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Erythrina mulungu

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids I
Ordo: Fabales

Familia: Fabaceae
Subfamilia: Faboideae
Tribus: Phaseoleae
Subtribus: Erythrininae
Genus: Erythrina
Subgenus: E. subg. Micropteryx
Sectio: E. sect. Micropteryx
Species: Erythrina verna

Erythrina verna Vell.

Flora Fluminensis, seu Descriptionum Plantarum Praefectura Fluminensi ... Rio de Janeiro 304. 1829 ("1825")
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Erythrina verna in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 07-Oct-06.

Erythrina mulungu (Mulungu) is a Brazilian ornamental tree and medicinal plant native to the cerrado and caatinga ecoregions in Brazil, South America.

A single flower of Erythrina mulungu

This tree reaches up to 15 meters in height.[1]
Erythrina mulungu seeds

The red-orange seeds germinate in organo-sandy substrates covered with a layer between 0.5 – 2 cm of the same, being irrigated daily, emerging between 7 and 16 days having high germination rate.[2] Breaking dormancy is not usually necessary. But when it is needed, it is performed through germinative treatments consisting of mechanical scarification of the area opposite to the hilum and immersion in water for 24 hours.[3]

The seeds are considered very toxic. Ingestion should be avoided and there is a danger of death.[1]
Herbal medicine

Several Erythrina tree species are used by indigenous peoples in the Amazon as medicines, insecticides, and fish poisons. Tinctures and decoctions made from the leaves or barks of Mulungu are often used in Brazilian traditional medicine as a sedative, to calm an overexcited nervous system, to lower blood pressure, and for insomnia and depression.[4][5]

Commercial preparations of Mulungu are available in Brazilian drugstores, but is not very widely known in North America and almost unknown in Europe, appearing mostly as an ingredient in only a few herbal formulas for anxiety or depression.[5]
Mulungu extract composition

Chemical compounds found in Mulungu extract include the tetrahydroisoquinoline alkaloids erythravine and (+)-11α-hydroxy-erythravine.[6]
See also

List of plants of Caatinga vegetation of Brazil
List of plants of Cerrado vegetation of Brazil
Bark isolates


"Mulungu-da-caatinga (Erythrina velutina Willd.)" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2019-04-03.
"Sementes de Mulungu Suinã - Erythrina verna". Click Mudas (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2019-04-03.
Vasconcellos, Henrique Castro; et al. (8 July 2013). "Physiological responses of Erythrina verna seedlings on seed pre-germinative treatments and sowing depth". Ciência Florestal. 25 (1): 59–66. doi:10.1590/1980-509820152505059 (inactive 31 July 2022). ISSN 1980-5098. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
Lorenzi, H (2009-01-01). Árvores brasileiras: manual de identificação e cultivo de plantas arbóreas nativas do Brasil (in Portuguese). Nova Odessa: Instituto Plantarum. OCLC 709271473.
Rodrigues, V.E.G.; Carvalho, D.A. (2001-01-01). "Levantamento etnobotânico de plantas medicinais no domínio do cerrado na região do Alto Rio Grande - Minas Gerais". Ciência e Agrotecnologia. 25 (1). ISSN 1413-7054.
Flausino Jr, OA; Pereira, AM; Da Silva Bolzani, V; Nunes-De-Souza, RL (2007). "Effects of erythrinian alkaloids isolated from Erythrina mulungu (Papilionaceae) in mice submitted to animal models of anxiety". Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin. 30 (2): 375–8. doi:10.1248/bpb.30.375. PMID 17268084.

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