INAH discovers medicinal plants in archaeological zone of Uxmal, Yucatán

Pyramid of Magician - Uxmal. (Photo:

Researchers from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) recently found and identified a garden of medicinal plants within the archaeological zone of Uxmal, in Yucatán.

As they informed, the plants with healing properties did not grow naturally, but were cultivated by the ancient Maya, who had knowledge of their medicinal uses, long before the year 300 AC.

“We found about 160 different species of medicinal plants, so we did a selective cleaning; we identified the plants, marked them and we started to conserve them, “explained José Huchim, INAH archaeologist.

The finding of these species is unique in the Maya area of ​​Mexico made up of the states of Oaxaca, Chiapas, Campeche, Quintana Roo and Yucatán.

The researchers have only found this kind of botanical garden of medicinal plants in the archaeological zone of Uxmal, in Yucatan.

For us it is very significant that the greatest concentration is inside the site next to the Governor’s Palace, until now it is the only Maya archaeological site with these characteristics, “said José Huchim, INAH archaeologist.

The most important thing about this discovery is that the planting was developed for human consumption within Uxmal, and the fact that the garden is located right next to the Governor’s Palace, the administrative building of the ruler in turn and also right next to the pyramid of the Adivino, the main religious building of this Maya city.

Ethnographic research indicated that the healing properties of the plants found are linked to therapeutic knowledge and were used in treatments against snake bites, intestinal infections, sores, gastritis, stomach ulcers and fever, among others.

The area where the medicinal species were found is now protected, and turned into a botanical garden in order to continue its study, and support the preservation of the natural and cultural heritage of the ancient Maya.