The name Amazon speaks for itself and does not need much presentation. However, it never hurts to mention that the Amazon rainforest corresponds to the most extensive tropical forest in the world and stands out as one of the ecoregions with the greatest biodiversity on the planet. In addition, the Amazonian flora constitutes one of the largest reserves of phytotherapeutic resources in the world, which have been used for centuries by the cultures that inhabit this area.

It is estimated that around 25% of the active ingredients present in the medicines currently used come from tropical forests. Currently, about 350,000 plant species are known in the world and less than 1% of them have been studied for pharmacological purposes, therefore, nature and especially the Amazon rainforest is a great reserve of medicinal resources.

The knowledge about the medicinal properties of plants is based on observation, experience and deep understanding of the environment. These learnings transmitted from generation to generation have helped to solve, in part, the health problems that afflict the inhabitants of the Amazonian peoples farthest from modernity.

For a correct use of medicinal plants, it is necessary to know well the species used, the way of preparation, application and its dosage. It is important to mention that the compounds present in plants act synergistically, so that the combination of two or more species in some cases is a necessary condition to obtain the desired beneficial effects.

Next, we present a selection of some sickness or diseases and the plants with their common and scientific name that can be found in the Amazon jungle with which they can be treated. It is important to keep in mind that it is possible that in some cases the plants mentioned need to be mixed with others mentioned to enhance their effect and thus obtain the desired effects.

1. Malaria: Quinine or Red Cinchona (Cinchona officinalis), Turmeric (Curcuma longa), Cutleaf Groundcherry (Physalis angulata), Remocaspi (Aspidosperma excelsum), Rue (Ruta graveolens) and Lemon Grass (Cymbopogon citratus).

2. Conditions in the throat (tonsillitis, pharyngitis): Copaiba (Copaifera paupera), Ginger (Zingiber officinale), Lemon (Citrus limon), Common Plantain (Plantago major), Lemon Grass (Cymbopogon citratus), Sangre de Grado (Croton lechleri).

3. Anemia: Sacha Trumpeter (Abuta grandifolia), Uva Grass (Gynerium sagittatum), Avocado (Persea americana), Pigeon Pea (Cajanus cajan).

4. Asthma: Uva Grass (Gynerium sagittatum), Common Calabash Tree (Crescentia cujete), Pájaro bobo (Tessaria integrifolia), Cat’s Claw (Uncaria guianensis), Cutleaf Groundcherry (Physalis angulata), Avocado (Persea americana).

5. Bronchitis: Chuchuhuasi (Maytenus macrocarpa), Spiked Pepper (Piper aduncum), Common Calabash Tree (Crescentia cujete), Okra (Abelmoschus moschatus), Desert Elderberry (Sambucus mexicana), Vervain (Verbena officinalis), Common Purslane (Portulaca oleraceae).

6. Headache: Canna (Canna indica), Basil (Ocimun basilicum), Cotton (Gossypium barbadense), Yellow Leafbract (Malachra alceifolia), Rue (Ruta graveolens), Long Coriander (Eryngium foetidum), Cow Foot Leaf (Piper peltatum), Desert Elderberry (Sambucus mexicana), Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum).

7. Cystitis: Sacha Trumpeter (Abuta grandifolia), Basil (Ocimun basilicum), Kaffirboom (Erythrina fusca), Beggar’s Ticks (Bidens pilosa), Chamber Bitter (Phyllanthus urinaria), Spiked Pepper (Piper aduncum), Cotochupa (Polypodium decumanum), Bell-apple (Passiflora nitida), Common Plantain (Plantago major), Peppermint (Menta piperita), Mexican tea (Chenopodium ambrosoides), Pájaro bobo (Tessaria integrifolia), Avocado (Persea americana), Bushy Lippia (Lippia alba), Pawpaw (Carica papaya), Pigeon Pea (Cajanus cajan), Candle Bush (Cassia alata), Cat’s Claw (Uncaria guianensis).

