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5 Jamaican Home Remedies for the Flu Season

by Venesha Johnson | Associate Writer

Jamaican Tumeric
Photo: Jamaican Tumeric

Every Jamaican probably grew up hearing this phrase, โ€œgo drink some tea!โ€ shouted by their mom. As a people, we strongly believe that โ€œbush teaโ€ can prevent or cure everything, whether it be the seasonal flu, coronavirus, upset stomach, or gas, some warm herbal tea will fix you right up. But it is not just tea that we believe in, these herbs donโ€™t have to be boiled or steeped in warm water, depending on the ailment you just need to rub a few leaves together to get juices out.

There are so many home remedies to choose from for just about any and every ailment. These are just a few natural herbal home remedies that you might find quite useful during this season.
  1. Honey, Garlic, Lime juice, and White rum

    It's the flu season right now and it seems as though everyone is sick. This remedy is very popular and a go-to for most Jamaican households. Be prepared though, it is not tasty, but it works and it works quite quickly. All you will need is:

    • Small sealable glass container
    • Garlic
    • Lime
    • Honey
    • White rum

    It is quick and easy to make and does not require you to have any special gadgets or equipment. All you need to do is get a few big cloves of garlic, strip it, wrap it in a piece of cotton cloth, and beat it with any hard object you can find until it is flat and the juices start to come out.

    Of course, you could just beat it with a mallet but this is the Jamaican way. Once you have prepared the garlic, place it in your glass container, most persons choose to use a 200ml rum bottle. Next, you will need to get 2 to 3 limes or a lemon, remove the seeds and squeeze the juice into the bottle.

    The lime or lemon juice should be enough to cover the amount of garlic in the container. Once that is done, add 2 or 3 tablespoons of raw honey and a tablespoon of white rum. Seal the container and shake it. You can start taking this as soon as the next day but for best results store for an entire week before consuming 1 tablespoon, 2 to 3 times per day.

  2. Roasted Sour Orange

    This one is not often used because it simply tastes horrible. However, it's fast-working and you will start feeling better in no time. But first, what is a sour orange? What Jamaicans refer to as a sour orange are Seville oranges that are naturally sour and sometimes bitter in flavour. They are sometimes called bitter orange or marmalade orange. It is mostly given to those who have a fever, a cough, a cold, or just the common flu.

    Preparing this is simple, wash a bitter orange and set it over medium flames, you will be roasting it over the flames (you can use a stovetop) until all sides of the orange are black and charred.

    Once you have finished roasting the orange, remove it from the fire and set it aside to cool down a bit, not for too long though because it should be eaten hot. Split the orange in two and use a small spoon to scoop the inside out. To offset the bitterness some people choose to sprinkle a little sugar on top.

  3. Turmeric, Garlic, and Ginger tea

    This combination has been around for ages but has gotten increasingly popular over the last two years. This may be due to the pandemic and people's continuous search for natural remedies that will aid with the symptoms of the coronavirus. Here's what you will need:

    • Turmeric
    • Garlic
    • Ginger
    • Lime/lemon (optional)
    • Black pepper (optional)
    • Honey as a sweetener

    Use a knife to gently scrape away the outside of a root of turmeric and a root of ginger. Strip a couple of cloves of garlic, then cut all three ingredients into small pieces and to some boiling water. Once the tea has been boiling for around 5 minutes on high heat, turn the heat down and let simmer for another 15 minutes. Pour into a cup and drink as is or you have the option of adding a small pinch of black pepper or teaspoon of lime juice to your tea. It is believed that black pepper and lime juice activate additional properties in turmeric.

  4. Eucalyptus Oil and Peppermint

    This is a fairly simple but effective method to recover from a cold. Youโ€™ll be good as new with the help of just a few ingredients:

    • Eucalyptus Oil
    • Peppermint
    • Salt

    Add salt to two cups of water and allow it to boil. Add both the Eucalyptus Oil and Peppermint to the water and pour it into a heat-friendly container. Get a towel or cloth large enough to cover both your head and the container completely. Set it on the floor, cover yourself with the towel, place your head above the container and allow your face to steam. Do this for as long as you can, but try not to remove your head too often.

    When steaming is done, use the water to rub your joints, then hop back into your warm clothes. This remedy help with clearing the nasal passage and alleviating the pain in your joints.

  5. John Charles Tea

    John Charles Tea is not as popular but it is just as effective when fighting off a cold. The ingredients are:

    • Dried John Charles leaves
    • Lime
    • Honey

    Add two cups of water to a pot or kettle and allow it to boil. When the water has come to a boil add the dried leaves and allow them to steep or as we say โ€œdrawโ€. Add lime and sweeten with honey.

    There are so many other useful home remedies that make going through the flu season easier, like garlic tea, a shot of honey and lime, leaf of life tea, or juiced leaf of life and salt, it's almost impossible to list them all here. Donโ€™t hesitate to try these remedies and share them with your family and friends.

    I also recommend you read, 15 Amazing Health Benefits Of Jamaican Black Castor Oil.


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