This striking silhouette of the ocotillo reminds me of the low desert of Yuma, Arizona. It's where I called home for 35 years and the plants of that particular region still call to me. Ocotillo, bursage, mesquite, Elephant tree, chaparral and cottonwood. These are all amazing medicinal herbal allies.
Ocotillo is very unique in its ability to move the lymphatic system. Modern pharmaceuticals fail us in this area of health. A clean, healthy lymphatic system is very important for maintaining a strong immune response because it helps clear the muck from the blood. Side by side the blood vessels and the lymphatic vessels lay as if to say "we work together". The transference of byproducts that the blood does not need, flows through the walls of the blood vessels and into the lymphatic tubes where it is moved out of the body. When there is lymphatic swelling such as in the swelling of the prostate, adenoids, groin or armpits or if there are varicose veins, hemorrhoids or breast congestion, lymphatic herbs will help to facilitate drainage. Ocotillo in combination with other lymphatic herbs do well to address this imbalance.
Red root, poke, cleavers, spilanthes and echinacea all work to assist lymphatic drainage. Either in combination with these herbs or by itself, in tincture form, the ocotillo is very effective. Topically as well, a salve can be of great assistance when dealing with hemorrhoids or varicose veins.
This tough, prickly plant is a powerhouse of medicine. She grows well in some of the higher elevations of Tucson, Arizona but my memory of her is from
the constant reminder of her beauty as I hiked the hills of Yuma at sunset.