Uncover the Healing Power of Amazonian Medicinal Plants
The Amazon Rainforest is home to countless undiscovered medicines and chemicals that scientists from around the world desire to uncover. However, the indigenous people of the Amazon have known the power of the rainforest's plants for thousands of years. In the lush garden of the Ese Eja People, we discover traditional jungle healing plants. To showcase these ancient practices, we present seven of the most important medicinal plants used in Tambopata and throughout the Amazon basin.
Uña de Gato or Cat’s claw
Today, Uña de Gato is a popular herbal supplement, and scientists have begun to study the root. So far, they’ve discovered that the plant may help regulate the immune system, have anti-inflammatory properties, and possibly fight viruses or bacteria as well! One of Uña de Gato’s traditional uses is slightly less, well, medical, but perhaps just as useful: in the Peruvian Amazon, some consider it an aphrodisiac.
Achiote or Annatto
You might not recognize Achiote’sspiky, bright red fruit at first glance, but cooks add the crushed seeds of the Achiote tree (Bixa orellana) to dishes to give them yellow or orange color, along with a slightly peppery, nutty flavor. But Achiote, also called Annatto, is much more than a tasty ingredient. Amazonian indigenous groups have used it for ritual body painting, sunscreen, insect repellent, and more. , So far they’ve found that it contains carotenoids, calcium, and folates. The plant may also have antioxidant effects.
Sanipanga is another natural dye of the Amazon, with leaves that can turn the skin a semi-permanent purple color. Among some indigenous groups, a spiritual belief is attached to the plant as well. If you can extract the purple color from the Sanipanga (Picramnia sp.) leaf by rubbing it into your fingers, you carry good spirits within you. Traditionally, the plant also has an antiseptic effect when rubbed into skin or wounds. This is another of the most important Medicinal plants in the Amazon rainforest.
The orange flowers of the Matico plant are eye-catching, but it is the leaves that hold their true magic. Amazon residents have long used Matico (Buddleja globosa) for muscle pain, sore throats, n, body aches, or coughs.Researchers have confirmed the ways Amazon peoples use Matico, finding that it has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, and can help to quickly heal scars or wounds..