• Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Altamisa Good for Gas

April 25, 2008

Common name: Peruvian ragweed

Spanish name: Altamisa, siete espíritus

Latin name: Ambrosia peruviana

Family: Asteraceae

Geo-distribution: This tropical plant is found in the Americas from Mexico to Peru to the CaribbeanBasin. It is commonly found in backyard medicinal plant gardens, as well as growing wild in vacant lots, fields and along roadsides.

Ambrosia peruviana has many common names; in Costa Rica, it is often referred to as altamisa, which is confusing, because another favorite medicinal plant, Tanacetum parthenium (European feverfew), bears the same name. This usually occurs when two plants share common properties or treat similar health conditions. Tilo is the Spanish name for the European linden tree and is also the name given to our native plant, Justicia pectoralis, which provides the same calming effects as linden tree flowers. That’s why it helps to note the scientific name for clarification.

Botanical description: An annual plant with very aromatic, pubescent, alternate, bipinnate leaves three to 10 centimeters long, with erect stems one to two meters tall. This plant has male flowers on the tips of the stems that are yellowish-green capsules, while the female flowers are located in the leaf axils at the stem. The oval seeds are three to four millimeters long with tiny spines.

Medicinal uses: A digestive stimulant and tonic, carminative (gas reliever), relaxant and painkiller, Peruvian ragweed can be used to treat colic, indigestion, stomachache and headache.

Preparation: Locals boil or steep a handful of leaves in one to two liters of water. Dosage can vary from one to three cups per day for three days. This preparation is used in emergencies and not as an everyday beverage.

Notes: This plant is not recommended for use during pregnancy or for children under 5. Some people have reported an allergic reaction to the pollen of the plant.

 

You may be interested

Anti-graft investigator flees Guatemala to ‘safeguard his life’
Guatemala
1 views
Guatemala
1 views

Anti-graft investigator flees Guatemala to ‘safeguard his life’

AFP - July 25, 2021

Guatemala's top anti-graft investigator, Juan Francisco Sandoval, fled the country Saturday to "safeguard his life," hours after he was sacked…

Costa Rica celebrates Guanacaste Day (Annexation of Nicoya)
Costa Rica
5605 views
Costa Rica
5605 views

Costa Rica celebrates Guanacaste Day (Annexation of Nicoya)

Zach Dyer and Roy Arguedas - July 25, 2021

This story was first published in 2013. Costa Rica this year has moved the day off for Guanacaste Day to…

Slothy Sunday: Sloths and selfies
Sloth Sundays
199 views
Sloth Sundays
199 views

Slothy Sunday: Sloths and selfies

Jillian Vander Vinne / Toucan Rescue Ranch - July 25, 2021

From a very young age, I loved animals, a fascination to an almost obsessive degree. I grew up surrounded by…

The Tico Times | Top Costa Rica News, Travel, Culture and Sports