Mulungu is an iconic Brazilian tree, famous for its orange beauty and uses in traditional Brazilian herbal medicine. It has gained popularity online for its effects as a natural herbal sleep aid and anti-anxiety herb when consumed as a tea or tincture. In Brazil it is a common consumer herbal product, and is now gaining popularity online and around the world as a Nootropic.

Please note that the information in this article is for ethnobotanical research purposes only. We do not condone or promote the consumption of Mulungu – we just want our readers to be as absolutely informed as possible about this plant and its traditional usage in Brazil as it now spreads in popularity worldwide.

What is the Mulungu (Erythrina) Plant?

The Mulungu Tree, different cultivars and species of Erythrina

The many species of Erythrina are also sometimes referred to as the “coral trees” or even “flame trees”. They are found all over the world with many different properties – however in this article we are only going to focus and refer to the South American species of the Erythrina genus which are called “Mulungu” trees. The coral tree name refers to the shape of the branches and flowers, not the colour “coral” which is more pink. In the following image you can see a full sized tree and immediately understand where the association with coral and flames come from.

Erythrina Mulungu (Erythrina Verna) - By João Medeiros - Erythrina verna, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10948412
Erythrina Mulungu (Erythrina Verna) – By João Medeiros – Erythrina verna, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10948412

The Erythrina genus of trees are all in the pea family, known as Fabaceae. There are 130 different species of the tree around the world. The origin of the name “Erythrina” comes from the Greek word ερυθρóς (erythros), meaning “red”, referring to the flower colour of the various species. The flowers of the Erythrina trees can be either red or orange depending on the specific species.

The following images show a breakdown in classical plant illustrations of the makeup of the Erythrina trees, showcasing the flowers, leaves, seed pod, stem and branch:

Erythrina Coralloides Sesse Moc. ex-DC
Erythrina Coralloides Sesse Moc. ex-DC

The Mulungu tree known as “E. Crista Galli” is also called the “seibo” tree, and it is the national tree of Argentina.

Mulungu FLowers - Erythrina Crista Galli L.
Mulungu Flowers – Erythrina Crista Galli L.

In Hinduism, the mandara tree in Indra’s garden in Svarga is held to be a coral tree: E. stricta. The same motif is found in Tibetan Buddhism, where the man da ra ba growing in Sukhavati is identified as an Indian coral tree (E. variegata).

The most common tree known as Mulungu is “Erythrina mulungu”. However, in Brazil, they call any tree in the Erythrina genus to be a Mulungu tree.

The Mulungu varieties which are most favoured for being successful and effective herbs are “E. mulungu“, “E. velutina” and “E. crista-galli“.

The Mulungu tree can grow up to 15m in height, and some non-South American versions can even grow up to 30m. It is known both as being an ornamental tree and as a source of herbal medicine.

There are many plants in the Mulungu family of the Erythrine genus. There is not just one Mulungu plant. In Brazil, it is common to call many different similar trees as Mulungu – they all have that same characteristic orange bloom. Depending on where someone lives in Brazil, they will have different exposure to a similar tree that is locally called Mulungu to them. It is commonly used in urban landscaping in Brazil, and would be familiar to someone living in that country.

It is very easy to find mulungu-based herbal sedatives and anxiolytics in [Brazilian] drugstores, however, and actually one of the most famous Brazilian patented phytotherapeutic formulas, Maracugina, is a blend of mulungu and passionflower.

Mulungu trees are frequently used as a shade tree in the tropical cacao plantations (where chocolate is grown in South America). The Mulungu will grow high up in the canopy so that the cacao trees have adequate shade beneath and are not exposed to direct sunlight.

More or less, the different species of Erythrina trees across Brazil are all used for their similar muscle relaxant properties. They are used interchangably as part of traditional herbal medicine in that country. The bark of the tree is removed to prepare a concoction out of the bark.

There are many natives used for Mulungu, such as the following: Mulungu, corticeira, murungu, muchocho, murungo, totocero, flor-de-coral, árvore-de-coral, amerikadeigo, ceibo, chilichi, chopo, hosoba deiko, pau-imortal, mulungu-coral, capa-homem, suiná-suiná.

The most notable species of Erythrina that we focus on is E. Mulungu (E. Verna). Some other notable species of interest are:

  • E. Speciosa
  • E. Falcata
  • E. Suberosa
  • E. Velutina
  • E. Crista-galli

Mulungu Flowers and Leaves

Not all wordwide species of Erythrina have those lovely characteristic orange-red colour, however all of the Mulungu trees of Brazil do. That is what makes the Mulungu flowers particularly special and gives the South American variants of this plant a very specific personality in comparison to those in the rest of the world.

Mulungu FLowers - Erythrina Crista Galli L.
Mulungu FLowers – Erythrina Crista Galli L.
E. Verna Flower - credit to João Medeiros
E. Verna Flower – credit to João Medeiros
Erythina Mulungu flowers - credit to Jan Koeman
Erythina Mulungu flowers – credit to Jan Koeman

The leaves of the Mulungu tree are eaten as food by moth larvae and wooly bears. These little insects resemble fuzzy caterpillars. The mite “Tydeus munsteri” is a pest on the African Erythrina tree known as E. Caffra.

Bird drinking Mulungu Nectar - By J.M.Garg - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3083224
Bird drinking Mulungu Nectar – By J.M.Garg – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3083224

Birds love the nectar rich flowers of the Mulungu tree! Hummingbirds in particular love to devour it in South America. A Mulungu tree in your yard is a great way to attract tropical birds. Some birds that are particularly attracted to the nectar of Erythrina species worldwide are the hummingbirds, green-breasted mangos, black drongos, and lorikeets.

Mulungu Fruit and Seeds

Given that the Mulungu tree is in the pea family, the fruit which it produces are legumes – pea pods. They contain one or more seeds in each. The seeds are buoyant and float in water, and can be referred to as “sea beans”. This property allowed the plant to spread all across the world and evolve into many different variants. Another notable example of a “sea bean” is the coconut, which explains why the entire tropical coasts of the world seem to be full of coconut trees.

Mulungu seeds in the legume pod fruit - By Roger Culos - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27001350
Mulungu seeds in the legume pod fruit – By Roger Culos – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27001350
Mulungu Seeds - By CostaPPPR - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=64460238
Mulungu Seeds – By CostaPPPR – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=64460238

The seeds of the Mulungu plant are toxic. They should not be ingested by humans ever. There is even a danger of death if a human consumes these seeds. Please never never eat them. The seeds contain cystine, and other curare-like alkaloids and are poisonous.

The seeds contain numerous erythrina alkaloids, including 14% erysotrine, 45% erysodine, 40% erysovine, and approximately 1% eryspine (Bye 1979b, 38*).

The seeds are a red-orange colour and germinate in sandy substrate covered about 2cm deep. They should be irrigated daily, and between 7 and 16 days little sprouts should emerge with a high germination rate.

Breaking dormancy of the seed is generally not necessary, but one could perform germinative treatments of mechanical scarification on the seed opposite to the hilum and immerse it in water for 24 hours before planting.

Only the seeds of the Andean species dubbed “E. edulis” can be eaten, and they are sold as “beans” at Indian markets. The seeds of some species contain lectins.

