10 Incredible Medicinal Plants Found in the Peruvian Amazon

“In the forest, we have a pharmacy,” says Hemiterio Quispe Hidalgo, gesturing to the wealth around him enthusiastically. 
“We need to protect it.”

Hemiterio—an employee at Refugio Amazonas, a Rainforest Alliance Verified™ lodge in the Madre de Dios region of Peru—has just finished leading a guided walk through his hotel’s medicinal forest. Now, take a virtual walk with him and discover 10 medicinal* plants found in the hotel’s forest garden:
  1. Cordoncillo is a plant with anesthetic properties. We chewed its leaves and discovered that our tongues were numb for nearly 30 minutes.
  2. Shapumvilla is said to have coagulant properties and is used to stop bleeding.
  3. The root of the wasai tree is good for the kidneys. They are ground up and prescribed as a diuretic.
  4. Pusangade venado is thought to bring good luck to hunters. Its leaves are also used as camouflage.
  5. The bark of the tawari tree is used to treat infection, cancer, tumors and inflammation.
  6. The aromatic sodo plant is thought to help cure addiction, including alcoholism.
  7. Locals believe that pusangade motelo has a calming effect on individuals suffering from anxiety.
  8. A walk through the forest can leave you with a number of mosquito bites—the cordoncillo plant will take the redness away and reduce inflammation.
  9. Cola de raton (in English, “rat’s tail”) is said to help with digestion. Hemetrio said that it “works quickly,” warning that anyone who takes the tonic should remain very close to a bathroom.
  10. Women with ovarian cysts might consider taking canelilla. It is also used to increase the likelihood of pregnancy.
*This is only a list of plants found in the Peruvian Amazon and thought to have medicinal properties. It should not be confused with medical advice.

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