Costa Rican Natural Remedies
For time immemorial the healing science of botanical herbalism has been widely practiced by indigenous tribes across all of the Americas. In Costa Rica the native Bribri people continue to practice techniques that blend spiritual and herbal healing.
Like many cultures who have remained attuned to the ways of nature it is their belief that sickness and illness is a bi-product of an imbalance with ones relationship to the natural world. The remedy for such ailments, and the key to restoring balance is the ingestion and application of specific roots, herbs, and plants. In addition to the treatment of illness, natural remedies and medicinal plants are believed to increase physical energy and increase a person’s overall quality of life. Regular doses of simple herbal infusions helps to strengthen the immune system and fortify the body against the threat of future disease.
Many modern pharmaceutical cures are derived from ancient knowledge regarding natural plant remedies. In fact, plant sources account for over fifty percent of the world’s modern cancer treatments. And one of the leading locations for the study of plant based cures is right here in Costa Rica. Costa Rican rain forests contain a huge abundance of medicine producing plants that traditional healers consider vital to their craft. They also act as an invaluable source of medical aid for less wealthy urban residents of the country. It’s not uncommon to find these plants growing in back yards, on the side of the road, even in ones own garden.
Furthermore, modern science has identified over 270 different species of medicinal plant in Costa Rica. And many of these plants are to residents of Nicoya, specifically Nosara, remedies used on a daily basis to promote health, happiness and longevity.
Some of the more commonly used herbal remedies:
Anti-Inflammatory: Tumeric, ginger.
Anemia: Brazilian: /chaney (chainy) root, cherry seeds.
Burns: Papaya and aloe vera.
Cough & Sore Throat: Spilanthes extract, lemongrass, honey, mango, oregano.
Dehydration: Coconut water.
Diuretic: Papaya, boldo, dandelion, cinnamon.
Fungal Infections: Cotton oil, cherry sap.
Heartburn: Aloe vera.
High blood pressure: Noni – This extremely popular healing fruit dense in vitamins and minerals.
High Cholesterol: Noni.
Laxative: Senna – A large plant, the flowers of which are used in herbal tea as a laxative agent.
Immune deficiency: spilanthes extract – Also called the toothache plant, paracress, and Sechuan button.
Indigestion: Papaya and ginger.
Itch Relief: Sorosi vine, impatiens flower buds.
Stomach ulcers: Turpentine tree, copperwood, chaca, gumbo-limbo ranging from the southern United States into southern Brazil.
Stomach Upset & Diarrhea: Noni, bitter orange, bushy matgrass, lemon balm, chamomile, peppermint, boldo, cinnamon.
One to learn more about Costa Rica’s culture and traditions? Check out some Folktales of the Nicoya Peninsula