While many think of Mexico as a great place for reasonably-priced reconstructive surgical procedures, it has a rich history in the healing arts that definitely calls for more than just a glance by modern medicine. With elders living beyond the century mark and indigenous people avoiding diabetes, heart disease and high cholesterol, maybe Mexican healing should find its way into the mainstream.
There are certain herbs,yerbas when in Mexico, that are common in treating everyday problems. Manzanilla (Chamomile), Yerba Buena (Spearmint), Epazote (Pigweed) and Canela (Cinnamon) are just a few of the main herbs most Mexican households use to treat day-to-day ailments. It should be noted that Yerba Buena can be used interchangably with many types of mint plants.
Epazote is an herb with a very distinct flavor that has a smell which can be described as smelling like gasoline. The herb is used to flavor any number of dishes but is also placed in food to aid in digestion working to decrease gas. The herb has also been used as an anti-parasitic aid and for asthma and other bronchial distress.
Yerba Buena (Spearmint) is a very popular herb used to treat young and old alike. One of the first cures a baby may taste is a bit of weak Yerba Buena for colic. The herb is believed to calm stomach spasms, menstrual cramps and cool heartburn.
Manzanilla (Chamomile) is another favorite for mothers of infants because of its light herbal scent that is said to calm fussy tots with just a whiff. The flowers resemble tiny daisies and make a sweet tea that rarely requires any sweetening. Manzanilla is said to help with stomach problems and anxiety reduction.
Canela (Cinnamon) is another favorite in many parts of the world, especially Mexico. Often used as the perfect accompaniment to Chocolate, Cinnamon is a spicy treat that can actually calm a restless stomach. Usually Cinnamon is mixed with ginger and spearmint as a quite potent, and enjoyable, tea for stomach upsets like indigestion and heartburn.
While the world continues to forge into the world of phrameceuticals for every little ailment, there is much to be said and learned from the traditional healing of Mexican elders. In recent years the American markets have become flooded with many “health” products based on these traditional Mexican healing herbs. With amazing benefits and so few, if any, side effects, it seems are becoming prime solutions for these minor health annoyances.