Herbs & Plants

Dendropanax arboreus

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Botanical Name : Dendropanax arboreus
Family : Araliaceae – Ginseng family
Genus : Dendropanax Decne. & Planch. – dendropanax
Species : Dendropanax arboreus (L.) Decne. & Planch. ex Britton – angelica tree
Kingdom :Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom : Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division :  Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class : Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass : Rosidae
Order : Apiales

Common Names : ,fresh leaf, Sacchacah(Chis), Hand of Dante, Palo tapir, Hand toad, Palo blanco , Hand lion, Bear Hand, Sakvhaka

Habitat : Dendropanax arboreus grows in Mexico throughout central to Colombia, Venezuela and Bolivia and is also in West Indies.

Dendropanax arboreus is an evergreen tree,14 to 25 mtrs. tall  with daimeter equal to 25 to 70 cm.,leaves are alternate and simple. trunk is cylindrical thick branch .Crust external smooth to slightly scally or fissured, grayish brown to yellowish brown , with suberificadas abdundant and prominent lenticels. Internal light cream colour changing to brown green fiborous, fragnant and sweet flavor. Total thickness 10 to 20 mm. Racimos composite flower unbels terminals,10 to 15 cm. long, glabrous, flowers supported by by bractoeles small actinomorphic of 5mm in diameter, calix cupular, cream greenish yellow petals, 3 to 5mm long.
berries subspherical, flattened at the apex and bright,6 to 8mm long and 7 to 9mm wide., green white to black in the maturity, with persistant stigmas, containing 5 to 7 seeds per fruit. Seeds yellow to white brown.


Click to see different pictures of Dendropanax arboreus :

Medicinal Uses:
Leaves and roots of Dendropanax arboreus  tree are used in Tico medicine.  It is also used for snakebites and externally for foot inflammation in Columbia and by the Tacana in the Bolivian Amazon. A preparation from the roots is used to treat fever. Leaves of Dendropanax arboreus showed cytotoxic activity especially against certain tumor cell lines.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


Click to access 7-arali1m.pdf

Herbs & Plants

Acacia caven

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Botanical Name : Acacia caven
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Acacia
Species: A. caven
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Common NamesRoman Cassie, Aromita, Aromo Criollo, Caven, Churque, Churqui, Espinillo, Espinillo de Baado, Espino, Espino Maulino

Habitat : Acacia caven is native to Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay. It grows four to five metres tall and bears very stiff and sharp white thorns up to 2 cm in length. It blooms in Spring, with bright yellow flowers 1 cm to 2 cm in diameter.

Acacia caven is a deciduous tree .It grows four to five metres tall and bears very stiff and sharp white thorns up to 2 cm in length. It blooms in Spring, with bright yellow flowers 1 cm to 2 cm in diameter. It fruits in late spring-early summer.

You may click to see the pictures of Acacia caven

Meditional Uses:
Its bark is rich in tannin, used as a tea, recommended for bruises, wounds and ulcers.its seeds can be toasted and used a coffee replacement, having digestive and stimulating effect. Accoridng to Juan Zin, the cooked bark applied superficially can heal soars and wounds.

Other Uses:
*The flowers of A. caven are used as food for bees in the production of honey.

*Acacia caven  tree is used for erosion control.

*The tree has ornamental uses.

*Tannin from the seed pods is used for tanning hides. The wood is used as fuel and to make posts for fences. The chief current human use for A. caven is in the production of charcoal.

*The flowers are used in perfume

*The wood is used for making charcoal or simply as firewood, and since the wood is very resistant to rotting, the locals prefer it as posts for fences.

*It had in the past use for manufacturing leather (as tanning agent), and also because of its scent it may have uses in perfume industry.

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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Herbs & Plants

Capsicum baccatum

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Botanical Name : Capsicum baccatum
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Capsicum
Species: C. baccatum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Solanales

Common Name:Locoto

Capsicum baccatum is a species of chili pepper that includes the following cultivar and varieties:

*Aji amarillo, or amarillo chili
*Lemon drop
*Bishop’s Crown
*Brazilian Starfish
*Wild Baccatum
You may click to see  pictures of different paper
Habitat :  The Capsicum baccatum species, particularly the Ají amarillo chili (Aji is the caribean word for chili and/or peppers that the Spaniards colonizers extended to most of Central and South America), is typically associated with Peruvian cuisine, and is considered part of its condiment trinity together with red onion and garlic. Aji amarillo literally means yellow chili; however, the yellow color appears when cooked, as the mature pods are bright orange.