The seeds of the species “E. corallodendron” are known as “colorines” (aka. magic beans) and they are strung together to make jewelry such as bracelets and necklaces.

The seeds of the species “E. flabelliformis” (or E. purpusi) were used apparently by the shamans of the Tarahumara people – Mexican natives living in modern day Chihuahua. It is unknown how exactly they used the seeds, but it is speculated at they were added to the “tesgüino beer” that was brewed from agave or maize in order to potentiate the effects. These people would also use the seeds in jewelry, and to treat toothaches and lower abdominal ailments.

The Seri people of northern Mexico would boil Erythrina seeds to produce a decoction that they would use to treat diarrhea. The Pima people would grind the seeds up to produce an ointment that would be used for inflammation. Partially ground seeds (which are poisonous, of course) would be ingested as a way to induce vomiting.

The seeds of “E. standleyana” are believed to protect the carrier from “evil winds” in the Yucatan area of Mexico. They were used by the Mayan culture, who would place them on the altar for their rain ceremonies.

How to prepare Mulungu Powder? How to take Mulungu traditionally

The indigenous peoples of Brazil in the Amazon and other regions have been using Mulungu for all of their recorded history. They use different parts of the tree for different uses. It has its place as a medicine, insecticide and fish poison.

Tinctures and teas made from the leaves and barks of Mulungu are often used in Brazilian traditional medicine as a sedative. The Mulungu is used to calm an overexcited nervous system, to lower blood pressure, and for insomnia and depression.

Mulungu powder (loose or in capsules) are sold widespread across Brazil in drugstores, health food stores, variety stores other shops. It is not yet widely known in North America and nearly unknown in Europe.

Traditional usage of the Mulungu tree in South America

The Mulungu species which is dubbed as Erythrina falcata and found in Argentina is known locally as “seibo”. It was referenced in drawings from the 17th century in Argentina as being associated with the jaguar, an animal that is related to the shaman. This cultivar of the tree also grows in Bolivia, Brazil and Paragruay, and can also be called “seibo silvestre” and a legend exists that it was used in the production of an obscure snuff.

E. Falcata (Seibo) and the Jaguar - . (From Pedro de Montenegro, Materia médica misionera, seventeenth century)
E. Falcata (Seibo) and the Jaguar – (From Pedro de Montenegro, Materia médica misionera, seventeenth century)

Many tribes from the Amazon would also include the bark of Mulungu trees into their ceremonial drinks.

The species “E. Glauca” (or the Blue coral tree) is called the “amasisa” in Colombia and “assacu-rana” in Brazil. The Tikuna people would boil the bark to wash their wounds, and in Brazil they would boil a tea out of the plant’s roots. The tea was used for rheumatic and liver problems, and high dosages would be to induce vomiting. This is very interesting to read because it is so unlike the effects that Mulungu is desired for in the modern world.

The flowers of the “E. poeppigiana” variety are eaten as a vegetable in salads.

In Venezuela, the ashes of the wood from the Erythrina species would be mixed in together with tobacco, in a mixture they would call “chimo”. This Chimo product is pictured below, and is like a tobacco paste product:

Mulungu and Tobacco paste - Chimo
Mulungu and Tobacco paste – Chimo

Traditional usage of Erythrina trees in India and Nepal

In this section we discuss the specific usages of Erythrina tress in South Asia, where it is considered a holy plant in both India and Nepal. It is associated with the production of “amrita”, which is also known as “soma” and the “drink of immortality” and with Shiva’s paradise.

Vedic myths tell us that the tree arose when the primordial ocean’s milk was churned to create a drink of the gods. Indra was the Vedic deity who spotted the tree and took interest in it – planting it in his garden. It is known as one of the five heavenly trees and believed to be able to grant wishes.

Krishna was the deity who stole the tree from Indra’s garden and brought it to our world for humans to enjoy. The tree is now associated with Shiva, and the flowers are often used as an offering to him. The variants of Erythrina growing in India tend to have three leaves per stalk, which are used to symbolize the Hindu trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.

In the Himalayas, the tree is used as a fish poison, and in Sri Lanka the tree is used as a support beam for cubeb peppers to grow on.

Mulungu Tea made from Mulungu Bark Powder or Mulungu Extract

A common way that Mulungu is consumed today is through teas. This web brand called “The Tropical Link” is one example of a company who exports from Brazil to the world, however just please note that we do not endorse them in any way whatsover. We are just using them as an example to showcase the globalization of ecommerce brands.

Mulungu Powder and Extract by the Tropical Link brand
Mulungu Powder and Extract by the Tropical Link brand

On their website they sell both powders and extracts. Their powder they suggest to use 15g per serving of tea, however we have found many other Mulungu recipes that call for only 5-10g per serving. This may be due to the quality of their powder being less concentrated than other brands. Some people think Mulungu tea tastes disgusting, other people think it tastes delicious and spicy like cinnamon. The honey and lemon help with the taste, too. Some people online have even written about mixing in some Hennessey (presumably whiskey) with their Mulungu but we would regard this to likely be a bad idea.

Mulungu Tea made by a redditor - bought from Tropical Link
Mulungu Tea made by a redditor – bought from Tropical Link

The usage of vinegar and lime/lemon juice is important because it is used to acidify the brew. Many alkaloids can only be extracted from plant material into water if the water is acidic. This means that boiling in normal tap water like a tea will not extract the desired properties from the plant.

After one brews Mulungu tea, they should not leave it sitting around for greater than one week.

Mulungu Tea from Mulungu Powder Recipe 1

  1. Combine one tablespoon (15g) of mulungu powder together with a few drops of lemon juice or vinegar
  2. Simmer for 10-20 mins in water.
  3. Then filter out the powder with a coffee filter
  4. Add honey for taste (optional)

Mulungu Tea from Mulungu Powder Recipe 2

  1. To prepare a decoction of Mulungu, 1 tsp. of the powdered bark is used for each 8 oz. of water.
  2. Using medium-high heat, bring water to a boil in an open ceramic pot and then add the powder.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and place the lid on the pot.
  4. Allow the mixture to simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Pour the mixture through a fine strainer and allow it to cool for a time before drinking.
  6. Refrigerate unused portions in a well sealed container.

Mulungu Reddit Recipe

  1. Take 5-15g of Mulungu powder (there is high variability of alkaloid concentration from plant to plant)
  2. Mix with 5g passiflora (passionflower) leaves and 5g Melissa leaves
  3. Combine in water with vinegar and green lime drops
  4. Boil for 30 mins
  5. Add more water and boil again for 30 mins and reduce
  6. Serve

This recipe was created by a Brazilian on reddit r/mulungu who has been consuming it locally for over 5 years. He says that these herbs are a good combination given that they are synergistic. The water can only hold a % of soluble substances at a time, so 2 separate boilings are meant to maximize extraction.

Mulungu Tea from Mulungu Extract Recipe

  1. Combine 0.2-1g of Mulungu extract with water
  2. Mix with water and drink

One can also consume the extract of Mulungu directly. This is called “toss and wash”. Meaning one would put the Mulungu extract/powder direct in their mouth and then chase it down with water.

Warning! We do not actually advise you to use these recipes – we have no knowledge about this brand and also don’t recommend you purchase from them, but we want to give you a taste of understanding how the product actually works for those who are deciding to consume Mulungu as their own self directed consumption.

