[Editor’s Note: Lily Girma is the first photographer-in-residence to participate in the Road Warrior program, a partnership between MatadorU and the Belize Tourism Board. This summer Lily is documenting different cultural aspects of Belize as well as travel and adventure options around the country. Each week she’ll be reporting on her experiences for Matador, her personal blog, and for other outlets.]
BELIZE’S RAIN FORESTS have literally thousands of trees, plants, fruits, and vines, hundreds of which have been traditionally used for medicinal purposes. “Bush medicine,” in Belize goes back thousands of years to the time of the ancient Maya, who relied on the rain forests both to survive and to cure their ailments.
Today, Belizeans continue to use these plants for medicinal purposes in the same way the Maya did, and most grow up learning about the benefits, as well as the dangers, of the rain forest.
I learned about most of the medicinal plants and trees featured in this essay, at the “Ancient Jungle Garden Trail” at Calico Jack’s Village. Ask for Elias, who designed and oversees the trail, and has a wealth of knowledge on Maya life. All of the above resorts are located in the Cayo District of Belize.
From toothache to cough and even male impotency, natural remedies are found right in Belizeans’ backyards. Here are 12 of the most commonly used remedies.