Spices and herbs are being described as a part of plant that is usually used in cooking, pleasure, and medicines in different countries. These kinds of plants come from a group or family of helpful plants that can really help individuals in keeping their body healthy. Herbs are the leafy and green parts of plants and they are the most flavorsome and effective to use for various purposes. However, spices are drawn from any parts of the plants such as cloves, cinnamon, ginger, peppercorns, and cumin.These two are getting more popular in different industries primarily in business. Businessmen are utilizing them as the main ingredient in their products so that they can guarantee their customers that their products are safe and effective to use. For chefs, they always use these ingredients in the foods that usually eat by most vegetarians. Aside from that, they also put herbs in the drinks to give the body a refreshing feeling.With spices and herbs, people can will no longer use unhelpful medicines and unhealthy foods that can give them lots of health issues. This kind of plant will give them the assurance that they can keep their body free from illnesses. Aside from that, they will no longer have to worry in your immune system because it can also improve its condition. If you want to gain these benefits, purchase spices and herbs in the market and make sure that you use it in a proper way to avoid issues.
Irish MossWhat is Irish Moss?The name Irish Moss can be a bit misleading to those who are unfamiliar with this popular herb. Irish Moss is in fact a seaweed whose formal name is Chondrus Crispus and which is a species of red algae. Irish Moss is also known in other parts of the world as Carrageen Moss and is a part of the Gigartinaceae family. The seaweed is primarily found growing on rocks along the Atlantic coast of Europe; it was originally found near Ireland hence the name. The Irish people consumed the seaweed during Irelands period of famine in the 19th century and ever since its popularity has increased exponentially. Irish Moss grows on rocks on Jamaica’s coastline and its popularity on the island grew when the Irish brought their traditional use of the seaweed to the island.How to use Irish Moss?In Jamaica, the seaweed is primarily used as the main ingredient in the making of the Irish Moss drink. The drink is made by placing a batch of clean Irish Moss in a container of water and allowing it to soak overnight. Other ingredients are then added to the mixture before it is boiled for around 45 minutes after which the mixture is strained and the boiled seaweed is discarded. The final batch of ingredients is then added before being boiled for another 10 minutes. The mixture is then allowed to cool and sometimes sweetened before it is consumed.The Irish Moss can also be consumed raw to ease digestive ailments. The seaweed is also used as a topical treatment to soothe skin conditions such as chapped skin and eczema.Health Benefits of Irish MossIrish Moss is believed to contain at least 15 essential elements that are key components of the human body. Some of the elements found in the seaweed in impressive amounts are calcium, potassium, iodine and Vitamins such as A, D and E, amongst others. Irish Moss also eases heartburn, nausea, indigestion and constipation and possesses antiviral properties that can help in the fight against the flu and even mumps disease. The Irish Moss drink is also popular among Jamaican men as many believe it gives them vigor, boots energy and increases their ability to perform sexually.
What is Spanish Needle? Spanish Needle, scientifically known as BidensPilosa, is a medical herb that forms part of the Asteraceae family. The plant is native to South America but has become common in many tropical and subtropical areas of the world. The annual plant grows to about 2 metres in height and grows aggressively, often times becoming weedy. The Spanish Needle’s leaves are oppositely arranged and the plant may flower at any time of the year. The plant grows freely in Jamaica and is also known by names such as Black Jack, Needle Grass, Broomstick, Beggars Tick and Demon Spike Grass.How to use Spanish Needle?Spanish Needle may be used in a number of ways in order to reap the plant’s health benefits. The leaves may be eaten raw like green vegetables or used as a potherb. Spanish Needle may also be boiled and prepared with dishes such as callaloo and cabbage to create a tasty and healthy meal that is loaded with a number of health benefits. The sap obtained from the crushed leaves of the plant can also be used on fresh cutsto aid in speeding up the blood clotting. Spanish Needle is also used in Jamaica and in many other parts of the word to make herbal tea. The herbal tea prepared from the plant is commonly used as a general beverage or as a treatment for worms and flatulence.Health Benefits of Spanish NeedleThe root, leaves and seed of the Spanish Needle have been known to possess anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiseptic, antimicrobial and antidysenteric properties. Spanish Needle also serves as a diuretic and contains antimalarial properties, making extracts from the plant a treatment for malaria in certain cultures. Due to the plant’s antiseptic properties, plant extract may also be used as a natural mouthwash to combat odor causing germs along with sore gums and mouth. The herb is also beneficial in treating joint discomfort, swellings, colic, stomach ailments along with the cold and flu.
