Medicinal plants of Peru
The most important Peruvian medicinal plants
Reduce cholesterol level
Caigua is an annual grass whose stem can reach up to 5 m (16 ft). The fruit is a bay that looks like bell-pepper with an irregular surface and tender spines. Its color varies from white to dark green, the interior is hollow. Caigua grows up to 2.100 m (7.000 ft) above sea level.
Caigua helps to reduce considerably the LDL cholesterol (the bad one) and also to increase the HDL cholesterol (the good one).
Treat kidney stones
It is an herbaceous plant measuring between 30 and 60 cm (12 - 25 in) in high.
Chancapiedra has diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties, used in treatment of kidney stones and gallstones.
Also known as guanábana, graviola leaves contain "acetogenins" that inhibit the growth of cancer cells and tumors, studies from Purdue University in California (USA).
It is a grass measuring 5 cm (2 in), native to the high Andes of Peru growing between 3,500 and 4,300 meters (11,500 and 14,000 ft) above sea level.
Hercampuri is an important regulator of fat metabolism, used for weight reduction in the treatment of exogenous obesity.
It purifies the blood and cleanses the liver thanks to its great quantity of bitter substances. Hercampuri contributes to low LDL cholesterol in blood.
Lepidium Meyenii Peruvianum
Energetic and anti-stress
Also known as Peruvian ginseng, it is a root native to the high Andes of Peru, around lake Junin (central Andes), between 3.800 and 4.500 m (12,000 - 15,000 ft) above sea level.
This plant is used as food supplement with a huge list of health benefits:
Its high content of protein combined with iron and vitamins, make maca a potent source of energy.
It is rich in vitamin B complex, especially vitamin B12, which helps the nervous system and helps fight fatigue and stress.
Its anti-asthenic properties of anabolisant type, have led the body-builders to use maca successfully as a natural alternative to anabolic steroid.
Maca is recommended to boost libido for both men and women and to combat infertility which is due to nutritional deficiencies, including shortage in zinc, vitamin B12 and amino acids.
Its aphrodisiac properties are due to its content of methoxybenzyl isothiocyanate.
Maca is used in cases of osteoporosis, thanks to its high calcium content and also boron that facilitates calcium absorption.
Thanks to steroids and aromatic glucosinolates (hormonal regulators), maca is considered as an important food to combat the effects of menopause.
This plant allows an increase in 50% of the production of Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) known as the fountain of youth hormone that normally decreases with age.
Maca contains high concentrations of omega 3, 6 and 9C.
Sangre de grado
It is a tree of the Amazon rainforest measuring up to 20 m (65 ft) in height.
The red resin is used to heal wounds. The sap dries quickly and forms a barrier, like a second skin, protecting lesions against infection.
Sangre de grado diluted with water is taken to treat ulcers.
Anti-inflamatorio – anti cancerígeno
"Uña de gato" is a liana found in the Amazon rainforest deriving its name from hook-like thorns that resemble the claws of a cat.
In 1994, WHO officially recognized cat's claw as a medicinal plant. Numerous studies worldwide have demonstrated that "oxindole alkaloids" contained in the bark and leaves have anti-inflammatory properties, strengthens the immune system and are used in additional treatment of cancer, AIDS, tumors and leukemia.
Helps lower cholesterol
Tuberous root native to Peruvian Andes resembling an elongated potato with almost black shell, sweet-tasting eaten as a fruit.
Yacon contains fructooligosaccharides (FOS), low calorie sugars recognized as dietary fiber and prebiotic (non-digestible food that favorably affects in health).
These FOS are able to reduce cholesterol and triglycerides levels in the blood, reduce the risk of colon cancer, relieve constipation, stimulate the immune system and reduce the glycemic load in type 2 diabetes.