Kalanchoe: Contraindications, Properties and Benefits

What is kalanchoe?

The kalanchoe is a plant of the crassulaceous, succulent or succulent type, which are characterized by storing water in greater quantities, compared to other plants.

It is considered as a medicinal plant by the natives, since ancient times.

It has more than 125 species, but of which 3 of them are those that have medicinal properties:

Kalanchoe pinnata , also called “Goethe’s plant” in honor of the British Johann W. Goethe, is also known as always alive, Colombian, witch’s herb, hojerilla, air leaf.

Kalanchoe daigremontiana, is characterized by having children on the tips of its leaves, these in turn, have elongated spots on the underside; receives other names such as Kalanchoe mother, Arantes, mother of thousands.

Kalanchoe gastonis-bonnieri: it has larger leaves than the previous two, it is known by the names of donkey’s ear, hojerilla, ojaransín.

These plants have the same medicinal uses, and act in a general way throughout the body, so their action is very broad; It is widely used in Ayurveda medicine.

Origin of the kalanchoe

The kalanchoe is a plant native to Asia and Madagascar, although they are said to be native to the old world (Europe, Asia, and Africa and neighboring islands).

The name of the kalanchoe is said to come from the Chinese “kalan chowi” which means that it falls and develops.

Kalanchoe history

It is not very clear about the origin or where it comes from the kalanchoe, however, there is an explanation that indicates that the Chinese kalan chau arrived in America and how this natural plant was produced in China, south-east and southern Africa and in Madagascar Robert, a German seed merchant, was the one who determined the great potential of kalanchoe and therefore introduced it to Europe in the mid-1930s as an indoor decoration plant.

Characteristics of kalanchoe

The kalanchoe is usually a shrub of the perennial type (that lives more than 2 years), and annual.

They usually reach six meters in height, although commonly, they tend to measure no more than 1 meter.

The leaves are of the fleshy type, of a medium dark green color; They grow on stems with flowers in which they form large ridges of fuchsia, red, white, yellow colors, depending on the species. Its flavor is acidic.

Flowering is at the time when winter begins and lasts until spring.

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Kalanchoe scientific name

The scientific names that possess the three types of kalanchoe applied in the medicinal area are: Kalanchoe pinnata ( Bryophyllum pinnatum) which comes from a Chinese name, although it is said that it is derived from the indigenous name Kalanka which means “stain, odoxy and chaya which means “ De ” and pinnata, from the Latin word meaning pinnate (very numerous foliose organs in the form of feathers)

 Kalanchoe daigremontiana ( Bryophyllum daigremontianum) and Kalanchoe gastonis-bonnieri ( Bryophyllum gastonis-bonnieri) named after the French botanist Gaston Bonnier.

Chemical composition of kalanchoe

The following components have been found in kalanchoe leaves: phenyl acids, such as p-hydroxybenzoic, caffeic, ferulic, coumaric, and syringic acid (antioxidants beneficial to humans), flavonoids, quercetol arabinoside, camferol glucoside; and the organic acids acetic, malic, citric, lactic, fumaric, oxalic, and succinic; the alpha and beta-amyrin triterpenes, their acetates, bryofolone, bryofinol, 18-alpha-oleanone and taraxasterol; the sterols bryophilol, 24-ethyl-25-hydroxy-cholesterol and beta-sitosterol.

These components give kalanchoe antihistamine, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, astringent properties.

These components in the juices of the leaves, provide antibiotic properties against the bacteria Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas eruginosa, as well as antifungal properties.

Anthrocyanins and the acids they contain have shown antioxidant properties.

Active ingredient of kalanchoe

The kalanchoe has a catalase enzyme that is what helps to regenerate tissues in cells, strengthen the immune system, as well as having a preventive action against tumors; likewise, certain minerals such as magnesium, iron, calcium, copper and vitamin C are present.

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Kalanchoe cultivation

The kalanchoe is considered a tropical plant, so the following rules must be met for its cultivation:

  • Exposure: it is adaptable to internal and external environments, as well as to the sun and shade. Very cold and icy environments are not recommended; They need light, they must be protected from the wind because they run the risk of detaching or breaking.
  • Soil and irrigation: requires a soft, earthy or peaty soil; watering must be regular, taking care not to overdo it because the roots rot; they tend to tolerate drought, but it interferes with growth.
  • Diseases and pests: because they are resistant plants they do not suffer from these conditions.
  • Reproduction: depending on the type of kalanchoe, the children are born on the same leaves, and their roots quickly strengthen; the other kalanchoes pinnata and gastonis their leaves must be placed in mobs so that the suckers can grow.
  • Harvest: the leaves are cut from the bottom up, that is, the oldest leaves first.

Uses and benefits of kalanchoe

According to the components that kalanchoe has, it has been given medicinal use, both in traditional medicine and in Ayurvedic (traditional Indian medicine).

