Tag Archives: Chiranthodendron pentadactylon

Natural Healing — Flor de Manita

Photo of ”Chiranthodendron pentadactylon” (Mexican hand tree) at the San Francisco Botanical Garden, taken June 2005 by User:Stan Shebs 

I was fortunate enough to find some dried Flor de Manita, one of the ingredients in my favorite relaxing tea blend, with one of the local herb sellers and excitedly began my investigations on its medicinal properties. Flor de Manita (Chiranthodendron pentadactylon) is also known as El Mano de Dragón (dragon’s hand), Macpalxóchitl in Nahuatl, and in English as the Handflower tree or Devil’s hand tree because of the unique shape of its flower. It is native to Mexico and Guatemala and has been used since the time of the Aztecs as a heart tonic and as a treatment for dysentery, epilepsy, and STDs. 

It has antiprotozoal, antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antidiarrheal properties, making it an effective treatment for diarrhea. Flor de Manita extracts also have a vasorelaxant effect, supporting its use as a treatment for susto (fear/anxiety) and espanto (sudden fright).

One traditional consists of making a decoction from the bark and leaves as a wash or poultice for genital swelling and pain. A poultice made from the flowers is still used as a common treatment for hemorrhoids by traditional healers.

Tea for Heart Palpitations

1 tablespoon of each:

  • Flor de Yoloxóchitl (Talauma mexicana)(Mexican heart flower)
  • Flor de pitaya (Selenicereus undatus)(Dragon Fruit Flower)
  • Flor de manita (Chiranthodendron pentadactylon) (Handflower tree)

Boil ¼ liter of water and add ingredients. Steep for 5-10 minutes. Drink daily before breakfast without sweetener.

Tea for Nerves

Equal parts:

  • Flor de Yoloxóchitl (Talauma mexicana)(Mexican heart flower) 
  • Hojas de tila (Ternstroemia lineata) 
  • Hojas de toronjil morado (Agastache Mexicana)(Mexican giant hyssop)
  • Hojas de de hierbabuena (Mentha spicata)(spearmint)
  • Flor de Azahar (citrus aurantium)(bitter orange blossoms)
  • Flor de Manita (Chiranthodendron pentadactylon)(Handflower tree)

Boil 1 liter of water. Add herbs. Let steep for 5-10 minutes. Strain and drink liberally throughout the day.


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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Filed under Native fauna and flora, Natural Healing