Island Home Remedies Herb Books

The following is a short list of herbs, plants, trees and bushes commonly used in Jamaica and islands, that are beneficial for various medical purposes. These are mostly local plant names. By no means does this site intend to endorse any personal trial use of these bushes. Read and use discretion at your own risk.

Name Medical Use
Arrow Root Powdered arrow root is boiled in water For diarrhoea
Aureliia For colds and fever.
Aloe Vero aka Synkle-Bible A cleanse, acne, and used as a laxative.
Bissy For food poisioning and upset stomach.
Cerassee For colds, stomach problems and laxative.
Chainy Root Wild yam root, China Root, Hog Head Said to be a tonic.
Fresh Cut For poultice and colds.
Fever Grass Fever and colds. Also called Lemon Grass
Ginger Used with honey and lime for colds and flu.
Sarsaparilla Widely used for arthritis, and other pains of the body. Excellent relief for ring worm.
Comfrey For diarrhea, Colds and coughs, sprains, arthritis.
CornSilk – The hair of the corn (tea) Kidney and bladder problems.
Dandelion aka Wild coffee/Piss-a-bed. Skin disorders, jaundice, bladder, liver and dropsy.
Ganja- (tea, eyedrops) Glaucoma, diabetes, asthma. Also called marijuana, weed, bud, 420
Jack in th bush (tea) Cold, fever and influenza.
John Charles (tea) For colds, gout and tightness and the chest.
Leaf of life For swelling, colds, bronchitis, hypertension, headaches.
Nettle aka Sting Nettle for bladder and kidney problems.
Orange peel (tea) Stomach aches.
Spirit Weed For cold, epilepsy, headaches and ulcers.
Shane O Lady For colds, chest pains, stomach pains. Also called Shame A Macka.
Soursop Leaves For colds
Spanish Needle For Colds and colic.
Periwinkle For diarrhea, and nervous conditions Also called Ramgoat roses

The following is a list of Jamaican herbs, commonly used for various medicinal purposes.

Cerusee (Momordica charatia) for stomach problems and as a laxative.
Arrow Root (Maranta arundinacea) for diarrhea.
Bissy or kola nut (Cola acuminate) for food poisoning.
Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) for colds and coughs, diarrhea and arthritis.
Leaf of life (Bryophyllum pinnatum) for colds and headaches.
Sinkle bible (Sempervium – Aloe Vera) as a laxative and for the treatment of acne.
Soursop leaf (Annono muricata) for calming the nerves and treating colds.
Susumber (Solanum torvum) for colds and loss of appetite.
Guava (Psidium guajava) for diarrhea.
Ganja (Cannabis sativa) for glaucoma and asthma.
Sarsaparilla (Similax ornate) for ring worm and arthritis.
Fever Grass (Andropogon citratus) for fevers and colds.
Tamarind leaf (Tamarindus indica) for measles and indigestion.
Pumpkin Seeds (Cucurbita pepo) for worms in children and adult.
Garlic (Allium satival) for ringworm, pimples and athlete’s foot.
Rosemary (Rosemararinus officinale) for dandruff, kidney and bladder problems.
Spanish Needle (Bidens Pilosa) for colds and colic.
John Charles (Cordia Globos) for colds, gout and tightness of the chest.

Lime and coconut is an old Jamaican remedy for upset stomach. It works. Couldn’t hurt for hangovers.

In Trinidad, a decoction is used as a remedy for cough, chest cold, flu, fever, and vomiting. An old Jamaican remedy for infant colic and TB is a combination of tilo and Cuscuta amtricana mixed with orange and sugar. Tilo grows readily in South Florida both in the ground, where it makes a lush ground cover, or in hanging baskets and living wreaths. To propagate, any node will put out roots. The leaves are yellowish when it is grown in full sun and become a rich, dark green in shady situations. With few problems and pests, it weathers our summers with ease, and can’t survive freezing temperatures


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