“BeSerene” Mulungu Supplement

"Be Serene" - Mulungu Health Product in USA (we do not endorse it)
“Be Serene” – Mulungu Health Product in USA (we do not endorse it)

There exists a supplement on the internet sold from the United States called “Be Serene“. This product does not appear to have any FDA approval for being a health product, which is a little irresponsible so we cannot recommend it. Their product contains the herbs: Mulungu, Holy Basil, Schisandra, Shatavari and Rehmannia. It seems that their product is developed by a Doctor named Dr Morgan Camp, who is apparently a licensed medical doctor M.D. who developed a natural health remedy for anti-anxiety.

There are no conclusive BeSerene reviews about the efficacy of the product from any verified third party or certification from any health agency.

Mulungu Capsules

Mulungu capsules are frequently sold in Brazil. The following image shows a sample of what they look like.

Mulungu capsules
Mulungu capsules

The following photo shows a collection of Mulungu products that are sold in Brazil. Notice the packaging. Remember, we do not promote Mulungu to be any specific type of health product. We just want to show you the fact that in Brazil, Mulungu is sold in these types of containers. This is for research purposes only.

Mulungu Tincture

A Mulungu tincture is formed from Mulungu bark being in an alcohol solution. Someone takes Mulungu bark, and also some pure alcohol, and then the plant properties will dilute into the alcohol. We do not sell any tinctures, and do not promote the consumption of Mulungu as any particular tincture.

Mulungu tinctures are sold in Brazil commercially. Usually the concentration in Brazil is 200g/L or 20%.

The online herbshop called “Rainforest Pharmacy” sells a Mulungu tincture. See here:

Mulungu tincture for sale by Rainforest Pharmacy
Mulungu tincture for sale by Rainforest Pharmacy

Those taking a Mulungu Tincture are recommended by Leslie Taylor in her 2005 book “The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs” to consume only 1-2ml twice daily.

How to make a Mulungu Tincture

  1. One should mix together Mulungu powder with a neutral alcohol such as vodka or ever clear at a ratio of 1:5 raw material to alcohol.
  2. Combine the alcohol and Mulungu powder a sealed container and add a few drops of white distilled vinegar
  3. Seal the container and shake twice per day for one month
  4. Filter out the plant material from the liquid using a coffee filter
  5. Leave to evaporate for a dark resinous Mulungu extract

Smoking Mulungu

Some reports online talk about smoking Mulungu too. We say that you should not do this. Inhaling smoke is harmful for the lungs. Read these reports:

I smoked a bowl of a powdered dry extract and noticed effects, but it wasn’t easy or pleasant. Not a horrible taste or irritating or anything, just not something you’d enjoy smoking. I have an ethanol extract of 50g mulungu I am going to evaporate soon and see if the result is something you could smoke like hash

 

Used to smoke shredded bark in a pipe now and then. Mild relaxation bordering on placebo effect. Consider that I would normally steep/boil up to 30g of shredded bark for tea, and it was from using the same volume of resin extract orally for a properly potent effect as shredded bark I would smoke, suggesting my smoked bark relaxation was placebo.

Mulungu Resin Vape Cartridge

Now here is something unique in the modern world. When the e-cigarette was first invented, who ever thought that they would be vaping Mulungu?

Someone online extracted a resin from the Mulungu bark and then put it in a vape cartridge, so that it could be consumed in an e-cigarette. Obviously, inhaling is not the ideal method of consumption for any compound due to the effects on the lugs, but it certainly is interesting.

Mulungu Resin Vape Cartridge
Mulungu Resin Vape Cartridge

The seller said it was good to be used for relaxation, and how it can help with tobacco/nicotine addiction. The item is now sold out after a limited production run and seems to no longer be available for sale.

Mulungu Kombucha

Yes, it’s been done! Check out this Reddit post for more details.

Erythrina Mulungu Kombucha made on Reddit
Erythrina Mulungu Kombucha made on Reddit

Read this excerpt by the author. He first made a tea, and then fermented the tea into a Kombucha.

Tastes straight up amazing. You can imagine it somewhat if you know the taste of the two things individually. It’s very earthy but with with a good tanginess. I’m not the most experienced with its effects, but I felt very relaxed very quickly and zonked out for the whole night, amazing sleep.

Described the effects in another comment. Used about 100g of mulungu steeped for about 35 minutes in one gallon. The kombucha process adds acidity so I did not add any citrus etc. No idea if that a good dosage tbh. The gallon got split into seven servings.

Where to buy Mulungu?

There are many different online Mulungu vendors. In Brazil, one can go to their local shop and find one of many different brands of Mulungu capsule products. Outside of Brazil, Mulungu is not sold in stores.

We cannot recommend any particular brand of Mulungu for purchase.

Where to buy Mulungu in Canada

Our website sells Mulungu bark powder within Canada.

Mulungu for Sleep and Lucid Dreaming

Mulungu as a Sleep Aid

This is by far the most popular usage of Mulungu. Mulungu has a long tradition of use in Brazil and Peru for being a natural mild sedative that helps with insomnia, anxiety, stress and depression. Many users online across the world are turning to Mulungu for usage before bed to help them sleep at night.

Often times insomnia is caused by tension in the body that is not resolved at bedtime, meaning that someone cannot fall asleep because their body is locked up with tense muscles. The effects of Mulungu very subtly sedate the user into a bedtime-mode of being so that they can drift off. Mulungu is also known as a dream potentiator.

However, keep in mind that some people raise the issue that Mulungu might actually be too effective as a sleep remedy, and will cause them to oversleep! Some people report that drinking Mulungu before bed can cause them to sleep for over 10 hours straight, and sleep so deeply that they do not hear their alarm that is trying to buzz and wake them up in the morning.

Mulungu and Lucid Dreaming

Read this post excerpt from reddit r/luciddreaming:

Mulungu (Erythrina mulungu) herb caused me first lucid dream in only first attempt using it

I had a first ever lucid dream and I’m basically a never-dreamer, naturally I usually either don’t dream at all or my dream is something like 1 sec of something where nothing happens.

I had started taking kanna for 3 days now and I noticed it had somewhat increased dream vividity, which was great, but didn’t made them lucid. Yesterday before going to sleep, I smoked ~0.4g of Mulungu (Erythrina mulungu) powder, and took ~0.4g orally.

During the night I had 2 funny dreams and then around 5am had a lucid dream which was pretty interesting.

I was a member of a organised crime group and we went to rob one house, I was assigned to go to the 2nd floor. As I’m climbing up the stairs, I’m thinking it wouldn’t hurt if I just made sure I’m not dreaming, so I started thinking “am I dreaming?” 3 times and gradually gained consciousness into the dream character. At first I got really excited that I’m lucid dreaming first time and then got scared that my excitement will wake me up. I tripped on the last step, fell down. For some reason, initial 10 secs were lagging like in 10FPS video game, also vision was somewhat psychedelic, but then 10 secs later it stabilised where it looked like real life. I immediately remembered that people fly during lucid dreams and thought I’ll make myself have wings and jump out of this 2nd floor to fly, but before that, let me practice dream control, so I tried making a door to the next room able for me to go through it without me opening it, but that didn’t work. I tried spawning another person, but that didn’t work either. So I walked around the room in the 2nd floor I just entered and it was pretty cool. I started thinking whether it would be possible for me to wake up and in the process of waking up, change my mind and then get back to the dream lol. Then I immediately woke up.

