Tag Archives: herbal remedies

New Releases by Surviving Mexico

April quarantine left me feeling like I didn’t get anything done, so I’m delighted to say that I did do some things during May that resulted in a finished book, Book Weaving: How to Create a Story Tapestry From Your Blog Threads

ebook cover

Click on the image for a preview!

It’s designed for bloggers who want to make something tangible from their blog posts. I’d love feedback from anyone who has some thoughts on how I could make the information more interesting or if there are gaps in the material provided on how to structure a book. 

I’m offering the eBook for free for the next few days, so be sure to get your copy from Amazon.

herbal cover

I’d also like to remind everyone that the eBook version of Exploring Traditional Herbal Remedies in Mexico is now available for download for those of you that purchased it as a pre-order. I had to wait until the Ultimate Bundles Herbs & Essential Oils bundle was finished before I could offer it on Amazon. The eBook version is a fraction of the price of the paperback version, so you’re getting quite a deal!

I’m working on a three-book series about self-publishing this month, so look for that announcement in the (hopefully) near future. Meanwhile, gardening is going well, those quarantine projects are slowly coming along, and we have our fingers crossed the rains will begin soon! 

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Filed under Blogging, Native fauna and flora, Natural Healing

Huckleberry Mountain Botanicals

Would you believe I found another awesome herb resource? You already know that I’m a huge fan of the Herbal Academy and have taken several courses online with them. But today, I’d like to introduce you to Huckleberry Mountain Botanicals.

My first course was The Basics of Holistic Herbalism was incredibly comprehensive. Herbalism isn’t just about taking this or that herb to improve your health you know. It’s about looking at the body as a whole and determining where herbs can provide support as part of a regular, herbally enhanced diet.  

This course started with a refresher botany section. Herb identification is vitally important, especially if you have moved to a totally different environment like I have. We wouldn’t want to poison anyone now, would we, especially since I taste the herbal concoctions on myself. After that, there was a section on medicinal properties of types of herbs, very useful.

But we weren’t finished learning yet! Session three covered the skin as an organ and talked about interactions herbs can have on it, followed by the digestive system in session four. When using herbs as medicine, it’s important to note each individual’s reaction to herbs because of his or her skin sensitivity and digestive process. It’s not just a matter of popping herbal capsules and hoping for the best.

The last section in this course discussed stress and pain. Yes, there are some herbs that can help with these conditions, but looking at the causes of stress and pain holistically and developing better coping strategies was emphasized rather than just herbal application.

So what else does Huckleberry Mountain Botanicals offer? Oodles of herb stuff! 

Let’s start with the free stuff, my favorite. Periodically, there are free informative herbal webinars that you can attend! Yippee! The next one is in March, but I don’t see what the topic will be just yet. Then there’s loads of free herbal content. Who doesn’t want to improve their herbal understanding without paying a dime? 

Are you interested in growing your own herbs and making your own concoctions like I am? Then you should check out the Cultivating Herbs Bundle and the Herbal Preparations Bundle

To step things up a bit, there are some courses for the professional herbalist including the Fundamentals of Holistic Herbalism Certificate Program and Nutrition for the Herbalist which begins in November. 

Are your kids interested in herbs? Then you should know that the Children’s Herbal School begins on June 15. What a great way to spend their summer productively!

So there you have it folks! Yet another fabulous herbal resource for those of you interested in herbs!

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Natural Healing — Cempasúchil

marigold alter.jpg

The Aztec marigold (Tagetes erecta)  is known as cempasúchil in Mexico. The name comes from the Nahuatl cempohualxochitl which translates as “20 flowers”, possibly referring to the fact that each blossom has the potential to create 20 or more flowers, although some sources reference the ritualistic significance of the number 20, so there maybe be other reasons for this name.

This aromatic flower is native to Mexico and has a long history of medicinal and ritualistic use. Even today, this flower dominates the festival Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead). It is believed that the strong scent will call to the spirits that are roaming free and guide them home to visit loved ones. This use has given the cempasúchil another name, Flor de Muertos (Flower of the Dead).

