The "Wonder of the World" Plant: Kalanchoe pinnata
This wondrous plant is known by many names, including the name of the individual who popularized it in Western culture: Goethe. The Goethe plant is named after the author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, a writer and a part-time naturalist. He adored the plant; he was amazed at its ability to reproduce in the most strained conditions.
Here I will discuss:
- the names of the plant,
- research supporting the benefits of K. pinnata,
- cultivation of the plant, how to use it,
- and my experience with the plant.
A Plant of Many Names
Kalanchoe pinnata goes by many different names. Some may know it as the:
- Air Plant
- Life Plant
- Miracle Leaf
- Pather Chat
The list goes on! Lastly, this plant is also known as the Wonder of the World—and that is due to its many medicinal uses.
Scientific Research on Kalanchoe pinnata
The peoples of South America knew the benefits of the Kalanchoe pinnata plant long before scientific research was common and/or available to the public. From fixing cancer and inflammation to boils and skin ulcers, epilepsy, earaches, and even helping with pain during childbirth, this plant is used as a remedy-all (Taylor, 1998).
Because of this widespread use in South America, scientists have taken to investigating the broad-spectrum uses for K. pinnata. In a study concerning the wound-mending abilities of the Wonder of the World plant, it was found that rats that were treated with the plant were healed 86% by the 11th day (Nayak et al, 2010). A study was also done that shows the plant's ability to reduce histamines. This study targeted mast cells and the key role they play in an allergic reaction yielding an asthma attack (Cruz et al, 2012). These mast cells were hindered by properties from the plant and did not allow degranulation. The anti-inflammatory, antiedematogenic, and antinociceptive (ability to reduce sensitivity to pain) abilities identified in the plant have been described as "major breakthroughs" (Ferreira et al, 2014). The possibilities for use are endless.
According to Ferreira et al (2014), there is evidence that the plant is:
I certainly can attest to its abilities concerning my maladies, but please ask your physician before attempting any of the following recommended uses of the Goethe plant.
Cultivation and Growth
What makes this plant so amazing? Its ability to grow anywhere! If you were to pick a leaf off the plant and place it within the pages of a book and leave it there, after a few days, that the leaf will begin to sprout and the life of a new plant has begun in your book! This is known as asexual propagation.
This plant is also able to grow by itself from a leaf simply placed on top of the soil. There is no prepping or planting to do. No wonder Goethe was so fond of gifting his friends with this plant. Not only is it easy to grow, but it alleviates many ills!
It is advised that women who are pregnant should refrain from using K. pinnata and that long-term use can cause an immuno-suppressant effect.
Ways to Use the Plant for Ailments
I have mentioned before that the Wonder of the World is a plant that helps ease muscle aches and a number of other ailments. The following ways are how I use K. pinnata on a number of body issues.
Using the Wonder of the World Plant on Your Ailments
- One simply has to heat the leaf and apply it to the area, and the pain will dissipate.
- If you are suffering from sore feet due having been on them all day, you can add a few leaves to some hot water and soak your feet. If you wish you can add any other ingredients that you usually use in your foot soak, as well.
- It can also help with headaches, hypertension (high blood pressure), rheumatism, and cough.
How I Prepare K. pinnata Remedies
- Headache: Heat leaf or leaves in the microwave or on the stove until hot. Place on the forehead as soon as you are able so that there is still a significant amount of heat left in it. Re-warm the leaf accordingly placing it on the forehead repeatedly for at least ten minutes.
- Backache/Rheumatism: Heat leaves until hot (about 100° F). Place them on the aching area and lie down on your stomach. Place a heating pad or a hot water bottle over the leaf so that continuous heat will help it release its juices on your ache. When you are on the go, place the warmed leaf on the sore spot and wrap it so that it stays in place for the day.
- Foot Soaks: Using at least three Wonder of the World leaves, place in a basin and fill with hot water. You can also add things that smell nice if you like, such as Menthol, peppermint or eucalyptus oil. Submerge feet for at least 30 minutes. For a more relaxing soak, take two more leaves, warm them, and put them under your feet and then put a pair of comfy socks on for the night. Let the leaves work their magic while you sleep.
- Styes: Heat the leaf. Place it over your eye for a minute or two, 3 to 6 times a day. Keeping the leaf over the eye reduces the size and redness of the stye.
