Tag Archives: mexican herbal remedies

Natural Healing — Geranio

Every so often, my husband will head out to my garden and come back chewing something or other. Sometimes it’s an actual fruit or vegetable. Sometimes it is a leaf off my Wandering jew plant and sometimes he’s salted and eaten a leaf from my geranium plant. He swears that it was the remedy Mama Sofia (his grandmother) would prescribe when he had a bit of a stomach ache. 

Not one to let unexamined herbal remedies slide by, I set about to find more on this plant. The genus for this plant is pelargonium spp and there are nearly 300 varieties. It is native to South Africa but was brought to Mexico in the seventeenth century. 

Although a favorite of certain species of butterflies, the Japanese beetle becomes paralyzed after eating geranium flowers. It seems that they contain quisqualic acid which causes excitotoxicity (nerve cell death).

In Mexico, geranio leaves are mashed with vinegar and salt and applied to the forehead to alleviate headaches. A decoction made from red geranium flowers is used to treat diarrhea. Another diarrhea remedy calls for a rounded spoonful of ground geranio root boiled in ½ cup of water drunk every hour until the ailment ceases.  

An upset stomach can be treated with a tea made from geranio, manzanilla (chamomile) and yerba buena (spearmint). Pelargonium sidoides and Pelargonium endlicherianum have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties that will indeed calm your stomach. Pelargonium roseum Willd. is antiparasitic and thus another variety that can soothe your digestive system if you have intestinal parasites. 

The leaves are also applied topically to treat sores and wounds. Pelargonium graveolens has antifungal properties and is effective in healing diabetic foot ulcers. Pelargonium asperum and Pelargonium peltatum are antibacterial in nature. 

Scented geraniums have long been used in perfumes. Pelargonium quercifolium smells like incense. The Prince Rupert variety has a lemon scent. P. radula has a lemon-rose smell. P. odoratissimum has an apple scent. P. capitatum smells like attar of roses. The aroma of the Reunion Geranium (Pelargonium roseum Willd) has an antidepressant effect.

Pelargonium sidoides is an effective treatment for acute respiratory tract infections. Extracts from the root of this same plant can calm a cough.  Rose geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) essential oil has anticancer components

Not all varieties have been studied scientifically, but there is more than enough evidence to say that geranio belongs in a curandera’s garden after all.


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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! 


Filed under Blogging, Native fauna and flora, Natural Healing

Natural Healing –Granada


The granada (punica granatum) or pomegranate is yet another import from Spain. The tree that we planted about 8 years ago is finally starting to produce fruit. It does well in drought conditions typical to La Yacata.

I don’t know about you, but getting at those juicy seeds can be troublesome so I really appreciated this little video.

Granada is the require garnish for Chiles en Nogadas often served during the patriotic month of September.

Naturally, this delicious fruit has medicinal applications.

The bark and root of the granada have antifungal properties. They have traditionally been used against intestinal parasites and to treat, dysentery, and diarrhea.

To rid a body of tapeworms, 60 grams of granada root is boiled in a liter of water. Half is drunk before bed, the other half when you wake up. This is followed up with a 45-gram dose of castor oil. If the tapeworm is not expelled, the treatment can be repeated in a week.

A second herbal remedy for tapeworm is similar. One part root bark for each 10 parts water is soaked overnight. In the morning, boil it down 2 /3. Then, strain. Drink the concoction first thing in the morning before breakfast then 3 ½ cup doses at half-hour intervals. Repeat the process for 3 days. On the third day, take a good dose of castor oil.

A word of caution: Excessive amounts of the bark and root cause nausea and vomiting.

Never fear, other parts of the granada, including the fruit, will not cause such an adverse reaction. Some of it is quite tasty!

The rind of the granada contains three times as much polyphenols as the fruit, including condensed tannins, catechins, gallocatechins and prodelphinidins. It shows promise in treating diabetic nephropathy. The rind is anti-inflammatory and suitable for treating and preventing inflammations of the gastric tract and malaria.

A tea for stomach ailments is made by boiling a handful of the rind, jamaica (hibuscus flower), canela (cinnamon) and membrillo (quince)  in a liter of water for ten minutes. Cool and strain. Divide the dose into three glasses and drink at intervals throughout the day.

Traditional Mexican medicinal use also includes a gargle or mouthwash to treat swollen tonsils, canker sores and inflamed gums that is made from the boiled rind. A piece of raw rind placed directly on a sore will help dry it up too.

The fruit is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antioxidant. This bright red delicious edible has also been shown to be antidiabetic. A glass of pomegranate juice daily lowers hypertension and reduces atherosclerosis. It has properties that protect the kidney as well.

The juice is also effective in treating diarrhea. In Mexico, a mixture of juice and sugar is boiled and given to children a tablespoon at a time for treatment.

Oil extracted from the seeds have inhibitory effects on skin and breast cancers. Pomegranate seed oil has phytoestrogenic compounds and contains punicic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, and linoleic acid.

The leaves are also antibacterial and can be used to make a poultice to treat wounds. Leaf extract contains compounds that protect the brain from injury.

The flower has been used medicinally to improve insulin resistance in diabetics and is anti-inflammatory. The flowers are antimicrobial, antioxidant, analgesic and used in the treatment of mouth and stomach ulcers.

Now you have just a little something to think about next time you are nibbling some pomegranate!

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