Reviewed on 6/11/2021
Other Name(s):

Andiroba-Saruba, Bastard Mahogany, Brazilian Mahogany, Caoba Bastarda, Caoba del Brasil, Caobilla, Carapa, Carapa guianensis, Carapa Rouge, Cedro, Cedro Macho, Crabwood, Iandirova, Mahogany, Najesí, Requia.


Andiroba is a plant. The bark and leaf, as well as oil from the fruit and the seed, are used to make medicine.

People take a tea made from andiroba bark and leaf to treat fevers, herpes, and worm infections; and as a tonic. Andiroba fruit oil is taken for coughs.

Some people apply andiroba bark and leaf directly to the skin for sores, ulcers, and skin troubles. It is used on the skin for removing ticks and skin parasites.

The seed oil is used directly on the skin to treat swelling (inflammation), arthritis, rashes, muscle and joint aches and injuries, wounds, boils, and herpes ulcers.

In manufacturing, andiroba is used as a solvent for dissolving and removing dyes from plants, as a lamp oil, and as an insect repellent.

How does it work?

There isn't enough information available to know how andiroba works.


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Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...


  • Fevers.
  • Herpes.
  • Intestinal worms.
  • Coughs.
  • Other conditions.
  • Insect repellent. Early research suggests that applying 100% andiroba oil to the skin protects against mosquito bites, but not as well as applying 50% DEET.
  • Skin conditions.
  • Sores.
  • Ulcers.
  • Removing ticks.
  • Skin parasites.
  • Arthritis.
  • Muscle and joint aches and injuries.
  • Wounds.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of andiroba for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

There isn't enough information available to know if andiroba is safe to use.


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Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking andiroba if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.


The appropriate dose of andiroba depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for andiroba. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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Hammer, M. L. and Johns, E. A. Tapping an Amazonian plethora: four medicinal plants of Marajo Island, Para (Brazil). J Ethnopharmacol 1993;40(1):53-75. View abstract.

Konan, Y. L., Sylla, M. S., Doannio, J. M., and Traore, S. Comparison of the effect of two excipients (karite nut butter and vaseline) on the efficacy of Cocos nucifera, Elaeis guineensis and Carapa procera oil-based repellents formulations against mosquitoes biting in Ivory Coast. Parasite 2003;10(2):181-184. View abstract.

Miot, H. A., Batistella, R. F., Batista, Kde A., Volpato, D. E., Augusto, L. S., Madeira, N. G., Haddad, V., Jr., and Miot, L. D. Comparative study of the topical effectiveness of the Andiroba oil (Carapa guianensis) and DEET 50% as repellent for Aedes sp. Rev Inst Med Trop.Sao Paulo 2004;46(5):253-256. View abstract.

Saxena, E. and Babu, U. V. Constituents of Carapa granatum fruits. Fitoterapia 2001;72(2):186-187. View abstract.

Seignot, P., Guyon, P., Hasselot, N., Angel, G., Kindelberger, P., Coursange, F., and Aubert, M. [A deep skin burn caused by the local application of a traditional oily ointment of Senegal (Carapa procera)]. Med.Trop.(Mars.) 1991;51(1):91-92. View abstract.

Sylla, M., Konan, L., Doannio, J. M., and Traore, S. [Evaluation of the efficacity of coconut (Cocos nucifera), palm nut (Eleais guineensis) and gobi (Carapa procera) lotions and creams in indivirual protection against Simulium damnosum s.l. bites in Cote d'Ivoire]. Bull.Soc.Pathol.Exot. 2003;96(2):104-109. View abstract.

Duke JA, Vasquez R. Amazonian Ethnobotanical Dictionary. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, LLC 1994.

Schultes RE, Raffauf RF. The Healing Forest, Medicinal and Toxic Plants of the Northwest Amazonia. Portland, OR: Dioscorides Press, 1990.