This morning we went on a walk around the Chan Chich property to look at medicinal plants used by the Mayan people who have lived in this part of the world for nearly three thousand years. Our guide was Levy, a Mayan man whose grandfather was a bush doctor. The remedies he showed us are still used today.
The trees, shrubs, and ferns we saw on today’s walk include remedies for coughs, sore throats, headaches, respiratory problems like asthma, muscle spams, arthritis, UTIs, skin problems like rashes, cuts, and burns, dandruff, and high blood pressure. Many of these remedies have been documented in a book “Rainforest Remedies: One Hundred Healing Herbs of Belize” by Rosita Arvigo and Michael Balick. Levy assured us that the book is accurate based his family knowledge from his grandfather.
We also saw some new birds: the most spectacular was the Rufous-Tailed Jacamar – he is one of today’s photos. I have this great picture thanks to Patrick, a German man in our group who let me take a picture with my phone of the great picture HE took with his wonderful camera. Hence the German text at the bottom of the photo.
In the afternoon, after a restful nap, we took another walk around the property with a different guide, Luis. We were just looking around to see what we could see. There were many interesting plants, including the Cow Itch plant (do NOT touch those leaves!), a black orchid plant, various palm trees and philodendrons, a leaf-cutter ant superhighway, and leaf cutter ants at work. That’s today’s other picture – they are so cute and industrious.
We are here for one more night, then tomorrow we are flying to Placencia, which is on the coast. Time for the beach!
Also … one plant that gets you high when you smoke it – no samples were offered …
Gorgeous bird. To think it’s plumage is camouflage in some way. Thanks for your posts!