restricted access APPENDIX 4. Wild Plants Used for Food or Healing in the Antonito Area
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This information is garnered from interviews and is not medically authenticated or reliable. People should use caution with wild herbs as their potency varies, and they can often be mistaken for poisonous varieties. Plants follow a growth cycle and have different properties and potencies at different times of the year. 1 Amole—soap plant, soaproot. Root or underground bulb soaked in water that is used as a shampoo or soap for people and for wool blankets. Capulin/chokecherry bark. Made into tea. Ramona Valdez: “For heart trouble, such as palpitation.” Chamiso jediondo—stinky sagebrush (Dolan 1996, 60). Ramona Valdez: “A lot of people use it for all types of ailments.” Chamiso pardo—sagebrush (Dolan 1996, 60). Made into tea. Ramona Valdez: “For the flu, and for strain and for everything, toothaches, arthritis.” Champes—wild rose hips, from Rosa de Castilla (wild rose; Dolan 1996, 26). High in vitamin C; made into jelly. Ramona Valdez: “Father loved it, and he’d gather buckets and buckets.” Dandelion root—made into tea. Monica Taylor said her great-aunts made it for her, and it cured her leukemia. Imortal [English name unknown]. Ramona Valdez dried the root, scraped it, made an infusion in water, rubbed it on the chest, and drank it. Her mother believed it was a heart medicine. Malva—dwarf mallow or common mallow, “a weed.” Ramona Valdez: “The malvas was used to make a tea and make me dream, that was for my monthly. . . . When I had cramps, Mother said that would help.” (Not in Cobos 2003 or Dolan 1996.) A P P E N D I X 4 Wild Plants Used for Food or Healing in the Antonito Area Counihan_2PP.indd 207 Counihan_2PP.indd 207 8/20/09 10:15:28 AM 8/20/09 10:15:28 AM A T O R T I L L A I S L I K E L I F E 208 Manzanilla—chamomile. Asuncionita Mondragon said it was for stomachache . Manzanitas—berries. Cobos (2003, 145) translates manzanitas as “small apple, crab apple,” but several people, including Ramona Valdez, described them as small berries. “They may include the berry of the manzanita, a tall, evergreen shrub that produces berries that turn from white to reddish brown as they ripen in the fall” (Sayre 2001, 159). “Manzanitas” may be a generic term for several different kinds of berries that women made into jam. Maravilla, maravía—common marigold, wild four-o’clock (Cobos 2003, 146). Ramona dried the root, ground it to powder, and put it on her mother’s legs. It was supposed to reduce swelling. Oshá—lovage (Dolan 1996). “Wild celery, an herb of the Parsley family ” (Cobos 2003, 123). The root can be dried and grated and infused in water to be used for toothache or to rinse the mouth to prevent infection after a tooth is pulled. It may also be used on boils, as an antibiotic, on skin problems or on cuts. Ramona Valdez: “They say it chases away the snakes when you go hiking, and they put some in your boots or somewhere in your pants. That’s what I’ve heard, I don’t know how true it is.” Helen Ruybal: “Whenever you had a cut, an accident, and you were afraid of infections, they bathed the sore with oshá. And other people put it away in their houses to keep the witches away, when they believed in witches.” Piñon—edible nut of the scrub pine tree (Cobos 2003, 182). Widely consumed in Antonito past and present. Plumajillo, plumajío—yarrow (Cobos 2003, 185; Dolan 1996, 43). Ramona Valdez gathered it for her mother to be used to cleanse the kidneys. Helen Ruybal: “People used to gather it in big bundles and take them home, and those have to be dried. I think it was for the kidneys. I think it was good for arthritis. It was for trouble from the inside, and then for not bewitching you. You just know that you hurt, and you know this remedy.” Poleo—spearmint. Ramona Valdez: “We use poleo to season. Sometimes we’d make lemonade and put some leaves of poleo in it. That was about it, I guess. We dried some to make tea. It’s very good for the stomach, too.” Quelites—lamb’s quarters. “A generic term that includes a variety of ‘greens’” (Cobos 2003, 191). Widely eaten fresh or dried. Verdolagas—purslane, pigweed (Cobos 2003, 237). Widely eaten fresh or dried. Ramona Valdez: “It...


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Subject Headings

  • Food habits -- Colorado -- Antonito -- History.
  • Food -- Symbolic aspects -- Colorado -- Antonito.
  • Hispanic Americans -- Food -- Colorado -- Antonito.
  • Antonito (Colo.) -- History.
  • Hispanic American women -- Colorado -- Antonito -- Social conditions.
  • Antonito (Colo.) -- Social life and customs.
  • Hispanic Americans -- Colorado -- Antonito -- Ethnic identity.
  • Hispanic Americans -- Land tenure -- Colorado -- Antonito.
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