This slender shrub has many branches and grows to 10 feet tall. Its branches and leaves are shiny, and its flowers are white or light green with spikes up to 3 inches long. It is widely available in Guatemala and Honduras, where it can be found growing in forests, in old fields, and on roadsides.
WHERE IT CAN BE FOUND:
Mexico, Central America
PROPERTIES AND USE:
Antivenomous, anti-inflammatory, sedative, emmenagogue, and used to treat skin conditions, fatigue, insomnia, toothache, headache, constipation, rheumatism, sore muscles, arthritis, cramping
For sore muscles, rheumatism, arthritis, cramping, and delayed menstruation or menstrual cramps, boil two large handfuls of fresh leaves in 1 gallon water for 15 to 20 minutes. Cool, and then use as a bath in which the person sits for at least 20 minutes. For toothaches, mash a bit of the root and place on or in the tooth. For snakebites, boil for 10 minutes in 3 cups water a piece of the root equal to the victim's arm. Administer while transporting to a hospital or healer. For headache, constipation, and as a sedative, macerate the leaves and drink.