Where there is nature, there is bound to be medicine. Rainforests, and in particular the Amazon, are really no different. With the lush greenery, humid air, and vivacious fauna, rainforests offer a slew of environments for herbal remedies to grow. Here are the top 10 medicinal plants from the Amazon Rainforest that can help you with all your herbal needs!

A parrot on a tree in the Amazon rainforest
Photo by Victor Rutka on Unsplash
  1. Canellila

Also called Aniba”, these shrubs or trees are used in traditional medicine to treat the nervous system, respiratory, and digestive disorders. Some claim it can also help conception. The oils extracted from the bark of the trees are used in perfumes and the leaves can be used in teas. Older users may find the best use out of this herb as it aids age-related deterioration. Be sure to source this from a sustainable and preferably indigenous vendor!

  1. Cordoncillo

Cordoncillo Negro is a shrub that is native to South and Central America, the Caribbean, and Europe. It is very useful in traditional Amazon medicine as a numbing agent! Chewing on the bitter leaves of the shrub will numb your mouth similarly to novocaine. The best use for this herb is to rub it on sore or painful wounds or bruises. The juice from the leaves will numb the afflicted area, making pain bearable!

  1. Ayahuasca

Though this plant’s true name is Banisteriopsis Caapi (Vine of the Dead), most people know it as Ayahuasca, a psychedelic brew made from the leaves of the vine. This brew will give you a high with the aid of the DMT that is found within the vine’s secretions. Beyond giving a euphoric and hallucinogenic effect, Ayahuasca may aid in overall brain health and mental health.

  1. Lapacho

Thought to be an effective cancer treatment, the bark of the Lapacho tree possesses powerful herbal medicinal properties. Taken in small doses, it can treat infections, digestive issues, fever, and some side effects of viruses. Be sure to ask your herbalist or doctor before starting any sort of treatment with Lapacho!

A lapacho tree that is used in the Amazon for medicinal use.
Photo by Fachy Marín on Unsplash
  1. Uña de Gato 

Also known as “Cat’s Claw”, this thorny herb has countless positive effects! Usually consumed in tea form, Uña de Gato can aid arthritis pain and inflammation by soothing afflicted areas. It is also an immunity booster and aids red blood cell development. Many believe it to be a good aid for cancer treatments as well.

  1. Brazilian Ginseng (Suma)

This cure-all herb is popular throughout the Amazon for many reasons! It is often brewed into a tonic and served to aid any sort of ailments one may be having. In particular, Suma is an adaptogen that aids stress and can give an energy boost similar to green tea. It can help heal wounds, soothe irritated skin, and even grant you some libido if you are having sexual troubles!

  1. Sodo

Sodo is a flowering plant that is said to aid addiction, especially for those addicted to alcohol or cigarettes. The berries are used in this process, but the ink made from this plant can also be used for tattoos.

  1. Yerba Mate

This popular tea made from the Ilex Paraguariensis plant has reached mainstream popularity for its nutritious and delicious existence! It is an antioxidant as well as a mood and energy booster, allowing for a clean burst of energy that’ll last for as long as you need it! This tea will also boost your immune system, making you less likely to get sick, and improve your overall physical health! 

  1. Achiote

A popular spice and color agent, Achiote oil is especially rich in vitamins like Vitamin C, beta-carotene, flavonoids, and essential oils that can aid body processes. The pulp of the achiote plant can help with kidney diseases and dysentery. And, as most know, the power created from the seed pods is a beautiful natural red dye that’s perfect for staining clothes, rice, and hair.

  1. Tawari Tree Bark

Last but certainly not least, Tawari tree bark is a God-send of a cure-all. It helps soothe pain inflicted by tumors and is a very useful medicinal herb to fight the effects and ailments of cancer, infections, and inflammation. These medicinal plants from the Amazon rainforest promise not only to inspire your senses but heal your body as well. Keep an eye out for them on your next visit!

Frankie Kavakich


Frankie Kavakich is a published prose and poetry writer and a practicing witch whose love for the occult and horror permeates their everyday life. For eight years, they have studied a variety of practices including kitchen witchery, chaos magick, divination, manifestation, and brujería. Within their writing, Frankie features numerous topics ranging from ghosts and spirits to the importance of community and reliance on nature's bounty. Their great grandmother Nilda was a healer from the rain forests of Puerto Rico, and Frankie is endlessly inspired by the gentle hands and kind hearts of their ancestors.

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