This palm tree is spiny throughout, with pinnate leaves and edible fruits. Throughout Mexico, Central, and South America, the coyol palm's sap, flowers, fruits, and buds (called its "heart") are used for medicine. In ancient times, it was revered by people throughout Mesoamerica, particularly at the Maya site of Copan. Numerous pottery vases, incense burners, and other pieces of art depicted the coyol palm, and plant remains were found in important tombs and throughout the Copan Valley. The earliest known medicinal use of coyol palm was in Mexico's Tehuacan Valley in 4,800 BC.
WHERE IT CAN BE FOUND:
Mexico, Central America, tropical South America
PROPERTIES AND USE:
Coyol palm fruit-the meat of which is similar to that of the coconut-has a high fat content, making it an important foodstuff, especially in times of scarcity and in impoverished regions. Anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic. Remedy for bloody urine and diabetes. The flowers are used to brighten the mood. Sap, consumed fresh, is used as a diuretic.
For all conditions, place 1 tablespoon dried coyol root powder in 2 cups boiling water. Sip throughout the day.