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A Cure For All ailing Bajans

Annette Maynard-Watson

A Cure For All ailing Bajans

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St John is the home of many fascinating “silent doctors”.
When I traverse through Coach Hill, Newcastle, Clifton Hall or Small Town, I am always in awe at the stunning beauty of the “silent doctors”. On my nature walks through Welches, Edge Cliff, Pot House and Monkey Jump, it is the same story.
However, my favourite areas are Bath Hill and Consett Bay. It was at these two locations that I had my first encounters with “cure-for-all”. There they were resting in their natural habitat and blooming while keeping the atmosphere perfumed with their scented leaves and flowers.
I later discovered that this “silent doctor” was on the verge of extinction in Barbados. However, I rescued a few of the offspring and I also recognised that one of my neighbours has a healthy tree blooming in his back yard. Today, the spotlight is on “cure-for-all” which is used as a healer by some Latino women.
“Cure-for-all”, like joy juice which was featured in this column last Monday, is another mystical plant. Its leaves have a strange bumpy appearance. If you crush the leaves in your hand, a magical, oily, pungent scent is released into the atmosphere. The scent is also healing. Another characteristic of this plant is that it is an awesome sight to behold once it flowers. Take a trip to St John and locate this plant to appreciate the essence of this article.
“Cure-for-all” is also known as Salvia, sour bush, sweetscents, wild tobacco and cattle tongue in English. Research shows that in some cultures, it is used to treat uterine fibroids. This should be further researched by women of African descent because it appears as if these women are the most affected by fibroids. They should drive through St John and seek the support of this plant for healing.
Research also shows that “cure-for-all” is used in aromatic baths. It can also be used to control fevers, relieve sore throat and stomach pains, treat skin ulcers, flu coughs, sinus problems and malaria.
My research at the village level revealed that “cure-for-all” is used by villagers, as the name suggests, for all ailments. Skin problems, respiratory challenges, diabetes, rheumatic joints, coughs, colds and challenges associated with the mouth were the main uses reported.  Some of those interviewed reported using a leaf tea to assist with cancer.
When I walk through St John and see the faces of the residents, I wonder if they know that they are sitting on a herbal empire. Therefore understand me when I say Barbados is blessed with many herbs which can assist in healing this nation.
• 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 direccton of your health care provider.