Tico Ethnobotanical Dictionary


Haba: Phaseolus (P); Vicia (C,CR)

Haba de monte: Dioclea (P)

Habilla: Entada (CR); Hura (S)

Hackberry: Celtis (E)

HAEMATOXYLON CAMPECHIANUM L. Logwood (E) . The heartwood of this good honey plant, used to treat cancer, is antidiarrhetic and antidysenteric.

HAEMOPTYSIS: Spitting of blood. Anacardium, Carica, Musa, Portulaca, Terminalia, Waltheria.

Haguey: Calatola (P); Grias (P)

Hala: Haematoxylon (C)

HALLUCINOGEN: A substance producing visions, illusions, etc. Andira, Argemone, Datura, Myristica, Pachira, Piptadenia, Piscidia, Rivea.

Hamati: Cavanillesia (P)

HAMELIA PATENS Jacq. Red berry (E); Scarletbush (E); Anileto (CR); Azulillo (CR); Coralillo (CR); Palo camaron (CR); Pissi (CR); Uvero (P); Zorrillo (CR) . The ripe fruits are edible (!). The plant is elsewhere considered as a remedy for cancer, erysipelas, and malaria.

Harino: Calycophyllum (P); Dipterodendron (P); Pithecellobium (P)

Harton: Musa (C)

Haru: Bixa (Ch)

Hashish: Cannabis (E)

HASSELTIA FLORIBUNDA H.B.K. Raspalengua (D) . Fruits of this small tree might be tried as a survival food.

Hatico: Ixophorus (C)

Hat palm: Carludovica (E)

Hawkweed: Hieracium (E)

Hayo: Erythroxylum (C)

Hayuelo: Dodonaea (C)

HEADACHE: A pain in the head. Abrus, Acacia, Adenanthera, Argemone, Capsicum, Coix, Commelina, Elaeis, Gossypium, Lagenaria, Melia, Morinda, Ocimum, Petiveria, Piscidia, Pothomorphe, Protium, Ricinus, Siparuna, Solanum, Spigelia, Terminalia, Thespesia.

HEDEOMA AFF PULEGIOIDES: Wild peppermint (E); Menta (CR/ROC)

HEDYOSMUM MEXICANUM Cordemoy. Almizcle (C); Colchon de pobre (C); Gallinazo (

C); Granizo (C); Planta del soldado (C); Silvasilva (C); Vara blanca (CR). the fruit are edible. The leaves are used to make a tea or coffee substitute, and to flavor contraband liquor in Colombia. An infusion of the bark is believed febrifugal, restorative, and tonic.

Helecho de agua: Ceratopteris (S)

Helecho de auila: Pteridium (C)

Helecho macho: Dryopteris (C)

Helecho marrano: Pteridium (C)

Helecho peine: Polypodium (C)

Helecho volador: Nephrolepis (C)

HELICHRYSUM BRACTEATUM Andr. Boton de oro (C); Inmortales dobles (C); Siempreviva (S); Inmortales de bracteas (C)

HELICONIA spp. Wild plantain (E); Janga (Ch); Keskes (C); Plantanillo (C,P); Susucan (Cu) (Fig. 160). The young shoots of Heliconia bihai L. serve as a vegetable. The bracts collect potable water, but may be a breeding ground for mosquitoes (!). They are a favorite feeding place for hummingbirds (!). Leaves are often used to maje temporary umbrellas, shelters, and bedding (!). Among the Chiman Choco, they are wrapped around aching stomachs. Darien people fashion cups out of the leaves for drinking water in the bush (!). Young spears of Heliconia spp. are used medicinally by the Bayano Cuna (!). Darien Negroes used boiled young spears to poultice on the putrid ulcers of advanced snakebite cases.

HELICOSTYLIS LATIFOLIA Pittier. Verba (P). The wood is sometimes used for making dugouts.

HELICTERES GUAZUMAEFOLIA H.B.K. Berberqui santo (P); Guacimillo (P); Guacimo torcido (P); Majaguilla (P); Torcidillo (P) . This shrub furnishes a cordage and the leaves are used as an emollient.

