“In the forest, we have a pharmacy,” says Hemiterio Quispe Hidalgo, gesturing to the wealth around him enthusiastically. “We need to protect it.”
Here, we share 9 of the most incredible plants he pointed out during the walk:
- Cordoncillo has anesthetic properties. Chew its leaves and your mouth will quickly go numb.
- Shapumvilla is said to have coagulant properties and is used to stop bleeding.
- The root of the wasai tree is good for the kidneys. These leaves are ground up and prescribed as a diuretic.
- Pusangade venado is thought to bring good luck to hunters. Its leaves are also used as camouflage.
- The bark of the tawari tree is used to treat infection, cancer, tumors and inflammation.
- The aromatic sodo plant is thought to help cure addiction, including alcoholism.
- Locals believe that pusangade motelo has a calming effect and can relieve anxiety.
- Cola de raton (in English, “rat’s tail”) is said to help with digestion.
- Women with ovarian cysts might consider taking canelilla. It is also said to increase the likelihood of pregnancy.