Today the Ají amarillo is mainly seen in South American markets and in Latin American food stores around the world where Peruvian and Bolivian expatriates are numerous. The wild baccatum species (C. baccatum var. baccatum) is most common in Bolivia with outlier populations in Peru (rare) and Paraguay, northern Argentina, and southern Brazil.

Pepper varieties in the Capsicum baccatum species have white or cream colored flowers, and typically have a green or gold corolla. The flowers are either insect or self-fertilized. The fruit pods of the baccatum species have been cultivated into a wide variety of shapes and sizes, unlike other capsicum species which tend to have a characteristic shape. The pods typically hang down, unlike a Capsicum frutescens plant, and can have a citrus or fruity flavor.

Edible Uses:
Aji amarillo is one of the ingredients of Peruvian cuisine and Bolivian cuisine as a condiment, especially in many dishes and sauces. In Peru the chilis are mostly used fresh, and in Bolivia dried and ground. Common dishes with aji amarillo are the Peruvian stew Aji de Gallina (“Chili of Hen”), Huancaina sauce and the Bolivian Fricase Paceno, among others.

The Moche culture often represented fruits and vegetables in their art, including Ají amarillo peppers.

Medicinal Uses;
The hot and pungent fruit is antihemorrhoidal when taken in small amounts, antirheumatic, antiseptic, diaphoretic, digestive, irritant, rubefacient, sialagogue and tonic. It is taken internally in the treatment of the cold stage of fevers, debility in convalescence or old age, varicose veins, asthma and digestive problems. Externally it is used in the treatment of sprains, unbroken chilblains, neuralgia, pleurisy etc

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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Herbs & Plants

Tabebuia chrysantha

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Botanical Name : Tabebuia chrysantha
Family: Bignoniaceae
Genus: Tabebuia
Species: T. chrysantha
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Names: Araguaney or Yellow Ipê,Golden Goddess,known as cañaguate in northern Colombia , as tajibo in Bolivia, and as ipê-amarelo in Brazil

Habitat :The araguaney dwells in clearings of deciduous tropical forests of the broad Guiana Shield region. It is also native to warm lands and sabanas (Vía Oriente to El Guapo, Cupira, and Uchire Sabana) and even some arid hills (Mampote, Guarenas, Guatire y Caucagua). Its habitat ranges 400 to 1300m above sea level.

Tabebuia chrysantha is a rustic decidious tree that defies hard, dry or poor soils. Therefore its roots require well drained terrain. Its height ranges 6 to 12m. Leaves are opposite and petiolate, elliptic and lanceolate, with pinnate venation. Flowers are large, tubular shaped, with broadening corolla of deep yellow colour, about 2 inches long; they come out (February to April) before the tree has grown back any leaves. The fruit consists of dehiscent capsule often matured by the end of dry season. It is a slow growing, but long lasting, tree.

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As said, flowering and fruiting take place in dry season, from February to April, this way the seeds can take advantage of early rains. If raining season is delayed, the araguaney may flower and fruit, mildly, a second time. It is a highly efficient moisture manager. As happens with mango, the araguaney biological functions requiring most water take place precisely during dry season.

Medicinal Uses:
The palmate leaves are concocted to treat cancer and candida in native S. American cultures. It is also considered a remedy for controlling diabetes and for liver and kidney disorders.

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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Herbs & Plants


rootImage via Wikipedia

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Botanical Name:Lepidium meyenii
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Lepidium
Species: L. meyenii
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Brassicales
Other names: Lepidium meyenii, Peruvian ginseng
Spanish and Quechua names: maca-maca, maino, ayak chichira, and ayak willku
Habitat: Native to the high Andes of Bolivia and Peru.

Description: Maca is an herbaceous biennial plant or annual plant (some sources say a perennial plant). It is grown for its fleshy hypocotyl (actually a fused hypocotyl and taproot), which is used as a root vegetable and a medicinal herb.

