Rasta Jamaican Medicinal Plants of Portland

cerasee-bitter-melon


Jamaican medicinal plants have a long traditional use and have created a strong people resilient to illness. The people of Portland Jamaica are renowned for their excellent health and long life. It was said that the doctors went out of business here as the people never got sick, just got old and dead.  The traditional diet of coconut, medicinal fruits, bitter purges , herbs, roots and vegetables has proved healthy for the heart, soul and immune system.  No matter where you live, you can emulate this healthy way of livity by locating and researching your own local medicinal plant and herb folklore and incorporating it into a diet rich in alkaline foods and bitter tastes.

It surprised me to find that Jamaican medicinal plants included so many fruits that grow in this region.  The noni tree known as the hog apple has spread throughout the world in treatments for aids to cancer.  Soursop is used as a tonic to soothe a shattered nervous system and coconut is not called the tree of life for nothing.  It is the only plant on earth to contain the same fatty acid as mothers milk and people drink it in Jamaica to wash their heart.  Drinking green coconut water and jelly is the first thing expatriates do when they revisit their homeland and its not long before they are feeling good again.  This is a list of the common and botanical names of the Jamaican medicinal plants of Portland.

  • Balsam, Ocimum gratissimum – (LAMIACEAE)
  • Bas Cedar, Guazuma ulmifolia – (MALVACEAE)
  • Bird Pepper, Capsicum frutescens – (SOLANACEAE)
  • Bitter Albut, Neurolaena lobata – (ASTERACEAE)
  • Bitter Tobacco, Pluchea odorata – (ASTERACEAE)
  • Bitter Wood, Picrasma excelsa – (SIMAROUBACEAE
  • Black Betty, Piper amalago var. nigrinodum – (PIPERACEAE)
  • Black Wis, Vitis tiliifolia – (VITACEAE)
  • Breadfruit, Artocarpus altilis – (MORACEAE)
  • Bur in the Bark, Priva lappulacea – (VERBENACEAE)
  • Cerassee Momordica charantia/balsamina (CUCURBITACEAE)
  • Chaney Root, Smilax balbisiana – (SMILACACEAE)
  • Chew Stick, Gouania lupuloides – (RHAMNACEAE)
  • Comfrey, Symphytum officinale – (BORAGINACEAE)
  • Country Elbow, Aristolochia trilobata – (ARISTOLOCHIACEAE)
  • Dandelion, Cassia occidentalis – (FABACEAE)
  • Dog Blood, Rivina humilis – (PHYTOLACCACEAE)
  • Duppy Gun, Ruellia tuberosa – (ACANTHACEAE)
  • English Plantain, Plantago major – (PLANTAGINACEAE)
  • Eucalyptus, Acacia melanoxylon – (FABACEAE)
  • Fever Grass, Andropogon citratus – (POACEAE)
  • Fitweed, Eryngium foetidum – (APIACEAE)
  • Flat Bur, Desmodium incanum – (LEGUMINOSAE)
  • Freshcut, Justicia pectoralis – (ACANTHACEAE)
  • Ginger, Zingiber officinale – (ZINGIBERACEAE)
  • Guava, Psidium guajava – (MYRTACEAE)
  • Hog Apple Duppy Soursop Morinda citrifolia (RUBIACEAE)
  • Ironweed, Pseudelephantopus spicatus – (ASTERACEAE)
  • Jack in a Bush, Eupatorium odoratum – (ASTERACEAE)
  • Joseph’s Coat, Plectranthus blumei – (LAMIACEAE)
  • Leaf of Life, Bryophyllum pinnatum – (CRASSULACEAE)
  • Logwood, Haematoxylum campechianum – (FABACEAE)
  • Maiden Hair Fern, Adiantum tenerum – (POLYPODIACEAE)
  • Mango, Mangifera indica – (ANACARDIACEAE)
  • Maryghoules, Wedelia trilobata – (ASTERACEAE)
  • Medina, Alysicarpus vaginalis – (FABACEAE)
  • Milkweed, Chamaesyce prostrata – (EUPHORBIACEAE)
  • Milk Wis, Forsteronia floribunda – (APOCYNACEAE)
  • Mojo Herb, Picramnia antidesma – (SIMAROUBACEAE)
  • One Blow, Emilia sonchifolia – (ASTERACEAE)
  • Outside Weed, Salvia serotina – (LAMIACEAE)
  • Paki, Crescentia cujete – (BIGNONIACEAE)
  • Pear, Persea americana – (LAURACEAE)
  • Penny Royal, Satureja brownei – (LAMIACEAE)
  • Peppermint, Satureja viminea – (LAMIACEAE)
  • Puron, Prunus occidentalis – (ROSACEAE)
  • Ram Goat Regular, Turnera ulmifolia – (TURNERACEAE)
  • Ramoon, Trophis racemosa – (MORACEAE)
  • Red Banana, Musa spp. – (MUSACEAE)
  • Red Sage, Lantana camara – (VERBENACEAE)
  • Red Water Grass, Commelina diffusa – (COMMELINACEAE)
  • Rice Bitters, Andrographis paniculata – (ACANTHACEAE)
  • Rock Rosemary, Croton linearis – (EUPHORBIACEAE)
  • Sarsaparilla, Smilax regelii – (SMILACACEAE)
  • Sea Onion, Hymenocallis latifolia – (LILIACEAE)
  • Shame Mi Darling, Mimosa pudica – (FABACEAE)
  • Sinkle Bible, Aloe vera – (LILIACEAE)
  • Sorrel Hibiscus sabdariffa (MALVACEAE)
  • Soursop, Annona muricata – (ANNONACEAE)
  • Spanish Needle, Bidens cynapiifolia – (ASTERACEAE)
  • Standing Buddy, Scybalium jamaicense – (BALANOPHORACEAE)
  • Sweetbroom, Scoparia dulcis – (SCROPHULARIACEAE)
  • Tambrick, Curcuma longa – (ZINGIBERACEAE)
  • Thistle Toe, Rhipsalis cassutha – (LORANTHACEAE)
  • Trumpet, Cecropia peltata – (URTICACEAE)
  • Tuna, Opuntia tuna – (CACTACEAE)
  • Vervine, Stachytarpheta jamaicensis – (VERBENACEAE)
  • Wild Pinda, Desmodium axillare – (LEGUMINOSAE)
  • Woodland Coco, Anthurium grandifolium – (ARACEAE)
  • Ylang Ylang, Cananga odorata – (ANNONACEAE)

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