Thanks to this, it offers health benefits related to diseases that cause cell damage, such as cancer, abscesses, tumors; for the treatment of severe gangrenous wounds, infections, burns, inflammations; conditions such as rheumatism, kidney stones, hypertension, diarrhea; psychological illnesses such as panic attacks, fears and schizophrenia.

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What are the benefits for the skin?

In relation to the benefits that kalanchoe provides for the skin, it is used to treat skin conditions such as:

  • Burns or wounds on the skin, grind the leaves and apply them as a poultice on the affected area, once a day.
  • Against warts, it helps fight wrinkles that occur due to human papilloma; apply fresh crushed leaves, twice a day, to the affected area.
  • For the feet in case of calluses, fungus or irritations; soak for half an hour, feet in warm water with kalanchoe leaves, can be combined with eucalyptus oil, mint.
  • Wrinkles, is still under study; but it is said that, according to its composition, kalanchoe helps to rejuvenate the skin and, consequently, to eliminate wrinkles on the skin; Tea or juice is prepared, mixed with honey, and applied to the face. It is said to promote the elasticity and flexibility of the skin.

Does it have properties for the hair?

Kalanchoe helps in the prevention of hair loss, as well as prevents baldness, dandruff formation and seborrhea.

A very practical way to achieve these benefits for the hair is to use the extract of kalanchoe leaves, place it in the shampoo, apply regularly and massage the scalp, this will absorb the properties and obtain the desired results.

Is it good for losing weight?

In different studies and investigations, medicinal properties have been attributed to kalanchoe, among which fluid retention is indicated, it is the accumulation of abnormal fluids in the body (legs, abdomen) under the skin, which can cause increased weight.

The kalanchoe stimulates the kidneys to work normally and that excess fluid does not accumulate in the bloodstream, allowing a better and healthy functioning, being able to complement the process of losing weight in the person.

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Kalanchoe essential oil

Kalanchoe essential oil is a substance obtained as a result of an emulsion in which all the active principles of this plant are concentrated to allow a better use of its benefits.

This essential oil has anti-inflammatory properties that contribute to the reduction of pain and swelling thanks to its rapid absorption, providing a sensation of rapid relief.

How is kalanchoe oil extracted?

Oil is made from the leaf of the kalanchoe plant; The fresh leaves are chosen, crushed in a processor or blender, then virgin sunflower or olive oil is added, stored in a sealed glass container and kept refrigerated. It is used when it is required to alleviate any ailment.

Pregnancy and kalanchoe

During the stage of pregnancy, the woman requires care and presents typical symptoms of the state, which on certain occasions natural remedies can be used to alleviate any discomfort that may occur.

However, kalanchoe is not recommended for use during pregnancy because it can stimulate the uterus and cause loss of the baby, or it can cause malformations in the fetus.

Can it be used while breastfeeding? Why?

Lactation is the process of breastfeeding the baby, through milk all the properties, vitamins, are transmitted to the baby; Therefore, the active ingredients of kalanchoe are transmitted to the baby, although a side effect has not been proven in them, their consumption is not recommended during this period.

Kalanchoe and allergies

Among the properties that kalanchoe possesses, it is anti-inflammatory and antihistamine, so it can be used to treat allergies caused by respiratory problems or skin eruptions, when inflammation results.

Helps reduce coughing attacks and bronchial congestion, effects that cause allergies.

It can be used topically as a poultice on inflammation caused by an allergy to insect bites or a reaction to another allergenic agent.

In case of respiratory allergies, juice is extracted from the leaves, crushed and the juice is squeezed, it is ingested two to three times a day.

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What are kalanchoe infusions for?

Kalanchoe infusions are very easy to make, the leaf must be fresh and placed in boiled water; Another way is to crush the fresh leaves and extract the juice and serve it as a tea.

This infusion is very useful to treat:

  • Gingivitis and oral inflammation
  • Rhinitis
  • Venous, stomach ulcers
  • Urinary infections, cervical conditions

Kalanchoe and cancer, how does it help?

According to the composition of kalanchoe, it has flavonoids, fatty acids and triterpenoid bufadienolides (substances with antibacterial properties, preventive action against cancer), which have cytotoxic action against certain cancer cells.

It has been studied for its effects against this disease, because it contracts the mutagenic effect of the 2-amino-anthracene compound, which is carcinogenic; These components are found in the leaves and stop the spread, self-renewal of cancer cells.

It allows the isolation of certain compounds that show anticancer activity in isolated cells, such as bryophyllin A and bryophyllin B, it also acts against the Epstein-Barr virus (mononucleosis) which, if not treated in time, can be carcinogenic.

With the use of kalanchoe, all types of cancer can be treated, especially colon and lung cancer.

It can be used externally in the form of a poultice, mixed with petroleum jelly to treat the affected area; internally, it can be consumed as an infusion of tea or juice, or the leaves are used as accompaniments in salads.

The recommended dose for consumption is 30 grams daily.

While it is true that kalanchoe is not a very well known plant, but the medicinal effects it has against this disease are considerable. It is important to take into account, do not exceed the dose because it can be toxic.

