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60 medicinal plants of Peru and what they are for

Did you know that in Peru there are a large number of plants used in medicine? At AgroCorrn we consider that it is important to get to know the different medicinal plants around the world to know what benefits they can bring us if taken properly, both to improve specific health problems and to strengthen general health, feel better and avoid some conditions.

If you are interested in knowing what is in Peruvian medicinal herbalism, keep reading this interesting article about 60 medicinal plants of Peru and what some of them are for.

List of medicinal plants of Peru – common and scientific names

What are the Peruvian medicinal plants? It is true that today in this country there are a large number of plants that are used for medicinal purposes and that not all are native to Peru, but are currently used both from the place itself, as some that were introduced a long time ago and are currently cultivated in the region, as regularly imported from other parts of the world.

Here we leave you a list of medicinal plants of Peru , both native, including medicinal plants of the Peruvian Amazon , and widely used in this place even if they are not native.

  • Cat’s claw ( Uncaria tomentosa )
  • Retama ( Retama )
  • Achiote ( Bixa Orellana )
  • Sacha inchi or jíbaro peanut ( Plukenetia volubilis )
  • Hercampuri ( Gentianella nitida and Gentianella alborosea )
  • Cocona ( Solanium sessiliflorum )
  • Black pine nut ( Jatropha gossypifolia L. )
  • White pine nut or tempate pine nut ( Jatropha curcas )
  • Cashew, cashew or cashew ( Anacardium occidentale )
  • Caigua ( Cyclanthera pedata )
  • Chancapiedra ( Phyllanthus niruri )
  • Graviola or soursop ( Annona muricata )
  • Maca ( Lepidium peruvianum and Lepidium meyenii )
  • Grade blood ( Croton lechleri )
  • Yacon ( Smallanthus sonchifolius )
  • Valerian ( Valeriana officinalis )
  • Purslane ( Portulaca oleracea )
  • Verbena ( Verbena officinalis )
  • Ungurahui ( Oenocarpus bataua )
  • Tahuari or pau d’Arco ( Handroanthus serratifolius )
  • Tamamuri ( Brosimum acutifolium )
  • Ayrampú or sea buckthorn ( Hippophae rhamnoides )
  • Caspi lizard ( Calophyllum brasiliense )
  • Camu camu ( Myrciaria dubia )
  • Amasisa ( Erythrina )
  • Rose armhole ( Tagetes erecta L. )
  • Ayahuasca or yagé ( Banisteriopsis caapi )
  • Clavo huasca ( Mandevilla scabra )
  • Paico or epazote ( Dysphania ambrosioides )
  • Cow tit ( Solanum mammosum )
  • Toé ( Brugmansia suaveolens )
  • Muña ( Minthostachys mollis )
  • Hiporuro ( Alchornea castaneifolia )
  • Abuta (genus Abuta )
  • Ñucño pichana ( Scoparia dulcis L. )
  • Copaiba ( Copaifera langsdorffii )
  • Sacha garlic ( Mansoa alliacea )
  • Sacha cilantro or bighorn coriander ( Eryngium foetidum )
  • Sacha mango ( Grias neuberthii )
  • Mullaca pouch ( Physalis angulata )
  • Plantain ( Plantago major)
  • Malva (genus Malva )
  • Ojé ( Ficus insipida )
  • Cocoa ( Theobroma cacao )
  • Cedar ( Cedrus )
  • Ubos o joo ( Spondias mombin )
  • Wild cane ( Arundo donax )
  • Guayusa ( Ilex guayusa )
  • Capirona (genus Capirona )
  • Chambira ( Astrocaryum chambira )
  • Chiric sandano ( Brunfelsia bonodora )
  • Stew or turmeric ( Curcuma longa )
  • Huacapu ( Minquartia guianensis Aubl. )
  • Holy grass ( Piper auritum )
  • Basil Pichana ( Ocimum micranthum )
  • Chuchuhuasi ( Maytenus laevis )
  • Pampas oregano ( Lippia alba )
  • Pandisho ( Artocarpus altilis )
  • Papailla ( Momordica charatia L. )
  • Yahuar piri piri ( Eleutherine bulbous )

Next, we will see the properties and benefits of some of the plants of Peruvian herbal medicine .

