Damiana Turnera diffusa

syn T.aphrodisiaca (although there are claims that these are two different plants) Also called : Hierba del pastor, shepherds herb, Hierba del venado, damiana de California (or Guerrero), mizib-coc (misibcoc, misib-cooc, xmisibcoc, miixcoc)(Maya) This herb is native to Mexico, southern Texas, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. In Mexico it is used to flavour liqueurs for an aphrodisiac effect. In 1699 Father Juan Maria … Continue reading Damiana Turnera diffusa

Xochimilco and the Axolotl

The word “Xochimilco” is Nahuatl for “where the flowers grow”. It is an area of lakes and canals that was a major agricultural centre in Mesoamerica and remains as the only reminder of traditional Pre-Hispanic land-use in the waterways of the Mexico City basin. The Xochimilcas were one of seven Nahua tribes that migrated into the Valley of Mexico, along with the Acolhua, Chalca, Mexica, Tepaneca, Tlahuica … Continue reading Xochimilco and the Axolotl


Referencing on this Blog has been done in a somewhat haphazard way. Many of the Posts that refer to specific scientific studies will have those studies referenced within the text and noted below the paragraph or at the bottom of the Post. I have many Posts in the draft stage which have yet to be published (as well as already published Posts) and many of … Continue reading Bibliography


Octli (or pulque) from the maguey and tepache from pineapple are well known but the knowledge of one drink, Sende (or sendechó/sende choo) is in danger of being lost. Only a few still know the traditional production methods of this drink. It is a labour intensive product and in this day and age of speed and convenience fewer still are prepared to learn the ancient methods of production. When made … Continue reading Sende

Quelite : Plantain

Plantago major also called : lanté (Chiapas), lanten, llantén, rorogochi (Raramuri)Common names : white man’s foot (because everywhere the white man walks it springs up in their footsteps), common plantain, waybread Family : PlantaginaceaeParts used : leaves – aerial parts, seeds Constituents : Leaves – mucilage, glycosides (aucubin), tannins, chlorogenic acid, ursolic acid, silicic acid, mineralsSeeds – mucilage, oils, protein, starch Plantain has been cited … Continue reading Quelite : Plantain


Tepache is a traditional drink of prehispanic origin and although it was once produced from the juice extracted from the cooked agave piñas it was soon made from the fruit we now call pineapples. It is believed that pineapples (Ananas comosus) originated in South America in the area around Brazil and Paraguay. The fruit was traded throught the Americas and it was cultivated by both Maya and Aztec … Continue reading Tepache

Mayahuel and the Cenzton Totochin.

The agave, aguamiel and pulque. Plants played a huge role in Aztec culture. Gardens were kept not only for food and medicinal purposes but for pleasure as well. The conquistadors were amazed by the pleasure gardens of Moctezuma (and Tenochtitlan in general) to the point of wondering whether or not they were walking through a dream. The loss of this beauty was lamented by the very same … Continue reading Mayahuel and the Cenzton Totochin.