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The prickly pear cactus is a wild, cactaceous plant that grows in sunny and warm areas.
Native to Mexico, the plant was brought back to Europe by Spanish explorers where it now abundantly grows.
Opuntia ficus-indica was domesticated from Opuntia species which are native to central Mexico. Several sources show Opuntia cladodes as well as cochineal dye in Aztec tribute rolls. The plant spread to many parts of the Americas in pre-Columbian times, and since Columbus, have spread to many parts of the world, especially the Mediterranean where they have become naturalized (and in fact were believed to be native by many). This spread was facilitated by the carrying of nopales on ships to prevent scurvy.
- Prickly pear is a highly effective moisturizing and soothing ingredient for all skin care products.
- Deeply hydrates and is long-lasting.
- Soothes sensitive and dry skin.
- Protects from environmental stress.
- Has been bound around injured limbs as a first aid measure.
- Used to treat problems of the gastro-intestinal tract, especially diarrhea colitis and irritable bowel syndrome.
Disclaimer: Information on this particular article is intended for information purposes only. It is not the intention of the editor to advise on health care. Please see a medical professional about any health concerns you have.