Cat’s claw: medicinal plant native to Peru

Entras las plantas medicinales peruanas y conocidas en todo el mundo destaca la planta uña de gato o Uncaria tomentosa. Suele tomarse en decocción, tintura cápsulas, perlas, comprimidos y polvo, tanto de su corteza como de sus hojas y flores. Contiene alcaloides como la hirsutina, la rincofilina, la mitrafilina, también taninos y heterósidos. Gracias a esta composición, estas son las propiedades, los beneficios y los usos de la uña de gato.

Propiedades de la planta uña de gato

  • Antiinflamatoria
  • Antioxidante
  • Inmunoestimulante
  • Antiviral

Beneficios y usos de la uña de gato

  • Gracias al elevado contenido el alcaloides, vitaminas, taninos y ácidos tiene fuertes propiedades inmunoestimulantes y antioxidantes, por lo cual se utiliza para mejorar las defensas o inmunidad, tanto para prevenir infecciones como para tratarlas, y también para ayudar a reducir tumores cancerígenos.
  • Por estas mismas propiedades y por ser especialmente potente contra virus, acelerando su ciclo hasta eliminarlos o bien evitando que entren y afecten al organismo, se utiliza para tratar y prevenir los virus. Se usa para ayudar a tratar la gripe, los herpes e, incluso, como complemento en el tratamiento contra los síntomas del SIDA.
  • Due to its high antioxidant content, its powerful anti-inflammatory effect and its ability to stimulate immunity, it is also used to relieve the pain of osteoarthritis , rheumatoid arthritis, allergies, gastritis and gastric ulcers. If in your case you suffer from osteoarthritis, we recommend this other AgroCorrn article on The best medicinal plants for osteoarthritis .

Medicinal properties of epazote or paico

The medicinal plant Dysphania ambrosioides or Teloxys ambrosioides has more common names, in addition to paico or epazote. Some of the best known in America are:

  • Skunk epazote
  • Purple epazote
  • White epazote
  • Green epazote
  • Smelly herb
  • Chimi
  • Alskini
  • Tijson
  • Yepazotli
  • Kuatsitasi

To take epazote or paico as one of the medicinal plants of Peru, it is prepared in tea or infusion of its root, its branches and its leaves or various parts of the plant are crushed. It should be noted that its consumption is not recommended to pregnant or lactating women. The properties and medicinal uses of epazote are as follows:

Properties of epazote as a medicinal plant

  • Antiseptic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Painkiller
  • Antispasmodic
  • Pain relieving
  • Digestive
  • Antiemetic
  • Carminative
  • Emenagogue
  • Vermifuge
  • Diuretic
  • Hepatoprotective
  • Antifungal

Medicinal uses of epazote or paico

  • Muscle pains
  • Stomach aches
  • Diarrhea
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Vomiting
  • Scanty or retained menstruation
  • Premenstrual discomfort
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Yeast infections
  • Inflammation of the skin
  • Ovarian inflammation
  • Swollen prostate

Maca: medicinal properties

One of the best known Peruvian medicinal plants in the world is maca or Lepidium meyenii or Lepidium peruvianum . It is a native plant of the Peruvian Andes, which is why it is also known as Andean maca or Peruvian maca and, in addition, it has other common names such as maino, maca-maca, ayak willku, ayak and chichira.

Its root is usually used to benefit from its properties and its active principles are: alkaloids, amino acids, fatty acids, ascorbic acid or vitamin C, vitamins of group B, saponins, riboflavin, thiamine, terpenoids, sterols, tannins and mineral salts (phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron, potassium and sodium). If you want to know more about them, pay attention to the medicinal properties of maca and its benefits .