HELIOCARPUS POPAYANENSIS H.B.K. Baho blanco (C); Balso (C); Majagua (C); Majao (C); Palo bobo (C); Pestano de mula (C). Mosquito nets can be strung with Darien's favorite cordage, the inner bark of majaguilla (!).

Heliotropio: Heliotropium (CR)

HELIOTROPIUM CURASSAVICUM L. Heliotrope (E); Cotorrera de playa (S). The ashes are used for salt.

Heliotropo: Hedychium (C)

HEMORRHOIDS: Varicose veins of the lower rectum and anus. Treated with Acacia, Acnistus, Albizia, Aloe, Avicennia, Caesalpinia, Capsicum, Carica, Cassia, Centella, Chenopodium, Cissus, Coccoloba, Cocos, Crescentia, Dendropogon, Guazuma, Heliotropium, Hibiscus, Jatropha, Luffa, Mangifera, Mucuna, Pachyrhizus, Piper, Pistia, Pothomorphe, Psidium, Renealmia, Ricinus, Scoparia, Spondias, Tamarindus, Tillandsia.

HEMOSTATIC: A substance for controlling bleeding. Ageratum, Boerhaavia, Brownea, Bryophyllum, Cereus, Clitoria, Diphysa, Gossypium, Lantana, Lecythis, Ormosia, Pterocarpus, Rhizophora, Solanum.

Hemp: Cannabis (E)

Hemp, sun: Crotalaria (E)

Henene: Caryocar (P)

Henequen: Agave (E)

Henna: Lawsonia (E)

HENRIETTEA SUCCOSA DC. The fruit is edible.

HENRIETTELLA spp. The fruits of most species are probably edible.

HERNANDIA SONORA L. Mago (S) . The sap is reported to be depilatory.

HESPEROMELES GOUDOTIANA Killip. Mortino (C). The fruits are edible and astringent.

HIBISCUS CANNABINUS L. Kenaf (E); Pavona encendida (S) . The seeds, edible after roasting, are said to be aphrodisiac. the oil expressed from the seeds is used for cooking and illumination. The aperient leaves, used as a potherb, are sold in the United States as marijuana.

HIBISCUS ROSA-SINENSIS L. Chinese hibiscus (E); Papo (P); Palo de la reina (P); Pejo (C); Tapo (P) . Chinese pickle and eat the flowers. The young leaves serve as a potherb. The petals are used to blacken shoes and eyebrows.

HIBISCUS SABDARIFFA L. Jamaica sorrel (E); Roselle (E); Jamaica (CA); Cabitutu (Cu); Rosella (C); Vinuela (S) (Fig. 165. The swollen red calyces are used for making beverages, jellies, and jams. The leaves are used for potherbs, salads, and curries. The seeds are demulcednt, diuretic, and tonic, and are used in debility, dyspepsia, dysuria, and strangury. They contain oil and are eaten iin Africa. Uala Cuna toast the red fruits to make a coffee-like beverage. The name cabitutu translates to coffee flower.

HIBISCUS SCHIZOPETALUS Hook. Arana (C); Canastilla (C); Paraguita china (P); Waitutu (Cu). Like the Chinese Hibiscus, this handsome shrub is found in many Choco and Cuna gardens (!). Choco use the flowers for garlands (!). Cuna use the flowers also for eye medicine (!). Colombians use infusions of the flowers for colds and coughs.

HIBISCUS TILIACEUS L. Lilnden hibiscus (E); Algondoncillo (P); Majagua (S); Mahoe (P) (Fig. 166). The flowers, attractive to bees, and young leaves serve as a potherb. Boiled in milk, the flowers are supposed to be good for earache. The bark furnishes good cordage that is unusual in being stronger when wet. It is used for making barkcloth, hammocks, mats, and rope. The wood is good for twirlstick fires.

HICCUPS: A sharp inspiratory sound caused by contractions of the diaphram. Treated with Mangifera, Phaseolus.

