For a list of interesting medicinal plants, look at the list complied by Dr. Mary O'Connell's students, many of whom are featured in Ancient Roots, Modern Medicine. http://medplant.nmsu.edu/plantindex.htm
Plants as discussed by Dr. San Juana Mendosa include the Mesquite, Creosote and Brickellia.
Dr. Mendosa claims that Mexicans have always recognized the usefulness of the Mesquite plant.
In addition to its medicinal qualities, it is nutritionally rich in C and B Vitamins. It has protein
and important amino acids. In addition, it also has a high content of glucose or sugar
and has always been used as a food source during times of starvation.
View video of Dr. Mendoza talkng about the Mesquite palnt
The Creosote bush has been used for centuries in the Southwest to cure fever, influenza,
colds, upset stomach, gout, arthritis, sinusitis, anemia, and fungus infections. It
acts as an antimicrobial agent and therefore is often used in first aid.
View video of Dr. Mendoza talking about the Creosote bush
Dr. Mendosa says that Mexicans value it for its antiseptic qualities. People often boil the plant in water and then use the "medicinal tea" on open wounds or cuts. They find that it promotes healing and helps with disinfection. It is often made into a salve for skin problems.
Creosote is often used daily for everything from diaper rash to stinky feet! Women often use the "tea" as a vaginal cleaner or to treat fungal and bacterial infections. Ranchers use it to keep flies away especially when they butcher animals.
This plant is also called prodigiosa or jamula. It grows about one or two meters high in the
wild areas of the Southwest borderlands. Dr. Mendoza says "It is very efficient in
lowering blood sugar levels and people can easily grow it themselves in pots in
their homes and drink the herb fresh. It's good to make
a little tea, and drink it two or three times a day."
View video of Dr. Mendoza talk about the uses of the Brickellia plant
Three NMSU PlantsThree plants from the Chihuahuan desert have shown positive anticancer results in initial testing at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute in Seattle. They are jimson weed, bear berry and wild mustard. These plants were gathered by New Mexico State University students. Further research continues with these species at the institute to see if they can be developed into modern drugs.