New Herb Book

I’m delighted to announce Exploring Traditional Herbal Remedies in Mexico Volume 3: Native and Naturalized Plant Use is now available on Amazon! 

As you may already know, Mexican herbalism is a mix of native plant use and European herbology brought by the Spaniards. However, there is a tendency among herbalists to focus more on the plants they are familiar with, which are often European in origin, and ignore plants native to Mexico. 

In Exploring Traditional Herbal Remedies in Mexico Volume 3: Native and Naturalized Plant Use you’ll learn more about: 

  • 30 native and naturalized plants used in Mexican herbalism
  • Scientific evidence that supports or contradicts traditional use
  • Botanical, local, and common names for each plant to aid in positive plant identification

If you’re curious about the effectiveness of herbal remedies then get your copy of Exploring Traditional Herbal Remedies in Mexico Volume 3: Native and Naturalized Plant Use and delve into the science of plants for well-being.

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Interested in natural remedies? Uncover herbal remedies from traditional Mexican sources for healing and wellness in the Exploring Traditional Herbal Remedies in Mexico series.

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Natural Healing — Epazote

Dysphania ambrosioides Photo credit: Forest and Kim Starr

I had been reluctant to investigate the medicinal properties of epazote (Chenopodium Ambrosioides) simply because it’s touted as the “miracle weed/herb” in a lot of Mexican herb forums. I know, a bit prejudicial on my part. So, in an effort to provide impartial research, today I’m going to share what I learned when I finally took up the gauntlet. 

Epazote, native to Mexico, was formally classified under the name Chenopodium ambrosioides but has since been reclassified as Dysphania ambrosioides. Other names include Jesuit’s tea, payqu, mastruz, quinoa, and herba Santa Maria. Alternative spellings in Mexico for epazote include epasote, ipazote, and pazote. In Maya, it is known as lukum-xiu. In Purhépecha it is cuatzitish-atcingo. In otomí it’s gail, and in the state of Puebla, it is known as Alskini. The name epazote comes from the Nahuatl, epazotl, which means stinky. It does have a strong aroma, in case you were wondering.

In Mexico, epazote is most often used for parasites, stomachache, menstrual cramp relief, increase lactation, and in the treatment of bites or stings. It’s also a common flavoring for beans, menudo, chilate, chile atole, chilaquiles, and quesadillas.

For stomach pain, a leaf infusion is prepared either with water or milk. For menstrual issues, it is combined with ruda (Ruta graveolens), zoapatle (Montanoa tomentosa), or cabellos de elote (corn silk). To treat bites and stings, the chopped leaves are added to tobacco leaves and placed over the wound as a poultice. To expel parasites, 20 to 60 grams of the chopped herb is added to an infusion of milk and garlic and allowed to steep overnight and drunk for 9 days before breakfast. While undergoing parasite treatment, the afflicted should not eat pork or chile according to common belief. 

Atole blanco con epazote is prescribed for individuals suffering from “espanto” (anxiety). It is drunk for 9 mornings. In the event of extreme anxiety, a cup can also be had in the afternoon. 

Epazote has a vasorelaxant effect. It has antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, antimicrobial, anti-biofilm, anti-malarial, and anti-inflammatory properties. It also is effective in the treatment of the central nervous system and sleep disorders. It stimulates the immune system and provides pain relief. Regular use prevents bone loss. Topical use stimulates wound closure and bone healing.

Note: Long-term use of this plant should be avoided as it can be toxic. It also should be avoided during pregnancy.

Epazote Tea

5 grams of epazote stems and leaves (Dysphania ambrosioides)

Boil ½ liter of water. Add the epazote. Allow it to steep for 10 minutes. Strain and serve. Drink one cup before breakfast for 2 or 3 days for indigestion.

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Interested in discovering a path to wellness through traditional medicine? Discover Mexican herbalism with common remedies used today in the Exploring Traditional Herbal Remedies in Mexico series.

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Spanish Accelerated

For those of you that struggle with the language barrier, you’ll love today’s featured ex-pat. In this post, I’d like to introduce you to Judit Megal, owner of Spanish Accelerated (Use code Spanish22).

My family is Russian and I grew up with Russian as my first language and English as my second. Knowing these two languages can give you a bird’s-eye-view of how languages work and how Spanish and English are similar and different, both at the same time. My mom was an immigrant in her 40s and to her last days, spoke with a heavy accent. So I understand the struggle learn a second language, especially later in life.

In 2006 a job brought me to Mexico. I was working for Diamonds International, in Riviera Maya. Now I live in the Riviera Nayarit, another job moved me here and I loved it so much I stayed!

I’ve had so many defining moments since moving to Mexico. There’s nothing quite like getting lost in Mexico City, in heavy rain, at rush- hour, because I didn’t understand the directions given to me… I also couldn’t pronounce the words Cuauhtemoc, Tlaquepaque, and Jacarandas, which were all on my way to work. It was definitely stressful to be in Mexico City, alone, on a bus, and not understanding. It has contributed to my desire to learn, and fast.

After over a decade of living in Mexico, I’m more Mexican now than something else, the daily rhythm, the way we say things, handle problems, negotiate, etc. It made me much more Cabrona than before but also allowed me to express my more feminine, soft side. I love Mexico!

Six years ago I’ve decided to take my Spanish lessons to be a full-time job because my side hobby was so satisfying that my client exploded. I teach mainly to retirees and snowbirds because they are the biggest population here. We work online, both one-on-one and in small conversation groups and I found that combination brings the best results. Plus, you must speak the language, because only reading and writing will bring you 2/3 of the way. The understanding part, especially when people speak fast, is crucial, and can’t happen without YOU SPEAKING. ( Our private classes are off the record and designed to give you the courage to speak).

Facebook is an easy way to reach me:
https://www.facebook.com/MexicanSpanishLessons

Or for more information, you can also go to:

Spanish_Accelerated

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