Ruda (ruta graveolens) came to Mexico with the Spanish priests. Branches of this plant were used during mass to sprinkle the holy water about. Mexican curanderas have adopted this practice for their healing sessions. Branches of ruda are used in limpias (cleansings). The curandera (healer) will use this aromatic plant to sweep the body of what ails it.
Ruda has been shown to have an antiproliferative effect on cancer cells. It has antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant value. A wash for sores and wounds is made from 20 grams of fresh ruda per liter of water. A poultice can be made with freshly crushed leaves.
It is an organic insecticide and herbicide. In Mexico, you will often find ruda by the window to keep out insects or sprigs kept under pillows for the bedbugs. Ruda is often used as a treatment for lice as well. An infusion of 35 grams of fresh ruda per liter or water is made then massaged into the scalp. The head is covered for an hour, then the hair is washed.
Apparently, it will also deter cats, although my cat doesn’t seem to realize that and lays haphazardly on whatever section of the garden is the coolest despite numerous rue plants spaced randomly among the other herbs.
A tea made from ruda is sometimes used by parteras (midwives) to increase the strength of uterine contractions when labor has gone on for some time. Ruda was also used in infusions to end an unwanted pregnancy during the first few weeks. A tea to bring on menstruation was brewed with 1 / 2 teaspoon of ruda, albabaca (basil), epazote (American wormseed) and yerba buena (spearmint). This aspect of the herb means that pregnant and lactating women should not use ruda in any form.
Traditionally, ruda is used to treat earache. Simply soak a cotton ball in warmed vegetable oil infused with ruda and place it in the ear. Crushed leaves are often used on the forehead to treat headaches caused by tension.
In addition to the warning against the use during pregnancy, excessive doses of ruda can be toxic. Dermal application should also be done with care because the oils in the plant contain furanocoumarins which sensitize the skin to light and can cause severe blistering on some people.
I have been waiting all year for the 2019 Herbs and Essential Oils Super Bundle! And as I mentioned last week, my own herb book, Exploring Traditional Herbal Remedies in Mexico is included! Can you tell how excited I am?
That’s me! Top right.
From June 5 to 10, you can get your copy of this incredible bundle for $37. That’s 29 eBooks, 7 eCourses & membership sites and 4 printable packs with a grand total of over $760 dollars for less than the price that my herb book costs on Amazon.
There I am again–bottom row next to last!
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Native to Mexico, the papaya (Carica papaya) gets its name from the Maya páapay-ya which roughly translates as “mottled fruit.” The papaya is yet another staple food in the Mexico diet. Rich in papain, leaves and seeds are used to tenderize meat. The fruit is eaten raw, cooked and blended in fruit juices. The sap from the unripe fruit makes latex.
It is anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory. High in lycopene, papaya juice is often applied to sunburn and skin irritations to reduce inflammation. Papaya also is effective in reducing cancerous breast tumor growth.
Papaya seeds are natural antifungal agents. Dried seeds are often eaten to help in digestion. The seeds have a spicy flavor and are sometimes ground and used to season food as you would black pepper. They have found to be useful in the treatment of IBS and stomach ulcers.
The leaves are used to treat liver damage caused by dengue in some areas as an antiviral agent. Extracts from the leaves are hypoglycemic and antioxidant and have been shown to improve liver and pancreas function.
The papaya is often prescribed in Mexico to treat parasites and is anti-protozoal. There are several remedies to expel internal parasites. One recipe calls for a mixture of juice, honey and coffee drank before breakfast. Another treatment is a tea made from the leaves drank 3 times a day for three days while ingesting a steady diet of the fruit. Yet a third remedy is to eat poached seeds with sap from an unripe fruit.
If your face is starting to wrinkle, eat more papaya and try a mashed papaya fruit mask! Papaya has been shown to reduce the depth of facial wrinkles
Note: The ripe fruit is safe for pregnant women to eat, however, the green fruit should be cooked first as it may cause contractions.
June is National Papaya Month! Have you had your papaya today?
National Maritime Day (Día de la Marina) is a Mexican holiday celebrated on June 1 each year. Mexico has two huge coastlines measuring 11,122 km (6,911 mi) and as such, commands a naval forces known as the Armada de México which includes 189 ships and about 130 aircraft.
June 1 was chosen because on that day in 1917, the merchant ship “Tabasco” left Veracruz for the first time with a crew made up entirely of native-born Mexicans. Marine day was first observed in 1942 in honor of two ships that were sunk by German submarines, the Potrero del Llano and Faja de Oro.
The Mexican Navy is divided into three main units:
And two smaller units:
Marine Day celebrations include simulated maneuvers such as defusing hijacking and terrorist situations, drug busts on the open waters and so on, followed by civic events at designated naval facilities.
Being smack dab in the middle of the country, we haven’t had the occasion to watch any of these events. How is el Día de la Marina observed in your area?
Do you want to learn more about Mexican holidays and traditions?
Then check out