Hierba Buena (translated meaning “good herb”), also known in Peru as yerbabuena or hierbabuena, refers to various related mint species, which vary from region to region. While it has its uses in the Peruvian cuisine, Hierba Buena is essential in any Peruvian home for its medicinal properties.
As mentioned above hierbabuena is the name in Peru for numerous herbs belonging to the large family of mint plants. They all vary a bit in appearance but have one thing in common: when you rub a leaf between your fingers, they all emit this pleasant and strong aroma of freshness, coolness and menthol.
In Peruvian cooking the herb is added to soups and stews such as Cau-Cau, drinks and cocktails, sometimes jams, or the one or other dessert.
Really important is Yerbabuena as a powerful natural medicine without any side effects (at least if it’s not consumed excessively). Mostly used as tea (just infusing the fresh leaves in hot water) – sometimes dried leaves and extracted oil are used as well – the hierbabuena is believed to not only prevent but also treat numerous indispositions and illnesses.
Health Benefits of Hierbabuena
- Hierba Buena has anti-tumor, anti-bacterial, antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, and carminative properties.
- Tea made with yerbabuena leaves is a great natural remedy to treat stomach and digestive problems. It alleviates pains from cramps and colics, and removes saturated fats.
- The tea as well relaxes body and soul, being ideal for aiding in the treatment of stress, anxiety, and depressions.
- Hierbabuena tea or oil relieves muscle as well as period pains and headaches.
- Fresh leaves put on wounds are supposed to clean and even sterilize superficial wounds. Next to the already known anti-inflammatory properties, interesting here perhaps that studies show that – in vitro – the anti-bacterial activity surpasses that of antibiotics such as amoxicillin or penicillin.
- One of the chemical compounds of Hierbabuena, the terpenoid carvone, aids in the inhibition of tumors and regulates cell substances responsible for cell growth.
- And last but not least, Hierba Buena oil additiontially is an effective insecticide against mosquitos larvae and adult moths.