Hiede-hiede: Cestrum (P)

Hiedra: Boussingaultia (CR); Hedera (CR)

Hierba de Adan: Chelonanthus (C)

Hierba de agua: Arthrostemma (P); Begonia (P)

Hierba de alacran: Paullinia (P); Pectis (P)

Hierba de almorrana: Salvia (C)

Hierba borriguera: Justicia (P)

Hierba buena: Mentha (CR)

Hierba de cancer: Hydrolea (C)

Hierba capitana: Mikania (C)

Hierba centella: Boerhaavia (C)

Hierba de chiva: Eupatorium (P)

Hierba de conejo: Micromeris (C)

Hierba de corazon: Salvia (CR)

Hierba de coristo: Antiphytum (C)

Hierba de cui: Oldenlandia (P)

Hierba de culebra: Phytolacca (C)

Hierba dulce: Ageratum (C); Borreria (C); Eleusine (C)

Hierba de diablo: Plumbago (C)

Hierba egipcia: Dactyloctenium (C)

Hierba elefante: Pennisetum (CR)

Hierba de fraile: Parsonia (C)

Hierba gallega: Evolvulus (C)

Hierba de gallinazo: Cassia (C); Solanum (P)

Hierba gallota: Solanum (P)

Hierba gorda: Eryngium (C)

Hierba de guambia: Spigelia (C)

Hierba guayacan: Imperata (P); Sporobolus (C)

Hierba hedionda: Solanum (C)

Hierba hatico: Ixophorus (C)

Hierba hemostatica: Ageratum (C)

Hierba de hierro: Pharus

Hierba de huambim: Spigelia (C)

Hierba jorra: Tournefortia (C)

Hierba lechera: Euphorbia (CR/ROC)

Hierba de limon: Cymbopogon (S)

Hierba de limon de China: Pectis (D)

Hierba de la muela: Hyptis (C)

Hierba mora: Saracha (CR); Solanum (S)

Hierba de la mula: Lippia (CR)

Hierba de murcielago: Cassia (C)

Hierba de pajacillo: Galinsoga (C)

Hierba de pajarito: Struthanthus (P); Galinsoga (C)

Hierba de la paloma: Calea (CR)

Hierba de Para: Panicum (S)

Hierba del Paraguay: Scoparia (C)

Hierba de pasmo: Siparuna (P)

Hierba de pata: Eleusine (P)

Hierba de la plata: Mesembryanthemum (C)

Hierba del piojo: Delphinium (C)

Hierba de playa: Cassia (C)

Hierba de pollo: Casearia (C); Euphorbia (P); Kallstroemia (C); Lindernia (C)

Hierba de la porta: Hydrolea (C); Cassia (C)

Hierba de puerco: Monstera (P); Sida (P)

Hierba de reuma: Hyptis (C)

Hierba sagrado: Lantana (C)

Hierba de sal: Philoxerus (S)

Hierba de sampedro: Geranium (C)

Hierba de San Antonio: Elephantopus (CR)

Hierba de San Carlos: Marsypianthes (CR)

Hierba de San Juan: Hyptis (P); Vernonia (P,C)

Hierba santa: Stemodia (CR); Crassula (C)

Hierba de Santa Maria: Cacalia (C); Cleome (C); Conobea (C)

Hierba de sapo: Peperomia (P); Physalis (P); Scoparia (C)

Hierba del sol: Acaena (C)

Hierba del soldado: Melochia (P); Waltheria (P)

Hierba tiegro: Olyrum (C); Panicum (C)

Hierba te: Capraria (CR,P); Pectis (P)

Hierba de la Trinidad: Justicia (C)

Hierba del venado: Conyza (C)

Hierba de la virgin: Polygala (C)

Hierba zorra: Lantana (P)

Higo: Ficus (S); Opuntia (C)

Higo tuno: Opuntia (C)

Higuanillo: Lonchocarpus (P)

Higuera: Gunnera (CR); Oreopanax (CR)

Higuerilla: Ricinus (S)

Higuerillo: Ricinus (CR)

Higuerillo blanco : Ricinus (CR)

Higuero: Ficus (CR); Oreopanax (CR)

Higuero de lata: Bactris (C)

Higueron: Ficus (P)

Higueron colorado: Ficus (CR)

Higuillo: Carica (C)

Higuito: Ficus (P)

Hinchador: Rhus (CR)

Hinojillo: Piper (CR)

Hinojo: Foeniculum (C); Piper (P); Pothomorphe (D)

HIPPOCRATEA VOLUBILIS L. The seeds are reported to be edible.

