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Tayuya is a kind of vine root found in Latin Amercia. Also known as Cayaponia tayuya, the root of the vine is used in the preparations of herbal medicines predominantly. It is known by various other names, with taiuiá, taioia, tomba, anapinta, cabeca-de-negro, abobrinha-do-mato and guardião being the commonest ones.

The root grows abundantly in the rainforests of Amazon with Peru, Bolivia and Brazil being the areas where it flourishes. The vine belongs to the species Cucurbitaceae which is also the family of the gourd plants. Madagascar and Indonesia are the other countries where the long, tuberous roots can be found.

The herb is harvested in the rainy season as the soil turns to clay. It is used extensively as a medicine by the naturopaths practicing in the United States of America and Latin America. It is known to possess antioxidant properties and is used to control inflammation and pain. Tayuya is prepared as an infusion and consuming a cup of it is recommended twice or thrice a day for obtaining the best results.

There are no specific drug interaction known to be associated with the herb. However, it can cause lethargy and drowsiness if taken in large quantities.

History of Tayuya

The South Americans used the root as a medicinal herb since the pre-historic times. The inhabitants of Peru used it for a variety of skin ailments while the Columbians used it to treat eye sores. It was also found to be effective in rheumatism and snake bites by the Brazilians.

It was formally included into the Brazilian pharmacopeia in 1929 and described as a pain killer as well as an anti syphilitic agent.

Tayuya Types

  • Root Powder- The root of the herb is grounded into a powder and sold at health stores and shops dealing with natural medicines. It is infused fruit juices, water or milk generally before consumption. It might also be added to various dishes during meal times.
  • Taiuia – Tayuya pills- The root is converted into a fine powder and filled in capsule caps. About 60-100 capsules are usually sold in a packaged form.
  • Tinctures- The herb is also available in the tincture form which is easily absorbed by the body.

Tayuya Benefits

  • The root extract is widely used to relieve pain of all kinds namely arthritic pain, menstrual cramps as well as stomach aches.
  • Central Nervous System disorders like epilepsy, neuralgia and multiple sclerosis can be treated effectively with Tayuya infusions.
  • It is used as a blood cleanser and for body detoxification in South America.
  • The root powder is generally used to eliminate acnes, eczema and dermatitis along with other skin disorders in USA.
  • The herbal medicine is also used as an antidepressant, sedative, anti-syphilitic agent and as a diuretic by naturopaths. These properties have not been corroborated by scientific research.


The medicinal properties of the Tayuya root was proved scientifically and documented in the study titled, “Superoxide Scavenging Properties of Flavonoids in a Non-enzymic System” in 1991.