Mullaca

It is an excellent dye plant where it gets bright blue, used in dyeing of textiles from pre-Hispanic cultures such as Paracas and Inca. The strength of this natural dye lasts to this day in these textiles, causing worldwide admiration. The Mullaca also has medicinal properties is an excellent remedy for thrush, fever, asthma and coughs.

Scientific name: Muehlenbeckia volcanic Family: Polygonaceae.

Common names: Mullaca in Aymara, laura, coca-coca Bejuquillo

Botanical description: A small shrub which grows mainly in the Andean highlands, is hairless, very branched and semitrepador has almost orbicular leaves bright green, and its name "volcanic", due to the fact grow between igneous rocks. It blooms in November.

Ecological level: It grows in the mountains between 1,500 and 4,500 m It develops in dry among the rocks and volcanic rocks, deriving from his name there.

Historical Background: The Mullaca is a plant, whose name is of Aymara origin, as it was developed in areas where they settled great cultures such as Wari, Tiahuanaco and Inca. The flower of this species has a dark blue dye that was used since ancient times for dyeing fibers were used in the manufacture of textiles. The Mullaca was also used medicinally to cure thrush, control of asthma and fever.

Quote from reporter: "Mullaca is a small grass ... Take some subtle flowers, whitish lower than in the elder, with a very vastaguitos amid short, thin, red and whose tops are as small as points. With these flowers, when ripe and then turn black, blue stain ...." B. Cobo (IV, 41)

Uses: Mullaca has medicinal properties: The leaves and stems are used to good effect on colds, nasopharyngitis, bronchitis, canker sore, fever, cough and asthma. It is also anti-allergenic. Its flavor is not so strong it could be used in children.

How Mullaca dyeing? Color: Blue. Material: Collect leaves and pound fresh Mullaca a fulling mill. Quantity: 5 to 10 kg of leaves Mullaca and 1 kg of wool or cotton cloth. Dyeing: Put the crushed leaves of indigo in a container with water. The color is darker if added to the solution 20 To 40 g of potassium carbonate. Add the wool or cloth and leave for half day or full day. If you warm the dye comes out better. Remove the wool and wash until the water runs clear. (Encyclopedic Dictionary of Useful Plants of Peru - Antonio Brack).

Status of species: The Mullaca is a herb or shrub that grows wild in the mountains of Peru ... the potential for dyeing and medicinal plants is very large. Debiese harnessed for economic development and community with the knowledge millennium of use, and thanks to them persist to this day.