Cha De Bugre for weight loss herb and energy, a diet pill, Cordia Salicifolia - by Ray Sahelian, M.D.
April 3 2015

Cha de Bugre is a plant used in Brazil for appetite suppression and weight loss. Little human research is available regarding its benefits as a supplement. There are other herbs and supplements that are promoted for weight loss or appetite suppression as listed below. It would be interesting to see future research regarding Cha de Bugre in humans to determine whether it is effective for weight loss and whether it has any side effects of concern.
   For an effective natural appetite suppressing product that I have formulated, see Diet Rx. Just about everyone who has used this product has noticed appetite suppression without any untoward side effects.

As of April 2015, I could not find new research with this herb.

Energy and stimulation
Q. I wanted to let you know that I am a manager of a vitamin store and received this promotional material: "Cha de bugre 10:1 extract is unlike anything else for energy on the market. In Brazil it is called café do mato, or coffee of the woods for it's powerful stimulant effects. It is brewed in large drums at times of festival in Brazil and the people drink it to sustain their energy thru the night. Cha de bugre is a very clean energy, the caffeine levels are surprisingly low."

Weight loss
I personally have not tried this herb or recommended to patients.

Q. Hi, I am a health food store owner and recently received an email regarding Cha De Bugre 10:1 extract exclusively from Stella Labs. It said, "Cha De bugre is served in beach-front restaurants and refreshment stands along the coast of Rio de Janeiro, where beauty is defined as how you look in a bikini. In the words of G.L. Cruz, a leading Brazilian Botanist: Cha de bugre is very popular plant in Brazil. It contains caffeine and various plant sterols effective in fighting obesity and preventing the formation of fatty deposits. It is a healthy drink, historically used as a heart tonic due to its ability to stimulate blood circulation. Translated from Dictionario das plantas uteis do Brasil. 2ed. RJ 1982." Can you tell me if Cha De Bugre works for energy, appetite suppression, weight loss and heart health?
   A. I don't have any personal experience with Cha De Bugre, but a few people have told me that it gives extra energy, but then again many herbs such as ginseng, maca, suma, etc, also give energy. As to appetite suppression, the feedback has been mixed. I am concerned about using stimulants for heart health since many of them can speed heart rate which is not a good thing for heart disease patients. I don't know if Cha De Bugre speeds heart rate since I have not taken it and there are no human studies that I could find on this herb.

Additional supplements that could suppress appetite or help with weight loss, as found in Diet Rx
Ginger root (Zingiber officinalis), Green-Tea-Extract (Camellia sinensis, standardized to contain 50% polyphenols), Spirulina (Spirulina platensis), Hoodia-Extract (Hoodia gordonii, 20 to 1 extract), Cinnamon root (Cinnamomum cassia), Apple Cider vinegar, Apple pectin, Garcinia Cambogia CitriMax HCA-600 SXS (standardized to contain 60% hydroxycitric acid), Glucomannan konjac 4 to 1 extract, Grapefruit extract (Citrus paradise, 4 to 1 extract), acetyl l carnitine, Alpha lipoic acid, Banaba extract (standardized to contain 1 % corosolic acid), 5htp, Choline bitartrate, Inositol, Carnitine (Hcl), Pomegranate (standardized to contain 40 % ellagic acid), Bitter melon extract (Momordica charantia), Psyllium husk, Coleus forskohlii (standardized to contain 10 % Forskolin), Fenugreek seed extract 4 to 1 (Trigonella foenum), Guggul herb (standardized to contain 10 % guggulsterones), and Inulin.

The plant
Cha de Bugre is a plant found in the Amazon rainforest. Cha de Bugre grows in Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. Also known as Porangaba, cha de bugre is a small tree that normally grows to a height of 20 to 40 feet. The tree produces a small red fruit that resembles a coffee bean that can be roasted to make a coffee substitute. Cha de bugre apparently has caffeine.


Raw material suppliers cha de bugre powder and cha de bugre extracts. One common cha de bugre extract is a 10 to 1 concentration.


Compounds in Cha de Bugre
These include caffeine, allantoin, and allantoic acid.

Cha De' Bugre research
One study done in Japan shows this plant extract to have anti herpes virus type I activity.

Antiviral activity of an extract of Cordia salicifolia on herpes simplex virus type 1.
Planta Med. 1990.
A partially purified extract (COL 1-6) from whole plant of Cordia salicifolia showed an inhibitory effect on herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). The activity of COL 1-6 on different steps of HSV-1 replication in HeLa cells was investigated. Under single-cycle replication conditions, COL 1-6 exerted a greater than 99.9% inhibition in virus yield when added to the cells 3 h or 1.5 h before infection, and even when added 8 h after infection the extract still caused a greater than 99% inhibition. The extract has been shown to have a direct virucidal activity. And also, analysis of early events following infection showed that COL 1-6 affected viral penetration in HeLa cells but did not interfere with adsorption to the cells.

Side effects
I personally have not taken this herbal supplement and currently do not have feedback from users. I have not seen human studies with this plant to know what short term or long term side effects it may have.

Q. What is the price of cha de Bugre per kilo? Is it an expensive raw material?
   A. In 2013, the price for Cha De Bugre Powder is about 12 dollars a kilo. Cha De Bugre 4:1 extract is about 70 dollars a kilo and Cha De Bugre 10:1 extract is about 90 dollars a kilo.

Cha De Bugre press release
Raw material suppliers have Cha De Bugre 10:1 extract, the new energy from Brazil. In Brazil Cha de bugre is called cafe do mato, or coffee of the woods for it's powerful stimulant effects. It is brewed in large drums at times of festival in Brazil and the people drink it to sustain their energy thru the night. Cha de bugre has small amounts of caffeine. Cha' de bugre 10:1 extract is a potential addition to combination supplements for energy and weight loss. Many manufacturers are finding that it is a potential product to mix into formulations for energy and weight loss, since effectiveness of other products seem to be intensified when mixed with stimulants like Cha de bugre 10:1.
   Comments by Dr. Sahelian: I would like to see a couple of human studies, or at least reports from long time users to determine if Cha de bugre has any side effects. I personally have not tried this supplement.