“Believe inna yuhself like how Jamaicans believe inna bush tea”. If you’re Jamaican, then you’ll understand the sentiments of that statement. As Jamaicans, we have always heard about the wonders of “bush tea”. Whether you had the flu, cold, headache or any other ailment and illness, the first thing you’d hear is “guh drink a cup a tea”.
Many of us got our first taste of “bush tea” when we were only a few months old. Maybe you got the “leaf of life” because you had a bad cold. Maybe your parents gave you some fever grass to lower the fever. It didn’t matter what it was. According to the community elders, the herbs and plants had healing powers. Well, it’s safe to say that their claims about “bush tea” were truer than we thought. While they may not have been the remedy for everything like our elders told us, research has proven that many of these herbs and “bushes” have excellent medicinal value.
Today, we’ll look at four of these popular bushes and their health benefits. We also asked some of our readers to share their experiences with the teas.
1. Lime Leaves
Lime trees are found all over Jamaica. However, not many people are aware of the remedial properties found in its leaves. It is rich in Vitamin C, which is great for boosting the immune system. This herbal medicine tea can also lower blood pressure, aid digestion, and alleviate respiratory conditions such as asthma.
2. Bissy Tea
Known as “Bissy” in Jamaica, the Cola Nut are native to West Africa. This nut is a staple in many Jamaican homes and is used as a poison and allergy antidote. Other benefits include relieving inflammation and diarrhoea and reducing fever.
3. Peppermint Tea
Peppermint is an important element of many people’s lives. Not only does it have a host of medicinal properties, but it is also an important ingredient in our kitchens. Its calmative properties leave you relaxed. If this isn’t a power herb, then I don’t know what is. Other benefits include; soothing the stomach, aid the digestion process and relief of menstrual cramps.
4. Dog Blood Tea
When most people hear this bush’s name, they immediately think about an actual dog’s blood. However, Dog blood is a medicinal herb that is native to the Americas. It is well known and used in Jamaica. Many people use this herb to treat wounds and bruises. The tea is also a good remedy for headaches and menstrual cramps. Listen below to learn how this herb worked wonders for this contributor:
Are you beginning to remember your days of drinking bush tea? Are your tastebuds beginning to remember the bitter tastes of some of these herbs? There is no time like the present to “draw” a cup of tea and “buss” some gas.
“Come share, celebrate, boast and debate our Jamaican culture with us.”
Do not self-treat serious conditions with these herbal teas. Find out from a doctor if herbs counter your medication. It would be best if you did not use them in place of any prescribed medication without your doctor’s approval.