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The versatility of golden shower


Annette Maynard-Watson

The versatility of golden shower

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AS I TRAVERSE my workplace I always ensure that I greet the vendors – Shanelle, Doriel, Wilcina and Erma. Each time I sit by these vendors with their pleasant personalities, I always take time to admire the versatility of the golden shower tree.
Moreover, I am also drawn to that area because of the legends they are seated under. These legends are ancient silent doctors that should be preserved for their environmental and medicinal value.
Many of these legends have beautiful fragrant flowers and in other countries these flowers are gathered and used within the booming perfume industry. It is time for Barbadians to zoom in on our natural herbal resources. In this era with all the negativity about genetically modified plants, we should focus on our organic herbal plants and their tremendous medicinal properties.
These herbal plants, if well marketed, have the potential to be great foreign exchange earners and boost our ailing economy. This month I will focus on four of these legends. In the spotlight today is silent doctor golden shower.
Silent doctor pudding pipe tree, golden shower tree, India-laburnum or purging cassia is a fascinating silent doctor. It has bright fragrant flowers and a long brown pod with seeds embedded in a sweet black pulp.
In some areas of the world, this tree is used as a magnificent folk remedy for burns, cancer, gout, convulsions and delirium. Research has revealed that the leaves are purgative. The leaves are also ground into a paste and used against ringworm, athlete’s foot and other fungal challenges, skin itchiness and allergy.
The pulp is used for hoarseness, habitual constipation, abdominal pain, fever, heart disease, and inflammation. The external pod can provoke abortion. Additionally, the seeds are emetic and laxative. The flowers are also laxative and are also used for constipation, some stomach challenges, malaria, blood poisoning and dysentery. The roots are used for leprosy, syphilis, as a tonic or purgative and can retard excretion. A woman in St George who has a golden shower tree said she uses it for arthritis.
Many scientific studies have been conducted on the pudding pipe tree. To treat skin itchiness and allergy, you will need one cup of golden shower leaves.  The leaves are crushed and rubbed on the affected area until itchiness is relived. In the treatment of athlete toes you can crush two cups of young leaves and collect the liquid juice. The juice is then rubbed on the affected area.
Finally, I encourage you to research our silent doctors and look at the healing and economic value derived from them by other governments in the world.   
• Annette Maynard-Watson, a teacher and herbal educator, may be contacted via [email protected] or by telephone 250-6450.
 DISCLAIMER: It is not our intention to prescribe or make specific claims for any products. Any attempts to diagnose or treat real illness should come under the direction of your health care provider.’

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