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The so-called aguaribay in central Argentina (Schinus areira) is a tree of the genus known as molles. It is native to South America, where it grows wilderly in central and northern Argentina, from the province of Córdoba to Jujuy. For its value as an ornamental it has been introduced in temperate and warm areas around the world . In Peru it was a sacred tree for the Incas, native to the interAndean valleys of central Peru, especially the arid and semi-arid regions of the steppe mountain range and the lower montane forest.
Other common names it receives are molle (Chile), molle del Perú (Catamarca), molle de Bolivia (Jujuy), molle de Castilla (Jujuy and Bolivia), gualeguay, pepper, pepper shaker, pepper shaker, pepper tree, terebinto, devil pepper, balsam, curanguay and Mulli. As many names as medicinal properties... it is a medium-sized tree, although it can reach 20 meters. The trunk reaches up to a meter in diameter or 1.50 m, with rough, reddish bark. The foliage is persistent. It is a dioecious species, that is, the male and female genera are in separate specimens, their fruits and seeds almost spherical, red when ripe, are very decorative and very sought after by birds.
The crown of the tree is wide and dense, with hanging young branches, leaves up to 20 centimeters long composed of numerous pairs of sharp leaflets, bright green color emitting a strongly aromatic smell , which reveals its condition of a medicinal plant.
In the square of the tourist village of Capilla del Monte we see planted several specimens of aguaribáis dating from the time of the urbanization of the village . This specimen is born in places that are favorable to him spontaneously.
At the time of the Incas they were planted around Cusco. The resin obtained from its trunk was used to embalm corpses, to heal wounds, and treat lung conditions by dissolving in boiling water. The antimicrobial properties of the oil are currently being studied. In some northern towns advise to scare away bad waves burning sugar on a can with embers and throwing on them a handful of green leaves of this á special tree. It was also used by the Inca army to fight their enemies , they made large campfires and threw green leaves into the fire producing smoke with effects similar to pepper spray.
Its fruit is usually used as a substitute for pepper, in sausages and empanadas, because it is slightly spicy. Fresh leaves are used for sciatica and rheumatic pains. With fresh boiled leaves relieve inflammations of the lower limbs. Ashes are used as an ingredient in the preparation of soaps and as a healing agent. The infusion of its leaves serves to fight the cold. When cooking the leaves and bark of this tree, a liquid of intense yellow color is obtained, which is used as an input to dye various tissues . And the infusion of the bark alone relieves menstrual pains, as it possesses principles that blend blood. The branches and fruits of aguaribay, when mixed in water, along with corn seeds, allow obtaining a fertilizer.
Also with the fruits a drink similar to corn chicha is prepared. Ripe fruits are wrinkled with their hands in hot water , then the liquid that is allowed to ferment for 3 or 4 days is filtered. The medicinal virtues used by the incas detail the use in infusions for diseases of the kidneys and bladder. The fragrant resin was used to heal wounds and ulcers, as well as filling teeth . Tender leaves relieved liver conditions and stomach colic. The Andeans mixed the juice of the leaves with milk and applied it as eye drops in conjunctivitis. Cooked fruits served as diuretics.
Publication Date: 19/12/2020
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