Mulungu Alkaloid Content – Erythravine

The primary alkaloid found in Mulungu is called “Erythravine”. This is a tetrahydroisoquinoline alkaloid found in the E. mulungu and other species of the genus Erythrina. The effects of Erythravine has some basis and some studies have been conducted about it. Mulungu also contains “(+)-11α-hydroxy-erythravine”.

Erythravine - the primary alkaloid in Mulungu
Erythravine – the primary alkaloid in Mulungu

Erythravine as a Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor – help quit smoking

Erythravine is a nicotinic receptor agonist, that means that Mulungu could be effective for quitting smoking. There have been no widespread studies in place to evaluate the effectiveness of Mulungu as a method for quitting smoking.

Erythravine’s anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects

Erythravine appears to have anxiolytic effects in animal models of anxiety. Further studies suggest that the anxiolytic effects are only reproducible with the whole extract of Erythrina Mulungu but not with the pure alkaloids.

This is a very important distinguishing factor about the effects because it shows us how we should not be looking to treat illnesses with isolated alkaloids that may be of interest to us, but how a hollistic approach to consuming entire plants is necessary when consuming them. When we try to do chemistry procedures on plant material to make extracts we are most often ignoring and denying the very important puzzle pieces with which it synergistically clicks together with.

The anti-anxiety effects are backed up by 2 specific studies, which we reference in our Science behind Mulungu section of this article.

Erythravine’s anticonvulsant effects

Erythravine stopped seizures that were evoked by by bicuculline, pentylenetetrazole, and kainic acid as well as increasing the latency of seizures induced by NMDA. Increasing the latency of a seizure means that there is an increase in the time between the trigger of the seizure is detected by the patient and when the seizure actually begins.

Treatment with erythravine prevented death in all the animals tested with the four convulsants except a few of those treated with kainic acid. This is very important, because it tells us that Mulungu could change a life-ending seizure into one that does not kill the person experiencing it.

Erysothrine in Mulungu Flowers

Mulungu doesn’t only contain Erythravine, but also contains “Erysothrine” in its flowers.

This is not a very widely studied alkaloid, however you should check out this scientific study about it. The study talks about how Erysothrine in itself has anticonvulsant and anxiolytic properties. This means it stops convulsions and helps to reduce anxiety. Here is a copy of the extract from this 2012 study:

In this study, we isolated the alkaloid erysothrine from the hydroalcoholic extract of flowers from E. mulungu and screened for its anticonvulsant and anxiolytic actions based on neuroethological and neurochemical experiments. Our results showed that the administration of erysothrine inhibited seizures evoked by bicuculline, PTZ, NMDA and most remarkably, kainic acid. Also, erysothrine induced an increase in the number of entries but not in the time spent in the open arms of the EPM. However, we did not notice any alterations in the light-dark choice or in the open-field tests. In preliminary neurochemistry tests, we also showed that erysothrine (0.001-10 μg/mL) did not alter the GABA or glutamate synaptossomal uptake and binding. Altogether, our results describe an alkaloid with anticonvulsant activity and mild anxiolytic activity that might be considered well tolerated as it does not alter the general behavior of the animals in the used doses.

Mulungu Crystal Alkaloid Extraction

A reddit user performed a water/alcohol extraction on his Mulungu plant material, see the following photo:

Mulungu Alkaloid Crystal Extraction
Mulungu Alkaloid Crystal Extraction

Here is his testament as to how he did it:

100g of mulungu powder was extracted (washed) with acidified water 2 times.It was allowed to decant and thoroughly filtered after.The water extraction was boiled for some time to reduce the volume, when it became a thick paste i removed from heat and allowed to fully evaporate with the help of a fan.After complete evaporation i was left with a dark hash like mulungu resin. Yield was around 10% of bark powder weight.This resin was dissolved in 98% food grade grain alcohol and thoroughly filtered.It was evaporated, dissolved in ethanol and filtered again.The result after the ethanol was evaporated for the second time is whats shown in the picture. (zoom in to see crystals)

Although the water extraction helped a lot compared to regular tinctures, it seems i couldn’t get rid of all the fats. I will try to wash it with hexane to see if it will dissolve the fats without dissolving the crystals.

We do not suggest that you try this, and we don’t suggest that you consume these types of alkaloids either. We are just showcasing this to you to show how one does the chemistry to access the alkaloid extractions which are also sold by some online brands – like “The Tropical Link” in the previous section.

However, this user wasn’t done yet! He went on to take 500g of bark and then made 43g of resin extract from it:

43g Mulungu Resin from 500g bark - Reddit Extraction
43g Mulungu Resin from 500g bark – Reddit Extraction

Here is an excerpt from his post:

So i extracted 500g of bark. yeild was 43g of resin, but i messed up my last water wash (left it in the pan for too long and it burned…) I assume a yield greater than 10% is achievable.

one thing i did differently this time was to scoop out all the foam that forms when boiling the powder. I left the collected foam to dry and its stayed a white color and was very greasy even after dried, so i’m pretty sure the foam contains a lot of the fats since they are not water soluble and less dense than water. Will see if the final results will have less fats than last time.

Something i noticed also is that the resin is hygroscopic. if you dry it in the oven it will become a vitreous resin that shatters easily, but if you leave it unsealed for one or 2 hours it starts picking up water from the air. Consistency will depend a lot on current air humidity and temperature. On humid days it becomes a thick and sticky resin almost like cannabis oil, and on dry days its almost like hash and not so sticky.

Mulungu health benefits

The health benefits of Mulungu are commonly known to many people in Peru, Brazil and Argentina, but relatively unknown outside of South America because nobody in the western world has ever encountered this tropical plant.

Mulungu is also given as a natural herbal remedy for epilepsy in South America, due to its proven sedative effects on overactive neurotransmitters. It is also used there in modern herbal medicine for the purpose of treating (but not curing! big difference!) hepatitis and liver disorders. It also helps stop spasms in the body, when often triggered by one’s asthma, bronchitis or coughs.

Here is an English language video talking about the health benefits of Mulungu:

Mulungu’s alkaloids also help with fighting tobacco addiction – we cover this in the section of this article where we talk about the alkaloid contents of the plant. It blocks the nicotine receptors and acts as a nicotine antagonist. The sedative qualities of Mulungu also assist with the irritability factor of nicotine withdrawal. Read this quote from the guy who runs “The Tropical Link” online Brazilian Mulungu shop:

I’m a heavy smoker and mulungu actually makes me smoke less.
Cigarettes dont taste so good when im on mulungu and if i smoke a lot anyways i get kinda dizzy.

Mulungu lowers blood pressure. This may benefit those suffering from high blood pressure, but it could negatively impact those already with low blood pressure. Mulungu has also been shown to fight urinary tract infections.

Some people who are addicted to Benzodiazepines (pharmaceutical drugs that numb the user) have expressed gratitude to the Mulungu plant because it helped them ween off of their prescription drugs. That being said, the effects of Mulungu are very subtle in comparison and it does not have the same type or magnitude numbing effect anywhere close to these intense pharmaceuticals.

