Category Archives: Native fauna and flora

Charandaro Pitayas

Just before the rainy season starts in mid-June, the pitayas, another cactus fruit, are ready. This year we went to Charandaro to do a little harvesting. Pitayas, not to be confused with Pitahayas AKA Dragon Fruit, is also known by the indigenous name coapetilla which means thick serpent in reference to the branches of the cactus stenocereus that this fruit is found.

We found a long bamboo stick with a three-prong top for easy harvesting. This particular grove of cactus was easily accessible by climbing neighboring trees.

We ate about 5 or 6 each and left the rest to ripen up a little more. When fully ripe, they taste exactly like a sweet strawberry.

Have you had pitayas?

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Wildflowers and Butterflies in Mexico

One of the best things about living in rural Mexico is the abundance of wildflowers and butterflies of every imaginable color.  Today I’d like to share just a small sampling!

Do you like what you see?  Check out more lovely flowers and insects here!

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Natural Healing–Guayaba Leaf Tea

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At the first sign of an upset stomach, my husband is out back plucking leaves off of our guayaba tree to make a tea.  I thought I’d do a little investigation on whether or not there was any validity to these stomach ailment treatment claims and here’s what I found out.

Psidium guajava, known as guayaba or guava, is native to Mexico and its fruit ranges from white or yellow to dark pink.  We have two different varieties growing in our backyard, the yellow and the light pink.  Both the fruit and the leaves are used in traditional medicine to treat diabetes, hypertension, cavities, diarrhea, rheumatism, lung disease, fever, and inflammation.

Digging a bit deeper into scientific studies, I found that the fruit (either eaten raw or made into juice) has antitumor and anti-cancer properties, is useful in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, and effective in lowering blood sugar, serum total cholesterol, triglycerides and LDLc while increasing HDLc levels.  Guava is also a natural antibacterial agent and antioxidant and beneficial in the treatment of cholera.

The guayaba leaf also has medicinal properties. It is cytotoxic, thus effective in the treatment of a variety of cancers. It protects against mercury toxicity, one of the causes of Alzheimer’s. Regular ingestion improves vascular function and regulates blood-glucose levels. It is effective in the treatment of diarrhea and dysentery as well as infections caused by the Candida fungi and  Staphylococcus aureus bacteria.

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My husband makes his stomachache tea from freshly picked young whole leaves.  He washes then boils them for about 10 minutes and that’s it. He drinks it without any sweetener, but you could add honey if you like.  The tea has an earthy taste to it.

I saw on another site, that you could make tea from dried and crushed leaves.  However, that takes 3-4 weeks and there seems to be no additional benefit to drying them.  Since we have a fresh source right outside our back door, we’ll stick with that.  Have you tried guayaba leaf tea?

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Surviving Mexico on Instagram

guadalajara mountains

Did you know that for the past few years I’ve been posting the natural landscapes and colors of central Mexico on Instagram?  Really.  I have nearly 600 pictures uploaded to the site.

blue morning glory

Recently I ordered prints of most of those snapshots and sent them to my mother to enjoy.  She doesn’t have an Instagram account.  She told me enjoy them she did!

fuzzy rock flower

I know the picture quality isn’t the best.  I’m using my phone after all and I am by no means a professional photographer. I did purchase my latest cell phone because of its improved quality photographs (it’s a Polaroid phone) But mostly, it helps that Mexico is breathtakingly beautiful.

amoles road

I take pictures of things that catch my eye, which are not necessarily things that are commonly considered attractive.  For instance, I took a picture of this hillside because it looked like an alligator to me.

alligator mountain

If you notice, there is not one single picture of me at Surviving Mexico on Instagram. Nope, I’m not a Selfie girl. Instead, what you will see, is Mexico through my eyes. Gorgeous, isn’t it?

purple water lilies

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