Yacuma Blog

Medical Plants Found in the Amazon Rain forest

The Amazon rainforest has botanical treasures, both known and undiscovered. The rare plants of the Amazon not only create a unique natural environment, but have been used by ancient civilizations (and are still being used today) for their powerful medical properties. Below we list some of the medical plants of the Amazon jungle.


This plant is one of the 70 % of Amazon plants with anticancer properties. The Lapacho is used to treat cancer, alleviate pain from chemotherapy, and fight infections. It was also traditionally used in the treatment of malaria and then influenza because of its ability to calm cough.


Quinine is a natural alkaloid that is obtained from the bark of the cinchona tree. It has been used medicinally to treat malaria, relieve menstrual pain, promote hair growth, fix digestion issues and stimulate appetite. On the other hand, it is also known as a natural nervous stimulant.


Yam contains diosgenin and cortisone, which are the active ingredients of birth control pills. Yams are very rich in good carbohydrates that give our bodies energy and reduces the speed at which sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream. Yam also is rich in fiber that helps the prevention of constipation, it prevents heart attacks or strokes, and is very helpful with the control of body weight. Moreover, Yam is a natural antispasmodic, which means it relaxes muscles, so it provides relief to menstrual cramps as well as labor pains.

Cocoa Tree

The Cocoa tree produces chemicals that can be extracted from its bark, fruits, seeds, and leaves. These are used to treat coughs, kidney stones, anxiety, fever, and external cuts and bruises. They are usually transformed into creams and lotions. Cocoa butter for example, reduce stretch marks and treats skin conditions such as eczema, acne, and dermatitis.Despite its bad reputation for causing weight gain, chocolate is associated with a number of health benefits. Chocolate is made from tropical Theobroma cacao tree seeds. Chocolate made from at least 70% cacao is known to improve cognition, relieve mood swings and even provide energy.

The Amazon Rainforest produces a collection of medicinal plants. The above are a few of 150,000 species of plants found in the rainforest, many of whose uses have yet to be discovered. So far, this includes plants that can be used for cancer, diabetes, anxiety, malaria , and hopefully many more in the future.

Curious to know more about the Amazon rainforest? Our ecolodge is not only a way to directly connect with local culture and nature during your vacation, it’s also a way to sustainably support it so future generations can share the same enjoyment. Stay at the best EcoLodge of the Ecuadorian Amazon, Yacuma. For room and rates click here.