50 MEXICAN MEDICINAL PLANTS and what they are for

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More and more people join the use of plants to improve health and recover the natural medicine that was used in the past. The use of plants is a good way to prevent diseases, complementing the benefits of a good diet and some exercise, as well as to treat some conditions and diseases. In fact, collaboration between traditional or natural medicine and modern medicine has increased a lot today, considering that a combination of both can be more beneficial.

Do you like natural medicine? You want to know medicinal plants native to Mexico, as well as the most common medicinal plants in Mexico today even though they are not native to there? Then you have come to the right place because, in this Green Ecologist article, we present you a guide to 50 Mexican medicinal plants and what they are for some of the most used.

Prehispanic Herbalism

The flora of Mexico It is one of the most abundant there is, in fact it is a country considered as megadiverse country, since it has unique flora that is not found in other places on the planet and in general a biodiversity and a huge variety of ecosystems. In fact, it is estimated to have more than 100,000 described animal and plant species. Therefore, it is not surprising that in a place like this, different plants have always been used to improve health and not just for food.

Thus, the Mexican herbalism is a prehispanic traditionSince the doctors of the different civilizations of that time dominated the different plants and their properties and uses in medicine, both to maintain good health and to treat diseases. Some of these cultures and civilizations were the Nahuas (such as Mexicas and Anahuac), Tarascos, Mayas, Zapotecs, among many others. According to various studies of these civilizations, doctors could master between 50 and 200 Mexican medicinal plants.

However, today there are many more and it is estimated that in Mexico there are about 5,000 medicinal plants, between those originating or native to Mexico and those that came from the Old World.

List of Mexican medicinal plants: the main ones

What are the medicinal plants most used in Mexico? Well, currently in this country a large number of medicinal plants are used, but among them some are typical plants of Mexico and others arrived in this country centuries ago from the Old World (Europe, Asia and Africa).

This is one list of Mexican plants that are medicinal and you will also find in it medicinal plants widely used in Mexico, even if they are not native to this place.

  • Basil
  • Peppermint
  • Epazote
  • Marjoram
  • Arnica montana
  • Eucalyptus
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Garlic
  • Escancel
  • Scam
  • Rue
  • Tumbavaqueros
  • Polygala
  • Periwinkle
  • Birch
  • Avocado
  • Cascara sagrada
  • Penguin
  • Aile
  • Thistle
  • Whose
  • Encino
  • Santa Maria
  • Purple lemon balm
  • Broom
  • Tepozan
  • Valerian
  • Mexican aloe
  • Achiote
  • Copal
  • Passionflower
  • Nopal
  • Cocoa
  • Jicama
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Vanilla
  • Chamomile
  • Valerian
  • Verbena
  • Plantain
  • Chinahuatillo
  • Ox tongue
  • Chaya
  • Guajilote
  • Guayule
  • Chipilín
  • Cuachalalate
  • Tlaxcalishuat

Next, we will talk about some of the most used currently, explaining What are Mexican medicinal plants for and what are their properties? and its composition and active principles according to the Dictionary of Medicinal Plants and according to the Digital Library of Traditional Mexican Medicine.

Jicama (Pachyrhizus erosus)

You still don't know what is jicama, pelenga or Mexican turnip? Well, it is a Mexican medicinal plant and in fact it is used in various dishes in different parts of Latin America, such as ceviche, tortillas and jicama water is also taken. Its nutritional composition includes vitamin A, vitamin B-9, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and sodium, among other components. Jicama root and seeds are often used.

Between the medicinal properties and uses of the medicinal plant Pachyrhizus erosus we find that it is:

Properties of jicama

  • Painkiller
  • Pain relieving.
  • Anti-inflammatory.
  • Febrifuge.

Medicinal uses of jicama

  • Kidneys pain.
  • Gout.
  • Fever.
  • Muscle inflammation.
  • Relieve the symptoms of scabies.