HIPPOMANE MANCINELLA L. Manchineel (E); Mananillo (S) . Cataplasms of Solanum nigrum or quitense are suggested as a treatment. The latex is very dangerous (!). The fruits, looking and smelling like crab apples, are very poisonous. When crabs eat the fruits, they too become poisonous. Honey produced from the flowers is reported to be non-toxic. The latex is sometimes used in arrow poisons and to poison water holes for the fish therein (!). the wood is sometimes used in furniture construction. Dry fruits are said to be safe enough to use as a diuretic.

HIRTELLA AMERICANA L. Pasito (C). The fruit and seeds are edible (!).

HIRTELLA RACEMOSA Lam. Pigeon plum (E); Icacillo (S). The pulp of the fruit is edible.

Hivilan: Monnina (C)

Hobo: Spondias (C)

Hochororejo: Clavija (Ch)

Hodropica: Pistia (C)

Hog plum: Spondias (E); Ximenia (E)

Hoja archa: Gunnera (C)

Hoja blanca: Calathea (P)

Hoja de buitre: Lilmnocharis (C)

Hoja chigue: Curatella (CR); Petrea (N); Tetracera (N)

Hoja de corazon: Philodendron (C)

Hoja de duende: Bactris (CR)

Hoja de estrella: Piper (CR)

Hoja de gallo: Asterogyne (C); Geonoma (C)

Hoja hedionda: Solanum (P)

Hoja de lapa: Cyclanthus (CR)

Hoja de menudo: Agonandra (C)

Hoja de milagra: Zebrina

Hoja de milagro: Zebrina (CR/ROC)

Hoja de mono: Lecythis (C)

Hoja de murcielago: Pentagonia (P)

Hoja de nombre: Philodendron (CR)

Hoja de pajaro: Paullinia (CR)

Hoja de pantano: Gunnera (C)

Hoja de pasmo: Miconia (CR)

Hoja peluda: Clidemia (P)

Hoja de raiz: Canna (C)

Hoja de raya: Limnanthemum (C)

Hoja quema: Onoseris (CR)

Hoja de sal: Calathea (P); Heliconia (C)

Hoja de salbe: Buddleja (CR)

Hoja santa: Bryophyllum (C)

Hoja de Santa Maria: Onoseris (C)

Hoja de sen: Caesalpinia (CR)

Hojita de tenir: Arrabidaea (C)

Holillo: Raphia (N)

Holy-ghost-flower: Peristeria (E)

Hombre grande: Quassia (CR,CR/ROC)

Hombron: Dracontium (CR); Quassia (CR)

HONEY PLANT: A plant whose flowers are regularly visited by honey-producing bees. Acacia, Andira, Avicennia, Bourreria, Byrsonima, Casearia, Ceiba, Citharexylum, Citrus, Coccoloba, Coffea, Cordia, Cupania, Cydista, Cyrilla, Dendropanax, Eugenia, Euphorbia, Fagopyrum, Genipa, Gliricidia, Guazuma, Haematoxylon, Hibiscus, Hippomane, Hymenaea, Inga, Laguncularia, Lathyrus, Lonchocarpus, Malvaviscus, Melicoccus, Moringa, Nectandra, Picramnia, Pithecellobium, Prosopis, Rhizophora, Samanea, Sapindus, Spondias, Sterculia, Tamarindus, Tecoma, Vicia, Zanthoxylukm.

Hopbush: Dodonaea (E)

HORDEUM VULGARE L. Barley (E); Cebada (C). Though rarely if ever grown in Panama, this valuable food and forage crop is prescribed by Panamanian doctors as diuretic, dysceptic, and for measles (!).

