Chica doida is a plant that is commonly found in the Southern part of Brazil, particularly in Southeastern Brazil. This plant has been used by the local people for centuries as a source of nutrition and as a means of treatment for the various diseases and health conditions that the people of this region are suffering from. The interesting thing about this plant is that it has been able to adapt and to endure harsh climates without being affected. It also managed to survive in a variety of conditions that might be fatal to other plants.
The most important factor that makes Chica did stand out from the other herbs that are grown in the Southeastern part of Brazil is that it is resistant to two main threats. These threats are namely, the leaf spot and the root block. Most plants that are resistant to these threats can still grow in the region provided that they have good support systems, such as backlinks from other plants, as well as protection from soil erosion. Chica doida has neither of these.
A very common method of growing Chica doida is by selective digging and planting. This can be done as early as spring or as late as October depending on the time of year where the weather is at its warmest. In the case of spring, when the weather is not too hot, selective digging can be done using short filler roots that are kept underground until the weather becomes hot enough to dig them up again. In the case of October, the process of selective digging should be avoided as the leaves of the plant that were dug up a few weeks ago should be put into containers to protect them from rotting during the winter.
Chica doida is usually sold in the form of a powder, which can be mixed with juices from fruits like lemons and limes, or juices from citrus fruits, and Espigas de Chica. The powders are added to the milho e juice that is used to make the traditional drink of Chica. Chica doida can also be used to make toothpastes, although it takes a little more effort, because it is difficult to incorporate the herb into the cement for the toothpaste - this is where the second dentes de alho comes in, as the herb contains cement suitable for making a hard paste.
When buying Chica doida, one should consider what it will be used for: are the ingredients for the drink going to be chewed, or are they needed to be swallowed whole. Chewing is more appropriate than swallowing as the stomach acid would break down some of the ingredients. For example, the main ingredient of the drink is Chica, which is mainly of Mexican origin. Therefore, if the ingredients are to be consumed as a whole, then one should buy Chica con carne, which is pure from Mexico. Chica con carne has more herbaceous content, whereas Chica doida only has a little.
Chica doida is used most commonly in the preparation of Pura de Unamigo. This preparation is made with a uma reefi (taste of uma or milk) base, and a combination of other herbs, such as a senticos (cactus), amparo (enchanted me), caura (clover) and mucuna (bay leaf). It is traditionally eaten when taken as a beverage, although some suggest that it can be taken as a table ingredient. It is thought to have some diuretic properties - the leaves are dried and made into a powder so that it can be applied as a gargle or used as an ulcer. Other uses include the treatment of urinary tract infections, gastric ulcers and kidney stones, as well as the treatment of candida, yeast and clogged arteries. It is also believed to improve immunity and increase fertility.
In the United States, Chica doida is predominantly sold in the form of juices and extracts, whereas Chica mentida is grown in other countries, particularly in Brazil. Both ingredients have similar physical and chemical properties, but it is difficult to draw a consistent distinction between the various Chica species. An interesting comparative study comparing Chica powders from different parts of the world reveals that Chica doida tends to be white and slightly yellow, and Chica mentida is usually orange. The most active ingredient in Chica doida is aescin, which is similar to vitamin C and found in citrus fruits, but not in a senticos (traditional Indian health drinks made with cow's milk).
Chica massa and Chica pompe are two similar herbs, a native variety from the mountains of Brazil that has recently been popularized in the American diet. A massa is typically round in shape, slightly thick, and grayish white or straw colored. Pompe is pear shaped and has a cream color. In addition to being used as an ingredient in massed produced food products, Chica pompe has also been used to whiten wine and for skin applications such as sunburns and scars.