E. Mulungu tree in Bloom in Brazil
E. Mulungu tree in Bloom in Brazil

Mulungu side effects

Mulungu will likely lower your blood pressure, and could cause drowsiness.

There is anecdotal evidence of the woman in Brazil who went out to harvest some fresh mulungu directly off the tree, and she overdosed and was so relaxed that she was unable to properly speak. The effects soon wore off and she was fine afterwards.

Not for internal use during pregnancy or lactation. If you are taking medications or have a medical condition, consult with a health care professional before use. One should also never use Mulungu before driving a car or operating machinery or doing any potentially dangerous physical activity.

When someone drinks Mulungu before bed they might have a tendency to “over-sleep” for 10+ hours! This means they could miss an important appointment the following morning.

If one “overdoses” and consumers far too much Mulungu, the side effects they will feel can include:

  • disorientation
  • loss of balance
  • dizziness
  • blurred vision
  • nausea

Some people also note that Mulungu tolerance can be built up if used too many consecutive days. For this reason, we would not suggest one habitually depends on Mulungu at the risk of feeling the need to raise dose to one that could bring about other subtle negative effects.

There have been some questions online about how Mulungu behaves in combination with prescription antii-depressants and SSRIs, and we can only find two main reports:

Hi there! I have been taking Mulungu together with 40mg of Paroxetin (SSRI). I couldn’t feel any negative side effects. I would start slow and see how I feel from there.I am no doctor and can only state out what worked for me! So please try at your own risk!

And then:

I’ve taken it with duloxetine which is an snri, and I didn’t have any negative reactions. If an interaction exists it’s probably minor in that it could increase the effects of drowsiness, dizziness, etc. I’m also not a doctor.

One thing you should never combine an anti depressant with is kanna.

E. Mulungu Flowers in Brazil
E. Mulungu Flowers in Brazil

Is Mulungu Legal? What is the legality of Mulungu?

Mulungu plants are legal all over the world, with one exception. Erythrina plants are prohibited in Louisiana, USA when they are used for any non-ornamental purpose.

In Brazil, the Mulungu tree grows abundantly and many people know if its effects. It is a common folk remedy there and widely used. Nobody there would question its legal status or group it together with drugs or hallucinogenic substances.

Growing, selling or possessing Erythrina spp. (meaning ANY type of Erythrina plant) except for ornamental purposes, is prohibited in the state of Louisiana, USA by Louisiana State Act 159 (where the genus is misspelled Erythina). The reason behind this is because Louisiana has one of the strictest acts in the entire USA about prohibiting plants that are even suspected or rumored to be hallucinogens. Some plants, such as the “wild tomatillo” (Physalis longifolia) are prohibited in this bill despite not having any psychoactive effects. We do accept that Erythrina trees do have analgesic properties, however they are not recreationally used in any traditional context. We are not trying to critique the laws of any sovereign state (such as that of the laws of Louisina, and we accept the state’s autonomy to ban it), we are just trying to establish the context in this article for a reason as to why it would be prohibited.

Mulungu capsules and powders are sold widespread across Brazil without any regulations or prohibitions. It is known as a trustworthy natural herbal remedy.

Mulungu contains the active alkaloid “Erythravine” as we mentioned earlier in this article. This alkaloid is completely legal all over the world, and is in no ways a controlled substance. The effects of the alkaloid are subtle, and in no way is it comparable to the strength of prescription drugs which might relieve one’s anxiety or cure their seizures.

Mulungu is by no means a “legal-high”, but must be thought of as a herb with subtle properties.

Is Mulungu Addictive?

Overall Mulungu users agree that no – it is not physically addictive.

Some people insist that Mulungu does not at all induce an addiction in them after frequent use, and some people do claim that they feel that they are becoming addicted to it. One should keep in mind the idea that any item that resolves one in a time of crisis can become psychologically addictive (much like being addicted to social media or gambing) yet it does not have any physical addictive properties. There have not been any studies to show that Mulungu bark or its extracts are addictive in any way, so we would think that Mulungu addiction is a psychological phenomenon rather than a physical one – but we cannot be certain.

For the most part, nearly 90% of people online insist that Mulungu is not addictive for them.

Does Mulungu get you high?

Most Mulungu users agree that no – it does not get you high.

A lot of places on the internet talk about the Erythrina plants as if they are a replacement for Benzodiazepines or similar types of painkillers. We must clarify that it comes nowhere close. The effects of Mulungu are subtle, and happen most in the realm of drowsiness and physical relaxation.

It does not give you a mind high. Some people who take very large doses of Mulungu will experience the negative side effects that we also mention in this article such as dizziness, but largely this does not happen to someone who stays within the recommended dosage.

Read these posts:

So I just recently tried Mulungu for the first time, TheTropicalLink extract, and so far I am not super impressed. The effects are way more subtle than I anticipated. I have tried 300mg, 500mg, and 1gram and all it really does is make me tired. No real relaxation or mood lift. I did try mixing it with the passionflower/lemon balm that was provided and it just made me even more tired, but didn’t really help falling asleep too much. Like I was just physically tired, but my mind was still going.

Does using the actual bark have better effects, is there a more potent extract available, or were my expectations just too high? I guess I expected more of a mood lift but it had none of that. The very first time I used it, 500mg then another 500mg an hour later I thought I started to get a slight buzz but it didn’t really pan out into anything. Honestly a 25mg Benadryl is more noticeable than this. Should I try bumping the dose up to 1.5G or 2G?

Idk, but I dont think mulungu can be used for getting a buzz. To me it has a subtle effect which grows on you. At first I too was expecting something like kava or kratom effects, but mulungu is not working like that.

And I use it with passiflora extract and its something like 0.6-0.7g passiflora extr. and 0.8-1g mulungu for a stronger longer effect, or a bit less if I want to get up faster in the morning.

You can try to up that extract dose even to 5g. Mulungu should be safe enough. 2g warning is mostly for newbies, so that people don’t take spoons of it in first times, because sensitivity varies. If someone overdo it, he will be tired and off for days.

You shouldn’t expect recreational drug. It’s purely therapeutical. Some people get a buzz, but they are not majority.

Mulungu vs Kava

Kava (or Kava Kava) is another different plant that is used for the same anti-anxiety and sleep-inducing purposes of Mulungu by people on the internet. One might have used Kava Kava in the past but disliked it due to its tendency to numb the user and looking for other similar natural remedies to find peace.

Mulungu vs Kava Kava health Benefits and Side Effects
Mulungu vs Kava Kava health Benefits and Side Effects

Read out Complete Guide to Kava Kava for more information.

Many users of Mulungu have also used Kava in the past, this way, many people online write about their experience comparing the two.

Mulungu powder is said to have a spicy scent that is reminsicent of muira puama. This is a big plus in comparison to Kava Kava which is commonly said to taste like dirt.

Users have reported that they get hangovers from Kava, likely to the effect of Kava on one’s liver.

I’ve tried it all. I can feel “hangovers” from kava (probably my liver trying to cope), and I’ve experienced blackouts from benzos. Not having either of those experiences with mulungu thus far.

Mulungu acts the opposite way on the brain that Kava Kava does, so while they both may give relaxing sensations to the user, they operate on the body and mind in fundamental different ways. Mulungu is a hepatoprotector. So it’s used to treat tobacco addiction and alcoholism. It is also a great dream enhancer. Kava Kava does not have any of those “features”.

