Mesquite, uses.

Subject: Re: mesquite
From: Charlie Kane <>
Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2000 16:34:18 -0700

mh wrote:
> We were in a cafe the other day. They had mesquite broiled steaks. On their menu it said that mesquite was used by Native Americans for medicinal purposes. It didn't go into any other detail. I had never heard of mesquite as medicine, have you? What is it for?
> Thanks
> Mary in Texas

Hi Mary,I wrote this about a year ago -- it is part of a handout I give to the folks who'll see Mesquite on one of my herb walks. It's really a combonation of modern and anecdotal findings with a bit of personal experience thrown in.

Best wishes,

Prosopis julifera (glandulosa), Prosopis pubescens, and Prosopis velutina
(velvet mesquite)

Mesquite as medicine: The roots, bark, and leaves are cold and dry in nature. They are antifungal, antimicrobial, astringent, antiseptic, and antispasmodic. A powder or tea can be made from any of the above materials for athlete's foot and general fungal infections. This disinfecting wash or powder is wonderful for mild infections, stings, bites, sores, and scrapes. The leaves and pods can be made into an eye wash for eye inflammations of all kinds including pinkeye/conjunctivitis. Diarrhea, dysentery, stomach ulcers, dyspepsia, and most G. I. tract inflammations are soothed and astringed by the leaves, roots, and bark. The white inner bark is used as an intestinal antispasmodic. Being cooling and drying (astringent) the bark is also useful in stopping excessive menstrual bleeding and reducing fevers. The powdered leaves at one time were sprinkled on a newborns umbilical stump to prevent infections. Poulticed, the leaves were used topically for headaches. The young shoots, ground and toasted, were used to dissolve kidney stones.

The mesquite gum or resin is warmer in nature. It is soothing and tonifying, and provides much of its healing qualities through its natural mucilage content. Dissolved in water it is used as a G.I. tonic to rehabilitate impaired and abused intestines. It greatly assists intestinal healing after surgery. After bouts of dysentery, diarrhea, stomach/intestinal distress, and food poisoning, it is used as a restorative. It also is a wonderful soother to stomach/intestinal pain, ulcers, colitis, hemorrhoids,
sore throats, painful teeth and gums, and mouth sores. Externally it is equally effective on burned, chapped, and raw skin. Like the other parts of mesquite the resin is also an eye soother and at one time was used internally for respiratory problems.

Mesquite for food: The pods have been a food source since antiquity. They are collected when yellowish brown in color, still hanging from the tree and dry. Mid to late summer is usually the time to collect. The pods may be used in many ways. One way is by grinding them into flour with a seed grinder/mill or something equivalent and using the meal as you see fit. The flour can be added to breads, cookies and similar things or it can be eaten by itself. Mesquite pods have lots of natural sugars, protein, calcium, and soluble fiber, which make it a nutritious and tasty food from the desert. Another method is to simmer 1 lb. of pods in 1 gallon of water for 30 mins., strain, remove pods and simmer the liquid until a thicker consistency is achieved. Keep repeating this process with the same pods several times and then switch to new ones if necessary to build up the volume of sweet mesquite liquid in order to simmer down into syrup.

From: Henriette Kress <>
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2000 08:44:17 +0200

Charlie Kane <> wrote to
>Mesquite for food: The pods have been a food source since antiquity. They are

Thanks Charlie, that was interesting. What you didn't mention is that mesquite
pods are legumes, and as such they might give you killer kramps.


From: Charlie Kane <>
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2000 08:00:28 -0700

Well I suppose it is possible if you were to geat quanities of the bean, but it's the great tasting pod that is ground up into flour and prpared. I've Eatin so many cookies, breads, syrups prepared with the stuff, and have experienced no GI problems, as have everyone esle I've talked with.


From: Henriette Kress <>
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2000 18:46:19 +0200

A tea of mesquite pods can be quite, ummm, lethal. To your surroundings. You won't be too much bothered by the clouds of green gas around you...
... and you don't need very much. Some of us just can't take mesquite, just like some of us can't take black beans.