Medicinal properties of epazote or paico (Dysphania ambrosioides)

Scientifically it is known by more names besides Dysphania ambrosioides, for example as Teloxys ambrosioides. Their most common names are, apart from epazote and paico, fragrant grass, skunk epazote, white epazote, purple epazote, green epazote, chimi, yepazotli, kuatsitasi, alskini and tijson, among many others.

It is used to season a wide variety of Mexican dishes such as pot beans, chicken broths, tlalpeño soup, green mole and pot mole, tortillas, it is also taken in tea. In fact, for use epazote as a Mexican medicinal plant It is usually taken as an infusion, tea or decoction of its branches and roots, but it should not be taken in case of pregnancy or lactation. Between the properties and medicinal uses of epazote stand out:

Medicinal properties of epazote

  • Digestive
  • Carminative.
  • Pain relieving.
  • Painkiller
  • Anti-inflammatory.
  • Vermifuge.

Medicinal uses of epazote

  • Parasitosis
  • Stomach pains
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Retention of menstruation or shortage.
  • Menstrual cramps.

Penguin (Arctostaphylos pungens)

The penguin is also called Bearberry from Mexico, Pindicua, Manzanita or Tepesquite and scientifically it is known as Arctostaphylos pungens. It is a creeping shrub that contains essential oil, arbutoside, methyl arbutoside, gallic tannins, arbutin and allantoin.

Both the root and the leaf are used and even the whole plant sometimes for certain treatments. The infusion of penguin, tincture and extract is taken and baths are made with the decoction of its leaves, although it can be used in more ways. It should not be consumed during pregnancy and lactation.

These are the main properties and medicinal uses of penguin:

Penguin properties

  • Antiseptic
  • Anti-inflammatory.
  • Painkiller
  • Febrifuge.
  • Diuretic
  • Astringent.
  • Antidiarrheal
  • Hemostasis.

Medicinal uses of penguin

  • Fever.
  • Diarrhea
  • Indigestion.
  • Stomach ache.
  • Cough.
  • Renal problems.
  • Kidneys pain.
  • Rheumatism.
  • Inflammations.
  • Dropsy.
  • Prostatitis or swollen prostate.
  • Urinary infection.
  • Leucorrhoea
  • Vaginitis
  • Urethritis

Stafiate (Artemisia ludoviciana)

To continue explaining aspects of the medicinal plants of Mexico and their use We will talk about the scam. The scam It is a wild Mexican medicinal plant of gray color that receives many more common names such as wormwood of the country, mugwort, skunk tail, altamiza, azumate de Puebla, estomiate, espazote de Castilla, master herb, green incense, essence of mata verde and istafiate , while its scientific name is Artemisia ludoviciana. It contains active principles such as essential oil with camphor, thujone and cineole and flavonoids such as lactins and quercetoside. It takes the cooking or the infusion of the branches of the stafiate and also the tincture, the extract, the essential oil and in syrup. In case of being pregnant it should not be taken.

Between the properties of stafiate and its medicinal uses current highlights:

Estafiate properties

  • Digestive
  • Aperitif.
  • Carminative.
  • Choleretic.
  • Liver protector.
  • Vermifuge.
  • Antimicrobial.
  • Estrogenic

Medicinal uses of stafiate

  • Stomach ache.
  • Sickness.
  • Cramps.
  • Colic.
  • Diarrhea
  • Lack of appetite or loss of appetite.
  • Vesicular and liver problems.
  • Intestinal parasites.
  • Eliminate toxins.
  • Regulate menstruation.
  • Period pains.

What is cuachalalate (Amphipterygium adstringens) for

If you want to continue learning more about medicinal plants and what they are for, mainly those used in Mexico, you cannot miss the cuachalalate. It is also scientifically called as Juliania adstringens and howAmphipterygium adstringens. Commonly, it is known by other names such as coachalalate, cuachalala, chalalate, cuachalalatl, cuachinala, pacueco, maceran and matixeran, among more. Among its active principles there are acids, such as elmasticadienónico, oleanolic and instipolinásico, and it also has sterol and beta-sitosterol, among other components.

