Teas & Herbs

The Chan family in their solare.

 There are hundreds of herbs native to the Yucatán.  While to a foriegner, these may look like weeds, the Mayans know that each one of these possesses healing qualities.   Many Mayan homes have solares, or kitchen gardens where a myriad of herbs grow at first apparently haphazardly, but each has its own little niche.  In the cities, where solares are not as common, these herbs are sold in the markets.  The names indicated by a (*) are in Mayan.

Kidney stones

Corn silk

Preparation:   boil and drink as tea
Where to find it:   in city markets, usually in its dried form 


Preparation:   boil and drink as tea 
Where to find it:  commonly found in its dried form in city markets 

Chaya leaf 

History:   a traditonal leafy green vegetable that has been used by the Mayans for centuries.    Due to its high nutritional value it is used for everthing from dieting to treating kidney stones. 
Preparation:   use ten leaves for one liter of water; drink as tea. 
Where to find it:   chaya is grown virutally everywhere in the Yucatán.   Ask for it in city markets or the grocery store.


*Lot chet

Preparation:   burn with charcoal and rub on chest
Where to find it:  native to the Yucatán; if you can not find it in the city, try travelling to the surrounding towns, many people have it growing in their home gardens


Preparation:  boil and drink as a tea
Where to find it:  native to the Yucatán as well; the best bet is to try looking in a home garden

Throat Problems (sore throats and coughs)


Preparation:   comes pre-packaged, drink as a tea
Where to find it:   found at medicinal and herbal vendors in city markets; look for the colorful boxes

 Eucalyptus Leaves

Preparation:  boil the leaves and drink as a tea
Where to find it:  look in the city markets (or ask a koala!)

 Avocado Leaves

Preparation:  take five to six leaves and boil in a liter of water
Where to find it:   avocado trees grow all over the Yucatán.  Yucatecan people are very friendly and helpful so if you see one growing in someone´s lawn, do not hesitate to knock and ask for a few leaves
Precaution:   take sparingly because overuse may negatively affect the thyroid gland

Nose Bleeds

*Chol lul

Preparation:   pick fresh leaves and hold under nostrils
Where to find it:  commonly found in the solares (kitchen gardens) of Mayan homes



Preparation:   take the seeds of the plant and boil them. Allow the water to cool then use as eye drops
Where to find it:   commonly found in the solares of Mayan homes



Preparation:  take a piece of aloe, peel and wash well until only the flesh is left; blend with lime until liquified; then drink
Where to find it:   can be found growing naturally or in stores

Stomach Pains

Hierbabuena (Mint)

Preparation:   boil with water and drink as a tea 
Where to find it:   found all over the Yucatán.   First try the city markets, then the local herbal stores


 Jicara (Calabash)

Preparation:   make a paste of Vicks Vapo-Rub and aspirin; apply to leaves.  Make a cross out of the leaves of the Jicara plant and apply to forehead, temples or to soles of feet. 
Where to find it:   native to Yucatán; ask around.


Naranja Agria (species of bitter orange)

Preparation:   take six leaves, rip in half and boil in a liter of water over a low flame for ten minutes. Let it cool and then drink it as a tea.
Where to find it:   grown in the Yucatán; try looking in markets and home gardens

Linden Flower

Preparation:   make as a tea
Where to find it:   available dried in the city markets
Other uses:   headache, sleeplessness, stress and to  improve blood pressure

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