My Experience With the Wonder of the World Plant
I found out about the plant accidentally. A neighbour who is a floraphile asked me if I would like a cutting from her plant. When I asked her what it was I was taking, she told me all about the "Winder of the World" plant. She said it was easy to grow (a leaf begins to grow when it is placed between the pages of a book!) and that she used to alleviate the symptoms of many different ailments as well. Intrigued, I took the cuttings.
K. pinnata and Its Remedial Capabilities
It was not long after that I developed a problem with styes. I was in the midst of preparing many exams and the stress caused my body to react negatively. I began to get painful styes, and they wouldn't go away.
I remembered the Wonder of the World plant. After some experimentation and heavy research, I found that if I heated a leaf and placed it on my eye, the stye would disappear in a matter of days. I was immediately relieved after the first application. My eyelid no longer felt like a baseball was hanging off it. Within a few days' time, it was as though I'd never had a stye! Even better was that the styes, which had been recurring, did not return and still have not to this day!
Since I was successful in using the plant for my stye, I decided to try it for other problems as well. I can report that it has helped with the pain I have had in both my foot and my back.
Cruz, E. A., Reuter, S., Martin, H., Dehzad, N., Muzitano, M. F., Costa, S. S., ... & Taube, C. (2012). Kalanchoe pinnata inhibits mast cell activation and prevents allergic airway disease. Phytomedicine, 19(2), 115-121.
Ferreira, R. T., Coutinho, M. A. S., Malvar, D. D. C., Costa, E. A., Florentino, I. F., Costa, S. S., & Vanderlinde, F. A. (2014). Mechanisms underlying the antinociceptive, antiedematogenic, and anti-inflammatory activity of the main flavonoid from Kalanchoe pinnata. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2014.
Nayak, B Shivananda, Julien R Marshall & Godwin Isitor Department of Preclinical Sciences, Faculty of Medical Sciences. The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad. Wound healing potential of ethanolic extract of Kalanchoe pinnata Lam. leaf—A preliminary study. February 2010.
Taylor, Leslie. 1998. Herbal Secrets of the Rainforest.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
Questions & Answers
How should I use the leaf of kalanchoe pinata for the inflammation of my joints since there is chronic pain throughout my body?
The use of the plant for inflammation is topical. I would suggest that you try using systemic enzymes for the reduction of the inflammation in your joints. I know a few people who have successfully taken these enzymes with great results.
You can use the Wonder of the World as a poultice on the worst areas and take the enzymes as well. You can also try the celery juice and the turmeric mixture I recommended in another answer.Helpful 16
Is Kalanchoe Pinnata good for fibroids and cysts?
I am not certain about the use of the wonder of the world plant for the treatment of cysts (I presume ovarian?) and fibroids but I can tell you some natural remedies you can try.
Cinnamon helps to regulate circulation which helps with the pain that is associated with cysts. DIM is also a very good supplement that you can take to treat cysts and fibroids because it helps to balance hormones. Dong Quai also does this and some DIM supplements have Dong Quai included in the ingredients so it will help you immensely.
Cut back on dairy (especially cheese) because it tends to cause inflammation. Any extra inflammation in the body will cause discomfort and pain in the stomach when you have cysts or fibroids. Don't eat hard to digest foods like beef for the same reason.
Sweet potato is actually one of the foods that tend to be soothing to the stomach when faced with this malady.
For some people cutting out gluten helps considerably. You can try it for a month and see what happens. As a replacement, I would recommend buckwheat flour as that is easy on the digestive system as well.
Taking digestive enzymes and probiotics will also help to increase good gut bacteria and that is something you want to do to help the condition as well.
Consider taking milk thistle or dandelion to strengthen your liver. When your liver is functioning well then the body works well.
Don't do heavy exercise as long as you have ongoing pain but rather walk. Walking helps with the circulation but is not a vigorous activity.Helpful 6
How often should I drink Kalanchoe Pinnata tea for inflammation?
Although I have heard of those who drink the wonder of the world tea, I cannot claim any knowledge of the correct dosage as I have no personal experience with it.
I do know that you can try drinking a 16 ounce glass of pure celery juice first thing in the morning each day and that should help with inflammation that causes arthritis etc. You can also try drinking a combination of turmeric, chia seeds and milk (it does not have to be dairy milk) first thing in the morning to help with inflammation as well. As turmeric can thin the blood you should not take it if you are on medication that already thins the blood.Helpful 5
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