This woody, climbing vine grows to 20 inches long, with leaves in the shape of a cow's hoof and bright yellow flowers. In Central America, it can be found in forests and alongside the road.
WHERE IT CAN BE FOUND:
Yucatan Peninsula, Central America, Northwest South America
PROPERTIES AND USE:
Astringent, antihemorrhagic, and used to treat dysentery, headache, and internal wounds
For hemorrhaging, boil a 1-inch by 9-inch section of vine in 1 quart water for 10 minutes. Allow to cool. Drink throughout the day. For internal bleeding, drink sip two glasses of the same decoction in a 30-minute timeframe. For headaches, mash the leaves, and apply directly to the head. In the Maya lands, it is still in some parts used as a natural birth control, as it was in ancient times. According to Rosita Arvigo, one handful of the vine is boiled in 3 cups water for 10 minutes. A cup of this tea is consumed before each meal during menstruation. It is said that this dose is effective for up to six months. Drinking it during nine menstrual cycles will result in irreversible infertility.