Medicinal Plants of the Amazon Rainforest.
The Amazon Rain forest, Living, Breathing, Saving Life.
Amazon Rain forest and its Medicine Plants.
Many, many of the Amazon plants are referred to as"the stock of natures pharmacy".
In this hub I will be concentrating on just a few, but will immediately mention one which is very well known
This is The Camu tree which produces the Camu Camu berry. This berry gives a sense of well-being and can be used in either a liquid or powdered form.
The Camu tree as with all other plants and trees in the rain forest feed on the nutrient rich flood waters which carry in them all the micro nutrients from the richly diverse Amazon Rain forest.
There are so very many plants and trees to choose from to give an idea of just how much this very important forest has to offer and how much it needs protection and rejuvenation, but i have chosen just a few to try to give a guide to what more is out there.
An important point!
It has been pointed out to me and quite rightly, that before embarking on any course of medication one should always consult a doctor or take expert advise and have a good knowledge of ones own medical and health problems!!
Some of Natures medicinal Helpers.
The Lipstick Tree/Annatto (Bixa Orellona)
This particular tree can grow up to 6 metres high and has large fragrant roses of pink or white with yellow stamens. It has a spiny red fruit which contains hard, red seeds.
The rain forest people used it for centuries as an insect repellent and for lowering blood pressure.Recent research has backed these use and oil from the plant contains Carotenoids(plant pigments). One of these Bixin is known to protect against harmful UV rays and Annatto is also used to this day to treat heartburn.
Clavillia is a perennial herb which reaches heights in the wild of 50-100cm a grows from a tuberous root. It has beautiful flowers that usually open around 4 o'clock in the afternoon. This plant was first recorded botanically in 1753. Leaves, roots and flowers are used for medicinal purposes and for fighting against fungi.
The active compounds that have been found include triterpenes, flavonoids, alkaloids and steroids. Also Mirabilis antiviral proteins (MAPS), the highest concentration being found in first the seeds, then roots and lastly leaves. Basically this plant is hugely significant in herbal and natural remedies.
Cocoa Tree (Theobrama Cacao)
Just about everybody loves chocolate for its taste and the many ways it is and can be used in confectionery and cooking.
But the Cocoa tree and its fruits and leaves has great medicinal qualities too.
It is a relatively small tree growing to heights of 4-8metres(13-26feet), evergreen, and although cultivated and grown extensively on "farms" in the wild it can only be found in the low foothills of the Andes, the Orinoco river basin and The Amazon river basin from where the Cocoa tree originated. This tree is known to produce over 150 different chemicals from its bark, seeds, leaves and fruit. The Olmecs, Aztecs and Mayans used these parts of the tree to treat such disorders as tiredness, fever, anxiety and coughs.
In recent years there has been research that has shown that Chocolate contains Polyphenols . These can aid in preventing heart disease.
The Graviola fruit comes from The Annona Muricata tree, and has been, and still is widely consumed by indigenous people. In the early days the leaves were brewed as a tea which was used to reduce the swelling of the Mucus membranes and to treat Liver disease. Most parts of the tree were also ground up and used as a sedative or anticonvulsant. The fruit alone was used to reduce joint pain, help with heart conditions, induce labour, or reduce flu symptoms or coughing.
For sometime now it has been studied along with other Amazon plants to see if it can aid as a natural treatment for preventing and fighting cancer. Yes, it can, it has been found to have cancer treating and prevention qualities.
The leaves of the tree contain natural compounds that have a strong ability to promote healthy cellular division and therefore it is considered unique amongst plants in giving therapeutic support to the immune system and in cleansing abnormal tissue growth(Cancer)
The Graviola fruit has amongst it therapeutic properties a powerful compound which helps with both high and low blood pressure and anti -fungal properties.
Icoja Bark(Unonopsis Floribunda Diels)
The Alcoholic Maceration made from this bark is used to treat Malaria,fever, is an astringent disinfectant for healing septic wounds, the wounds being washed directly by it and is also used to treat infectious diseases such as Pilagra in children.
It is also used against Uta(a kind of leprosy that is found in the Amazon).
It is known as one of the "teacher plants" as it is used by Shaman when they are preparing themselves for healing and spiritualism.
Sangre de Drago(Dragons Blood)(Croton Lechleri)
This is a latex sap the colour of blood which is used in a multitude of ways.
It heals wounds, is used as a vaginal bath before childbirth, is good for healing intestinal and stomach ulcers and is excellent as an instant bandage. The alkaloid taspine hydrochloride is the main wound healing principal and anticancer agent.
Sangre de Grado
It is known for it powers and has been used as an anti-tumour/anticancer agent cicatrizant
It is also anti-diarrhea,an anti-oxidant,anti-inflammatory, contains a potent antibacterial agent which is active against Bacillus Subtilis , E:COLI and Genital herpes.
This sap is extremely and quickly efective against diarhea, and excellent anti-fungal and a great wound healer.
Taspine is the present alkaloid substance.
Why the Rain forests must be saved.
It must be obvious to those who care and those who want to learn more and help that the Amazon Rain forest and other rain forests are harbouring an abundance of natural cures and preventatives.
I have touched on just a very few of the hundreds that are already in use, but realise that unless the willful destruction is stopped then we may lose these wonderful, magical, healing plants, these lifesavers.
I have found this a fascinating hub to do, and really did not know which plants to choose, and how many to add in, but in the end decided that a few may just spark the right interest for people to look further.
Other trees and plants
- Wealth of the Rainforest - Pharmacy to the World from Raintree Nutrition, Inc.
Raintree's extensive website on the Amazon Rainforest features hundreds of pages and pictures and facts on rainforest plants, preservation and destruction