Hormigo: Triplaris (CR)

Hormiguero: Tococa (C); Triplaris (C)

Horquetilla: Randia (CR)

Horsebrier: Smilax (E)

Horseradish: Armoracia (E)

Horseradish tree: Casuarina (E); Moringa (E)

Hortensis: Aster leaves (C)

Hosmeca: Pseudocalymnia

Huachipilin: Diphysa (CR)

Huacinia: Apeiba (P)

Huacuco: Malpighia (CR)

Huamochil: Pithecellobium (N)

Huar: Nicotiana (Cu)

Huasca: Eschweilera (D)

Huele noche: Cestrum (CA)

Huesillo: Allophylus (CR); Casearia (CR); Cupania (CR); Faramea (P); Talilsia (CR)

Huesito: Ardisia (C); Casearia (C); Cassipourea (P); Coussarea (D); Faramea (P); Guettarda (C); Lantana (C); Malpighia (C); Memora (C); Prockia (C); Psychotria (P); Rapanea (C); Trichilia (P)

Huesito amarillo: Psychotria (C)

Huesito blanco: Casearia (C)

Huesito negro: Guettarda (P); Heisteria (C)

Huesito de tierra fria: Holtonia (C)

Hueso: Coccoloba (P); Erythroxylum (C)

Huevo: Solanum (C)

Huevo de burro: Capparis (C)

Huevo caballo: Stemmadenia (CR)

Heuvo de gallo: Passiflora (P)

Huevo de gato: Pterocarpus (P); Sloanea (C); Solanum (P); Stemmadenia (P); Tabernaemontana (P)

Huevo de guidere: Erythroxylum (C)

Huevo de icotea: Clavija (C)

Huevo de mono: Isertia (P); Posoqueria (P)

Huevo de morrocoyo: Clavija (C)

Huevos de caballo: Stemmadenia (C)

Huevos de gato: Pterocarpus (P)

Huevos de perro: Solanum (CR)

Huevo de piche: Phaseolus (C)

Huevo de tanga: Chrysochlamys (C)

Huevo de tigre: Thevetia (P)

Huevo vegetal: Blighia (P)

Hugro: Lindackeria (CR)

Huichira: Maximilana (C)

Huino: Carapa (C)

Huiscoyol: Bactris (CR)

Huisquilla: Sechium (C)

Huitite: Xylosma (CR)

Hule: Castilla (S)

Hule blanco o macho: Castilla (CR)

HURA CREPITANS L. Sandbox tree (E); Castaneto (C); Acuapar (C); Ceiba amarilla (C); Nuno (D); Tronador (P) . the irritant latex is used as a barbasco and arrow poison, and is said to cause ailing teeth to fallout. the latex is used to treat skin diseases, rheumatism, and intestinal worms and was formerly used in the United states to prepare tear gas. The poisonous seeds, eaten by macaws, are used as a purgative in Costa Rica. they are used to poison noxious animals. The dry leaves are eaten by cattle during the dry season. A bark extract is used for leprosy. The wood is used locally in light construction, and for dugouts. Burning wood repels insects.

Hyacinth bean: Dolichos (E)

Hyacinth, water: Eichhornia (E)

HYDRAGOGUE: A strong laxative, producing a water discharge from the bowels. Solanum.

HYDROLEA SPINOSA L. Abrojo (S); Hierba de cancer (C); Hierba de potra (C). The leaves, which serve as a potherb, are used to treat gangrene.

HYDROPHOBIA: Rabies. Treated with Achyranthes,


HYLOCEREUS UNDATUS Britt. & Rose . The fruit is edible.

HYMENAEA COURBARIL L. Courbaril (E); Stinking toe (E); West Indian locust (E); Algarrobo (S); Guapinal (C); Nazareno (C) . The malodorous pulp around the seeds of this honey tree is edible. Mixed with water to for a beverage, it may be fermented. Copal is recommended for poor appetite, asthma, beriberi, blennorrhagia, bronchitis, cystitis, expectorant, indigestion, laryngitis, and stomachic. The trunks are sometimes used for dugouts. The bark is used as a tea for rheumatic pains in Panama.

HYPARRHENIA RUFA Stapf. Faragua (P). This is an important forage grass, especially on the Azuero Peninsula (!).

HYPOCHOERIS RADICATA L. Serraja (C); Serraja Paramo (C)

HYPOCHOERIS SONCHOIDES H.B.K. Chicoria cimarrona (C)

HYPTIS SUAVELOENS Poir. Hierba de la muela (C); Salvia (E); Purga-purga (P). The aromatic foliage repels mosquitoes. Refreshing beverage is made by soaking the mucilaginous seeds in water.

HYPTIS VERTICILLATA Jacq. John Charles (J); Paleca (P). The tea is a favorite remedy for indigestion, rheumatism, itch, and insect stings.