One famous folk effect of Kava Kava is that it suppresses the drinker’s ability to cough. Mulungu also has been documented to have this property but it is not widely documented.

One undesirable effect of Kava is that it dehydrates the drinker, meanwhile nobody has ever reported this side effect from drinking tea made from Mulungu.

I’m not sure what the half-life on mulungu’s actives would be, but I alternate between kava/magnolia/mulungu when I want something for sleep and mulungu is by far the most sedating and long lasting

Here is a testament from a “Kava enthusiast” from kavaforums.com:

I also feel like kava got a more uplifting effect and can be a much better alternative if you wanna have a good time. But I find mulungu to be a good botanical when it comes to killing off anxiety and fall asleep.

Here is another frequent Kava user saying what he thinks about Mulungu:

Mulungu is pretty good for sleep and even a little bit enjoyable. However, it is very groggy and the sedation can put you out for a 10 or 11 hour sleep in my experiments with doses that were significantly noticeable. It’s just not suitable for anything where you plan to stay up for more than 2 more hours and or need to keep to a tight sleeping schedule.

Some people like Kava because it gets them “high”, while Mulungu’s effects are more subtle and nuanced:

Kava is the one for a buzz. Mulungu isn’t really like that or it’d be more well known, 1.5g is a very nice tired feeling but not a buzz. For stuff like mulungu and ashwaganda you just won’t get high

This user insists that Kava was much more effective for him:

I actually tried this a few months back I ordered from worldwideseedsupply ans it came as a powdered bark. From what I gathered by research the best way to buy it is whole nark pieces or shredded bark, as the metablolites break down fairly quickly. It becomes much more expensive and harder to find in shredded bark or pieces form, so I bought powdered. I made a tea that boiled at a low boil with a teaspoon of lemon juice for about and hour and then strained the material out and boils the liquid down to a smaller amount, much the same as kratom. The tea was quite tasty, like a very sweet cinnamon. The effect was fairly mild and far less noticable than kava, I found it mixed well with kratom and lagolis inebriens (intoxicating mint). All in all I didn’y feel that it was much of a value and much perfer kava.

Additionally, some people are allergic to Kava given that it is in the pepper family and many people have pepper allergies. Those people might prefer Mulungu if they are seeking herbs to help them sleep and resolve feelings of anxiety. As always, we prefer that you look inward and resolve your feelings of tension and anxiety through the process of meditation and self discovery.

It’s definitely good for sleep. No doubt about that. I prefer kava for daytime use, though. Mulungu just shuts me off. That’s good for sleep, but not for just having an enjoyable calm.

Kava is prohibited for sale in Australia, and other countries such as Canada and the UK have made public health warnings about the dangers of how Kava could affect one’s liver. For this reason, Mulungu may be researched by people in these countries as an alternative. Additionally, Mulungu is “hepa-protective” which means that protects the liver when it is consumed – this means that the major downside and health risk of consuming Kava is not present in Mulungu. That is big plus for this coral tree!

In the USA in Hawaii and the west coast “Kava Bars” are becoming more common. This is like an alcohol-free cafe where people come together to drink kava and relax. There has ever yet to be a documented “Mulungu Bar” in existence.

The Mulungu Dieta

Given that Mulungu is much more common to the “Cerrado” (tropical savannah) and “Caatinga” (desert) regions of Brazil, it has not gotten much attention from any native tribes that frequently participate in plant dietas.

It would be nearly completely unknown by any of the native people’s of Peru who frequently do plant dietas, nor to the people of Acre, Brazil who share a similar cultural region and shamanic activities.

For more information about plant dietas, please refer to our Complete Guide on Master Plant Dietas.

Mulungu reviews

Here is the testimony of a girl on YouTube who uses Mulungu tincture to help her sleep.

Here are two brilliant Brazilian videos that are done in Portuguese. If you can speak Portuguese, this is great. If not, don’t worry, we have summarized the contents of these videos in other parts of the article.

In this video, she does a fun job at explaining the herb and then does a little skit where she gets put to sleep after drinking it. She specifically mentions the effects on cortisol that she certainly did feel.

Science behind Mulungu

Pain-Relieving, Antispasmodic, Anticonvulsant, & Anti-inflammatory Actions:

Amorim, J., et al. “The ethanolic extract from Erythrina mulungu Benth. flowers attenuates allergic airway inflammation and hyperresponsiveness in a murine model of asthma.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2018 Aug 10: S0378-8741.
Etoh, T., et al. “Inhibitory effect of erythraline on Toll-like receptor signaling pathway in RAW264.7 cells.” Biol. Pharm. Bull. 2013; 36(8): 1363-9.
de Oliveira, M., et al. “Antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activity of hydroalcoholic extracts and fractions from Erythrina mulungu.” Rev. Bras. Farmacogn. 2012 Jan/Feb; 22(1): 157-161.
Santos Rosa, D., et al. “Erysothrine, an alkaloid extracted from flowers of Erythrina mulungu Mart. ex Benth: evaluating its anticonvulsant and anxiolytic potential.” Epilepsy Behav. 2012 Mar; 23(3): 205-12.
Nagaraja, T., et al. “Anticonvulsant activity of Erythrina mysorensis bark extract in an animal model of epilepsy.” J. Pharmacol. Pharmacother. 2012 Jan; 3(1): 62-4.
Faggion, S., et al. “Anticonvulsant profile of the alkaloids (+)-erythravine and (+)-11-α-hydroxy-erythravine isolated from the flowers of Erythrina mulungu Mart ex Benth (Leguminosae-Papilionaceae).” Epilepsy Behav. 2011 Mar; 20(3): 441-6.
Vasconcelos, S., et al. “Anti-inflammatory activities of the hydroalcoholic extracts from Erythrina velutina and E. mulungu in mice.” Rev. Bras. Farmacogn. 2011 Nov/Dec; 21(6): 1155-1158.
Carvalho, A., et al. “Evidence of the mechanism of action of Erythrina velutina Willd (Fabaceae) leaves aqueous extract.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Mar; 122(2): 374-378.
Teixeira-Silva, F., et al. “Benzodiazepine-like effects of the alcohol extract from Erythrina velutina. leaves: memory, anxiety, and epilepsy.” Pharm. Bio. 2008; 46(5): 321-328.
Fischer, L., et al. “Analgesic properties of extracts and fractions from Erythrina crista-galli (Fabaceae) leaves.” Nat. Prod. Res. 2007 Jul; 21(8): 759-66.
Vasconcelos, S., et al. “Anticonvulsant activity of hydroalcoholic extracts from Erythrina velutina and Erythrina mulungu.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Mar; 110(2): 271-4.
Kumar, V. “Potential medicinal plants for CNS disorders: an overview.” Phytother. Res. 2006; 20: 1023–35.
Marchioro, M., et al. “Anti-nociceptive activity of the aqueous extract of Erythrina velutina leaves.” Fitoterapia. 2005 Dec; 76(7-8): 637-642.
Chaddock, J., et al. “Retargeted clostridial endopeptidases: inhibition of nociceptive neurotransmitter release in vitro, and antinociceptive activity in in vivo models of pain.” Mov. Disord. 2004 Mar; 19 Suppl 8: S42-7.
Weber, D., et al. “Phomol, a new antiinflammatory metabolite from an endophyte of the medicinal plant Erythrina crista-galli.” J. Antibiot. 2004; 57(9): 559-63.
Vasconcelos, S., et al. “Antinociceptive activities of the hydroalcoholic extracts from Erythrina velutina and Erythrina mulungu in mice.” Biol. Pharm. Bull. 2003; 26(7): 946-9.
Njamen, D., et al. “Anti-inflammatory activity of erycristagallin, a pterocarpene from Erythrina mildbraedii.” Eur. J. Pharmacol. 2003 May; 468(1): 67-74.
Duggan, M., et al. “Inhibition of release of neurotransmitters from rat dorsal root ganglia by a novel conjugate of a Clostridium botulinum toxin A endopeptidase fragment and Erythrina cristagalli lectin.” J. Biol. Chem. 2002 Sep; 277(38): 34846-52.

