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Healing with the Sacred Leaves in Huatulco

by Brent May

Healing with the Sacred Leaves in Huatulco


In the markets in and around Huatulco, the treasure of medicinal plants can alleviate all ailments. Huatulco has its own local markets as well as the organic market held on Saturdays in Santa Cruz. Pochutla also has a large market on Mondays with vendors visiting the town from the mountains. You can seek out one of the famous medicinal healers in Pochutla on Mondays. Putting up shop on the street behind the market, this healer listens to your issues and then provides the appropriate plants with instructions on how to prepare them.


Mexico has the largest trove of medicinal plants in the world

As you talk with your local, Mexican friends about what ails you, they will be quick to recommend their secret favorite herbs, plants and remedies. They’ll tell you just where to find the plant and how to prepare it for what ails you. You can also visit one of the local homeopathic doctors. They will also surprise you with their prescriptions of local medicinal plants. The list of healing plants is long in Mexico. As a matter of fact, the largest trove of medicinal plants in the world is found in Mexico! Truly a treasure to the rest of the world in this sense, Mexico’s medicinal plants are cherished by all who live here.

Many medicinal plants abound in Huatulco at the markets. You may even find some in your yard on on a walk. Here are a few easily found and widely used plants in Mexico. You will easily find these plants growing locally around Huatulco. However, if you visit the herbal medicine stands or healers in the markets, you will discover many more unique varieties of plants, flowers, nuts, seeds and lichens.


Hierba Santa

Hierba SantaHierba Santa (Piper auritum), or Mexican pepperleaf, can be applied on skin conditions. The hierba santa or “hoja santa” meaning “sacred leaf” is also used in disorders of the digestive system. It is said that it is a good remedy against bronchitis, cough, and to lower fever. use the leaves in tamales for a slightly bitter, minty taste.



EpazoteEpazote (Chenopodium ambrosioides) is a medicinal plant used in almost all of Mexico to treat stomach pains, cramping, and intestinal parasites. Infuse the leaves  with water or milk while fasting. Use epazote for diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, weight loss and appetite loss. The savory plant is also recommended for infertility and to increase the amount of milk in the period of lactation. Apply by crushing it with tobacco to be effective against the poisonous bite of insects and warts. As with hierba santa, you will commonly find epazote in your quesadillas, sprinkled on your chilaquiles or cooked in your beans.



RudaRuda (Ruta graveolens) has its active principles or essential oils mainly in the leaves. This medicinal plant can relieve ear pain. Used by warming up a teaspoon of edible oil, putting three drops in the ear and then placing a leaf of Ruda over the ear, the plant will alleviate your symptoms. Drink infusions of Ruda leaves to treat cases of constipation or digestive disorders.


Cola de Caballo


Cola de Caballo

Cola de Caballo” or Horsetail plant (Equisetum byemale Linnaeus) is a species that is mainly used for renal disorders, urinary tract and kidney inflammation. The treatment consists of boiling the plant with the doradilla and the silks with orange blossom flowers and bananas. It is a good remedy for ulcers, gastritis, vomiting and stomach pain.



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