The Little Bitter That Makes You Better
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Jamaican Cerasee | Cerasee Tea
Jamaican Cerasee; A Good Guy In A Mask
By Kesha Stewart | Associate Writer
There is a notoriously bitter Jamaican bush (herbal remedy) we love to hate. There is no school age child who does not know how unpleasant it tastes and no Jamaican parent who doesn’t sing its praises.
Speaking of sing, the healing properties of this plant is captured in the folk song “Elena”.
So is Cerasse as bad as it is bitter, or are we giving it a bad name?
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Long before COVID-19 forced us to wear facial masks to reduce transmission of the virus, the Jamaica Cerasee was masking its benefits behind a very bitter taste.
Yes, in the case of Cerasse, bitter is good.
As a matter of fact, there is great evidence to suggest that Cerasse makes it a great addition to your herbal cabinet.
Sweet Facts About This Bitter Herb (Health Benefits)
Jamaican Cerasee | Bitter Lemon
- Is a renowned blood purifier
- Cleanses toxins from the body. It will flush residual medication and drug related toxins from your body
- Has hypoglycemic properties
- Contains anti-hypertensive properties
- Aids digestive issues
- Has anti-microbial properties which fight parasites or worms in the intestines
- Has rich stores of vitamins A, C, iron and phosphorous
- Fights inflammation
- Lowers bad cholesterol and protects the heart
- Stimulates bile production that helps to break down food and expel bloating
- Helps to reduce menstrual cramps
- Combined with other local herbs such as chicken weed and quack, Cerasse makes a "bush" bath that is useful to relieve skin conditions like eczema, rash or ring worms (fungal infections)
- Is an effective laxative
The Little Bitter that Makes you Better
This native of Africa, The Middle East, and the Caribbean is now found all over the world. And by the way, the fruit it produces (called bitter lemon) is included in several Indian and Chinese dishes; I was introduced to it as an accompaniment to salt fish (cod fish) when I visited Trinidad and Tobago in 2016.
Bitter lemon extracts are excellent for maintaining healthy blood pressure and blood sugar levels
How you brew a cup of Cerasee Tea
Dried Cerasee Plant
For your convenience, in Jamaica, you can purchase Cerasee as a tea bag at your favorite supermarket, market or health food store.
Outside of the island, I'd suggest you stop by any Jamaican or Caribbean supermarket or food store and simply brew according to the instructions.
If you prefer to concoct your own healing brew, the raw option is quite simple and easy.
- Just boil 2 oz of dried Cerasee leaves and stems in a gallon of water (or the needed equivalent).
- Turn off the heat after a few minutes and let it steep for up to 60 minutes.
- You can acquiesce to your taste buds and still keep the therapeutic benefits by adding a tups (bit) of honey, or add another dimension of flavorful health benefits by adding ginger or cinnamon.
Be sure to use Cerasse in moderation though. If used continuously over a short period of time, its robust diuretic properties can dehydrate the body.
It is recommended that you consume for no more than seven (7) consecutive days. Give yourself a break of several days before resuming.
Cerasse’s many therapeutic benefits originate from its rich antioxidant and poly-phenol content.
So brew a cup, hold your breath (or your nose) and chug it down once a day for the next seven (7) days, your body will love it, even if your taste buds doesn't.
How do you plan to use fever grass? Let me know in the comments section below.
Other Helpful Pages Related To Jamaican Cerasee Tea
References for Jamaican Cerasee Tea
- Dexter & Taylor, Mango Time: Folk Songs of Jamaica, Ian Randle Publishers, 2007, https://books.google.com.jm/books/about/Mango_Time.html?id=qIFJygEACAAJ
- Bennett, Karena, "Cerasee in high demand as Jamaican Teas sees sales grow", Jamaica Obsever.com, http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business-observer/cerasee-in-high-demand-as-jamaican-teas-sees-sales-grow_110698
- Grant, Donovan, "Cerasee benefits", Jamaica Observer.com, http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/magazines/allwoman/Cerasee-benefits_57058
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