Anti-Anxiety Actions:
Dias, K., et al. “Standardized extract of Erythrina velutina Willd. attenuates schizophrenia-like behaviours and oxidative parameters in experimental animal models.” J. Pharm. Pharmacol. 2019 Mar; 71(3): 379-389.
Ximenes, N., et al. “Ethanolic extract of Erythrina velutina Willd ameliorate schizophrenia-like behavior induced by ketamine in mice.” J. Complement. Integr. Med. 2018 Oct 12.
Silveira-Souto, M., et al. “Effect of Erythrina mulungu on anxiety during extraction of third molars.” Med. Oral Patol. Oral Cir. Bucal. 2014 Sep; 19(5): e518-24.
Setti-Perdigão, P., et al. “Erythrina mulungu alkaloids are potent inhibitors of neuronal nicotinic receptor currents in mammalian cells.” PLoS One. 2013 Dec; 8(12): e82726.
Santos Rosa, D., et al. “Erysothrine, an alkaloid extracted from flowers of Erythrina mulungu Mart. ex Benth: evaluating its anticonvulsant and anxiolytic potential.” Epilepsy Behav. 2012 Mar; 23(3): 205-12.
Nagaraja, T., et al. “Evaluation of anxiolytic effect of Erythrina mysorensis Gamb. in mice.” Indian J. Pharmacol. 2012 Jul; 44(4): 489-92.
Teixeira-Silva, F., et al. “Benzodiazepine-like effects of the alcohol extract from Erythrina velutina leaves: memory, anxiety, and epilepsy.” Pharma Bio. 2008; 46(5): 321-328.
Raupp, I., et al. “Anxiolytic-like effect of chronic treatment with Erythrina velutina extract in the elevated plus-maze test.” J. Ethnopharmacol, 2008 Jul; 118(2): 295-299.
Flausino, O., et al. “Effects of erythrinian alkaloids isolated from Erythrina mulungu (Papilionaceae) in mice submitted to animal models of anxiety.” Biol. Pharm. Bull. 2007 Feb; 30(2): 375-8.
Flausino, O., et al. “Anxiolytic effects of erythrinian alkaloids from Erythrina mulungu.” J. Nat. Prod. 2007 Jan; 70(1): 48-53.
Ribeiro, M., “Effect of Erythrina velutina and Erythrina mulungu in rats submitted to animal models of anxiety and depression.” Braz. J. Med. Biol. Res. 2006; 39(2): 263-70.
Onusic, G., et al. “Effects of chronic treatment with a water-alcohol extract from Erythrina mulungu on anxiety-related responses in rats.” Biol. Pharm. Bull. 2003; 26(11): 1538-42.
Onusic, G., et al. “Effect of acute treatment with a water-alcohol extract of Erythrina mulungu on anxiety-related responses in rats.” Braz. J. Med. Biol. Res. 2002; 35(4): 473-77.
Kittler, J., et al. “Mechanisms of GABA receptor assembly and trafficking: implications for the modulation of inhibitory neurotransmission.” Mol. Neurobiol. 2002; 26(2-3): 251-68.

Neuroprotective & Antioxidant Actions:
Dias, K., et al. “Standardized extract of Erythrina velutina Willd. attenuates schizophrenia-like behaviours and oxidative parameters in experimental animal models.” J. Pharm. Pharmacol. 2019 Mar; 71(3): 379-389.
Rodrigues, F., et al. “Effects of standard ethanolic extract from Erythrina velutina in acute cerebral ischemia in mice.” Biomed. Pharmacother. 2017 Dec; 96: 1230-1239.
Silva, A., et al. “Pharmacognostical analysis and protective effect of standardized extract and rizonic acid from Erythrina velutina against 6-hydroxydopamine-induced neurotoxicity in SH-SY5Y cells.” Pharmacogn. Mag. 2016 Oct-Dec; 12(48): 307-312.

Memory Enhancement Actions:
Santos, W., et al. “In vitro and ex vivo anticholinesterase activities of Erythrina velutina leaf extracts.” Pharm Biol. 2012 Jul; 50(7): 919-24.
Teixeira-Silva, F., et al. “Benzodiazepine-like effects of the alcohol extract from Erythrina velutina leaves: memory, anxiety, and epilepsy.” Pharma Bio. 2008; 46(5): 321-328.
Hidalgo, A., et al. “Differential expression of glycans in the hippocampus of rats trained on an inhibitory learning paradigm.” Neuropathology. 2006 Dec; 26(6): 501-7.

Sedative & Central Nervous System Depressant Actions:
Vasconcelos, S., et al. “Central activity of hydroalcoholic extracts from Erythrina velutina and Erythrina mulungu in mice.” J. Pharm. Pharmacol. 2004; 56(3): 389-93.
Dantas, M., et al. “Central nervous system effects of the crude extract of Erythrina velutina on rodents.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2004 Sep; 94(1): 129-133.

Hypotensive Actions:
Merlugo, L., et al. “Alkaloids in Erythrina by UPLC-ESI-MS and in vivo hypotensive potential of extractive preparations.” Evid. Based Complement. Alternat. Med. 2015; 2015: 959081.
Passos, A., et al. “The positive inotropic effect of the ethyl acetate fraction from Erythrina velutina leaves on the mammalian myocardium: the role of adrenergic receptors.” J. Pharm. Pharmacol. 2013 Jun; 65(6): 928-36.

Estrogenic & Anti-Osteoporotic Actions:
Ashmawy, N., “Polyphenols from Erythrina crista-galli: structures, molecular docking and phytoestrogenic activity.” Molecules. 2016 Jun; 21(6).
Zhang, Y., et al. “Anti-osteoporotic effect of Erythrina variegata L. in ovariectomized rats.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Jan; 109(1): 165-9.

