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plants in Peru

Posted by
Miguel Flores
( on
Tue, Aug 29, 00 at 23:28

Dear friends,
Let me give you some special information.
I think you won't find what follows anywhere else.

Native crops in Per are both nutritional and pharmaceutical ( they serve as food as well as medicine ). They are used to prevent illnesses and to give people higher immunological levels. This basic concept will be present in the form we introduce each and all of our native products.

We have native aromatic plants that allow us to fix our food without using fats. This brings forth the natural flavours and tastes of our food. This happens, for example, with our PACHAMANCA.

A fundamental characteristic of Per are its ecological levels or floors that define a wide variety of micro climates. This provides in its turn a great diversity of natural resources, be them plants or animals. As a result of this geographical distribution we have been blessed with the existing combination of nutritional and pharmaceutical values we locally know. Without exaggeration, these values are amongst the highest on the planet. This implies that the gastronomy we are developing in Per can be proud of itself beyond good taste and looks. Besides that, its special value lies in its nutritional significance to enhance ones health if properly administered.

Man, in times of the Tahuantinsuyo ( the Incan empire ), with an extraordinary systemic vision, transformed all the elements of his surrounding nature ( or pacha in quichua, our most important native language). They transformed surfaces, atmosphere, landscapes, water, plants and animals, handling them to make them useful for their every day life. Many spatial forms, artifacts and goods were created : cities, roads, irrigation canals, fortresses, agricultural platforms down the sides of the mountains. Everything was named and classified, organizing space in a very particular way.

These people, the hatunruna, created various types of agriculture in accordance with altitudes and special geographical characteristics of each place of which they had vast knowledge. They had agricultural systems for valleys, oasis, plains, deserts, moderate slopes, very scarce rain or foggy areas, high mountains, tropical high jungle and tropical low jungle. Handling microclimates in different altitudes each ayllu ( clans ) had land at various levels to complete their diets.


Maca is one of the most important Andean crops. It is a root that grows at about 3,500 meters above sea level, rich in nutrients : proteins, minerals and vitamins. Maca is natures answer to Viagra . It helps muscles, bones and teeth grow, strengthening your blood as well as revitalizing your body.

Dr. Gloria Chacon de Popovici, who rediscovered this pre Columbian Andean crop, gives conferences in Lima at any needed time. These conferences include references to geography, seasons, gastronomy, anthropology, archeology, history and nutritional values related to Maca. To complement these, information trips can be made to production sites for different occasions such as planting ( October and November when certain related rites may also be observed ), flowering ( February and March when a unique landscape may be observed ), harvesting ( June and July ) and processing. The Departments where Maca is produced are Junn and Cerro de Pasco, both of which are quite close to Lima. Junin has a milder climate so it is easier to visit.

The activities that are related in Lima are : tasting different dishes prepared using Maca, visits to museums, buying different products containing Maca, artistical events specially prepared for the visitors.

This program also includes Doctors Ciro Hurtado, Ada Estrada de Mareovich and Bertha Balbin who give conferences on :

Leguminous : Tarwi ( more proteins than soy ), Pajuro

The Pajuro is a leguminous that has edible seeds, it can be used to reforest the slopes of the mountains, to restablish an ecological balance altered by tree felling and burning. It is a wild plant that grows between 3,000 and 4,000 meters above sea level. It grows in six months. It restores soils.


Cereals : Kiwicha, Caiwa, Achira, Quinoa, Manco, Corns ( canchas )

Two combined cereals have the proteic equivalent of beef.

They are grown all round the year and are harvested every six months.

Roots and Tubers : Potato ( chuo, tocosh ), Oca, Olluco ( caya, cawe ), Mashua, Achira or Racacha and Cassava

Garden produce : Ataco ( more iron than spinach )

Aromatic plants : Huacatay ( used for seasoning )

Algae : Cushuro

These grow in cochas ( lakes ) in wild form and, besides their nutritional value, magical and religious powers are attributed to them

Furthermore, doctors Ciro Hurtado, Ada Estrada de Mareovich and Bertha Balbin, have prepared conferences on our guinea pig or Cuy, as we know it, and the Alpaca (both with practically no cholesterol), Llama, Vicua, Huanaco and our hairless Peruvian dog or Chimo dog.

We also have conferences by bromatologist and oenologist Jorge Llanos on Peruvian Beverages : chichas, mates, emollients, liquors, piscos, rums and wines.


These are some of the Vegetal Species For A Better Health that we consider as the most important in Per, under what are known as Traditional Medicines by the World Health Organization ( WHO ) :

Cotton ( Gossypium peruvianum )

Sagebrush ( Ambrosia peruviana Willd )

Plantain ( Plantago mayor L. )

Corn ( Zea mays L. )

Matico ( Piper angustifolium R & P )

Paico ( Chenopodium ambrossioides L. )

Quinoa ( Chenopodium quinua Willd )

Rue ( Ruta graveolens L. )

Aloe ( Aloe vera )

Cats Claw ( Uncaria tomentosa [ Willd ] )

Scientific and practical information, so that the botanical, anthropological, geographical, seasonal, historical, medical and psychological knowledge brought forth in relation to these medicinal plants, commonly used in Per ( along the coast, mountains and jungle ), may be used by our visiting guests.

Reference to local usage, administration, posible secondary effects, and counterindications and explanations on their active principles, possibilities of extinction and sources of information with the bibliography of researchers and traditional healers can be at hand.

It is important for us to mention that the speakers we have called for this program are those researchers who have developed the studies that bring forth the handling at a scientific practical level of this knowledge. This group is formed by M.D. Palmiro Ocampo, psychologist and anthropologist David Alvarado and photo journalist Ernesto Jimnez.

Each conference will be accompanied by a set of cultural and artistic activities, as well as visits to places related to each product, such as museums, research and processing centres. Finally, we will mention the commercial possibilities of acquiring the products in their various forms and presentations and their phyto - therapeutic applications.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: plants in Peru

Hi I have been looking for the seed of uncaria tomentosa for a while now, and am wondering if you can sell me some, exchange plants for some, or tell me where I can find some for sale.I am in the US. Thanks

RE: plants in Peru

Absolutely fascinating. I am vey interested in all the subjects you mentioned.
Are there any websites or books you can recomend to learn more? (in spanish or english)
Unfortunately I will be unable to come to peru for at least a couple of years or more.
But in the meantime I would like to learn as much as possible about the various subjects you mentioned.
My e-mail is
Any further information would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for sharing such interesting information.

RE: plants in Peru

does anyone know where I can buy the seeds to plant
huacatay? I have heard seeds of change sell them but when
I contacted them, they don't unfortunatley. I am very interested in growing some along side aji peppers.

RE: plants in Peru

Perhaps I have a very cheeky question, but I'll try very careful.

I know, you are growing other exotic plants, but perhaps you can help me.

I am a private collector of Hippeastrum, Rhodophiala and Griffinia species. Now I am searching still very special ones.

They are growing in a part of Soouth America, and my question is , can some one help me, please?

With little bulbs or seeds.

Or perhaps you know other people, botanical gardens, gardenforums or private collectors in your area who can help me.

Thank you very much and I hope you can help.

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