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Jamaican Herbs for Common Ailments

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guinea_hen_plantJamaican Herbs for Common Ailments | Guinea Hen Weed

By Venesha Johnson | Associate Writer

For centuries, the people of Jamaica have relied on the healing properties of indigenous herbs to treat a variety of common ailments. Instead of running to the pharmacy, we tend to run to our herbs. These herbal remedies have not only been a source of relief but also a testament to our people’s deep connection to nature and its healing potential. Let’s explore some of the Jamaican herbs that have been used for generations to address everyday health concerns.

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Knowledge of course is power and Wellesley was able to sit down with one of our most esteemed herbalists on the island Dr. Ben Israell who gave us a wealth of information on herbs that are used for common ailments.

Jamaican Herbs for Common Ailments

1. What are the best herbs for an enlarged prostate?

Herbs like Guava Bud, which is the tip of the Guava limb are said to be concentrated with hormones and filled with flavanoids. It is a powerful astringent and works wonders on inflammation. Stinging Nettle and Royal Palm Seeds which are high in zinc are also known to work wonders on shrinking an enlarged prostate.

2. What are the best herbs for cancer?

As Dr. Israel pointed out there are many different types of cancers and each requires different types of treatments. Guinea Hen Weed is great for tumorous cancers. Tumourous cancers need a constant supply of blood to grow. The Guinea Hen weed works by cutting off the tumour’s blood supply by restricting the blood vessels. The Jamaican Ball Mass herb is another that works similarly to the Guinea hen weed. Soursop which has been getting a lot of attention for its cancer-fighting properties works by directly killing cancer cells and Monringa is a highly nutritional herb that gives the body the extra boosts it needs to fight off cancer. 

3. What are the best herbs for diabetes?

Herbs like Neem, Cerrasi and Contribo (also known as Duck Flower) are highly recommended for diabetes. These herbs will help to burn up the sugar in the blood and ward off the symptoms of diabetes. However if you take these herbs but maintain a lifestyle that causes diabetes, the herbs will only be hiding the symptoms and you will still be considered as diabetic since the body won’t be functioning as it normally should without the herbs.

4. What are the best herbs for erectile dysfunction?

Adaptogenic herbs like Chaney Root, Saucy Perla and Ra Moon, help the body to adapt to stress, They are also a tonic so they give the body the extra strength it needs. These herbs are laden with testosterone which is a hormone that is usually low in men dealing with erectile dysfunction.

5. What are the best herbs for stomach acidity?

Mucilaginous herbs such as the West Indian elm more popularly known as slippery elm coat the stomach lining and put the stomach in an alkaline state. Other herbs that are recommended for stomach acidity are Matico and Tuna. 

6. What are the best herbs for kidney disease?

For kidney disease herbs that are considered diuretics and have anti-inflammatory properties are recommended, these include Pundura and Corn Silk. The Shanka Pedra also known as Chamba Bitters is also believed to be highly effective as it works by expanding the urethra and shattering kidney stones.

7. What are the top herbs for detox?

Herbs like Cenna Pods, Pevanna and Rice bitters are well known for making detox teas. There are many different types of detox, depending on what organs in the body you wish to cleanse. These are good for gastrointestinal detoxes and cleansing the blood.

8. What are herbs for uterine fibroids?

For uterine fibroids, most Yams, yes the yams that we eat, especially Renta Yam which are high in progesterone, combats estrogen, and are highly astringent-based herbs, making them great for uterine fibroids. Red Raspberry and our Jamaican Otaheitti apples are also good for uterine fibroids. 

9. What are the top herbs for menopause?

Herbs like Woman Paiva, Wild basil and Soursop leaves combat the symptoms of menopause such as mood swings and hot flashes.

10. What are the top herbs for hypertension?

The body requires a delicate balance of Potassium, sodium and magnesium, usually when the sodium levels rise it results in hypertension. Herbs like Ackee leaf, breadfruit leaves and fevergrass can be made into a tea that fights off hypertension symptoms. 

These are just a few of the ailments discussed with Dr. Ben Israel on our YouTube channel, as a matter of fact in this very video he explains the different parts of the plant and their potency, along with how to make herbs into dosage-able form and much more. The video is right below, you are going to want to pay attention to this one, the information is truly amazing.

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