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La Yagruma, sacred tree of Afro-Cuban culture

Yagruma in Santeria

They repeat the older ones very often: "Yagruma leaves can alleviate many ills."

And it is that this tree with leaves of different shades is as ancient as it is spiritual. The Yagruma. It is a tree of the Moraceae family that can reach 20 meters in height, and rise in the middle of the landscape.

El yagruma tree It is tall and with a slender trunk and is present in many Cuban landscapes. Its leaves are large, broad, lobed and two-colored. The part of the leaves that is exposed to the sun is dark green, while the underside of a grayish tone.

Yagruma, powerful medicinal plant

La Yagruma. (Cecropia peltata) is also a tree with great medicinal qualities. Its leaves and bark are used in decoctions and natural remedies to treat respiratory diseases and flu states due to their astringent qualities.

Although experts point out that healers who really know about it should prepare these remedies, plants have magical powers, but in the absence of knowledge they can be dangerous.

Cuban peasants assure that the yagruma leaves, mixed with macao shell powder, brown sugar, castile honey and violet leaves, it is the most effective remedy to end asthma.

Afro-Cuban religion and Yagruma.

In the Rule of Osha (Santeria), the Yagruma. is associated with the Yoruba Orisha obbatala, to which it is consecrated. It is also one of the representative plants of Yemayá, Shangó and Oyá.

According to the book The mountainLydia cabrera, This powerful plant receives several names, from Lucumí: Iggi, Oggugú, Láro and from Congo: Matitit. Kandólao, moratafo and feniliyé are also names given to him by a herbalist from the Plaza del Vapor.

It is one of the Cuban trees with the greatest presence within Afro-Cuban cults. It is also related to the offerings dedicated to Osain, Orula and Ifá.

And not only the Regla de Ocha has adopted it as one of the plants consecrated to the Orishas, ​​but the paleros call the sentry with the Yagrumo, while, for the mayomberos, the Yagruma. It is the sentinel tower of Sududamba (the owl). Both religious expressions consider that the tree houses the vigilant spirits of the mountain.

As we can see, this tree, so common in Cuban landscapes, is a source of spirituality and myths that ensure protection and health.

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