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by Venesha Johnson | Associate Writer
Our island is home to a rich variety of herbs and plants, many of which have been traditionally used for their medicinal properties, including pain relief. If there is one thing we are all sure to experience - physical pain.
Some more often than others, some more intense than others, but pain nonetheless. So, what Jamaican herbs are good for pain? Let’s find out.
Turmeric is a vivid yellow spice originating from the Curcuma longa plant's roots. The characteristically yellow colour and health benefits of turmeric are attributed to an active ingredient known as curcumin.
The polyphenol curcumin possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities. According to studies, turmeric's medicinal properties can be credited to curcumin. Pain relief is made possible by these anti-inflammatory qualities, which is advantageous for pain management.
Widely recognised for its culinary uses, ginger is also valued for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. In Jamaican herbal medicine, ginger is commonly used to soothe various types of pain, including joint pain and muscle soreness. A soothing ginger tea is a popular remedy for pain relief.
An indigenous plant of southern Africa, the devil's claw is scientifically named Harpagophytum procumbens. It has been utilised for centuries to treat inflammatory diseases like arthritis in African and European traditional medicine. Lab studies have demonstrated the anti-inflammatory properties of Devil's Claw components, known as iridoid glycosides, particularly harpagoside.
Devil's claw can alleviate arthritic symptoms mostly through this technique. The extract from the devil's claw helps people with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis feel less pain, move their joints more freely, and experience less swelling.
Aloe vera is a delicate plant with leaves that resemble gel. It is frequently found in many beauty and health products and has a long history of usage in traditional medicine. Compounds found in aloe vera have anti-inflammatory qualities.
These substances, which include phytosterols and anthraquinones, may aid in reducing inflammation, which is important for pain alleviation. Joint pain and other body aches are relieved by its cooling and calming impact on the skin.
When it comes to treating pain, the Jamaican Guinea Hen is an effective remedy for headaches, muscle aches, arthritis, and toothaches. Applying freshly chopped leaves externally to the head will help relieve headaches.
As an alternative, it can be steeped and applied directly to the area that hurts. Furthermore, crushing the root and inhaling it can help ease headaches. Other external uses involve shredding the root and steeping it in rum, then massaging the concoction over the body or head.
Extracted from the castor bean plant, castor oil is a versatile remedy in Jamaican herbal medicine. Massaging the affected area with warm castor oil is believed to help reduce pain and inflammation. It is often used for joint pain, muscle aches, and even headaches.
Chaney root is traditionally used by those with anemia or low blood counts because of its high iron concentration and exceptional blood-building properties. Chaney root can provide pain alleviation for people with arthritis or other joint-related inflammation-related problems. As a tonic and aphrodisiac, Chaney root is very well-known.
Strong Back is a medicinal herb that grows in dry climates. It has a bitter flavour and an odour that could irritate the nose and eyes. Strong Back Herbal Tea can be drunk every day to strengthen the back muscles and provide pain relief for the back.
In addition, the tonic increases energy levels increases stamina, and provides much-needed relief from impotence. Strong Back is used to treat a variety of different conditions in addition to its well-known capacity to enhance sexual performance in both sexes. These include bronchitis, rheumatism, muscle discomfort, and asthma.
The Jamaican term for kola nut is bissy. Although bissy is most commonly used as a poison antidote, it can also be used to treat a variety of other conditions, including headaches, indigestion, gout, rheumatism, menstrual cramps, nausea, vomiting, and jaundice.
Some of the advantages of Marijuana might only apply to medications made from the herb; others might not necessarily come from smoking the herb. It relieves arthritis, inhibits the growth of cancer cells, lessens the pain brought on by multiple sclerosis, lessens severe pain, treats glaucoma, lowers anxiety, relieves arthritis, controls epileptic seizures, protects the brain following a stroke, stops the spread of cancer, and aids in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), among other advantages.
It is also used in Jamaica for bronchitis, asthma, and any other condition involving mucus congestion; generally, it is brewed and ingested.
Jamaican herbs offer a natural and culturally rich approach to pain relief. While these remedies have been traditionally used with positive anecdotal accounts, it's essential to consult with healthcare professionals, especially if the pain is persistent or severe.
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