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Jamaican Bush Tea
by Treshauna Fillington
There are countless bush remedies available in Jamaica to treat almost every type of ailment. Remedies are available to treat from the common cold to insect bite, fever, constipation, dizziness or even poison.
For most of us that grew up in rural Jamaica or with our grandparents, bush tea was the first option recommended to cure any sickness. All we needed to do was to name the sickness and the bush would be readily available!
Below are five of my popular Jamaican Bush Teas.
In Jamaica it is known as fever grass but in other parts of the world it is called Lemon Grass. The number one use of this grass is to reduce fever as its name suggest. Getting rid of cold and cough is also another use of fever grass.
It is also known to soothe the stomach, stop diarrhea and vomiting and relieve gas. Recent research done has also proves that this herb aids in the fight against cancer. The fever grass is normally boiled approximately ten minutes then sweetened with sugar or milk if desired.
The Cerassee tea is feared by most Jamaican because of the bitterness associated with it. Many recalls been forced to drink this tea during our childhood years. Our parents would prepare this tea on week end and give it to us as a form of “wash out”.
Cerassee is widely thought to be a blood purifier, encouraging the removal of toxic substances from the body. It is also said to prevent colds, flu, headache, jaundice and belly ache. This tea is generally sweetened with sugar but can be sweetened with condensed milk if desired.
The peppermint tea is another of the most popular bush teas here. It is known for its cool, menthol effect on the inside. It is also known to improve digestion reduce pain, eliminate inflammation, relax the body and mind, cure bad breath, aids in weight loss and boosts the immune system.
Another yet another favourite is the Dandelion. This tea is used for the treatment of muscle, loss of appetite, upset stomach, intestinal gas, gallstones, joint pain, eczema and bruises. It also increases urine production and serves as a laxative to increase bowel movement.
Dandelion tea is used to treat infection, especially viral infections and even cancer. It’s also used as a skin toner, blood tonic and digestive tonic.
Even though this tea is actually made from a nut (Kola nut) and may not be considered a bush tea, it is quite popular and a must have in many Jamaican Kitchen. The main reason is because it removes poison from the body.
It also stops vomiting, relieves upset stomach, nausea, menstrual cramps, headaches, gout and controls diabetes. The dry bissy nut (bizzy) is usually grated and a desired amount is boiled for a few minutes to make tea.
And, there are many, many more great bush teas from Jamaica that are safe to use, of course in safe quantities (like everything else in life).
I recommend that you take a look at this original article by Mr. Gayle for a more extensive list.
And by the way, especially if you are pregnant or have any serious medical condition, be sure you check with your medical practitioner to ensure that it is safe for you to consume.
Outside of Jamaica? You can purchase Jamaican bush teas at this link at amazon.