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Prickly pear (Opuntia ficus indica)

Prickly pear cactus


Blood sugar regulating, anti-inflammatory

Areas of application:

regulates cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels, improves urinary incontinence, prostate problems, diabetes, smoothes the skin, arthritis, joint pain, as a drain for toxins, muscle fatigue, sore muscles, psoriasis, eczema, hives

Plant parts used:

young leaves, shoots, fruits

Collection time:

Spring to November

To find:

It is possible to collect prickly pear cactus on the Mediterranean islands, including France, Spain and Italy. It also grows in the southern United States and Mexico.


Pectin, enzymes, glucose, protein, fat, carbohydrates, calcium, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, beta-sitosterol


☕ Tea: Add 5 to 10 flowers (dried or fresh) to 1 liter of boiling water. Then bring to the boil briefly for about 2 to 3 minutes and then let it steep for a while. Strain and drink throughout the day.

The prickly pear cactus grows up to 5 m high and has flat, rounded leaf pads that branch out. The flowers and later the fruits grow directly on the leaf cushion. The entire cactus, including the fruit, is covered with two different types of spines. There are large, solid spines that are easily visible and small, hair-like spines that are more difficult to see and come off easily. These smaller spines can pierce your skin if you're not careful. The individual flowers are large, bisexual and yellow to orange. The fruit, called prickly pear, is a berry that contains numerous hard seeds. The prickly pear cactus is native to semi-arid and desert-like areas and is easy to cultivate in containers.

The leaf pads as well as the fruits are edible. To do this, peel them off carefully. The spines are burned off, causing the shell to char, or others use sandpaper. The juice of the figs can be drunk and the pulp can be used in salads, tacos, stir-fries and soups. The fruits are very nutritious.

Prickly pear cactus

A prickly pear consists of 90 percent water, which is mainly stored in the leaves. This water is rich in vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, most of which have not yet been researched.

Only the young leaves of older plants or shoots are used for the remedy.

You can get a smoothing mask from the fresh leaves if you chop them up in a blender. Sometimes prickly pear can be found in some care products. The tissue is well supplied by the amino acids and makes the skin plump.

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