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HEALING HERB – Hog-plum power

Annette Maynard-Watson

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“I am the Creator and thou shall have no other Creator but me” inspired me as the spirit of nature infused me to speak about the hog-plum.
Last Saturday morning after addressing the Allen Temple African Methodist Episcopal Church, I drove through Forde’s Road, St Michael. Like the homeless, I saw a multiplicity of fallen squashed plums lining part of that street and this horrified me.
Remember that “silent doctors” were placed here by the Creator for a purpose. Read Genesis 1:29 and Ezekiel 47:12. I wonder if we realise that the giant snails are consuming more of the “silent doctors” than us. 
Has anyone noticed how much stronger and healthier the snails appear to be? What a pity! O Creator, assist us in remembering the wisdom which in the beginning we were infused with.
Likewise, in food outlets these plums should be accorded the same prestige and ostentatious presentation as bestowed on their imported brothers and sisters, such as strawberries, blueberries and English apples.
I am sure that after reading this article you will research why such powerful, feminine fruits are not accorded royalty but were instead named hog-plums.
I personally refer to them as golden plums.
Spondias mombin L. is the scientific name for these plums. The bark, leaves, flowers, fruit and root are used for healing. The leaf is used in some cultures to induce labour. Other recorded uses are for stomach aches, sore throats, diarrhoea, gonorrhoea, constipation, cystitis, eye, ear and yeast infections, colic, colds, the flu, herpes, dyspepsia and rashes.
A leaf decoction can also kill bacteria, viruses, intestinal worms and parasites. It reduces anxiety, calms and sedates. Used externally, the leaves can treat some skin problems, burns, wounds and cuts.
Research also shows that the bark can be used to kill fungi, candida and bacteria, relieve pain, reduce spasms, heal wounds and rashes.
Other uses include treatment of haemorrhoids, fibroids, tonsillitis, intestinal ulcers, snake bite, ovarian and uterine cancer, laryngitis, bladder and kidney stones, inflammation, rheumatism, muscle and joint pain, arthritis, diarrhea and dysentery, psoriasis, leprosy, all types of wounds, rashes, antiseptic dermatitis and as a contraceptive.
The flowers are used as a heart tonic, for mouth sores, sore throat and laryngitis, eye infections and cataracts.
The root is used for vaginal infections, tuberculosis and diarrhoea, and the fruit is used as a mild laxative and can also induce vomiting.
In terms of usage, the plums can be picked, washed and eaten. The dry leaves, bark and flowers can be steeped and drunk as a hot beverage.
Finally, remember Barbadian “silent doctors” are laden with value comparable to any imported ones. They carry the advantage of being available fresh for the picking and consumption. History records them as first-class healers. We should respect, honour and consume them.
Likewise, consider the advice of Nelson Mandela and consciously relate it to your health and healing: “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
• Annette Maynard-Watson, a teacher and herbal educator, may be contacted at [email protected] or telephone 250-6450.
DISCLAIMER: It is not our intention to prescribe or make specific health claims for any products. Any attempt to diagnose and treat real illness should come under the direction of your health care professional.