What is Prickly pear?Prickly Pear is a cactus that is widely believed to be native to Mexico. The plant is a species of cactus and scientifically known as Opuntia Ficus-indica. Prickly bear has long been a domesticated crop plant and is quite frequently found at most plant shops. The plant is of the Cactaceae family and can be found growing naturally all over the island. Prickly Pear is also known in Jamaica as Tuna or Tuna Plant and they are able to thrive almost anywhere and are very hard to die.The plant also produces a large, sweet fruit called tuna that is highly cultivated in other parts of the world.How to use Prickly Pear?One of the ways in which the plant is used locally is by slicing the leaves into smaller pieces then completely opening them apart. The sliced leaves are then allowed to soak for an extended period of time, sometimes overnight, with plain water or coconut water and then drink as you would regular water. Some persons also use the juice they obtain from the sliced leaves to serve as an ingredient in various alcoholic and non-alcoholic juices, dishes and baked goods. Tuna tea is also made using the juice extracted from the Prickly Pear plant.Health benefits of Prickly Pear Prickly Pear is believed to offer a number of health benefits. The juice from the leaves is used to make drinks that are said to clean out the intestines. Tuna tea is also used to combat chest aches, fevers and help improve digestion. The plant also possesses binding properties, is used as an astringent and helps in reducing bleeding. One of the plants interesting properties is that it works well for weight loss and weight management due to its ability to bind fat. This means that the Prickly Pear molecules bind themself to fat molecules that a person has consumed and prevents the body from absorbing the fat. Its fat binding properties also help in reducing cholesterol levels in the blood. The plant is also used to bring relief from backaches, constipation and excessive menstruation.
There are two types of cassava, the bitter and the sweet. Both are widely used in Jamaica and are edible. Cassava leaves can be steamed and eaten as a vegetable.Medicinal and other uses: a.Freshly cut cassava can be applied to snakebites, boils and external ulcers to promote healing. b.It can also be grated and applied as a poultice for eczema and abscesses.c.The fresh leave applied to the head will relieve headaches.
CASHEW (Anacardiumaccidentale) The nuts are edible and are tasty. Perfect for cocktails. Medicinal and other uses: a. A tea made of the bark and leaves can be taken for diarrhea, indigestion, stomach pains, bowel disorder and dysentery. b. The oil of the seeds of the cashew removes warts, corns and freckles. c. The shells soaked in water make a good insecticide that can spray on plantThis plant and nuts can be special order from islandherbsandspices.comContact us Credit: LMH Dictionary of Jamaican HerbsL. mike Henry/k.Sean Harris
The breadfruit tree has a wide range of uses. The fruit is edible and may be prepared in a number of ways, and the leaves and the sap which runs from the tree can used for various ailments.Medicinal and other uses:
- A tea of breadfruit leaves, which contain camphoral, is used to lower blood pressure and treat diabetes.
- In Jamaica, the sap is applied to contagious skin aliments to prevent their spreading and promote healing.
- The sap can also be boiled to form a rubbery substance that is used to dress wounds.
JAMAICAN WILD SWEET BASILIn Jamaica, it is believed that sweet basil, when planted by the doors, gates, and in window boxes, will prevent evil or negative vibrations from entering the household.KHUS KHUSIt is believed that if KhusKhus is carried around it will attract positive people, or if placed about the household will attract good vibrations.LEAF OF LIFELegend has it that the leaves placed over the door of your loved one will tell you if your lover has been faithful. If a new plant grows from each notch, your lover has been loyal. The amount of notches that do not produce a new plant indicates the number of times your loved one has been unfaithful.MANDRAKE ROOT Carry a piece in your pocket or pocketbook where you carry your money and you will never go broke.PAPAYA It is believed that if a young man beats his penis on the trunk of a papaya tree it will grow to a large size when he gets older.PEPPERMINT When simmered in an open pot will bring harmony to the household.SALVIA Believed to cleanse and drive out evil forces and bad luck.SPIRIT WEED When picked during certain phases of the moon, it has the power to make the person who chews the root invisible. The Maroons of Jamaica used it against the British during their resistance, and reports from British soldiers state that they could not see the enemy, throwing away their weapons they ran back to their camps with reports that the trees were fighting them, because they could not see the leaves moving and hear the rustling but could see no one. STAR ANISE Will drive away misfortune from household and attract good fortune if placed in a saucer on a table.YARROW If a piece of yarrow is sewn into a cloth bag made of cotton or flannel and put under the pillow, one would see fortune sweethearts or the one to marry, in a dream. Credit: LMH Dictionary of Jamaican HerbsL. mike Henry/k.Sean Harris
Aloe vera is very strengthening and cleansing to the entire body. Loe Vera is rich in calcium, potassium and vitamin B-12.Medicinal and other uses:a.It cleanses the kidneys, bladder and removes all morbid matter from the stomach and intestines. b.It is a strong laxative that cleans and purifies the intestines, bowels and colon. c.The dried gel of the aloe vera are mixed with unsweetened natural wine and used as a medicine for diabetes. d.It clears up red eyes, improves vision and brings out the natural colour or the eyes. e.It it used for sun burn, skin irritations and insect bites. f.It removes wrinkles and discolorations from the skin. g.When mixed with lion juice and applied as a poultice it heals skin, boils ulcers boils and ringworm. h.Aloe also relieves dandruff, stimulates hair growth, strengths the hair and kills bacteria associated with scalp disease. i.It heals and soothes burns, plus it prevents blistering and discolouration. Credit: LMH Dictionary of Jamaican HerbsL. mike Henry/k.Sean Harris