September 16, 2005

Mesquite as Medicine

One final word about mesquite---its uses as medicine.

The roots, bark & leaves are cold and dry in nature. They are antifungal, antimicrobial, astringent, antiseptic, & antispasmodic. A powder or tea can be made from any of the above materials for athlete's foot & general fungal infections. This disinfecting wash or powder can be used for mild infections, stings, bites, sores & scrapes.

Leaves & pods can be made into an eye wash for inflammations of all kinds including pink eye.

Diarrhea, dysentery, stomach ulcers, dyspepsia & most GI tract inflammations are soothed by the leaves, roots & bark. The powdered leaves at one time were sprinkled on a newborn's umbilical stump to prevent infections. Poulticed, the leaves were used topically for headaches. The young shoots, ground & toasted, were used to dissolve kidney stones.

The white inner bark is used as an intestinal antispasmodic. The bark is also helpful in stopping excessive menstrual bleeding & reducing fevers.

The mesquite gum or resin is soothing & provides much of its healing qualities through its natural mucilage content. Dissolved in water it is used as a GI tonic to rehabilitate impaired & abused intestines.

It assists intestinal healing after surgery. After bouts of dysentery, diarrhea, stomach/intestinal distress, and food poisoning, it is used as a restorative. It is used as a soother for stomach/intestinal pain, ulcers, colitis, hemorrhoids, sore throats, painful teeth & gums, and mouth sores. Externally it is equally effective on burned, chapped & raw skin. Like the other parts of mesquite the resin is also an eye soother and at one time was used internally for respiratory problems.