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What is King of the Forest Herb Good For?

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What is King of the Forest herb good for?What is King of the Forest Herb Good For?

by Venesha Johnson | Associate Writer

As Jamaicans, regardless of the breakthroughs in modern medicine, our first course of action for most ailments is to get some herbs. One of our most commonly used is the King of the Forest, also known as Cassia Alata.

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With its large, coarse leaves and elegant yellow flowers resembling candles, this magnificent has been used for generations in many different cultures, earning colloquial names such as Candle Bush, Impetigo Bush, and Ringworm Cassia.

Traditional Medicinal Uses Across Cultures:

As I mentioned before, King of the Forest is not only popularly used in Jamaica. Here is how it is used in other places.

Caribbean Remedies: In the Caribbean, particularly here in Jamaica, tea made from Cassia Alata leaves is used for its purifying and detoxing qualities. Topically, it's used to address skin conditions like eczema, acne, scabies, shingles, liver spots and ringworm. Additionally, the herbal tradition of Suriname uses the leaves to cure a variety of skin conditions and as a laxative. Furthermore, an infusion of the roots is prized for its ability to condition the uterus.

Commercial Uses in the Philippines: Using its antibacterial and cleansing qualities, the Philippines deviates from traditional usage by using Cassia Alata leaf extracts in skin products such as soaps, shampoos, and skin lotions.

South American Folk Medicine: Cassia Alata is used in South America to cure a variety of illnesses, such as fevers, stomach problems, asthma attacks, and STDs. Studies conducted in Ghana have demonstrated encouraging outcomes, especially in the fight against gonorrhoeic and MRSA infections, although some application methods may cause eyebrows to rise.

Health Benefits and Active Compounds:

The wide range of active substances found in Cassia alata, such as adenine, anthraquinones, flavonoids, saponins, and more, are responsible for its therapeutic effectiveness:

Research substantiates the plant's strong antibacterial, antibiotic, and antifungal characteristics, which make it an invaluable tool in the fight against infections and the advancement of wound healing.

Anti-inflammatory and Analgesic Effects: Cassia Alata's active components have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that provide pain relief for arthritic and irritated skin disorders.

Cardiovascular Health: By lowering blood viscosity and preventing plaque formation in arteries, Cassia Alata may be able to improve cardiovascular health. This could lower blood pressure and lower the risk of cardiovascular disorders. These findings are supported by recent research.

How to Make King of the Forest Tea

All you will need is a few leaves, preferably dried as itโ€™s more potent. Bring some water to a boil, add the leaves (after it's washed) and reduce the heat. Allow to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Itโ€™s recommended to drink the tea unsweetened, but if you must, only use honey as a sweetener.

On the other hand, if you are looking to use King of the Forest topically, you will need to get some fresh leaves and wash them. You can then either rub or crush the leaves in your hands and squeeze to get the juice from the leaves. You will then apply the juice to the affected areas.

Some people also choose to just crush the leaves and rub them directly on the affected areas.

Precautions and Considerations:

Despite its numerous benefits, as with most herbs, caution should be exercised when using King of the Forest:

Pregnancy and Allergies: Pregnant or breastfeeding individuals and those with known allergies to plants in the Fabaceae family should consult healthcare professionals before using Cassia Alata. If using topically, do a patch test before applying it all over your body.

Dosage and Duration: Adhere to recommended dosage guidelines and avoid prolonged use without medical supervision to mitigate potential adverse effects.

All in all, Cassia Alata, the famous "King of the Forest," is a living example of the abundant therapeutic benefits of the natural world. Its tradition lives on, not just in Jamaica but from the Caribbean to South America and beyond. To fully realise its potential, though, as with all plant treatments, respect, appreciation, and responsible use are still essential.

And since we have been talking about the King of the Forest, check out the video below from our YouTube channel, where Wellesley and Saneka discussed the benefits and uses of this plant. Saneka also has a skincare line with a bar soap made from King of the Forest! Check out the video below.

Watch Video! LIVE What is King of the Forest Herb Good For?

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References & Sources For What is King of the Forest Herb Good For?

  1. King of the forest (cassia alata) (2024) Luminescents. Available at:,Ringworm%20bring%20two%20such%20instances. (Accessed: 30 March 2024).
  2. ๐Ÿ‘‘hail the king of the forest! #cassiaalata (2024) YouTube. Available at: (Accessed: 30 March 2024).
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