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

Cecropia obtusifolia, Chancarro, Grayumbo, Guarumbo, Hormiguillo, Pop-a-gun, Snakewood Tree, Tree of Laziness, Trompeto, Trumpet Tree, Yagrumo.


Guarumo is a tree. The leaves and stem are used to make medicine.

Guarumo is taken by mouth for asthma, bronchitis, diabetes, heart failure, high blood pressure, liver disorders, and joint diseases. It is also taken by mouth to relax muscles, promote sleep, reduce pain, and increase urination.

Guarumo is applied to the skin to reduce swelling and treat skin diseases.

How does it work?

Guarumo appears to reduce blood sugar levels by slowing down the digestion of carbohydrates. Guarumo also seems to reduce pain and swelling, lower blood pressure, and increase urination. It also appears to depress the central nervous system, causing a muscle relaxation.


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Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Diabetes. Some early research suggests that drinking tea prepared with guarumo three times per day for 3 weeks lowers blood sugar levels by 15% in people with type 2 diabetes who are also taking antidiabetes medication. Other early research suggests that drinking tea prepared with guarumo once daily for 32 weeks lowers blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes who are not taking antidiabetes medication.
  • Asthma.
  • Bronchitis.
  • Heart failure.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Liver disorders.
  • Pain.
  • Skin wounds.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of guarumo 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

Guarumo is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth as a tea. Tea prepared with guarumo appears to be safe when taken by mouth daily for up to 32 weeks. But guarumo might cause some mild side effects, including excessive salivation, heartburn, and feeling tired.


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Special Precautions & Warnings

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

Diabetes: Guarumo might lower blood sugar levels. People with diabetes should monitor their blood glucose levels closely. If you have diabetes, it's best to check with your healthcare provider before starting guarumo.

Low blood pressure: Guarumo might lower blood pressure. In theory, guarumo might lower pressure too much if taken by people who already have low blood pressure.


Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Guarumo might lower blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking guarumo along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.

Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.

Medications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Guarumo might lower blood pressure. Taking guarumo along with medications 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.


The following doses have been studied in scientific research:


  • For diabetes: Tea prepared with 1 gram of dried guarumo leaves and taken three times daily for 21 days has been used. Also, tea prepared with 13.5 grams of guarumo leaves and taken once daily for 32 weeks has been used.

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Alonso-Castro, A. J., Miranda-Torres, A. C., Gonzalez-Chavez, M. M., and Salazar-Olivo, L. A. Cecropia obtusifolia Bertol and its active compound, chlorogenic acid, stimulate 2-NBDglucose uptake in both insulin-sensitive and insulin-resistant 3T3 adipocytes. J Ethnopharmacol 2008;120(3):458-64. View abstract.

Alvarez-Buylla ER, Martinez-Ramos M. Demography and allometry of Cecropia obtusifolia, a neotropical pioneer tree - an evaluation of the climax-pioneer paradigm for tropical rain forests. J Ecol 1992;80:275-290.

Andrade-Cetto, A. and Wiedenfeld, H. Hypoglycemic effect of Cecropia obtusifolia on streptozotocin diabetic rats. J Ethnopharmacol 2001;78(2-3):145-9. View abstract.

Andrade-Cetto, A., Becerra-Jimenez, J., and Cardenas-Vazquez, R. Alfa-glucosidase-inhibiting activity of some Mexican plants used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. J Ethnopharmacol 2008;116(1):27-32. View abstract.

Herrera-Arellano, A., Aguilar-Santamaria, L., Garcia-Hernandez, B., Nicasio-Torres, P., and Tortoriello, J. Clinical trial of Cecropia obtusifolia and Marrubium vulgare leaf extracts on blood glucose and serum lipids in type 2 diabetics. Phytomedicine 2004;11(7-8):561-566. View abstract.

Mellado, V. and Lozoya, M. Effect of the aqueous extract of Cecropia obtusifolia on the blood sugar of normal and pancreatectomized dogs. Int J Crude Drug Res 1984;22:11-16.

Perez-Guerrero, C., Herrera, M. D., Ortiz, R., Alvarez, de Sotomayor, and Fernandez, M. A. A pharmacological study of Cecropia obtusifolia Bertol aqueous extract. J Ethnopharmacol 2001;76(3):279-84. View abstract.

Revilla-Monsalve, M. C., Andrade-Cetto, A., Palomino-Garibay, M. A., Wiedenfeld, H., and Islas-Andrade, S. Hypoglycemic effect of Cecropia obtusifolia Bertol aqueous extracts on type 2 diabetic patients. J Ethnopharmacol 2007;111(3):636-40. View abstract.

Salas, I. G., Morales, O. M., and Brenes, J. R. Effect of chronic administration of Cecropia obtusifolia (Moraceae) on mean arterial pressure in rats. Rev Biol Trop 1987;35(2):359-62. View abstract.

Salas, I., Brenes, J. R., and Morales, O. M. Antihypertensive effect of Cecropia obtusifolia (Moraceae) leaf extract on rats. Rev Biol Trop 1987;35(1):127-30. View abstract.

Toledo, V. M., Tellez, M. G., Sortibran, A. N., Andrade-Cetto, A., and Rodriguez-Arnaiz, R. Genotoxicity testing of Cecropia obtusifolia extracts in two in vivo assays: the wing somatic mutation and recombination test of Drosophila and the human cytokinesis-block micronucleus test. J Ethnopharmacol 2008;116(1):58-63. View abstract.

Vargas-Howell, R. and Ulate-Montero, G. [Diuretic effect of Cecropia obtusifolia (Moraceae) on albino rats]. Rev Biol Trop 1996;44(1):93-6. View abstract.

Vidrio, H., Garcia-Marquez, F., Reyes, J., and Soto, R. M. Hypotensive activity of Cecropia obtusifolia. J Pharm Sci 1982;71:475-76. View abstract.