Maca properties

  • Antianemic
  • Remineralizing
  • Emenagogue
  • Stimulating
  • Energetic or tonic
  • Aphrodisiac
  • Antiviral
  • Antibacterial
  • Antiseptic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Sacainte
  • Antiallergic
  • Vasodilator
  • Antithrombotic
  • Antioxidant
  • Antimutagenic
  • Antineoplastic

Maca benefits and medicinal uses

  • It is used as an energizer and to prevent or treat anemia due to its high content of iron, protein and various vitamins.
  • It provides energy by containing carbohydrates and proteins, but it does not produce hypertension, which is why it is used both to have more energy during the day, as well as to avoid fatigue and stress, thanks to its antioxidant vitamin content.
  • It is used as a natural alternative to artificial anabolics, as it helps increase muscle mass.
  • It is widely used as an aphrodisiac and to stimulate libido (in both women and men) and this property is due to the fact that it contains methoxybenzyl isothiocyanate.
  • It increases fertility, so it is taken in case of problems to conceive, especially in cases in which there is sterility caused by a deficiency of some nutrients such as vitamin B12, some amino acids and zinc.
  • Maca is used to reduce the annoying symptoms of menopause because it contains steroids and glucosinolates, which act as hormonal regulators.
  • It is high in calcium and boron, which is why it is used to reduce the progression of osteoporosis and prevent it from appearing prematurely.
  • It is taken as a supplement to facilitate treatment against some types of cancer.

Purslane, one of the most used Peruvian medicinal plants

This plant is known throughout the world and is one of the most used medicinal plants in Peru . Its scientific name is Portulaca oleracea L. and it contains vitamins A, B and C, saponins, omega 3 fatty acids, mucilage, mineral salts and calcium oxalate. It is usually taken as an infusion and extract, as well as eaten fresh. Take note of the properties, benefits and medicinal uses of purslane:

Medicinal properties of purslane

  • Diuretic
  • Purifying
  • Laxative
  • Vermifuge
  • Digestive
  • Hypoglycemic
  • Demulcent
  • Anaphrodisiac
  • Hepatoprotective
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Painkiller
  • Febrifuge
  • Antibacterial
  • Antifungal
  • Antioxidant
  • Vasoconstrictor
  • Antihemorrhagic
  • Pain relieving
  • Bronchodilator
  • Mild muscle relaxant.

Purslane: benefits and medicinal uses

  • It is a powerful natural vermifuge, which is why it is used to eliminate worms and other intestinal parasites.
  • Due to its diuretic properties, this plant is good for purifying the body, eliminating retained fluids and stimulating urination in those who have difficulties with it.
  • It is consumed to help protect the liver, which is why it is taken both to prevent liver problems and to help treat them.
  • Topically, this plant is used to improve dermatitis, dermatosis and accelerate the healing of burns.
  • Thanks to its hypoglycemic properties, it is used to treat diabetes, so if medical treatment of insulin injections is already used, it should not be combined (you should always consult your doctor first).
  • It is used to lower the tenths of fever.
  • For its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, purslane is also used to relieve migraines.
  • It is a good remedy to treat constipation.
  • It is also used as an aid to eliminate kidney stones, when they are not calcium.
  • Due to its anti-inflammatory effect and other of its properties, it can be used to reduce inflammation of the gums and stomach.
  • Being a good plant as a bronchodilator, it is used to improve problems such as asthma and bronchitis.

If you want to learn more about purslane, its properties and what it is for , we suggest this other post and also watch this video about purslane.

Valerian, what is it for?

We continue with the list of medicinal plants of Peru and we stop to talk about the famous valerian, one of the most used. It contains active principles such as essential oil with valerate, camphene, pinene, limonene, valeranone, valepotriates, bornyl acetate, valerianic and formic acids and alkaloids. Valerian or Valeriana officinalis L. is taken as a decoction or infusion, (maximum of 3 cups daily), powders, tincture, fluid extract, pills and essential oil. These are the medicinal properties of valerian, its benefits and uses:

Medicinal properties of valerian

  • Sedative
  • Muscle relaxant
  • Hypnotic
  • Hypotensive
  • Painkiller
  • Antispasmodic

Uses and benefits of valerian

  • One of its most widespread benefits and uses is that of a natural sedative and tranquilizer for cases of high stress, anxiety, insomnia, nervous irritability and migraines.
  • When the aforementioned problems are accompanied by muscle contractures, this remedy is also effective to reduce them, since in addition to being a sedative, it is a natural muscle relaxant.
  • Due to these properties and because it is hypotensive, this plant is used as a treatment for high blood pressure and tachycardia (as long as no medication is taken for it).
  • Being hypnotic, relaxing and sedating, it is used for mild epileptic episodes and seizures.
  • In addition, it is not only used for muscle contractures, but because it is a muscle relaxant and analgesic, it is also prescribed for low back pain, sprains, muscle strains and premenstrual and menstrual pain.

