Orisha and Palo Herbs

New World Herbs used in the religious practices of the Lukumi, including herbs used in Palo, and for spiritual baths

 

This list includes Ewe Osain as listed in the film Osain: 121 Herbs of Santera, and in the book "El Monte" by the ethnographer Lydia Cabrera.  The film title is misleading - many of the herbs listed are not used in Lukumi (Santeria)  but are used in other types of ceremonies; in Palo, for misas espirituales etc.

I have referenced the herbs from the film that are mentioned in El Monte - with the page numbers, and have searched various plant databases on the net - providing pictures of those herbs I could find.  I have also included other herbs - not mentioned in either.  Click on the linked plant names to see pictures.

This is a work in progress.  I have not finished finding photos - nor wading through Cabrera, but decided to put up what I have for now.  I'd like to thank my godson Jesse Hathaway-Diaz for the work he put in doing transcribing, and for alerting me to the video.

Please feel free to contact me if you have corrections or  additional data  you'd like me to upload.

I am also in the process of collecting seeds - and attempting to grow as many of the herbs we use in ceremonies and religious practice as I can - and am working with Oba's to identify other herbs and plants (North American) that are also eligible for use in our practices.

Click on my name to contact me:

Denise

Thanks for visiting

 

(L) = Lukumi term

(C) = Congolese term

(Cab) indicates that the name and or information found in Cabrera differs from the information from the film.

 

Latin Nomenclature

Cuban Spanish

Lucumi / Congo

English

Owner or Use

Eupatorum villosum

Abre Camino

 

Bitter Bush, Shrubby Thoroughwort

 

Canela alba

Palo Malambo

(Nkunia Mpeka)

(C) Nkunia Mpeka

White Cinnabar Tree, Wild Cinnamon Tree

 

Palo - p.504

El Monte

Nyctaginaceae Boerhavia Diffusa Atipola   red spiderling,

Hogweed

Obatala &

Elegua

El Monte

p. 332

Oxandra lanceolata

Yaya

(L)Yy, Echi

(C) Koromeni, Mbkese

West Indian Lancewood

Shango

El Monte

p. 555  Palo

Phyllanthus augustifolia

Panetela

 

Foliage Flower

 

Hibiscus rosa sinensis

Mar Pacifico

 

Hibiscus, Rose of China

 

Punica granatum

Granada

(L)Oroko, Mayaku, Yayek-Kansor

Pomegranate

Oya, Chango

El Monte

p. 432

Stachytarpheta jamaicensis

 

Verbena officinalis (Cab)

Verbena

note - not to be confused with Verbena - in English

 

 

 

(L) Ewe orukan, Orrioyo

Jamaican Vervain, Blue Snakeweed

Blue Porterweed

Vervain

 

 

 

Yemaya

El Monte p. 552

Pilea microphylla

Frescura

(L) Ewe  r matn. Tutu

Artillery Plant

Ochun, Yemaya

El Monte

p. 427

Pistia stratiodes

 

 

Eichornia azurea, Kunth

Flor de Agua

(Cabrera has this as a different plant - see Eichornia, Kunth

 

 

 

Yemaya

Water Lettuce, Shell Flower

 

Water Hyacinth

 

 

 

p. 425

Caesalpinia major

Quita Maldicion

 

Wait A Bit Plant

Nickar bean plant

 El Monte

p.535

Melia azadirachta

Paraiso

(L) Ibayo, Yiya

Paradise Tree, Neem Tree

Shango

El Monte

p. 510

 

Mirabilis jalapa

Maravilla Roja

(L) Ewe Ewa, Inkuallo

(C) Boddul

Four-OClock Plant, Marvel of Peru

Obatala, Oya Yewa

El Monte

p. 486

Abutilon theophrasti

Boton de Oro

 

Hairy Indian Mallow, Velvet Leaf

 

Parthenium hysterophorus

Escoba Amarga

(L) Eggweniy

(C) Bombo

False Ragweed

Babaluaye

El Monte

p. 419

Bryophyllum pinnatum

Kalanchoe Pinnata   

Prodigiosa

 

Life Plant, Cathedral Bells, Air Plant

 

Isocarpha cubana

Chrysanthellum americanum(Cab)

Manzanilla

 

(L) Nikirio

(C) Dnbuande

Cuban Isocarpha

 

African Wild Daisy

 

Callicarpa americana

Filigrama

 

American Beautyberry, Beautyberry

 Shango(?)

