The Nicoya Peninsula is one of five Blue Zones in the world, where people commonly live active lives well into their 9th decade. Refugio de Los Angeles is located on the Pacific Slope of this region in the small farming town of Quebrada Grande. Inhabitants of this village have worked the land for generations and have a healthy appreciation for the trees and plants that grow abundantly throughout this mountainous terrain. Long before the Costa Rican government sent doctors into these remote villages, the elders were using the many varieties of trees and plants for medicine, both curative and preventive, with positive results.
The medicinal plant knowledge of the elders is passed down with great veneration to the next generation. Women of all ages initiated a community medicinal plant project to gather species in a nursery built in the heart of the village so that this knowledge would be preserved and used in their daily lives. Medicinal plants are grown in the nursery and then transplanted to their home gardens for easier access and use.
Refugio de Los Angeles has gardens dedicated to the preservation, growth, and use of medicinal plants. A noni orchard is the source of daily doses of this potent health drink, followed by a tea of insulin that grows near the kitchen for easy access. This tea helps control cholesterol levels. Carao trees provide the nutritious dark red syrup used as a blood and immune system builder. The workers drink teas daily made from a variety of plants in the gardens, as well as fruit shakes blended with assorted fresh fruits grown on the property. Medicinals are an essential part of the daily diet at Refugio de Los Angeles. Guests remark that after spending time here they feel rejuvenated, energized and restored to good health.
Partial List of Medicinals at Refugio de Los Angeles
Field studies are in progress to identify other medicinals on the property.