The plant life used for dietary purposes was also used for medicinal purposes. Jatropha dioica is a plant that grows in dry climates and rocky soils over the mountains of San Luis Potosí. The plant when exposed to air leaves a red dye exposed used for paints but also had medicinal purposes for dental and gum disease. Extracts from this plant have been used as antimicrobial agents.
Traditionally used as a red pigment by the Guachichiles, the Canaigre Dock also has medicinal properties. An infusion of the stems and leaves has been used as a wash for sores, ant bites, and infected cuts. The roots are astringent. An infusion has been used in the treatment of diarrhea. An infusion has been used as a gargle to treat coughs and sore mouths and throats. The root has been chewed in the treatment of coughs and colds. The dried, powdered roots have been used as a dusting powder and dressing on burns and sores. Tea made from this plant is used to treat colds.
Chaparral tea has been suggested for the treatment of bronchitis and the common cold. It also was used to alleviate rheumatic pain, stomach pain, chickenpox, and snakebite pain. American Indians used chaparral for arthritis, bowel cramps, gas, colds, and chronic skin disorders. It is abundant in the desert areas of the North Mexican states such as San Luis Potosi, Coahuila, Chihuahua, Durango, Sonora, and Zacatecas.
Damiana is used to treat headache, urinary incontinence, depression, nervous stomach, and constipation; for prevention and treatment of sexual dysfunction; boosting and maintaining mental and physical stamina, and as an aphrodisiac. It is mainly found In the state of Coahuila.
Nopal is a plant used in traditional Mexican medicine to treat diabetes. findings suggest that nopal could reduce postprandial blood glucose, serum insulin, and plasma GIP peaks, as well as increase antioxidant activity in healthy people and patients with type 2 diabetes.
The roots, sap, and juice of agave are used to make medicine. Agave has been taken by mouth for constipation, indigestion, flatulence, jaundice, cancer, and diarrhea; to promote labor, and to promote urine production. Agave has also been applied to the skin to treat bruises and to promote hair growth.
Yucca is used for osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, migraine headaches, inflammation of the intestine (colitis), high cholesterol, stomach disorders, diabetes, and liver and gallbladder disorders.
Some apply yucca directly to the skin for sores, skin diseases, bleeding, sprains, and joint pain.
Various Indigenous cultures that revere the plant believe that it has a vast number of health benefits for the body. For example, they may use peyote to treat a number of ailments, from snake bites and wounds to systemic problems such as diabetes, skin conditions, and general pain. To the Guachichiles the peyote was also used to become closer to nature and to sharpen their skills for battle.
The mesquite sap or tar was also boiled down, diluted, and used to make an eye wash or antiseptic for wounds. It was also used to treat chapped lips and skin, sunburn, and venereal disease. The roots of the tree were used as firewood as well as chewed on to treat toothaches