This shrub grows to 5 feet tall, and has bright-yellow flowers clustered at the tips of the stems, usually with thorns. It is important as a foodstuff, as the leaves are rich in calcium, iron, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and ascorbic acid. Chipilm gives tamale dough its color and characteristic flavor. It is also used in traditional corn soup recipes in Honduras. Despite its popularity south of the border, Chipilm is considered a noxious weed in Hawaii.
WHERE IT CAN BE FOUND:
Mexico, Central America, Hawaii
PROPERTIES AND USE:
Nervine, suppurative. Used to treat anemia, pus-filled sores. Seeds and roots are toxic.
For nerves, 1 tablespoon leaves steeped in 1 cup boiling water. Cover, and let stand for 5 to 8 minutes. Strain and drink with honey.