Heliotropium campechianum

 

Heliotropium indicum (Cab)

Alacrancillo

 

 

(L) Aguyi

 

(C ) Blwoto

Indian Heliotrope

Obatala

 

Also Ochun and Ok

El Monte

p.298

Trichilia havanensis

Siguaraya or Ciguaraya

(L) Atori

(C) Insso or Tinso, Nsimba dian finda

Cuban Trichilia

Shango, Eleggua

El Monte

p.544

Piper hispidum

Platanillo de Cuba

(Bayuyo)

(L)Olbbo

Jamaican Pepper

Shango

El Monte

p. 526

Eupatorium odoratum

Rompe Saraguey

(L) Tabat

(C) Ntema din finda

Siam Weed, Bitter Bush Triffid Weed,

El Monte

p. 538

 

 

 

Cecropia peltata

 

Yagruma

(L) Iggi Oggug

(C) Matiti

Trumpet Tree, Embauba, Trompettier, Snake Wood, Bois Cannon

Obatala

 

El Monte

p. 554

Clerodendrum fragrans

Mil Flores

 

Cologne Bush,

Glory Bower

Honolulu Rose

Oya, Yewa

El Monte

p. 490

Psidium guajaba

Guayaba

(L) Knku

(C) Gunkibilnga

      Nfuruta

Tropical Guava, Guava

Eleggua

El Monte

p.439

Solanum nigrum

Yerba Mora

(L) Ator, Efod

Black nightshade

Petty Morel, Poisonberry, Garden Nightshade

Ogun, Yemaya

p. 562

is poison

Petiveria alliacea

Anamu

(L) Yna, Anamu, Ochisn

Congo Root , Guinea Henweed

Forbidden in houses of ocha

El Monte

p. 323

is an abortive

Cucurbita pepo

Calabaza

(L) Eleguedd

 

(C ) Male, Malenque, Makngue,

Maluka, Macuke, Ymr

Squash or pumpkin

Ochun

 

 

Corchorus siliquosus

Malva te

(L) Dd

(C ) Dubue

Slippery Elm,

Slippery Burr

 

Oshun

El Monte

p. 483

Momordica charantia

Cundiamor

 

Bitter Melon, Balsam Pear

Babaluaye

Antigonon leptopus

Coralillo Rosado

(L) Chuko

Coral Vine, Queens Wreath

Oya

El Monte

p.410

 

 

Bidens pilosa

 

 

Romerillo

 

 

 

Spanish Needle, Cobblers Peg

Hairy Beggarticks, Farmers Friend

 

Blechum brownei

Mazorquilla

 

Green Shrimp Plant

 

 

Cupania americana

 

( Cab) Cupania cubensis

Guar

(L) Guar. Agagwan

(C) Nyuko

Candlewood, Wild Ackee

Oya

(some attribute to Dada)

El Monte

p.437

Argemone mexicana

Cardo Santo

(L) Ik, Agog, Igbelgn

( C) Cando er

Mexican Pricklepoppy, Goatweed

Ogun

(some attribute to Obatala)

El Monte

p. 369

Hura crepitans

Salvadera

(L) Ewe g,

Arnica

Sandbox Tree

El Monte

 

p.541

Achyranthes aspera

Rabo de Gato

 

Devils Horsewhip, Prickly Chaff Flower

Elegua,
Ibejis

El Monte

 

p.535

Salvia officinalis

Salvia de Castilla

(Cab)

(L)Kiriwi

(C) Vititi Lka

 

Sage

Obatala

Salvia odoratus

Salvia

 

Sweetscent, Salt-marsh Fleabane,

cattle tongue

Babal Ay

Duranta repens

No Me Olvides

 

Golden Dewdrop, Sapphire Showers

Sky Flower

 

 

 

Sanseveria zeylanica

 

 