8. Kidney stones: Pájaro bobo (Tessaria integrifolia), Soursop (Annona muricata), Mexican tea (Chenopodium ambrosoides), Bushy Lippia (Lippia alba), Bitter Melon (Momordica charantia), Rue (Ruta graveolens), Yellow Leafbract (Malachra alceifolia), Peppermint (Menta piperita), Cassava (Manihot esculenta).

9. Diabetes: Sacha Trumpeter (Abuta grandifolia), Cutleaf Groundcherry (Physalis angulata), Bitter Melon (Momordica charantia), Pigeon Pea (Cajanus cajan), Vervain (Verbena officinalis).

10. Dysmenorrhea: Sacha Trumpeter (Abuta grandifolia), Peppermint (Menta piperita), Bushy Lippia (Lippia alba), Rue (Ruta graveolens), Pájaro bobo (Tessaria integrifolia), Soursop (Annona muricata), Mexican tea (Chenopodium ambrosoides), Bitter Melon (Momordica charantia), Rue (Ruta graveolens), Yellow Leafbract (Malachra alceifolia).

11. Fluid retention: Guava (Psidium guajava), Cat’s Claw (Uncaria guianensis); all plants with diuretic effect: Canna (Canna indica), Cotton (Gossypium barbadense), Beggar’s Ticks (Bidens pilosa), Cutleaf Groundcherry (Physalis angulata Uva Grass (Gynerium sagittatum), Chamber Bitter (Phyllanthus urinaria), Pájaro bobo (Tessaria integrifolia), Pigeon Pea (Cajanus cajan), Candle Bush (Cassia alata), Cow Foot Leaf (Piper peltatum), Desert Elderberry (Sambucus mexicana), Common Purslane (Portulaca oleraceae).

12. Burns: Annatto (Bixa orellana), Canna (Canna indica), Kaffirboom (Erythrina fusca), Beggar’s Ticks (Bidens pilosa), Cocona (Solanum sessiliflorum), Spiked Pepper (Piper aduncum), Cotochupa (Polypodium decumanum), Common Plantain (Plantago major), Banana (Musa paradisiaca), Vervain (Verbena officinalis), Cassava (Manihot esculenta).

13. Rheumatism: Canna (Canna indica), Garlicvine (Mansoa alliacea), Basil (Ocimun basilicum), Indian almond (Terminalia catappa), Chambira (Astrocaryum chambira), Royal Purple Brunfelsia (Brunfelsia grandiflora), Ginger (Zingiber officinale), Murure (Brosimum acutifolium), Avocado (Persea americana), Physic Nut (Jatropha curcas), Cow Foot Leaf (Piper peltatum), Sacha Trumpeter (Abuta grandifolia), Chili Pepper (Capsicum annuum), Chuchuhuasi (Maytenus macrocarpa), Autograph Tree (Clusia rosea), Cat’s Claw (Uncaria guianensis).

14. Vomiting: Annatto (Bixa orellana), Aztec Marigold (Tagetes erecta), Lucky Nut (Thevetia peruviana), Cow Foot Leaf (Piper peltatum), Common Plantain (Plantago major).

15. AIDS: Cat’s Claw (Uncaria guianensis), Jergón sacha (Dracontium loretense). Observation: there have been multiple studies on these plants to which immunostimulating properties and even activity against the HIV virus are attributed, having described cases with very good results.

More and more people prefer to treat their ailments using natural medicine, mainly because it promotes a healthy lifestyle, has no side effects and does not affect other parts of our body compared to drugs used in conventional medicine, which they heal from one thing, but at the same time they can harm us from another. 

Knowing different methods that we can use to cure, is something that not only will help us to have better health, also we will be causing less damage to our planet, since the pharmaceutical drugs (many of them synthetic) when they reach the environment damage flora and fauna and pollute rivers, aquifers and oceans around the world. Instead, natural products are used in the same way that land offers them, so they do not bring negative consequences to the environmentasd.

If you want more information about the diseases that can be treated with plants of the Peruvian Amazon, which part of the plant is used, its administration and dosage form, download the book on medicinal plants of the Peruvian Amazon in spanish in the following link.

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