Quebracho Extract Powder Supplement Benefits & Side Effects

Quebracho - Everything You Need To KnowYou may have heard of the benefits of the quebracho trees. Some boast the ability to improve respiratory issues, sex drive, and digestive issues. But what exactly is the quebracho herb? And what benefits do you get from using quebracho supplements? This article will cover everything you need to know about quebracho from plant to extract and supplemental forms.

What is quebracho?

Quebracho is a hardwood tree indigenous to South America. Their notoriously dense wood earned them a name derived from the Spanish phrase, “quebrar hacha,” which means “axe breaker.”

There are over 15 species of quebracho tree; many are used for commercial purposes, but only a few are used medicinally. The quebracho trees known for their medicinal uses include:

  • Schinopsis quebracho-colorado (sometimes called red quebracho)
  • Aspidosperma quebracho-blanco  (white quebracho)

The bark of the quebracho tree is most commonly used, though the heartwood of quebracho-colorado has been approved for use by a few select distributors.

Quebracho is a source of the world’s most stable polyphenol. These polyphenols are what make quebracho an interest in medicine.

Most information currently available is on quebracho-blanco. However, in the realm of gut-related issues, quebracho-colorado is proving to be more beneficial and excels where quebracho-blanco does not.

From this point on, this article will be discussing quebracho colorado.

How Does Quebracho Colorado Work?

Quebracho Colorado

Quebracho naturally contains tannins, a water-soluble polyphenol.

Tannins are large flavonoids that readily bond to hydrogen, which significantly reduces methane production and disrupts and destroys bacterial lipid bilayers. Hydrogens are what lead to bloating in our gut, so with these tannins bonding with the hydrogen molecules, it is able to remove them before they release gases.

The quebracho tannins have been considered some of the most prolific for reducing methane in the guts of ruminants – animals that have a specialized stomach that ferments food before digestion, namely cattle.

Quebracho is a macromolecule, meaning it isn’t absorbed by the intestines and remains in the gastrointestinal tract, interacting with substances present without being absorbed into the bloodstream. Due to its stability, the polyphenols in quebracho are not denatured by gastric acid or pancreatic enzymes. This allows it to complete more health-boosting activities before it is digested and removed from the body.

Quebracho is a proanthocyanidin within the class of tannins, making it an extremely powerful antioxidant.

In fact, quebracho colorado extract is 95 percent proanthocyanidin and 5 percent water-soluble sugars, meaning it’s a potent source of this strong antioxidant. That means your body is able to access more of its health-improving properties than many other supplements.

Through the antioxidative effects, quebracho interrupts inflammatory processes which help fight and reduce disease progression.

The main beneficial characteristics of quebracho are its:

  • Stability
  • Large molecular size
  • Ability to readily bond with hydrogen and methane
  • Antifungal
  • Antiviral
  • Antimicrobial
  • Anti-Inflammatory

These characteristics of quebracho are the foundation of its different medical uses. Oftentimes you’ll use a quebracho extract or quebracho supplement to access the many benefits the quebracho colorado plant has to offer.

Quebracho Benefits

Polyphenols are antioxidants well known for their ability to fight free radicals in the body. Quebracho is a potent source of stable polyphenols, which is where most of its medicinal effects come from. We would benefit from exploring more uses of this powerful antioxidant.

Quebracho tannin molecules readily bond to hydrogen, thereby reducing the amount of hydrogen subsequently made into methane – a major cause of bloating and discomfort.

Secondly, quebracho is a natural antagonist to M. smithii, a predominant archaebacteria of the gut which gives off methane as a by-product. Because of quebracho’s unique antifungal and antibacterial properties, it is able to target the cell wall lining of the archaebacteria. This combined with other powerful polyphenols — like those found in Atrantil — can help to shut down these difficult archaebacteria.

Quebracho has been used to treat:

More recent studies have shown that the use of these tannins as a prebiotic is beneficial to gut health. Supplementation of the tannins increased beneficial species of bacteria in the gut microbiome like:

  • Ruminococcus bicirculans
  • Faecalibacterium prausnitzii
  • Lachnospiraceae UCG 010
  • Lachnospiraceae NK4A136
  • Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron
  • B. uniformis

The increases of these taxa presented the body with a healthier microbial distribution and additional short-chain fatty acids to support health.

How to Use Quebracho

Quebracho is usually derived from bark but select manufacturers have derived it from the heartwood of the tree.

Currently, the only manufacturer with permission to use quebracho colorado is Atrantil, a botanical treatment for bloating and digestive issues.

You often won’t be able to use quebracho from the tree itself. So to use it, you’ll want to get a high-quality quebracho supplement or quebracho extract to access its many benefits. To ensure you have a safe and tested supplement, ensure it has the NSF stamp of approval.

Quebracho Trees

Quebracho Dosage

For gut health treatments, quebracho is emerging as an effective option against the pervasive and growing list of gut conditions in America.

There is still room for research surrounding the best dosage practices of quebracho. The appropriate dosage is partly dependent on the processing and part of the plant it’s derived from. So, it’s best to consult with your physician on choosing the right quebracho extract or quebracho supplement that will give you a dosage that is right for you.

Quebracho Safety

Studies on animals and humans have shown that quebracho is safe and effective when used as a food additive.

Multiple studies have used quebracho to reduce methane in dairy cows. Additional studies have also been completed on squirrels, guinea pigs, black bears, and chimpanzees, to help replicate the human anatomy. 

A 2004 study found quebracho safe for humans through a comparative in vitro study of the human stomach and small intestine.

Overall, quebracho is considered safe and effective for human medicinal use, especially when it comes to gastrointestinal-related issues.

Due to its large molecular size, it cannot easily be absorbed by the body, which is why there are little to no side effects.

Quebracho is FDA approved as a food additive permitted for human consumption.

Where Can I Find Quebracho?

Quebracho colorado isn’t widely available at this point. Some supplements are available, but these are nearly all quebracho blanco.

Be sure you don’t confuse quebracho colorado and quebracho blanco.

The best source of quebracho colorado is currently available in a gastrointestinal relief supplement, called Atrantil.

Atrantil leverages the resilience of quebracho in the gut to effectively reduce methane, which relieves bloating and other gastrointestinal issues.