Lengua de Mujer

 

 

 

Mother-In-Laws Tongue, Bowstring Hemp

 

Sanseveria goldiana

Lengua de Vaca

 

Snake Plant

 

Origanum majorana

Mejorana

 

Marjoram, Sweet Marjoram

El Monte

p. 488

Annona muricata

Guanabana

(L) Iggi om fnfn

Gwnillo, Nichularafn

 

(C) Ombndinga

Brazilian Paw Paw, Soursop Tree

Obatala

El Monte

p.435

Cordia alba

Uva Gomosa

 

Rainforest Laurel, White Manjack

 

Alpinia speciosa

Colonia

 

Shell Ginger

 

Lepidium virginicum

Mastuerzo

(L) Eribo

Virginia Pepperweed

Elegua

El Monte ,

p. 487

Sonchus oleraceus

Cerraja

 

Sow Thistle

 

Nephrolepis exaltata

Imo Hembra

 

Wild Boston Fern

 

Gynodon dactylon

Yerba Fina

 

Bermuda Grass

 

Mentha Sativa

Yerba Buena

Efern ewe Ka, Amasi

 

Yemaya

El Monte

p.557

Piper auritum

Caisimon de Anis

 

Anise Piper, Eared Pepper

 

Amaranthus spinosus

Bledo Carbonero

 

Spiny Amaranth, Spiny Pigweed

 

Amaranthus viridis

Bledo Blanco

(L) Lob, Tt

 

 

Ew tet 

Slender Amaranth

Obatal

El Monte p.346

W. Ramos

 

 

 

 

Delonix regia

 

 

 

 

Framboyan, Flamboyan

 

 

 

 

(L)Iggi Tmbina, Inweko

 

 

 

Flamboyant, Royal Poinciana

 

 

 

Shango and Oya

El monte

p. 426

Bursera simaruba

 

(Cab) Elaphrium Simaruba

Almacigo

(L) Iggi Addama. Moy,

Iluke

( C) Imbi iye

 

Gumbo Limbo Tree, Tourist Tree

Eleggua, Shango

 

El Monte

p321

Vinca rosea alba

Vicaria Blanca or

Purisima Blanca y Morada

 

White Periwinkle

Obatala

 

El Monte

p. 552

Platycerium bifurcatum

Cuerno de Arsi

 

Staghorn Fern

 

Coix lacryma jobi

 

 

Caa Santa

 

 

 

Jobs Tears

 

 

 

(Cab) Costus spicatus

Caa Santa

 

 

Indianhead Ginger

Ogun

 

El Monte

p.367

Justicia pectoralis

Tilo

 

Freshcut Herb

 

Aloe vera

Sabila, Sabilla

 

Aloe vera

Yemaya

El Monte

p. 540

 

 

Pedilanthus tithymaloides

Itamorreal

 

Devils Backbone

 

Zibgiber officinale

Jengibre

 

Ginger, Common Giner

 

Codiaeum variegatum

Lluvia de Oro

 

Croton

 

Dracaena draco

Drago

 

Dragon Tree

 

Codiaeum variegatum

Croto

 

Croton

 

Colocasia esculentum

Malanga

 

Elephants Ear

 

Breynia nivosa

Nevada

 

Snobush, Sweetpea Bush

 

Oxalis corniculata

Vinagrillo

 

Creeping Wood Sorrel, Yellow Wood Sorrel

 

Commelina communis

Canutillo

 

Asiatic Dayflower

 

Nephrolepis cordifolia

Imo Macho

 

Sword Fern

 

Crescentia cujete

Guira

 

Calabash Tree, Gourd Tree

 

Costus barbatus

Cana Mexicana

 

Spiral Ginger, Red Tower Ginger

 

Tradescantia zebrina

Cucaracha

 

Wandering Jew

 

Hamelia patens

Parami

 

Scarletbush, Firebush

 

Lantana involucrate

Yerba de la Sangre

 

Wild Sage

 

Acacia farnesiana

Aroma Amarilla

 

Sweet Acacia, Sponge Tree

 

Ipomoea indica

Aguinaldo Morado

 

Blue Dawn Flower, Morning Glory

 

