Here are 15 you may come across (though there are thousands more) so that you may impress fellow cruisers with your knowledge.
The Achiote plant’s spiky, red fruit and seeds have long been used by Amazonian indigenous groups for ritual body painting, sunscreen, insect repellent and more. The leaves are also boiled to treat fevers or heal wounds.
Ayahuasca has been administered as a tribal pick-me-up for many thousands of years. Recent scientific research suggests that it has the potential to reduce depression, anxiety and minor psychiatric symptoms.
Cat’s claw attaches itself around tree trunks with tiny green thorns — hence its name. Amazonian people use its roots to cure everything from rheumatism and toothaches to cuts and bruises.
Cola de raton
Cola de raton (Rat’s tail) is the unlikely name of a plant used to help relieve indigestion. It is said to give relief to abdominal bloating, wind, acid reflux, diarrhoea and bronchitis. The root is also crushed and applied as a poultice to burns, bruises and smelly feet.
Cordoncillo is an anaesthetic. By chewing on the leaves, your mouth goes numb. Rub it on a wound for the same effect. The plant has a variety of other traditional uses, including disinfecting wounds, treating respiratory illnesses, stopping haemorrhages and treating gallstones.