Plant Medicine

Rasta Bush Plant Medicine and Natural Remedies

Jamaica folk medicine and herbal healing plants

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“Let thy food be thy Medicine” Hippocrates

Rasta medicine plants are preventative and involve the use of natural remedies made from herbs, barks, roots and natural local organic fruits and vegetables. There is a large overlap between Ital food and Rasta medicine as food is the medicine. Prevention is better than cure and it is well known now that a primarily alkaline diet of fruits, including roots and bark, vegetables and herbs keeps the body healthy and vital. The Rastafarian livity originated in Jamaica which is abundant in delicious exotic medicinal fruits and spice trees, a large selection of tropical vegetables, coconuts and Rasta medicine plants for herbal medicine. The Jamaican natural healing and herbology has a rich history, beginning with the Arawak Indians and continuing on through to the introduction of African Plant Medicines later in history. Jamaican natural medicine was also influenced by the Indian peoples, the Chinese, the Syrians and the Europeans.

Rastafarian vast legacy of Rasta medicine plants

Rastas have a natural affinity with nature, a keen intellect and a vast legacy from their forefathers and with this, they have developed their own treatments for common ailments. Tonics for strength, libido, cold and stomach aches, toothaches and infections. Maroon medicine is legendary and if they couldn’t treat themselves they died. They were masters of utilising nature’s resources growing around them. The basic principle here is utilising preventative medicine through eating local fresh organic fruits, vegetables and herbs, and also by accessing local plants and local knowledge about those plants growing around you, so they can be used to treat common everyday human illnesses and states of mind. An example of this is if you have no energy, you are likely to feel down.

Rasta Medicine plants are growing all around you

Every place on the planet has its own herbal plant pharmacy growing in the ground. Jamaica has its own set of very strong powerful local plants, just as Australia has. The Australian Aborigines have been utilising their bush medicines for thousands of years and the elders know instinctively which root bark or leaf can be used for a particular problem. The same goes for all other indigenous people of their lands.

Rasta is a way of life and in this rapidly changing modern world a new illness springing up every day. This and many more people make it vital that people access their own rasta medicine growing around them. Some of these plants are more well known like Ginger root, coconut and living Aloe vera. Others are not so well known like Kola nut, Periwinkle and Bitter Gourd. Hospital treatment and pharmaceutical drugs are an absolute last resort. The average person can prevent illness and treat common everyday problems themselves if they only know the secrets locked up in the plants around them.

The maroons of the Jamaican Blue Mountains and the Rasta bush medicine healers from other locations around the island are truly mystical healers with a superior knowledge of local bush plants and doses for healing serious life threatening illness. They use spices, roots, barks, leaves and fruits. All over the world pharmaceutical companies have been infiltrating indigenous peoples and pirating their natural bush medicines for vast profit. This also results in the decimation of local populations of bush plants as fads are created for these specialised medicines.

Bio-piracy of these botanical resources is a major threat to the community health of local people and younger generations need to be trained in this knowledge to keep it alive. Being aware of this problem and understanding that this is big business and big profit for corporations who have no interest in the moral and ethical questions that are involved.

Plant medicine is a lot stronger if the medicinal plant is growing in it’s own natural habitat and not reproduced en masse in horticultural facilities or worse still cloned in tissue culture labs or grown hydroponically. Components in the soil are very important in the formation of these medicinal plant compounds. Destroying natural forests and native habitats is a terrible thing as we need the bush medicines that are growing around us where we live. If we cant get a particular genus of plant, root, fruit or bark in our native environment then the next best thing is the attempt to grow it yourself or find a similar genus or species that might do the same thing.

Everyone can grow some plant medicine in their garden. Parsley, basils and mints of all kinds, thyme, sage, rosemary and aloe. Whatever climate you live in their is no exception. Even in the cold frost of winter there is a way to succeed. Cinnamon barks, Moringa leaves, soursop fruit, coconut jelly, Ginger, Lemongrass, nutmeg, cacao, sarsparilla root. The list goes on and on.

Grow your own Rasta medicine garden

In my small suburban subtropical garden, I have access to basil, parsley, thyme, sage, Mexican chia, rosella, amaranth, yams, chilli peppers, orange, macadamia nut, lychee, mango, marigold, lemongrass and turmeric. If I need to treat the flu, I make a large pot of ital soup, and teas with cinnamon, garlic, tulsi, ginger, sorrel, thyme, lemon, parsley and basil. Lemon Myrtle Backhousia citriodora leaves are also good and easy to obtain. With the threat of stronger and stronger strains of influenza and infectious bacteria, it is more important than ever to have access to some of your own plants for healing. They are cheap, quick and easy to access in a hurry. Build your immune system, keep your blood clean and your system will remain strong and well.

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