Babassu (Orbignya phalerata)
Natural Standard Bottom Line Monograph, Copyright © 2013 (www.naturalstandard.com). Commercial distribution prohibited. This monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making decisions about therapies and/or health conditions.
While some complementary and alternative techniques have been studied scientifically, high-quality data regarding safety, effectiveness, and mechanism of action are limited or controversial for most therapies. Whenever possible, it is recommended that practitioners be licensed by a recognized professional organization that adheres to clearly published standards. In addition, before starting a new technique or engaging a practitioner, it is recommended that patients speak with their primary healthcare provider(s). Potential benefits, risks (including financial costs), and alternatives should be carefully considered. The below monograph is designed to provide historical background and an overview of clinically-oriented research, and neither advocates for or against the use of a particular therapy.
Amid, Arecaceae (family), aqueous extract, babacu mesocarp, babassu coconut, babassu mesocarp, babassu oil, babassu palm trees, Brazilian babassu coconut oil, coconut babacu, glucan, mesocarp, MP1, Orbignya oleifera, Orbignya phalerata, Orbignya phalerata Mart., Orbignya phalerata Martius, polysaccharide.
The babassu (Orbignya phalerata) is a native tree of the Arecaceae (Palmae) family from northern Brazil. Extract of the babassu coconut has been widely used as a food source. As a medicinal product, it is known for its wound healing, fever-reducing, blood thinning, thyroid-regulating, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Babassu coconut (mesocarp) has been widely used as a treatment of pain, fever, constipation, obesity, leukemia, rheumatism, ulcerations, tumors, wounds, and inflammation.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
No available studies qualify for inclusion in the evidence table.
*Key to grades:A: Strong scientific evidence for this use; B: Good scientific evidence for this use; C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use; D: Fair scientific evidence against this use (it may not work); F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likely does not work).
The below uses are based on tradition or scientific theories. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious and should be evaluated by a qualified health care professional.
Anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic (blood thinning), constipation, fever, food uses, hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), immunomodulation, insect repellent, leukemia, obesity, pain, promoting healing, rheumatism, skin ulcerations, tumors, wound healing.
The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.
Adults (over 18 years old)
There is no proven safe or effective dose for babassu in adults.
Children (under 18 years old)
There is no proven safe or effective dose for babassu in children.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.
Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to babassu (Orbignya phalerata) or its constituents.
Side Effects and Warnings
Babassu is likely safe when used in food amounts in people who are not allergic or hypersensitive to babassu or any of its constituents.
Use cautiously in patients taking blood thinners.
Use cautiously in patients taking antithyroid (thyroid-regulating) agents.
Avoid in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available evidence.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Babassu is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack available scientific evidence.
Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.
Interactions with Drugs
Babassu may exhibit anti-inflammatory activity. Caution is advised in patients taking anti-inflammatory agents, due to possible additive effects.
Consumption of babassu may exert antithyroid (thyroid-regulating) effects. Caution is advised in patients with thyroid disorders or taking any medications to treat such conditions.
Babassu may have antithrombotic effects and therefore may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants ("blood thinners") such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).
Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements
Babassu may have antithrombotic effects and therefore may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with herbs and supplements that are believed to increase the risk of bleeding. Multiple cases of bleeding have been reported with the use of Ginkgo biloba, and fewer cases with garlic and saw palmetto.
Babassu may exhibit anti-inflammatory activity. Caution is advised in patients taking herbs or supplements that also have anti-inflammatory activity due to possible additive effects.
Consumption of babassu may exert antithyroid effects. Caution is advised in patients with thyroid disorders or taking any herbs or supplements to treat such conditions.
This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).
Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.
Amorim E, Matias JE, Coelho JC, et al. [Topic use of aqueous extract of Orbignya phalerata (babassu) in rats: analysis of its healing effect]. Acta Cir.Bras. 2006;21 Suppl 2:67-76. View Abstract
Azevedo AP, Farias JC, Costa GC, et al. Anti-thrombotic effect of chronic oral treatment with Orbignya phalerata Mart. J Ethnopharmacol 4-20-2007;111(1):155-159. View Abstract
Baldez RN, Malafaia O, Czeczko NG, et al. [Healing of colonic anastomosis with the use of extract aqueous of Orbignya phalerata (Babassu) in rats]. Acta Cir.Bras. 2006;21 Suppl 2:31-38. View Abstract
Batista CP, Torres OJ, Matias JE, et al. [Effect of watery extract of Orbignya phalerata (babassu) in the gastric healing in rats: morphological and tensiometric study]. Acta Cir.Bras. 2006;21 Suppl 3:26-32. View Abstract
Brito Filho SB, Matias JE, Stahlke Junior HJ, et al. [Analysis of healing in the Alba Linea with the use of Orbignya phalerata (babassu) water extract. Controlled study in rats]. Acta Cir.Bras. 2006;21 Suppl 3:76-88. View Abstract
da Silva BP, Parente JP. An anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory polysaccharide from Orbignya phalerata. Fitoterapia 2001;72(8):887-893. View Abstract
Ferreira Ede C, Matias JE, Campos AC, et al. [Surgical bladder wounds treated with Orbignya phalerata aqueous extract: controlled study in rats]. Acta Cir.Bras. 2006;21 Suppl 3:33-39. View Abstract
Freire DM, Sant'Anna GL Jr, Alves TL. Mathematical modeling of lipase and protease production by Penicillium restrictum in a batch fermenter. Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 1999;77-79:845-855. View Abstract
Luz C, Batagin I. Potential of oil-based formulations of Beauveria bassiana to control Triatoma infestans. Mycopathologia 2005;160(1):51-62. View Abstract
Marques SG, Silva Cde M, Saldanha PC, et al. Isolation of Fonsecaea pedrosoi from the shell of the babassu coconut (Orbignya phalerata Martius) in the Amazon region of Maranhao Brazil. Nippon Ishinkin.Gakkai Zasshi 2006;47(4):305-311. View Abstract
Martins NL, Malafaia O, Ribas-Filho JM, et al. [Healing process in cutaneous surgical wounds in rats under the influence of Orbignya phalerata aqueous extract]. Acta Cir.Bras. 2006;21 Suppl 3:66-75. View Abstract
Nascimento FR, Barroqueiro ES, Azevedo AP, et al. Macrophage activation induced by Orbignya phalerata Mart. J Ethnopharmacol 1-3-2006;103(1):53-58. View Abstract
Oliveira FC, Freire DM, Castilho LR. Production of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) by solid-state fermentation with Ralstonia eutropha. Biotechnol.Lett 2004;26(24):1851-1855. View Abstract
Palma MB, Pinto AL, Gombert AK, et al. Lipase production by Penicillium restrictum using solid waste of industrial babassu oil production as substrate. Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2000;84-86:1137-1145. View Abstract
Sarubbo LA, Porto AL, Campos-Takaki GM. The use of babassu oil as substrate to produce bioemulsifiers by Candida lipolytica. Can.J Microbiol. 1999;45(5):423-426. View Abstract
Copyright © 2013 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)
The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.
March 22, 2017