Cactus / Cactaceae

Cactus / Cactaceae Cactus / Cactaceae

You can eat the fruit and seeds of all cacti, although the seeds can be a bit difficult to chew. The flowers are also edible, but keep in mind that the flowers of the so-called peyote cause vomiting and extreme hallucinations—for the Rarámuri this cactus is for ritual use. The fruits and flowers of cacti have soluble fiber and are good for stomach and intestinal problems. Nopal and cholla can all be eaten, but the smaller ones are easier to eat as they become tougher and more fibrous as they age. Eating nopal and cholla will reduce your body temperature during the day making it use less water, so it is good to eat them in the morning. Most cacti have two types of spines on their pads and fruit, but you can cut or burn them.

The raw inner pulp of the nopal can be used to treat hemorrhoids or sunburn and can be mixed with clay to make a sunscreen.

Important note: if you cut the cactus and there is milky slime, do not use or eat it.

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