coconut (Cocos nucifera), palm nut (Eleais guineensis) and gobi (Carapa procera) lotions and creams in indivirual protection against Simulium damnosum s.l. bites in Cote d’Ivoire]. Bull Soc Pathol Exot 2003;96(2):104-109.
    View Abstract
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