Nicotine Withdrawal Actions:
Meza, R., et al. “Functional expression of the a7 and a4-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors on the neonatal rat carotid body.” Neurochem. Int. 2012 Jan;60(2):115-24.
Iturriaga-Vásquez, P., et al. “Molecular determinants for competitive inhibition of alpha4beta2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.” Mol. Pharmacol. 2010 Sep;78(3):366-75.
Freyer, A., et al. “Isolation, structure elucidation, and biological evaluation of 15-amido-3-demethoxy- 2alpha,3alpha-methylenedioxyerythroculine, a new alkaloid from Hyperbaena valida.” J. Nat. Prod. 2006; 69(10): 1514-6.
Daly. J. “Nicotinic agonists, antagonists, and modulators from natural sources.” Cell. Mol. Neurobiol. 2005 Jun; 25(3-4): 513-52.
Mansbach, R., et al. “Effects of the competitive nicotinic antagonist erysodine on behavior occasioned or maintained by nicotine: comparison with mecamylamine.” Psychopharmacology. 2000; 148(3): 234-42.
Decker, M., et al. “Erysodine, a competitive antagonist at neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.” Eur. J. Pharmacol. 1995; 280(1): 79-89.

Liver Protective Actions:
Sanzen, T., et al. “Expression of glycoconjugates during intrahepatic bile duct development in the rat: an immunohistochemical and lectin-histochemical study.” Hepatology. 1995; 3: 944-51.

Antimicrobial & Antiparasitic Actions:
de Ávila, J., et al. “Antimicrobial evaluation of erythrinan alkaloids from Erythrina cristagalli L.” Med. Chem. 2018; 14(8): 784-790.
Ji, Y., et al. “Quantifying weak glycan-protein interactions using a biolayer interferometry competition assay: applications to ECL lectin and X-31 influenza hemagglutinin.” Adv. Exp. Med. Biol. 2018; 1104: 259-273.
Callejon, D., et al. “Leishmanicidal evaluation of tetrahydroprotoberberine and spirocyclic erythrina-alkaloids.” Molecules. 2014 May; 19(5): 5692-703.
de Lima, M., et al. “Anti-bacterial activity of some Brazilian medicinal plants.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2006 Apr; 105(1-2): 137-47.
Sato, M., et al. “Antibacterial property of isoflavonoids isolated from Erythrina variegata against cariogenic oral bacteria.” Phytomedicine. 2003; 10(5): 427-33.
Holetz, F., et al. “Screening of some plants used in the Brazilian folk medicine for the treatment of infectious diseases.” Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz. 2002 Oct; 97(7): 1027-31.
Tanaka, H., et al. “Antibacterial activity of isoflavonoids isolated from Erythrina variegata against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.” Lett. Appl. Microbiol. 2002; 35(6): 494-8.
Mitscher, L., et al. “Antimicrobial agents from higher plants. Erycristagallin, a new petrocarpene from the roots of the Bolivian coral tree, Erythrina crista-galli.” Heterocycles. 1984; 22(8): 1673-75.
Mitscher, L., et al. “Erycristin, a new antimicrobial pterocarpan from Erythrina crista-galli.” Phytochemistry. 1988; 27(2): 381-85.

Safety / Non-Toxic Studies:
Guaratini, T., et al. “In vitro metabolism studies of erythraline, the major spiroalkaloid from Erythrina verna.” BMC Complement. Altern. Med. 2014 Feb; 14: 61.
de Bona, A., et al. “Phytochemical and mutagenic analysis of leaves and inflorescences of Erythrina mulungu (Mart. Ex Benth) through micronucleus test in rodents.” Rev. Bras. Plant. Med. 2012; 14(2): 344-351.


Something I take every night to get the body to shut down and relax

Tincture is considered quicker to the bloodstream for instant relief. Held under the tongue for 10 seconds.

Used for many centuries

Herbalist can create these tinctures for you. Someone can contact a clinical herbalist to see if mulungu is right for them. Otherwise they would make the tincture on their own.

Works for insomnia, take it right before bed. Big relief for people who suffer from chronic pain and are tense where the body cannot “let go” before bed.

Also used for anxiety attacks. Natural, so the effects are subtle. The sedation is not like that of a pharmaceutical drug, similar to melatonin. If melatonin doesn’t work for you, and you don’t want to go on sleep meds that are pharma perscription drugs, then mulungu is often used.

Calm and relax, and your evening.

Some people think it tastes disgusting.


Calming and tranquilizing properties that can improve the quality of sleep and fight insomnia.

Most cases of insomnia come from anxiety, worries, fear and insecurity. This puts our body and mind in a state of tension, preventing us from sleep. The calming, analgesic, anti-convulsant properties of Mulungu would stop the tension in the body allowing it to drift to sleep.

Helps stop smoking

Alkaloid Erisodine inside. It has a narcotic effect that helps the user quit smoking.

Aids in cases of depression and emotional disorders. Anti-depressant and helps those who have convulsions and neurosis.

Good for your heart and blood pressure. Hypertensive action to resolve high blood pressure. It regulates the cardiovascular system.

Antiasthmatic properties to help act against sinusitis, bronchitis, and asthma.

Good for the urinary system. It is a diuretic which is good for people who suffer from renal insufficiency. This means it helps you go to the washroom when you are plugged up.

helps with cases of urinary tract infection and cystitis.

Improve sleep quality.

Protects the liver
For those who suffer from hepatic issues – like hepatitis, for example –, mulungu tea can be of great help. It strengthens not only the liver but also the immune system.

Reduces period cramps
Since it has antispasmodic action, mulungu helps with lots of different pains, especially period pains. It alleviates pain and bloating. Isn’t it interesting?

Watch the video to learn now how to prepare mulungu tea to get all of its benefits:

Although the side-effects of mulungu are rare, some studies suggest that it may present symptoms such as sedation, drowsiness, and muscle paralysis. It may directly affect the execution of daily activities, causing a sensation of “laziness” or extreme relaxation.

Mulungu must also be avoided by pregnant or nursing women or patients with cardiovascular issues. This group of people must never consume any teas without medical orientation.

If you suffer from anxiety, nervousness, stress, insomnia, or even depression, try this tea and see for yourself the benefits of mulungu and other herbs and foods we mention here.


Effects on dreams, the ability to have a good night sleep has great effects on all other parts of your daily life. If someone is not able to fully let go and relax when they sleep, they will be unable to live at the full capacity of their health.

Chamomile, Melissa and Passionflower are all also popular sleep teas, but the effects of Mulungu are a little less subtle than its common counterparts. That is what would encourage someone to reach out to pick it up.

One should be careful with the plant, because when it comes to a friendly weak herb like lemongrass someone could in theory drink giant amounts and be fine. However, with Mulungu someone should be careful to not overdose! There exists a story of a Brazilian woman who watched some YouTube videos about Mulungu, she went out and herself a big serving. She used fresh material from a local tree so the effects were extra strong and vivid – much greater than some powder that is sold online and is many months old. She consumed a massive amount of Mulungu that she was having trouble speaking because her muscles were so relaxed.

If someone has heart problems, or plans to be operating heavy machinery as part of a factory job they absolutely should not be taking Mulungu. Someone taking Mulungu should also avoid driving a motor vehicle.

The effects of Mulungu are not immediate.

One dessert-spoon amount of Mulungu powder per cup of water is the ratio that is often suggested for use in Brazil. Someone should not be consuming more than two cups of water worth per day. If they are struggling with stress, that could be an appropriate amount to drink throughout the day but one should not become reliant on plant medicines to solve their problems. Someone who is looking for sleep relief to drink Mulungu before bed would drink one of these cups before they fall asleep.

Some people have even recommended Mulungu and Kava Kava each to have helped them overcome feelings of general anxiety and depression.

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