Many medicinal plants and trees occur naturally on the land at La Medicina, and we also have a dedicated medicinal garden. In the High Jungle area of Peru there is a strong tradition of using medicinal plants and one of our workers can remember his grandfather taking tree barks soaked in aguardiente (sugar cane alcohol) every day at 4 am before going to work on his land. He had arthritis at the age of 50 but did a 1 month dieta with Ajo Sacha and was completely cured. It never returned. He lived fit and strong and died peacefully in his sleep at the age of 85, having subsequently suffered no major illness. Natural remedies used to be the preferred way to treat disease, but this way of thinking is rapidly changing and now most prefer allopathic treatment.
We work with medicinal plants in the following ways:
For guests to undertake a diet with during their retreat. Usually prepared as an infusion in water.
For locals to diet with for specific health problems, often prepared as an extraction in aguardiente.
To give to the workers when it’s rainy and cold, to prevent illness, such as gripe - the local form of flu.
Five of the main plants/trees we work with
A form of garlic, scrapings from the root are used. Has many benefits including helping with rheumatism, colds, fevers, cholesterol levels, pain.
On a spiritual shamanic level, is used for protection and expelling negative energies. Useful when someone is coming out of a dark period in their lives and when they need to “root” themselves somewhere new.
A small tree that likes growing near water, has beautiful pink and white flowers that open twice a day around 4am and 4pm. Root scrapings are used. Generally cleansing, good for arthritis and rheumatism, expels excess water from the system.
On a spiritual/shamanic level, opens up the heart, connects to the heart, heals the heart. It is also grounding and rooting.
Sap from bark used to remove blemishes and wrinkles from skin. Has anti-fungal and microbial properties and is also used for eye problems and diabetes. One of the few trees that renews its bark periodically.
On a spiritual and shamanic level, aids renewal and rebirth and helps to protect and strengthen one´s spirit.
Both trunk and root bark reduce fever, lower blood pressure, kill germs and aids male impotency.
Spiritually and shamanically, helps develop courage and fortitude to face the challenges of life, to become more assertive and to stand up for oneself.
There are two main types of sanango we work with, Uchu Sanango and Chiric Sanango. Uchu is a dwarf tree and a powerful master plant in its own right. It is used traditionally as a general tonic, to treat cold, rheumatism and arthritis.
Spiritually and shamanically, helps to live life with integrity, break free from negative dynamics, and have more discipline and focus.
Chiric Sanango grows widely in the High Jungle area of Peru. It can grow up to two meters and has beautiful white and purple flowers. Another powerful master plant, it is used traditionally to treat 'cold' conditions of the body, such as arthritis and bad circulation.
Spiritually this plant can also help us to become warmer people and to live more fully from the heart by overcoming our fears.