When Linnette Brown needed medicine where she grew up back home in Jamaica, “We do not run to the doctor like Americans for medicine, we go outside to the garden.” Indeed a visit to Linettes home is like stepping into another world. So much to learn about, such an education. Each plant has a medicinal value.
The Guinea Hen Weed or anamu (Petiveria alliacea) is a naturally growing herb throughout Jamaica. This herb is utilized by Islanders for a medicinal tea. It is said to reduce pain from arthritis, rheumatism by reducing inflammation. It is said to boost immunity so is recommended as a daily tea or wellness drink. Medical research at the University of Illinois has confirmed Guinea Hen kills cancer cells while leaving normal cells alone. Guinea Heb kills bacteria, fungus, free radicals and prevents the growth of tumors.
Porter weed or vervine (Stachytarpheta urifolia) : In Florida this plant is popular as a butterfly garden plant. Vervine is wonderful for stomach aches and gas. Drink as a tea. It is supposed to improve digestion and improve absorption of nutrients after eating food. Vervine is calming, so it is good for sleep or anxiety, migraines and relaxation. For women, it is good for PMS. Vervine is utilized to prevent kidney stones by cleaning out the urinary tract. Vervine as a tea is good for cleansing the liver. When suffering from a cold, try a cup of Vervine to break fever, ease breathing. As poultice it is good for wounds and sores. Also relieves arthritis symptoms. Years ago it was called the love bush, for improving sex.
Jack na bush (Eupatorium odoratum) makes a great tea, nice and sweet tasting according to Linette. The plant grows into a nice size bush, with pale small flowers that attract butterflies. Islanders drink the tea for colds, flu and coughs.
Fresh cut or garden balsam, tilo (Justicia pectoralisor ) is utilized to remove worms from the body. It is also great for new bruises hence the name fresh cut. You rub on a new wound, and it heals it can also be used as a poultice. When you make an infusion of the leaves, it is great as a calming relaxing tea. Fresh cut is not to be confused with linden tea, another sedative tea more commonly grown in Europe.
Linette shared a well read special herbal book but some of her herbs are not in the book. Linnette handed me stacks of a newspaper called National Weekly, and there is a section called an advertorial. In this section there were all the herbs she mentioned. For more information on Jamaican healing herbs contact Linnette at (954) 486-3936.
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