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Monthly Archives: April 2016

5 Plants from Peru with Amazing Medicinal Qualities

Like all traditional cultures, Peru’s native population has a long history of folk medicine and using local plants to treat a variety of ailments. While it’s easy to dismiss traditional cures in an age of pharmaceuticals and modern medicine, research by scientists and nutritionists has revealed that some of Peru’s native plants really do have amazing medicinal properties that can be used to help treat many common health issues, ranging from asthma to diabetes to cancer. Read on to learn about 5 plants from Peru that have amazing health benefits.

Una de Gato

Spanish for “cat’s claw,” the una de gato is an Amazonian herb that takes its name from the curved thorns that grow on its vines. Don’t let the menacing name and appearance fool you, though – the una de gato is known to have several beneficial medicinal properties. These include boosting the immune system, reducing inflammation, curing gastrointestinal issues, and slowing the spread of viruses.


Like most berries, the pichuberry is very small. But within its tiny body, the pichuberry contains loads of Vitamins A, B, and C, phosphorous, niacin, thiamin, and antioxidants, all of which give it some incredible health-boosting effects. Thanks to all those nutrients, this little berry has been shown to help treat asthma and other respiratory conditions, stop the development of certain types of cancers, decrease blood sugar and stimulate the production of insulin in diabetics, increase the production of red blood cells, improve liver health, and increase fertility.

5 Plants from Peru with Amazing Medicinal Qualities


The achiote is a small tree that grows in several areas of Peru, and which locals have been using to treat several ailments for many generations. The tree’s seeds and powder are used to treat headaches, improve digestion, fight infections, and as an anti-inflammatory. Some research suggests that achiote’s medicinal properties might prevent prostatitis, which can develop into prostate cancer if not treated.

Sacha Inchi

When doctors think their patients need more Omega fatty acids in their diets, they usually recommend fish. Turns out that they should probably be recommending sacha inchi (Quecha for “mountain peanut”) instead: the seeds of this Peruvian tree contain more Omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids than fish oil, not to mention healthy doses of amino acids and Vitamins A and E. In practical health terms, that means sacha inchi can help regulate blood pressure, maintain hormone balance, and lower the amount of bad cholesterol in the bloodstream.

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Muña is the name of a common plant that can be found growing in several places throughout Peru, which the locals often brew into an herbal tea. Due to its high levels of phosphorous and calcium, this muña-based drink is used to strengthen teeth and bones, aid in digestion, and treat inflammation and infection.

A Guide to Some of Peru’s Exotic Fruits

Despite being a relatively small country, Peru has a surprising amount of diversity in its landscapes. From its coastal beaches to its mountain heights to its luscious rainforests, one of the joys of travelling to Peru is getting to see the wide variety of native flora and fauna that thrive in all of Peru’s different landscapes. As an added bonus, all the plants listed below are edible, so be sure to give them a taste!

Limon Peruana, aka Peruvian Lime

Peruvian limes are small, even compared to other limes. They usually measure only 3 to 4 cm in diameter, and have an outer skin that can range in color from yellow to dark green. When compared to other members of its family, the limon peruana is probably most similar to Florida’s key lime. The Peruvian lime is highly acidic and sour, giving it an overwhelmingly strong and distinct taste. That rich flavor has made the Peruvian lime a favorite ingredient in many types of local cuisine. Just don’t try eating one on its own.


A relative of the tomato and the eggplant, Peruvians living in the Andes have been cultivating the Pichuberry for centuries. Also known as the Peruvian cherry, gooseberry, and the Incan berry, these small berries measure about 1 cm in diameter. Each individual berry comes enclosed in a calyx, a thin, papery covering that protects the berry from the elements. Pichuberries are known for their slightly tart taste, and for their high nutrient content. Despite their size, Pichuberries have 20 times as much Vitamin C as an orange, and their high antioxidant content provides a boost the immune system which some researchers theorize might slow cellular aging and prevent cancer. What’s more, pichuberries have also been shown to lower blood sugar, prevent allergies, treat asthma, boost fertility, and make wounds heal faster. Not bad for a berry smaller than your average cherry!

