Molle huiñan

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Beautiful tree evergreen native of Peru, adapted to coastal climates, mountains and jungle. Their large estates, dye, medicinal, ornamental and pesticides, were highly appreciated by the ancient Peruvians who called it''virtuous tree.'' Chemicals obtained from pre-Hispanic molle yellow dye, used in dyeing of textiles has been made in the Wari Culture. Also achieved, making the fruits of one molle chicha widely consumed fermented and appreciated in those times, which became a commodity to be bartered for fish, geese, dehydrated potatoes and other goods.

Scientific name: Schinus molle Family: Anacardiácea

Common names: Molle, Molle serrano pepper in Peru; mulli, cullash, huiña in Quechua.

Botanical Description: Tree up to five meters high, which is open crown, highly branched and overhanging branches, its trunk is twisted. It has compound leaves 15 to 20 leaflets, with a very pungent odor and taste characteristic spicy flowers are small, their flower clusters, pink and red, with seeds. It grows well in any soil and is drought resistant. It is widely used in parks and gardens.

Ecological level: the molle tree grows in temperate and tropical climate from sea level to 3,500 m. Located on the coast, mountains and forests in dry areas and has been introduced to other countries as an ornamental tree because of its unique beauty.

Historical Background: The pepper tree is a tree native of Peru. In pre-Hispanic times molle was grown both on the coast and in the highlands, was well known by all cultures as much under the tree "because of the many properties he owns. This tree was used for its dyeing properties, as shown in Wari textile art, notable for the variety of yellow tones. The pepper tree trunk exudes a resin that may have served in the Andean cultures to embalm their dead. Ashes from the pepper tree leaves are rich in potash and may have served as a mouthwash. With the rotting leaves herself a kind of fertilizer called''catalytic''r'ockescca in which the seeds of corn plunged to raise output.

Quote from reporter: "It is the incorruptible molle tree, a fragrant odor, and hot-tempered, and very estipticida, highly esteemed by the Indians for their wonderful effects. Giving some gashes in the trunk and on branches, exudes a resin white and fragrant, which served to keep free from corruption enbalsamar and bodies of the Inca kings, when they put in their huacas or graves. It is infinite things .... resin casts a red strawberry-sized clusters of elder, which tend to make chicha Indians ... "B. Cobo (VI, 78)

Uses: The properties molle dyeing, cooking the leaves and bark yields a yellow dye that can stain the cotton and wool. The ashes of molle also helps to wash and fix dyes, and to strip corn, wheat and barley. Its ground seeds are in great demand as pink peppercorns, and also used for producing beer, vinegar and honey. And if little has pesticidal properties. In traditional medicine is used as anti-rheumatic, laxative, against sore throat, headache and toothache. Its wood is used in carpentry and as Orcona, and agroforestry as windbreaks and for shade.

How stained with molle? Color: Yellow (bark and leaves) Material: For every kilo of wool are used 2kg molle leaves and bark. Dyeing: In the baking of the crust and leaves a yellow liquid is obtained, alum is added and soaked wool and tissues, we obtain a permanently stained yellow. (Encyclopedic Dictionary of Useful Plants of Peru - Antonio Brack)

Status of species: wild and cultivated tree coast, mountains and jungle of Peru, very helpful. Ought to be used for reforestation of the hillsides and rocky hills with sparse vegetation.