The 2015 Great NEWS posts enjoy sharing Healthy Habits to better support our happiness, health and harmony. Today’s post is an overview of Maya Medicine learned since my first trip to Belize in early 2011. This valuable information will provide a cornerstone for our eco community and holistic health center. My outcome is to introduce some common forms of Maya Medicine. The plans for the eco community include creating organic food forests and permaculture gardens surrounding a wellness and yoga center to educate eco tourists and visitors. We will share the benefits and wisdom of eating local organic flowers, fruits, herbs, plants, roots and wild foods. Unfortunately very few people are familiar with the use of medicinal foods, herbs and plants for health, longevity and disease prevention. This post will share Maya Medicine discoveries in Belize.
This will be a short blog because of the time commitment for several trips to Belize for clearing brush and planting during the rainy season. After seeing a lot of buzz about Belize and the 2012 Mayan prophecies it was inevitable to travel to Belize and see for myself what the buzz was all about. In early 2011 a trip was booked to tour an eco community called Sanctuary Belize being designed and developed by Eco Futures of California. Within one week I toured a significant portion of the country and was hooked on buying land in Belize.
While the trip was quite an adventure and the tour was very informative it was the unique combination of rainforests, reefs, rivers, ruins and rustic lifestyles that grabbed my attention. Seeing people live in thatched roof wooden houses working their farms and gardens brought out the wanna be organic farmer in me. It is interesting to learn sustainability skills from people still connected to the earth and growing a large percentage of their own foods.
Being eager to ask questions as well as eat the local cuisine quickly endeared me to the Belizean locals. Rather than being interested in burgers, pasta and pizza my goal was to try as many local dishes and foods as possible. The various ethnic Chinese, Creole, Garifuna, Indian, Mayan and Spanish influence offer a potpourri of delicious smells and tastes to tantalise your taste buds.
When they shared the numerous health benefits of the foods, herbs and spices it laid the foundation for many magic moments and learning about Mayan Medicine. While there is a lot of different foods and health benefits to write about this post will focus more on the background of the Mayan foods and benefits of Mayan Medicine.
Belize has many people of Maya descent that still grow most of their own foods and work the land like their ancestors. The tropical climate allows a wide variety of plants to grow year round as well as many seasonal foods.
Here is a partial list of some of the most common foods and plants in Belize grown and used for their numerous health benefits:
- Aloe vera is used externally and internally.
- Cactus can be used externally and internally. It is known to help control blood sugar.
- Citrus fruits provide lots of flavor as well as minerals and vitamins.
- Guyabano/Soursop fruit are consumed for health and the leaves have benefits when used as teas.
- Habanero peppers provide flavor to foods and are also good to help rid the body of parasites while stimulating the immune system.
- Hibiscus flowers make a great tea.
- Jackass Bitters make a bitter tea that has numerous benefits for improving the immune function and resiliency.
- Lemon Grass adds great flavor and the essential oil has numerous medicinal benefits.
- Mayan Ginger is used in cooking, teas and tinctures.
- Moringa is not native to Belize but has garnered quite a following of health seekers. It is high in plant protein and loaded with nutrients. It is both food and medicine.
- Neem was also imported by the immigrants from India that traveled with the British and provides many health applications for gums and skin.
- Papaya fruit has beneficial enzymes and the seeds are used for medicinal purposes. They help rid the body of parasites and papaya seed tea is used to help release excess weight.
- Wild Yam are especially beneficial for women.
The Healthy Habits 2015 series is dedicated to sharing some simple steps to help improve our happiness, harmony and health. This post shared some healthy flavors, foods and fruits handed down as Mayan Medicine from Belize. The healthy foods, herbs and spices make Belize a real culinary cuisine curiosity.
What is your current Gap?
Have you tried Belize cuisine or Maya Medicine before? How well do you understand the wealth of information the Mayan culture was able to amass? Could eating Mayan plants provide you with similar Mayam Medicine benefits?
Mastery Action Plan (MAP)
For a great book on the Mayan Medicine plants check out the book Rainforest Remedies: 100 Healing Herbs of Belize by Rosita Arvigo N.D.
Call to Action
What comments, commitments or concerns come to mind regarding Mayan Medicine from Belize? What other ideas and inspiration will help motivate you to plan a trip to Belize soon? Even if you never make it to Belize what can you do to make your beliefs and life better and more eco friendly?
Next week the Great NEWS blog will share:
Maya Medicine (Part II)
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