Herbs and spices are the centerpiece of folk remedies in many Mexican households. The flowers, leaves and seeds are believed to do everything from calming upset stomachs to relieving anxiety. The plants for these traditional cures are inexpensive and easy to grow in your own garden, according to Planeta.com, a website that covers practical ecotourism.
Mexicans use cinnamon to calm an upset stomach, says Mexicovacationtravels.com. Cinnamon, spearmint and ginger are often brewed into a strong tea to treat conditions such as heartburn and indigestion. Cinnamon is also used to control flatulence and nausea, according to Mexgrocer.com.
Cilantro is mostly known as an ingredient in Mexican cooking -- what would salsa be without it? But it's also made into a tea to treat a variety of ailments. Planeta.com says it's used to alleviate stomach cramps, help inflamed gums and calm youngsters when they're anxious.
Mexicans boil lemon verbena leaves into a tea and drink it while fasting, according to Mexicanmercados.com. The brew is supposed to accomplish two very different things: get rid of worms and make women's menstrual flow more regular.
Planeta.com says drinkers who overimbibe appreciate spearmint, which is brewed with nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon to help with hangovers. Spearmint also makes a soothing tea to alleviate stomachaches and headaches.
Epazote is an herb used in Mexican cooking, says Mexicovacationtravels.com. It doubles as a medicinal aid that helps digestion, reduces flatulence and relieves bronchial conditions.
Oregano oil is another cure-all in Mexican tradition. Mexgrocer says it's used to help with everything from upset stomach and athlete's foot to bronchitis and toothaches.
Mexicans boil rosemary leaves to make a tea, which is drunk to help with digestion, according to Mexicanmercados.com. Rosemary is also believed to ward off serious conditions such as cancer and liver ailments, says Mexgrocer.com.
Chamomile is used for many conditions, according to Mexicovacationtravels.com. It's made into a tea and served to patients suffering from anxiety and stomach ailments. Mexgrocer.com says it's also used to treat insomnia; inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and rheumatism; and gas pains, menstrual cramps and constipation.
Barbara Dunlap is a freelance writer in Oregon. She was a garden editor at "The San Francisco Chronicle" and she currently specializes in travel and active lifestyle topics like golf and fitness. She received a master's degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia and has been a Knight Foundation Fellow.