Took a rather long walk to the medicinal herb class today taught by a very knowledgeable Ecuadorian cook/alchemist/herbalist. It ran about 2 hours and was the first of 7 classes … got a ton of information to “process” as Boulderites used to say. I’m not sure where to start describing it either. Class opened with her burning some Palo Santo, a wood they use for much the same purposes as burning sage in North America. Then a short prayer to the plants, thanking them for the many ways they help and instruct us.
She made a pretty impressive “pan” balm as she was talking, extremely good for a variety of skin conditions. I took an intensive years ago in Boulder with a western herbalist and her balms usually consisted of one or two herbs, this one had everything and the kitchen sink.
We went through about 8 plants and some amazing properties they had for healing, their cultural history in Ecuador and how to use various parts of them, etc. which she’d go over in more detail in subsequent classes.
Avocado, for instance
The peel can be used for parasites. Peel one avocado, soak the peel in 4 cups of water overnight. Drink the next day. Do this for 5 days. The leaves of an avocado are used for treating headaches, just crush a wad of them and apply to your forehead. You can also make a poultice and put on the chest for bronchial relief.
We also got a couple of these to take back home and try:
Miko gave me one to try and they are killer astringent, had to drink about a quart of water to keep my throat from sticking together like velcro. I had one left and gave it to the housekeepers as they were leaving. It’s a native plant here, but they had never seen it. They were going to eat it later. I’m glad I won’t be around when they are cussing me out. Of course, they won’t be cussing very loud, I couldn’t even talk. It’s called Sacha Inchi and makes an oil that’s very healthy to cook with, rich in omegas and a good snack when roasted (which takes out the bitterness). You may be able to find them at whole foods,
Anyway, tomorrow we head out again, it’s about a 1 hour walk there, so we also get our exercise of the day and learn a ton more.