Achiote, one of the best-known medicinal plants of Peru

The achiote or Bixa orellana is well known, especially in Latin America, and has other common names such as:

  • Achihuite
  • Achote
  • Acosi
  • Aisiri
  • Apijirí
  • Deetane
  • Huantura
  • lpak
  • lpiácu
  • Kachapo
  • Masce
  • Maxe
  • Potsote
  • Rucu
  • Shambre
  • Shambu
  • Sacha achote
  • Shambu huayo
  • Shambu quiro
  • Urcu
  • Urucú
  • Urucum
  • Urucuzeiro
  • Urcu achiote
  • Yetsop
  • Mashú
  • Potsoti
  • Tie
  • Mashe
  • Joshin mashe
  • Koeswe
  • Kuswé

This medicinal plant has a pulp of a very characteristic intense red or orange color. This pulp and its leaves are used in natural medicine because they have very interesting medicinal properties. Achiote has the active principles: flavonoids, carotenoids, vitamins of the complex B, A and C, leutein, pectin, norbixin and apigenin glucoside.

Achiote properties for health

  • Expectorant
  • Cardiotonic
  • Stomach tonic
  • Digestive
  • Diuretic
  • Purifying
  • Mild sedative
  • Hypotensive
  • Muscle relaxant
  • Hepatoprotective
  • Healing
  • Antiseptic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Mild febrifuge

Achiote: benefits and medicinal uses

  • Conjunctivitis
  • Sore throat
  • Asthma
  • Tonsillitis
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Heavy digestions
  • Kidney pain
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Hemorrhage
  • Wounds and scars
  • Helps in treating malaria
  • Insomnia
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Hypertension
  • Muscle contractures
  • Accumulation of toxins
  • Fluid retention
  • Fat accumulation
  • Liver problems
  • Tenths of fever
  • Inflammations of the skin
  • Minor burns

Turmeric, stew or toothpick

With the scientific name Curcuma longa L. , these is another of the most used medicinal plants in Peru . Turmeric is known by other names, such as:

  • Stew
  • Toothpick
  • Bighorn saffron
  • Saffron from India
  • Ginger amarelo
  • Mandiwinshi
  • Hawahawa
  • Porenki
  • Pwalojir-pagi
  • Crown

Among its main components it has curcumin, curcumoids, resins and essential oil with zingiberene and tumerone. Its root or rhizome can be consumed fresh or in powder, tincture, decoction or infusion and fluid extract. Take note of the properties, benefits and medicinal uses of turmeric:

Medicinal properties of turmeric

  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Choleretic
  • Hepatoprotective
  • Lipid-lowering
  • Antispasmodic
  • Antiseptic
  • Antibiotic or bactericidal
  • Healing

Turmeric: benefits and medicinal uses

  • Helps cure hepatitis
  • Stimulates the elimination of gallstones
  • Diarrhea
  • Flatulence
  • Gastrointestinal spasms
  • Belly aches
  • Intestinal inflammations
  • Difficult digestions
  • Helps prevent premature aging
  • Arteriosclerosis
  • Activates circulation
  • Thromboembolism
  • Muscle pains
  • Tendinitis
  • Sprains
  • Rheumatic pain
  • Arthritic pain
  • Low back pain
  • Sciatica
  • Helps take care of eyesight
  • Psoriasis
  • Mushrooms
  • Eczema
  • Improves breast milk production

If you have liked knowing all these medicinal plants of Peru and what they are for , we suggest that you learn about these 50 Mexican medicinal plants and what they are for .

Maria Anderson

Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

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