The decoction of the cuachalalate bark, water made with the maceration of the bark, the powdered bark for cutaneous use, the resin is also used to treat skin conditions, such as pimples and sores. Thanks to its composition between the Cuachalalate properties and its medicinal uses stand out:

Medicinal properties of cuachalalate

  • Anti-inflammatory.
  • Antibiotic.
  • Analgesic.
  • Pain relieving.
  • Febrifuge or antipyretic.

Medicinal uses of cuachalalate

  • Toothache.
  • Gastric ulcers
  • Gastritis.
  • Stomachache.
  • Inflammation and intestinal infection.
  • Relieve symptoms of stomach cancer.
  • Skin injuries, such as bites, scrapes, and bumps.
  • Sores
  • Grain.
  • Problems in the female reproductive system, such as a fallen uterus, inflammation of the uterus, or vaginal infection.
  • Cough.
  • Colds
  • Anginas.
  • Fever.
  • Nerves.

Purple lemon balm (Agastache mexicana)

This is another of the mexican medicinal plants that we want to show you for its widespread use and its great benefits for our health. Other popular names for the purple lemon balm plant or Mexican agastache They are white lemon balm, wild lemon balm, house melissa, red melissa, tama, toronji, toroji and pinkil, among many more, and scientifically also receives the name of Cedronella mexicana. Among the active principles of lemon balm are the essential oil with anethole, limonene, camphor and methylchavicol, it also has flavonoids, tannins and terpenes. It is usually taken as a decoction, tincture, pills or tablets and in fluid extract. It should not be taken during pregnancy and lactation.

These are the main properties of purple lemon balm and its medicinal uses.

Medicinal properties of purple lemon balm

  • Digestive
  • Anti-inflammatory.
  • Antibiotics.
  • Calorific.
  • Sedatives
  • Antidiarrheal.

Medicinal uses of purple lemon balm

  • Stomach pains
  • Difficult or heavy digestions.
  • Indigestion.
  • Colic.
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue.
  • Dizziness
  • Colds

Properties and medicinal uses of basil (Ocimum basilicum)

To end this guide to Mexican medicinal plants and what they are for some of the most used in this country, we want to talk about basil. These is one of the plants introduced to Mexico by the Old World, since it is native to India but currently it can be found almost all over the world and in Mexico it is widely used.

This plant, also called alhábegaIt has active ingredients in its composition that are very beneficial. Some of these components are essential oils such as linalol, cienol, eugenol and estragol, it also contains flavonoids such as esculoside, quercetroside and kenferol, as well as caffeic acid, saponosides, linalyl acetate and also vitamin A, from group B, C, E and K .

The leaves of this medicinal plant are used mainly, but also the stem, roots, flowers and seeds. It is consumed in infusion, decoction or tea, as well as in hot and cold drinks and dishes, both cooked and fresh.

Between the main properties of basil and its medicinal uses stand out:

Medicinal properties of basil

  • Antioxidants
  • Antivirals.
  • Antibacterial.
  • Antifungal.
  • Digestive
  • Antiemetics.
  • Painkillers
  • Relaxing
  • Antihistamines.
  • Hypotensive.
  • Regulatory glucose.
  • Hepatoprotective.
  • Hypolipidemic.
  • Stimulants of the respiratory system and expectorants.

Medicinal uses of basil

  • Difficult digestions.
  • Heartburn.
  • Lack of appetite.
  • Dizziness
  • Sickness.
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue.
  • Anxiety.
  • Asthma.
  • Mucus in the respiratory tract.
  • Infections by fungi, bacteria and viruses.
  • Allergies
  • Mild diabetes
  • Hypertension.
  • High bad cholesterol.

If you liked these Mexican medicinal plants, we suggest you read this other post about 60 medicinal plants of Peru and what they are for.

If you want to read more articles similar to 50 Mexican medicinal plants and what they are for, we recommend that you enter our category of natural remedies.

  • Cebrián, J., (2012), Dictionary of medicinal plants, Barcelona, Spain, Integral RBA Libros.
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