The Bajan Cherry
The Bajan cherry, also known as the West Indian Cherry or Acerola, depending on where it is grown, is regarded, not only as the world’s best source of ascorbic acid, but as a potent antioxidant as well. The popular red and orange coloured fruit has for a long time been used in the fight against ailments of the liver, diarrhea, coughs and colds.
Native to Africa, where it grows out of control, Cerasee is an extremely bitter herb which is known, throughout the world, as a remedy for a myriad of diseases and other health challenges. Cerasee tea is “good for” tooth ache, constipation, menstrual cramps, blood purifying, eczema and parasitic worms.
Noni (Dog Dumpling)
Don’t be fooled by the local name, Dog Dumpling, which is the local name for the wild Noni fruit, because dogs steer clear of the dumpling-shaped fruit, probably, because of the pungent odour it emits. Also known as Mulberry and Cheese Fruit, Noni, which is native to Southeast Asia, is widely used for the treatment of such common conditions as abdominal pain, impotence, menstrual cramps, hypertension and acne.
It is not widely known that the Aloe Vera plant, variously known as Barbados Aloe, True Aloe and Chinese Aloe, was cultivated for export, in this country, many years ago. The plant has been found to be effective in the treatment of so many disorders that it can almost be classified as a panacea. In different parts of the world it is known to be combative against inflammation, bacteria, cancer, HIV, vaginitis, acne, ulcers, haemorrhoids, constipation, indigestion and colitis. Aloe Vera is also used in the manufacture of hair and skin products.
Mention limes, and Bajans automatically think about lemonade. But it is not widely known that lime juice can retard the accumulation of plaque in the arteries and thereby promotes good cardiovascular health. The external application of lime juice helps to rejuvenate the skin.
Native to Mexico and the Caribbean, the evergreen Graviola tree grows ubiquitously in Barbados. It produces a fruit, known, variously, in Barbados and other places, as soursop, custard apple, and Brazilian pawpaw. Soursop Punch has long been a favourite drink among older Bajans; the younger folk prefer soursop ice cream.
There are many unproven claims that soursop is a natural cancer fighter. Additionally, it is claimed that the prickly fruit and the leaves can be used in the treatment of back pain, insomnia and exzema.
Barbados has played host to the Moringa tree for quite a long time, but it became extremely popular, a few years ago, when its therapeutic properties were discovered. Also known as the Drumstick and the Horseradish tree, this miraculous plant is touted as a remedy for every conceivable ailment. Moringa leaves, flowers and pods are chock-full of protein, vitamins, calcium, potassium and other minerals, which are concocted into preparations, and made available in pharmacies and health food stores across the island, and the world.
Blue Vervain, also known as Wild Hyssop, Herb of Grace and Simpler’s Joy, among other monikers, is a favourite among herbalists. The medicinal properties of Blue Vervain are useful in the fight against such ailments as bronchitis, inflammation, chest congestion, depression, sore throat, joint pain and fever.