Mullaca leaves tea

Ark of taste
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This plant called mullaca (Muehlenbeckia volcanica) is a small shrub belonging to the Poligonacee, originating in the high Peruvian Sierra. It is nowadays found in the south of the Sierra, specifically in the departments of Puno and Cusco, on altitudes between 1500 and 4500 meters above sea level. The area with the ideal conditions for the growth of mullaca is in the province of Quispicanchi.

In this area it grows alongside slopes and in the undergrowth; mullaca adapts well to arid and rocky soils of volcanic origins and can resist the lack of oxygen and freezing temperatures typical in the high altitudes in the Andes. Mullaca shrubs grow between rocks and their roots can reach depths of almost 15 meters.

Historically, the Wari, Tiahaunaco and Inca populations used the leaves and roots for medicinal purposes, and the flowers as a natural textile dye. Nowadays, the local populations continue to harvest and consume mullaca leaves, fresh as well as in infusions.
The lack of knowledge and awareness of the properties of this plant in combination with the depopulation of the Andean areas risk the loss of the use of this products and the traditional knowledge connected to it.

Molluca leaves are infused in hot water to make a tea consumed hot as well as cold. It is mostly used as an energizing beverage, helping to take on the high altitudes.
They are, according to some ethnomedical research, also used to prepare extracts with healing properties, used to cure colds, bronchitis and asthma.

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Tea and infusions

Nominated by:Dauro Mattia Zocchi, Rosa Miranda Almarás