Peru has a bounteous variety of medicinal plants. Thanks to their natural abilities, many lesions, internal illnesses and external wounds can be healed.
Not many families have anymore a garden with a complete selection of medicinal herbs. They just have a few, such as yerba buena, or mint. We call it hierba buena. It is the most common in people’s gardens since it reproduces in great quantity and is very good for alleviating stomach colics and menstrual cramps.
In our markets, vendors have already prepared combinations of herbs for whatever problem you might have. They sell them in small bags in which the medicine is concentrated from a series of herbs, It is ready to be taken or applied.
There are also plants that are mixed to make poultices and pastes for massages. The massage pastes are composed of a few herbs prepared with alcohol.
In order to prepare a poultice, however, you must first know what is it that hurts, what kind of pain is it. Do you have a stretched nerve (estirón de nervio) or maybe you suffered a blow to the head.
If it is the sprain, the estirón, then you should make or get a base made from rue, marco, maicha, and ch’iri ch’iri. You add these plants to rubbing alcohol in a bottle. Then you wait for them to macerate in the alcohol and give up their medicinal qualities to it, including their color. After a day, the maceration is ready and you can apply it.
Sheep’s lungs are a medicine that can take away swelling and headaches. you can get these lungs in the market. To prepare them you first cut the lungs in half and to this you add well ground orange, It is now ready for you to put it on your head or in the place where you hurt the most. you can sleep with it on or spend the whole day resting with it. Little by little it will take away the swelling and your pain will diminish, especially if you use this every day.
These are just some of the many medicinal treatments that are found in the city of Cuzco. Older people are the ones who possess the broadest knowledge of natural medicine. That is because they lived and were cured with the plants and herbs that we have in our city.