The Mayan had similar beliefs. The priests would wash their hands and face with an infusion of leaves and flowers before calling the spirits.

There is a legend that describes the love of Xóchitl and Huitzilin. Their feelings were so strong that when Huitzlin died in battle, the sun god Tonatiuh heard the pleas of Xóchitl to reunite them. He transformed Xóchitl into the cempohualxochitl flower. Huitzlin, who had been reincarnated in the form of the hummingbird, forever after found nourishment among her “20 flowers.”

Francisco Hernández described the common use of the cempasúchil in the Historia Natural de la Nueva España like this:

“Tienen todas hojas como de tanaceto, flores amarillas, o amarillas con algo de bermejo, de temperamento caliente y seco en tercer grado, sabor acre, partes sutiles y olor un tanto fuerte. Tiene virtud resolutiva y aperitiva; el jugo de las hojas tomado o las mismas hojas machacadas y tomadas con agua o con vino atemperan el estómago frío, provocan las reglas, la orina y el sudor, alejan los fríos de las intermitentes untadas un poco antes del acceso, quitan la flatulencia, excitan el apetito venéreo, curan la debilidad que proviene de destemplaza fría del hígado, abren las vías obstruidas, aflojan los miembros contraídos, alivian la hidropesía, provocan vómito tomadas con agua tibia, y curan los fríos de las fiebres y aun las fiebres mismas evacuando la causa por la orina y el sudor.”

Historia Natural de la Nueva España, Volume II. Book IV, CLXXIX

Loosely translated, it reads:

“They all have leaves like tansy, yellow flowers, or yellow with some red, hot-tempered and dry in the third degree, pungent taste, subtle parts, and somewhat strong smell. It has a decisive and aperitive virtue; the juice of the leaves drunk or the same leaves crushed and drunk with water or wine temper the stomach, provoke menstruation, urine and sweat, remove intermittent shivers by smearing a little near body cavities, rid the body of flatulence, they excite the venereal appetite, they cure the weakness that comes from the dislocation of the liver, they open the clogged passageways, they loosen contracted limbs, they relieve dropsy, they provoke vomit when drunk with lukewarm water, and they cure shivering of the fevers and even the fevers themselves evacuating the cause of urine and sweat.”

Strange 15th-century disorders aside, like the floating liver, the cempasúchil has been shown to be effective in the majority of the ailments Hernández listed and continues to be an important ingredient in many natural remedies in Mexico today.

Traditionally, the cempasúchil has been used to treat intestinal parasites. Drink 3 cups of a tea made from a pinch of flower petals and 1 / 4 liter of water. The flowers also have anti-inflammatory properties.

A diluted, lukewarm tea is given to babies with colic commonly called empache. The flowers have spasmolytic properties which help soothe the bellyache and reduces fussiness.

An infusion or tincture of the flowers is also used to treat susto or espanto which are nervous conditions. The compounds in the flowers have a sedative effect.

Both antioxidant and antibacterial, the cempasúchil has traditionally been used for wound care. The flowers are crushed into a poultice and can be applied directly to the injury or sore. The crushed leaves are used to treat boils and burns which aids in healing.

In the Yucatan, Tabasco, Oaxaca, and Veracruz, the cempasúchil is used to treat fever. Extracts from the plant are applied in a tincture to the bottom of the feet to provoke perspiration and sweating. In Guerrero and Tabasco, the plant is used to treat colds.

The petals are edible and have anti-aging properties, so go ahead and sprinkle some on your salad. Or you could this chicken in marigold sauce recipe or one of the dishes in the video below.

This versatile plant is also a boon to the gardener, being a natural insect repellent. Crushed petals rubbed on your skin will repel mosquitos.

The petals make a non-toxic dye. In Mexico, dried and powdered petals are fed to chickens so that their skin and eggs are yellower. There is also a cempasúchil pulque (moonshine) made in some areas.

All in all, there is more than one reason to have cempasúchil in your herbal repertoire. 

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