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Cosmetic uses of kalanchoe

In relation to its cosmetic uses, kalanchoe can be used to combat gingivitis and stomatitis, tea is taken from the kalanchoe leaf.

As well as inflammation in the eyes or styes, the leaves are heated and placed over the inflamed eye and reduces the inflammation.

For the feet, it helps to eliminate fungi, as well as the calluses that form; This is fought using hot water with kalanchoe leaves, if it is deemed convenient it can be combined with eucalyptus or mint, and the feet are kept submerged for an hour.

It is used to treat wounds caused by burns on the skin; applied as a poultice on the affected area, it will help to noticeably lighten the skin and heal the wound.

Medicinal uses of kalanchoe

Kalanchoe is classified as a medicinal plant, thanks to its content of phenols, acetates and flavonoids, components that provide it with anti-inflammatory, antalgic, hepatoprotective, diuretic, antibacterial, anti-haemorrhagic, antihistamine, anticancer antiseptic, antitussive, antidiabetic, antiulcer effects, digestive and antiviral.

For diabetes

Diabetes is a disease characterized by very high blood sugar levels, and insulin (a hormone produced by the pancreas) is responsible for transmitting that sugar (glucose) as energy to other cells; sometimes the body does not produce enough insulin which causes glucose to stay in the blood and not reach the cells.

Kalanchoe leaves have a watery liquid that helps reduce and control blood sugar levels, which can be used as a complementary treatment against diabetes, accompanied by proper nutrition, and achieve beneficial results.

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For high blood pressure

Kalanchoe can be used to treat arterial hypertension, because it helps to control the pressure on the levels of blood flow in the arteries, capillaries and veins, keeping them free of alterations or inflammation, and reach the heart for a more functioning healthy.

It is a natural anti-inflammatory

Thanks to its components, kalanchoe is considered a natural anti-inflammatory, because it helps reduce inflammation caused by blows, muscle aches. It calms aches and allows accumulated blood to flow easily. Relaxing the affected area.

It is antitumor

Kalanchoe has among its components bufadienolides, organic compounds that have antitumor action.

Kalanchoe in gastronomy

Within gastronomy, kalanchoe is used as an ingredient in salads, both the leaves and the flowers.

Additionally, from the leaves you can make juice or tea, through which you can take advantage of the properties.

However, there is very little that kalanchoe can be used in the gastronomic area, because, because it is little known, and its composition, it is still suspicious.

Contraindications and risks of kalanchoe

The consumption of kalanchoe is not recommended for pregnant or lactating women, it could cause abortion, malformations in the fetus and some type of adverse reaction to the baby if consumed through breast milk.

People who have suffered from cardiovascular problems should not consume it, it has cardiotonic steroids and may complicate the state.

It should not exceed the recommended dose because it can be toxic.

People with liver problems such as cirrhosis or hepatitis, it is not convenient for them to use it.

Patients with a diagnosis of hypotension is not recommended, because it can cause decompensation.

Those who have an allergy to any of the components of kalanchoe should not use it, it can be reactive.

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Kalanchoe toxicity

The recommended use for the consumption of kalanchoe is 30 grams per day, if the person exceeds this dose it can be toxic, therefore, its moderate use and under medical supervision is recommended.

Advantages and disadvantages of using kalanchoe

The use of kalanchoe has the advantages that it is beneficial for health, since it acts against different health conditions such as cancer, rheumatic pain, inflammation, helps control blood sugar levels (antidiabetic), acts as hypotensive, heal wounds and burns, diarrhea, abscesses and tumors.

The only disadvantage that can be attributed to it is its toxic action if it is not used properly, or the recommended dose is abused.

Kalanchoe nutritional information

Kalanchoe contains flavonoids (natural pigments that protect the body against free radicals and acts as an antioxidant), fatty acids and triterpenoids such as bufadienolides (antitumor).

Kalanchoe datasheet

  • Scientific name:  Bryophyllum daigremontianum, Bryophyllum pinnatum, Bryophyllum gastonis-bonnieri
  • Common name:  Kalanchoe, Arantes, Always alive, Hojerilla, Burro’s Ear.
  • Origin:  Southwest Asia, Madagascar, Africa and Europe.
  • Properties:  Anti-inflammatory, astringent, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, anti-viral,
  • Antihistamine, antiulcer, hypotensive.
  • Uses:  For rheumatism, gangrenous wounds, burns, headaches, infections, tumors, inflammations, allergies.
  • Contraindications:  It is not recommended for pregnant or lactating women; patients with liver problems, stress.
  • Recommended dose:  For consumption, do not exceed 30 grams per day.
  • Toxicity:  If the dose is exceeded, it is toxic.
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Kathie Sand always saw the world of beauty as the terrain on which to build her professional career, a goal that was clear to her when she was only 15 years old. Her great concern to expand knowledge led her to settle in Paris where she studied hand in hand with the best beauty professionals and with the most advanced techniques for skin care.

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