Opuntia spp.

Family: Cactaceae (Cactus family)

Deities: Ogoun, Yemaya

Element: Water

Common to the Southwestern US, prickly pear is a source of food, water and medicine.

Cactus spinesMedicinal Uses: The juice of the prickly pear is used in Mexico as an anti-inflammatory diuretic, treating the pain of a UTI (but does not treat the bacteriological origin). Externally, the filleted pads make an excellent drawing poultice. Research studies have shown that prickly pear juice lowers the blood sugar in diabetics. The flowers, when dried, may be used to treat colitis and vaginitis due to being high in flavanoids.

Spiritual Uses:
Prickly pear can help you get rid of your emotional pain and protect you while you work through the healing process.

Prickly pear is a cactus that has large water-filled edible pads with or without spines (depending on the species). The large showy yellow, orange or red flowers give way to a delicious fruit (the “pear” or “tuna”) that is used to make jams and jellies. The cacti can regenerate from the pads, the roots or seeds so it is a hardy plant that spreads easily and survives many climates.