Ethnobotanical Dictionary
Bellyache bush

Jatropha gossypiifolia

It is an herbaceous plant native to the tropical region of continental America that grows 1 to 2 m. tall. The leaves are 7 to 15 cm. in length, dark purple and green, joined at the base, with between 3 and 5 lobes. Its flowers are small, greenish, with ovate, glandular and hairy sepals, composed of 5 purple, obovate petals. Propagation occurs by stems and seeds. The seeds are toxic.


It is used as a medicinal plant to purge the stomach and to relieve pain in the bones, joints, sprains and bumps. It also decreases the pain of burns. The roots can be used as a diuretic. The decoction of the leaf serves to treat nephritic colic and kidney infections. In chronic diseases and pathologies, it relieves and cures renal failure, lung edema, fluid retention or anasarca and liver cirrhosis.

Jatropha Gossypiifolia