Prickly Pear Medicinal Properties: Asthma and Whooping Cough Remedy
(Opuntia dillenii) The Prickly Pear is an artist's favorite for depicting a desert scene. It belongs to the family Cactaceae. It is a cactus with broad leaf-like succulent stems called phylloclades. The leaves are reduced to spines. The edible fruit growing out of the flattened stem is covered with fine bristles. When ripe, it is yellowish red, having sweet pulp and seeds inside.
Parts Used: Flattened stem or phylloclade, flowers, fruits and seeds
- Relieves chest pains
- Prevents or cures asthma, whooping cough, pains, inflammations, swellings, and skin diseases
- As a laxative to kill or expel worms
- Promotes the flow of urine
- For inflamed eyes, and hastens formation of pus in the body
How to Use
- For asthma, the fruit is baked and eaten.
- For the treatment of whooping cough, honey is added to the chopped, flattened stem and the mucilaginous juice appearing like syrup is ready to be used. The same juice is used for inflammations, pain and other skin diseases. For swellings, the longitudinally cut stems are applied locally. The decoction of the stem is laxative and used to kill and expel worms.
- The flowers used in decoction promote the flow of urine.
- The flattened stem made into pulp is applied over inflamed eyes in the following manner: 15 grams of the pulp is mixed in a cup of water and then applied.
- The dried system can be powdered and used as tea, which aids digestion. The juice extracted from the fresh stems also helps in digestion and heals wounds and fresh cuts.
- Externally, the fresh juice is applied over ulcers, itchy skin, warts, and boils.
- Put a handful of flowers into a container, add honey, and make an infusion in 1 glass of water. After cooling, it is taken by spoonful doses every hour. This is recommended for inflamed respiratory tract and cough.
- The seeds are used to kill and expel worms from the body. It is an antidote for cancer and a remedy against tuberculosis. It is also a cleanser of the stomach and helps in the functioning of the liver. The decoction of the dry seeds made into powder promotes menstrual flow and helps expel worms from the body. The powder can also be mixed with honey and can be taken by spoonful doses of two or three. If heated and applied to boils it hastens the formation of pus.
Active Principles: Glycosides (isorhamnetin, quercertain, and narcissi, galactose, arabinose)