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

Angustura, Angusture, Angusture Vraie, Angostura trifoliata, Bonplandia trifoliata, Carony Bark, Chuspa, Cusparia, Cusparia Bark, Cusparia febrifuga, Cusparia trifoliata, Galipea officinalis, True Angostura.


Angostura is a plant. The bark is used to make medicine.

People take angostura for treating fever, diarrhea, and spasms; and for preventing the return of malaria. Large doses of angostura are used to empty the bowels and cause vomiting.

In foods, angostura is used in alcoholic beverages. However, “angostura bitters” which is sometimes used in mixing alcoholic beverages, no longer contains angostura. It is now made from gentian and other bitters.

How does it work?

Angostura has chemicals that help reduce spasms.


Vitamin D Deficiency: How Much Vitamin D Is Enough? See Slideshow

Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of angostura 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

Angostura extract is LIKELY SAFE for most adults when used in amounts commonly found in foods or drinks. There isn't enough information to know if angostura is safe in medicinal amounts, which are typically larger than the amounts found in foods or drinks. Large doses of angostura might cause nausea and vomiting.


Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from ________________. See Answer

Special Precautions & Warnings

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


The appropriate dose of angostura 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 angostura. 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.

FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors


Houghton, P. J., Woldemariam, T. Z., Watanabe, Y., and Yates, M. Activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis of alkaloid constituents of Angostura bark, Galipea officinalis. Planta Med 1999;65(3):250-254. View abstract.

Jacquemond-Collet, I., Benoit-Vical, F., Valentin, A., Stanislas, E., Mallie, M., and Fouraste, I. Antiplasmodial and cytotoxic activity of galipinine and other tetrahydroquinolines from Galipea officinalis. Planta Med 2002;68(1):68-69. View abstract.

Jacquemond-Collet, I., Bessiere, J. M., Hannedouche, S., Bertrand, C., Fouraste, I., and Moulis, C. Identification of the alkaloids of Galipea officinalis by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Phytochem.Anal. 2001;12(5):312-319. View abstract.

Jacquemond-Collet, I., Hannedouche, S., Fouraste, I., and Moulis, C. Novel quinoline alkaloid from trunk bark of Galipea officinalis. Fitoterapia 2000;71(5):605-606. View abstract.

Rakotoson, J. H., Fabre, N., Jacquemond-Collet, I., Hannedouche, S., Fouraste, I., and Moulis, C. Alkaloids from Galipea officinalis. Planta Med. 1998;64(8):762-763. View abstract.

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 182 -- Substances Generally Recognized As Safe. Available at:

Williamson EM, Evans FJ, eds. Potter's New Cyclopaedia of Botanical Drugs and Preparations. Essex, England: CW Daniel Company Ltd., 1998.