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HEALING HERBS: The wonders of jackfruit


ANNETTE MAYNARD-WATSON, [email protected]

HEALING HERBS: The wonders of jackfruit

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THERE I WAS staring at it for a while, really eager to give it a delicate touch.

I did not imagine it would be that long, rough and huge. In fact, I was looking for something tiny.

I continued to stare because earlier I overheard two Jamaican women giggling uncontrollably and relating it to the shaft, happiness and healing.

I became more excited as my mind wondered to the roof of the taxi. “Driver! I hope we soon get there because I have to board a plane in one hour which will fly me back to Barbados.”

Suddenly my curiosity expanded as the taxi driver shouted: “We reach.”

I sprang up and ran straight to the vendor’s tray, caressed it softly but did not have time to taste it because I had to immediately go to the airport.

Reminiscing, I hope never to forget that experience. Research revealed that it is used as a sexual enhancer/aphrodisiac.

Moreover, when I was a little girl, I first heard about silent doctor jackfruit while watching the Jamaican comedy series Oliver At Large. Since then I wanted to explore and experience it. It is another exotic fruit that should be cultivated throughout the Caribbean for health and economic purposes.

Jackfruit, or Artocarpus heterophyllus, is related to breadnut and breadfruit. The leaves, fruit, bark, root and seeds are used for healing. Jackfruit has many health benefits and research shows that it builds the immune system, prevents cancer, improves digestion, slows down the ageing process and treats asthma.

The fruit can also keep the thyroid healthy, prevents constipation, heals ulcers, maintains blood pressure, strengthens and promotes bone health, and regulates blood sugar. It can also prevent night blindness, lowers the risk of heart disease, promotes hair growth and treats some digestive disorders.

Jackfruit seeds, which can be boiled or roasted, are another wonder and are a source of well-being. They contain many nutrients including fibre, calcium, zinc, phosphorous, phytonutrients and Vitamins A, C and B. The seeds are mainly used in the culinary process and for skin and hair care.

If you desire, Google “jackfruit” and read about flawless skin and healthy hair. In China the roasted seeds are used as an aphrodisiac.

Finally, each time I think about jackfruit, the Barbadian draughts player Mr Jack Francis always comes to my mind. However, I am appealing to anyone in Barbados who has jackfruit – also know as the “crystal from heaven” – to send one for me. Feeling is believing, therefore I need “nuff” jackfruit to confirm its purported desirable heavenly experiences.

* 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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