Table of Contents
Almácigo. General information.
Scientific Name: Bursera simaruba
Class: Magnoliopsida Family: Burseras
Habitat: Mediterranean region
The Almácigo is a large tree that reaches up to 25 meters in height and 80 centimeters in diameter.
It reproduces easily by seeds and stakes, the latter are used to fence the paddocks.
Its scientific name is Bursera simaruba.
The Almácigo is easily distinguished, because the epidermis of the trunk, very fine, coppery in color, spontaneously detaches forming large strips that remain hanging and make it look like an animal that sheds its skin.
It is considered a jewel of the fertile Cuban lands.
Its wood is very valuable and is used to build boxes to pack fruit, among other objects.
Its fruit is used to feed pigs and the leaves nourish other animals, such as hutia and goats.
The resin is used to make varnishes and favors gastric functions; It is also used to combat colds.
Healing properties of Almácigo.
Perhaps the nursery is one of the most popular plants in Cuba.
Traditionally, parts of this tree, from the Burseraceae family, have been used as a home remedy for certain diseases and disorders of the body, mainly in rural areas of the country.
The Cuban scholar Juan Tomás Roig collects it in his book Medicinal, aromatic or poisonous plants of Cuba. He points out: “It is well known throughout the island, as a stomach tonic, in colds and diarrhea.”
And then he details that for the first two cases the root, the peel, the leaves and the bud (which is also antispasmodic) are used.
Citing other authors, the prominent botanist says that the chosen parts are used to compose herbal teas by means of a decoction, which is prepared with a bunch of them and half a bottle of water. Let it boil for no less than 20 minutes, and after straining and sweetening it is administered by cups at the end of the day.
Through the natural cracks of the Almácigo, a resinous substance comes out that has the same properties as the leaves.
However, other researchers also attribute good results to these concoctions for colds, as an expectorant, diaphoretic (increases skin perspiration), purgative and diuretic.
According to Roig, in Colombia they use the maceration of the wood and branches to thin it, while in Venezuela they consider it anti-rheumatic.
The reproduction of the Almácigo is achieved with relative ease. The most generalized form is as a rising pole.
Reforestation is carried out in our country, and this can be a very effective method for areas dedicated to livestock, both for shade and for fences.
Plants and trees can often be incredible or have very mystical stories, the nursery has a very peculiar and interesting legend and it is told by people who lived among nature loving the infinity of trees that surrounded them, they are the ones who began to see the mysterious things that this tree did, it had the particularity that when it was cut with a machete in any of its parts, it gave off a whitish and transparent liquid that has to do with salvia without any doubt, but then everything changed when they were in the middle of holy week.
When these young people cut the Cuban Almácigo with a machete during Holy Week, it happened that instead of transparent sage coming out of it, a rather intense and thick red liquid began to come out; there was no way for them to understand this phenomenon, but at the same time there was no way to understand why only on those dates it changed, and then as a result of all this it was said that it was the blood of Christ that was coming out of the tree.
The story became more and more popular until all the people of Cubas began to pray to the tree that had the blood of Christ inside, nor did they allow it to be cut down again during Holy Week.
The natural range of the almacigo extends from southern Florida and the Bahama Islands through the Greater and Lesser Antilles and into northern South America.
It also grows on both coasts of central Mexico, through Central America, and along the Pacific Ocean coast of South America almost to the equator.
Almácigo. Soils and topography.
Almácigo grows on a wide variety of sites. It is generally very common on dry, rocky hills and calcareous soils; however, it reaches higher heights in alluvial valleys.
Soils with textures ranging from sand to clay and a pH of 5.5 to 8.5 are colonized. The species can tolerate dew from