4 Cities in Peru You Have to Visit



The cocona fruit grows in the Peruvian Amazon, and is used to make a variety of native dishes, including sauces, jams, salads, and deserts. Similar in size and shape to a bell pepper, cocona can range in color from yellow to red, and have a taste and texture that is said to combine the tastes of tomatoes and lime. It’s also sometimes called the Amazon Tomato.
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Don’t let the name fool you – when people in Peru say “tuna,” they’re probably not referring to fish.

“Tuna” is the regional name for the cactus fruit, also called the prickly pear. Like the pichuberry, the cactus fruit has been cultivated in Peru since ancient times, and its likeness can be seen in the artwork of many of the local indigenous cultures, such as the Incas and the Chimu. Beneath its thick green skin, the cactus fruit hides a bright red interior that is even sweeter than watermelon. As you’d expect of a plant that’s been cultivated for so long, tuna is a staple of Peruvian cuisine, and is used in the creation of jams, jellies, and alcoholic beverages.

Want to try these scrumptious goodies for yourself? Best Peru Tours offers great tour packages for that give visitors the experience all the wonders of Peru. Contact us today at 866-788-5647 or visit us online to book your tour today!

3 Important Peruvian Cultures You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

The Incas are by far the most well-known of Peru’s native tribes, famous throughout the world for their mountain cities and their fascinating culture. But the Incan Empire was hardly the only noteworthy Peruvian culture to thrive in the days before European settlers arrived in the Americas. To experience the full cultural history of Peru and its people, travelers should also know about these lesser known, but equally important, ancient indigenous cultures of Peru.

The Wari

The Wari civilization thrived in the south-central Andes and coastal regions of modern day Peru during the Middle Horizon period, roughly AD 500 to 1000. Centuries before the Incas became the dominant Andean culture, the Wari were the masters of a large territory that extended for hundreds of miles along the Peruvian coast, until centuries of drought and violent clashes with other tribes eventually caused their empire to collapse. While much about the Wari is a mystery to us today (they left no written records), they did leave behind many notable ruins scattered throughout their former domain, including famous ruins near the modern day cities of Ayacucho, Chiclayo, and Cerro Baul. The most recent major find regarding the Wari was made in 2013, when an undisturbed royal burial tomb, containing thousands of artifacts and 60 ancient bodies, was discovered north of Lima in 2013.


The Moche

The Moche civilization is even older than the Wari. Between AD 100 and 700, the Moche people thrived in northern Peru, spreading their unique culture and religion throughout the area. Unlike the Inca and the Wari, the Moche are not believed to have been militaristic conquerors who expanded their influence and territory by force. Rather than a monolithic empire, the Moche were a loosely knit confederation of agricultural tribes that were united together by a shared culture and religious beliefs. Though the Moche civilization collapsed in the 700s, most likely as a result of catastrophic climate changes that caused decades of flooding followed by further decades of drought, they left behind many intriguing artifacts, including one of the most varied collection of ceramics ever produced by an ancient civilization. Some of these Moche artifacts have even been discovered in sights belonging to the Inca-Nazca people, the early predecessors of the mighty Incan Empire that would rise within the next few centuries.



The Chimu

The Chimu (AD 1100-1470) were contemporaries of the Incas, and the descendants of the Moche. Like their Moche ancestors, the Chimu were masters of pottery and ceramics who left behind many spectacular artifacts, from ceremonial vessels to everyday containers. What’s more, by the late period of their culture the Chimu were also master metal workers, capable of fashioning ornately designed pieces in gold, silver, bronze, and copper. Ruling a territory that ran along Peru’s northern coast to the foot of the Andes, the Chimu were eventually invaded by their Incan neighbors. The fall of the Chimu happened close enough to the arrival of the first European explorers that Spanish chroniclers were able to interview Chimu survivors, giving the conquered tribe the chance to leave behind some record of its existence (aside, of course, from the thousands of beautiful ceramics and metal sculptures that fascinate locals and travelers to this day).


Want a chance to see some of these fascinating ancient culture’s landmarks and artifacts in their native land? Contact Best Peru Tours today to save money on the perfect Peruvian tour package.

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