Ethnobotanical Garden of Oaxaca

El jardin de etnobotanico de Oaxaca is home to many indigenous plants that are only found in Oaxaca. Oaxaca has several different types of climates throughout the state. The garden collects several plants that are native to the state of Oaxaca. When a new plant is introduced to the garden, the caretakers of the garden have to make special arrangement to provide an environment the plant can survive in. Their mission is to collect, care for, and learn about every indigenous plant and protect it from extinction.

While visiting the garden, people have the option of learning about plants that can be used as medicine, visiting the greenhouse, visiting the local library or checking out the seed bank. The garden was opened in 1998, and now it's home to about 800 different plants. With the help of Fransisco Toledo, a famous Mexican artist, who made a large donation to the garden and even designed the greenhouse. His mission was to make the garden an ecofriendly habitat people can go to and study all the different types of plants there are.

The garden has many types of plants that were used in Mesoamerica during the time of Mayas, Zapotecs and Mixtecs. Most civilizations have a person they go to when they are not feeling well. For modern people, it would mean that it's time to go see a doctor. However for other civilizations, such as the Mesoamerican civilizations, they go see a variety of people such as hueseros (who gives massages and relaxes the bones), herbalists/yerberos (who use plants to make medicine for the ill), limpiadores/curandero (who clean the body using utensils like a broom or egg), or chupadores (who suck the illness or poison of an injury). These are also some practices that many Mayan civilizations believed in. When someone from the civilization got ill people believed he was being punished for something he did and the gods did not like. At that point, it was time for an ill person to confront the sickness.

However, when things got worse, the most practiced method that was used, and is still being used, was to go see an herbalist. The garden cultivates many different plants that were used in Mesoamerica at the time. For instance, nopal de lenguita they grinded the cactus until it became an edible drink. Indigenous people of Mesoamerica could drink it if they were suffering from skin problems. Till this day, many people in Mexico still use herbs instead of medicine to help them get better. Most of the plants could be are found in the garden or the library's garden. In some Mesoamerica civilizations, they used Chaya de monte to get rid of kidney stones, flor de San Diego used to eliminate dysentery (intense diarrhea), and makulan (to speed up a birth). In Becán there was a plant called Chakah that was boiled and put on people who suffered from skin problems. In Calakmul, there´s a plant called piperaci that was boiled and used to put on sore muscles to help relax the body.

The garden is a beautiful place to go visit in Oaxaca if one is interested in learning about all different types of plants. People can also learn about indigenous people and how their cultures treated the sick with plants. The garden is also a beautiful setting for holding weddings and other special events. Local students also go to the garden to study and learn about all the different types of plants. If a person is interested they need to book a tour and visit.

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