This plant is invasive in my garden. In Canada, it was a beautiful house plant that is said to eat CO2 at night time so it was great to have as an air cleaner. In my garden here is Ecuador, I have 4 varieties. The style and character of this plant have intrigued me as it flourishes even in the driest time of the year.
Pakipanga is the most common name. This is the Kalanchoe pinnata and Kalanchoe Serrate (toothed) variety. They are referred to as the “miracle plant”. There are actually over 125 different varieties of Kalanchoe and it goes by many different names. Some may know it as the Air Plant, others may have heard of it as the Life Plant or Miracle Leaf. Still other names for this plant are Katakataka, Pather Chat, and Paan-futti. It is called the Maternity Plant or the Mother of Thousands as baby plants rise up all around it. It is even known as the Goethe Plant, named after the writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who in addition to being a writer was also a part-time naturalist. He adored the plant; he was amazed at its ability to reproduce in the most strained conditions They say that Goethe used their healing properties – he ate one tablespoon of “baby plants” of these species everyday for body rejuvenation. Finally, this plant is also known as the Wonder of the World—and that is due to its many medicinal uses.￼
Kalanchoe is widely used in folk medicine for a variety of ailments in Mexico, South America, Asia and Africa and has stories echoing cancer fighting abilities. Before there was scientific research, the peoples of South America already knew the benefits of the Kalanchoe Pinnata plant from treating cancer and inflammation to treating boils and skin ulcers, epilepsy, earaches, and even helping with childbirth. Really, it seems as though there is nothing that this plant cannot assist with.
The healing substances provided by kalanchoe reside in the leaf and its medicinally potent juice. I have created a special tincture of the raw juice extract sterilized in a alcohol base. This botanical kills bacteria, viruses and fungi, making it a formidable foe to many sources of disease. The juice effectively knocks out Staphylococcus and E. coli. Kalanchoe blocks histamine, relieves pain, suppresses coughs, relaxes muscles and reduces inflammation. Studies support kalanchoe’s reputation as a useful agent for dealing with stomach ulcers.
The tincture is made as a bitter tonic from the leaves. It is an astringent, analgesic and carminative and relieves flatulence.
The biochemical composition of the kalanchoe’s herbage is not fully examined yet. Scientists still have a lot to be done to explain the succus healing effect on the human body. The fleshy leaves and stems have up to 94% of moisture.Moreover, the succus contains the following compounds:
- flavonoids (quercetine, kaempferol);
- organic (malic, acetic, citric and oxalic) acids;
- some enzymes (e.g. malic dehydrogenase, oxalic carboxylase);
- vitamins (including C and P);
- mineral salts, micro- and macroelements (aluminium, ferrum, magnesium, calcium, copper, silicon, manganese).
Now, it seems that scientists are finding out the truth behind this herbal remedy and are also encouraged by their findings. The flavonoid glycosides have P-vitaminic activity. It means that they exert bactericidal and choleretic effects and help to eliminate toxic and radioactive agents from the body. Tannins give to the plant binding, bactericidal, anti-inflammatory and hemostatic properties. Enzymes are essential participants of metabolism, acting in it as the catalysts. Vitamin C also plays an important role in the metabolic process, particularly in the oxidation process, at the cellular level; and increases anti-infective resistance.Vitamin P (rutin) strengthens vessel walls.
Before there was scientific research, the peoples of South America already knew the benefits of the Kalanchoe Pinnata plant, from treating cancer and inflammation to treating boils and skin ulcers, epilepsy, earaches, and even helping with childbirth. it seems as though there is nothing that this plant cannot assist with.
Now science is studying this plant, One study done that shows the plant’s ability to reduce histamines. This study targeted mast cells and the key role they play in an allergic asthma attack. These mast cells were hindered by properties from the plant and did not allow degranulation. The anti-inflammatory, antiedematogenic, and antinociceptive ( ability to reduce sensitivity to pain) ability in the plant have been described as a ‘major breakthrough’. The list seems to be endless and filled with good news.
In my research, there is evidence that shows the plant is:
- anti parasitic
- anti- bacterial
Is used for treating diarrhea, vomiting, earache, abscesses, gastric ulcers, burns and insect bites. It may be effective in dissolving gallstones. It has been used to treat smallpox, otitis (inflammation or infection in the inner ear), asthma, palpitations, cough, headache, general debility and convulsion. It is also found to be useful in treating edema of the legs.One many use a leaf on his painful eye styes. He heated and placed on the eye and the stye disappeared in a matter of days.
It should be noted that one member of this family of plants called Bryophyllum pinnata is said can cause cardiac poisoning in grazing animals. However, this plant is also used in traditional medicine. The recommended dose is 1/100 of the lethal dose.
What makes this plant so very amazing is its ability to grow anywhere. If you pick a leaf of the plant and place it on the ground, in a few days it sprouts. There is no prepping or planting to do. It is a do-it-yourself plant. No wonder Goethe was so fond of gifting his friends with this plant.
So kalanchoe equals the hopes that are centered on it with the honour name “home-grown doctor.”