Colubrina reclinata

Palo Amargo

 

Soldierwood

 

Picrasma excelsa

Varia

 

Bitter Ash tree, Jamaica Quassi Tree

 

Chrysobalanus icaco

Moruro

 

Coco Plum

 

Casearia sylvestris

Palo Hueso

 

Wild Coffee Tree, Guacatonga Tree

 

Mastichodendron foetidissimum

Jocuma

 

Mastic Tree, Wild Mastic Tree

 

Amyris balsamifera

Cuaba Blanca

 

Balsam Amyris, Amyris Torchwood

 

Trophis reacemosa

Palo Ramon

 

White Ramon Tree

 

Tillandsia flexuosa

Curujey

 

Banded Airplant, Twisted Airplant

 

Erythroxylon areolatum

Jiba

 

Coca Shrub

 

Arthrostylidium cubensis

Tibisi

 

Cuban Bamboo

 

Nectandra minima

Palo Boniato

 

Cuban Laurel, Sweetwood Tree

 

Eugenia ligustrina

Guairaje

 

Birchberry Tree, Privet Stopper Tree

 

Hyperbaena cubensis

Palo Chicharron

 

Cuban Hyperbaena

 

Chiococca alba

Bejuco Berraco

 

West Indian Milkberry Tree, Snowberry Tree

 

Comocladia dentata

Guao de Costa

 

Maiden Plum Tree

 

Gossypium herbaceum

Algodon

 

Arabian Cotton Treee, Pale Yellow Cotton Tree

 

Ficus aurea

Jaguey Hembra

 

Strangler Fig Tree

 

Clusia rosea

Copey

 

Autograph Tree, Balsam Apple Tree

 

Priva lappulacea

Pega Pollo

 

Stick Tights, Fasten Pon Coat

 

Hibiscus elatus

Majagua

 

Cuban Mahoe, Blue Mahoe

 

Euphorbia lacteal

Cardon

 

Candelabra Cactus, False Cactus

 

Guarea trichilioides

Palo Yamao

 

American Muskwood, Ballwood

 

Bourreria virgata

Raspa Lengua

 

Stongback Leaf Plant

 

Chrysophyllum oliviforme

Caimitillo

 

Satin Leaf Tree

 

Zanthoxylum fagara

Limoncillo

 

Lime Pricklyash Tree

 

Ficus crassinervia

Jaguey macho

 

Wild Fig Tree, Ficus trigonata

 

Tabebuia rosea

Roble Negro

 

Pink Tacoma , Pink Trumpet Tree

 

Samanea saman

Algarrobo

 

Rain Tree, Monkeypod Tree

 

Coccoloba uvifera

Uva Caleta

 

Sea Grape Tree

 

Nerium oleander

Adelfa

 

Oleander Tree

 

Bucida bucera

Jucaro Negro

 

Black Olive Tree

 

Pinus caribaea

Pino Macho

 

Caribbean Pine

 

Cajanus cajan

Gandul

 

Pigeon Pea Shrub

 

Rhizophora mangle

Mangle Rojo

 

Red Mangrove Tree

 

Terminalia catappa

Almendra

 

Indian Almond Tree, Flase Kamani Tree

 

Merremia umbellata

Aguinaldo Amarillo

 

Yellow Morning Glory, Sweet William

 

Moringa frances

Paraiso Frances

 

Horseradish Tree, Ben-Oil Tree

 

Cassia occidentalis

Yerba Hedionda

 

Coffee Senna Tree

 

Byrsonima lucida

Doncella

 

Locust Berry

 

Platygyne hexandra

Ortiguilla

 

Cuban Stinging Nettle

 

Musa sapientum

Platano

 

Banana Tree

 

Tababuia vitex

Vencedor Macho

 

Cuban Tabebuia

 

Turnea ulmifolia

Marilope

 

Yellow Alder

 

Persea americana

Aguacate

 

Avocado, Alligator Pear

 

Jatropha curcas

Pinon Botija

 

Barbados Nut Tree, Physic Nut Tree

 

Eclipta prostrata

Espanta Muerto

 

False Daisy, Tattoo Plant