.click to see the pictures

The growth habit, size, and proportions of the maca are roughly similar to those of the radish and the turnip, to which it is related. The stem is short and lies along the ground, with only the tips curling up. The frilly leaves are born in a rosette at the soil surface, and are continuously renewed from the center as the outer leaves die. The off-white, self-fertile flowers are borne on a central raceme, and are followed by 4-5 mm siliculate fruits, each containing two small (2-2.5 mm) reddish-gray ovoid seeds. The seeds, which are the plant’s only means of reproduction, germinate within five days, given good conditions, and have no dormancy.

Maca is the only member of its genus with a fleshy hypocotyl, which is fused with the taproot to form a radish- or inverted-pear-shaped body roughly 10-15 cm long and 3-5 cm wide.

Maca is traditionally grown at altitudes of approximately 4,100 – 4,500 m. It grows well only in very cold climates with relatively poor soil. Although it has been cultivated outside the Andes it is not yet clear that it has the same constituents or potency when this is done. Hypocotyls do not form in greenhouses or in warm climates.

For approximately 2000 years maca has been an important traditional food and medicinal plant in its growing region. It is regarded as a highly nutritious food and as a medicine that enhances strength and endurance and also acts as an aphrodisiac. During Spanish colonization maca was used as currency

In addition to sugars and proteins, maca contains uridine, malic acid and its benzoyl derivative, and the glucosinolates, glucotropaeolin and m-methoxyglucotropaeolin. The methanol extract of maca tuber also contained (1R,3S)-1-methyltetrahydro–carboline-3-carboxylic acid, a molecule which is reported to exert many activities on the central nervous system. The nutritional value of dried maca root is high, similar to cereal grains such as rice and wheat. It contains 60% carbohydrates, 10% protein, 8.5% dietary fiber, and 2.2% fats. Maca is rich in essential minerals, especially selenium, calcium, magnesium, and iron, and includes fatty acids including linolenic acid, palmitic acid, and oleic acids, and 19 amino acids, as well as polysaccharides. Maca’s reported beneficial effects for sexual function could be due to its high concentration of proteins and vital nutrients, though maca contains a chemical called p-methoxybenzyl isothiocyanate, which reputedly has aphrodisiac properties.

Uses and preparation
Maca has been harvested and used by humans in the Andean Mountains for centuries. It was eaten by Inca warriors before battles, and was used a form of payment of Spanish imperial taxes.

In Peru, maca is prepared and consumed in several ways. The hypocotyl can be roasted in a pit (called matia). The root can also be mashed and boiled to produce a sweet, thick liquid, dried and mixed with milk to form a porridge or with other vegetables or grains to produce a flour that can be used in baking. If fermented, a weak beer called chicha de maca can be produced. The leaves can also be prepared raw in salads or cooked much like Lepidium sativum and Lepidium campestre, to which it is genetically closely related.

Medicinal Uses:
According to folklore, ancient Incan warriors took maca before going off to battle to make them physically strong. However, they were later prohibited from taking it, in order to protect conquered women from their heightened libidos.

One study looked at the effect of 4 months treatment with maca tablets on semen quality in nine adult men. Treatment with maca resulted in increased seminal volume, sperm count, and sperm motility.

A 12-week randomized controlled trial looked at 1,500 mg maca, 3,000 mg maca, or placebo. After 8 weeks, there was an improvement in sexual desire in the men taking maca.

Maca does not appear to affect hormone levels. Serum testosterone and estradiol levels were not different in men treated with maca compared to those who took the placebo. Other studies have found no effect on luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, prolactin, and 17-alpha hydroxyprogesterone.

Maca is consumed as food for humans and livestock, suggesting any risk from consumption is rather minimal. However, maca does contain glucosinolates, which can cause goitres when high consumption is combined with a diet low in iodine. Though this is common in other foods with high levels of glucosinolate, it is uncertain if maca consumption can cause or worsen a goitre. Maca has also been shown to reduce enlarged prostate glands in rats though its effects on humans are unknown.

Small-scale clinical trials performed in men have shown that maca extracts can heighten libido and improve semen quality, though no studies have been performed on men with sexual dysfunction or infertility. Maca has not been shown to affect sex hormone levels in humans In addition, maca has been shown to increase mating behavior in male mice and rats.

No side effects or hazards have been reported and are unknown.

Drug Interactions:
No potential interactions have been reported.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider


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