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.
JAMAICAN WILD SWEET BASIL In 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 KHUS It 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 LIFE Legend 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 Herbs L. mike Henry/k.Sean Harris