The Incredible Benefits of the Medicinal Plants of Peru
Everyone is aware of the Peruvian rainforest’s rich biodiversity, but what some people didn’t realize is that there are a number of rare Peruvian plants that are known for their powerful medicinal properties. These native plants in Peru have long been used since the ancient civilizations in curing a number of illnesses. From infertility, anxiety, cancer, and even AIDS, these medicinal plants are capable of treating all sorts of human illnesses. To give you an idea, here’s a list of the most amazing medicinal plants of Peru.
Achiote is a shrub that grows in the Peruvian Amazon and has been cultivated since the pre-Columbian era. Its powder and seeds are good for digestion and have long been used as a treatment for asthma and malaria. The fruits and seeds of this Peruvian plant are often made into a tea infusion and consumed to treat headaches. Furthermore, the Achiote leaves contain antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and can help to prevent prostatitis, a condition that leads to prostate cancer if left untreated. In some instances, the leaves are crushed to cure respiratory illnesses, fever, throat infections, skin infections, diarrhea, dermatitis, and conjunctivitis.
Ajo Sacha is another shrub that’s native to the Peruvian rainforests and is known for its medicinal properties. The name of this Peru plant means “false garlic” since it smells and tastes like garlic. It’s especially abundant in the Ucayali Rivers and Madre de Dios of the Amazon. The Ajo Sacha is used for treating all kinds of pain and inflammation. It’s a muscle relaxant and effective in treating fever, flu, colds, and viruses. The shrub is also among those Peru healing plants that are known as magical plants because it is said to be capable of driving evil spirits away!
The Coca is one of those plants in Peru that plays an important part in the religion of the Inca culture. In fact, it is still widely used today by the Andean people when performing religious rituals. Aside from the Coca plant’s religious uses, it also contains lots of healing benefits. The plant has 14 alkaloids that have been shown to improve cognitive function, curb hunger, suppress thirst, improve digestion, and enhance one’s energy and endurance. Furthermore, this Peruvian medicine plant helps in blood oxidization, which aids in breathing during high altitudes and constricts the blood vessels in order to slow down bleeding. The Coca plant is also a good source of calcium, which strengthens the teeth and bones.
Cordoncillo is a type of perennial plant that’s usually herbaceous and sometimes woody. It can grow up to 1.5 meters high and it usually grows in the wet or moist areas of the Amazon forest. The Cordoncillo is among those Peru herbs that have long been used by native cultures in treating various illnesses. This herb is also used as an anesthetic to treat those who are ill or those who have suffered from injuries. When the leaves are chewed, your mouth will eventually go numb. Thus, rubbing the leaves on your wound will have the same effect.
Lapacho is an evergreen shrub that produces rose-colored flowers. There are more than a hundred species of Lapacho trees available and it requires an extremely skilled gatherer to be able to identify the differences among them. Native to Peru and other South American countries, this Peruvian medicine plant is known for its various health benefits. In fact, this incredible plant is said to contain anti-cancer properties. In case you didn’t know, 70% of plants containing anticancer properties can only be found in the Amazon, and the Lapacho is one of them. Currently, it’s used as a treatment for cancer and in alleviating pain resulting from chemotherapy.
Maca is a type of root that’s also known as a Peruvian Ginseng. Although this Peruvian herbal medicine plant does not belong in the ginseng family, it has similar medicinal benefits as that of the ginseng. It is commonly found in the high altitude areas of the Andes and has long been cultivated by the Andean people for medicinal uses. The Maca root has invigorating and energizing effects and is effective in treating fatigue. It’s also used for treating symptoms associated with anemia and depression. Furthermore, this is one of those Peru medicinal plants that have aphrodisiac qualities and helps boost libido in both men and women. And just like ginseng, Maca is also known to improve cognitive function and memory.
Muna grows in the regions of Puno, Ayacucho, and Cusco. This Cusco plant is known for having a pleasant flavor and is commonly being compared to mint. The Muna herb can be easily found in the Andes, where it’s being made into an herbal tea due to its various medicinal properties. It’s rich in phosphorous and calcium, and thus, it can help to strengthen your bones and teeth. Furthermore, drinking the Muna tea is good for digestion and can also treat stomach pains, inflammation, and intestinal infections.
Sacha Inchi is one of the most popular medicinal plants of Peru. Its seeds are eaten raw just like nuts. As a matter of fact, the name “Sacha Inchi” means mountain peanut. Sometimes, this Peruvian herb is made into extra virgin oil. The Sacha Inchi contains high level of the Omega 3, Omega 6, and Omega 9 fatty acids, more than the amount found in fish oil. It’s also rich in amino acids, as well as Vitamins A and E. Because of its high amount of nutrients, the health benefits of this Peru medicine plant are numerous. Among these are managing blood pressure, alleviation of cardiovascular problems, prevention of cancer, and reduction of bad cholesterol level.
Sangre de Grado
The Sangre de Grado is a Peruvian herbal medicine plant that grows in Peru’s Amazon region. It’s famously known for its English name, “Dragon’s Blood”, because of its dark red liquid sap. The sap is used for treating wounds. When applied in the wounded area of the skin, it forms a barrier that will act like a second skin. Sangre de Grado is also used in treating bleeding gums, stomach ulcers, insect bites, bone fractures, and various skin conditions. It’s often taken internally to treat diarrhea. The earliest recorded use of the Sangre de Grado was in 1600, although experts believe that indigenous Amazonian people have long been using these Peruvian herbs medicinal plant for centuries prior to1600.
Uña de Gato
The Uña de Gato are climbing herbs from Peru known for their high level of alkaloids. This plant is often being confused with the U.tomentosa, but these two plants have different medicinal uses. Uña de Gato has long been used as a treatment for arthritic conditions and is effective at reducing pain and inflammation. It is also used as an immune stimulant and can help to treat exhaustion as a result of stress. Currently, the herb is being studied for the treatment of serious illnesses, including AIDS and cancer.
The Amazon Rainforest is said to produce more than 20% of the overall oxygen in the world. It also produces 20% of the world’s fresh water, which explains why it is rich in plant species. The list above is only 10 of the more than 100,000 species of amazing medicinal plants in the Peruvian rainforest. A lot of these species remain undiscovered. This is why it’s important for people to be aware of the significance of preserving the rainforest’s biodiversity. It’s crucial for human life as it holds the key to the discovery of medicines that can help to treat a number of incurable diseases.