Catechu is an herb used for diarrhea, swelling of the nose and throat, dysentery, swelling of the colon (colitis), bleeding, indigestion, osteoarthritis, and cancer. In foods and beverages, catechu is used as a flavoring agent.
- The leaves, shoots, and wood are used to make medicine. The two types of catechu, black catechu and pale catechu, contain slightly different chemicals, but they are used for the same purposes and at the same dose.
- It is thought that catechu may contain chemicals that can decrease inflammation and kill bacteria.
- Catechu is safe in amounts found in food. But there’s not enough information to know if it’s safe in the larger amounts that are used as medicine. A specific combination product called flavocoxid (Limbrel, Primus Pharmaceuticals) that contains catechu was safely used in research studies lasting up to 12 weeks. However, there are concerns that this combination product might cause liver problems in some people. This side effect does not appear to be common and might only occur in people who have a type of allergic reaction to it.
- It’s also not known whether it’s safe to apply catechu directly to the skin.
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Catechu is safe for pregnant and breast-feeding women in food amounts. But larger medicinal amounts should be avoided until more is known.
- Low blood pressure (hypotension): Catechu might lower blood pressure. There is a concern that it might lower blood pressure too much, causing fainting and other symptoms, in people who already have low blood pressure.
- Surgery: Because catechu might lower blood pressure, there is a concern that it might interfere with blood pressure control during and after surgery. Stop using catechu at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination:
- Medications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs) interacts with CATECHU:Catechu might decrease blood pressure. Taking catechu along with medications used for high blood pressure might cause your blood pressure to go too low.
- Some medications for high blood pressure include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), diltiazem (Cardizem), Amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDIURIL), furosemide (Lasix), and many others.
Black Catechu: Acacia à Cachou, Acacia catechu, Acacia Catechu Heartwood Extract, Black Cutch, Cachou de Pegu, Cachou Noir, Cachou, Cashou, Catechu nigrum, Catecu, Cutch, Cutch Tree, Dark Catechu, Er Cha, Khair, Khadira, Mimosa catechu, Pegu Catechu.
Source: WebMD, “Catechu”, http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/