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HEALING HERBS: The decocting remedies

ANNETTE MAYNARD-WATSON, [email protected]

HEALING HERBS: The decocting remedies

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The word “decoction” comes from the Latin word “decoquere”, meaning “to boil down”. The word “decoquere” comes from “de” (meaning “from”) and “coquere” (meaning “to cook”) – About

WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL, I knew nothing about Panadol or Whizz. Instead, I knew about gully root, cerasee and the other powerful silent doctors. It was a common sight to see a bottle of herbal tea in a bottle or in a pot simmering on the stove on Sunday morning.

I hope readers recognise that I am moving away from using the word “bush” and continue to move towards the word herbal. Many people shy away from authentic Barbadian herbal teas because they are often associated with the word “bush”. In Barbados, bush is also viewed as leaves that are useless.

So for 2016, let us show some respect to our herbal heritage and classify them in the accepted universal standard. Let us classify them as herbal teas and not bush teas. We can refer to them as bush teas when leaning towards historical references and heritage. Remember, enlightenment is a process which begins in the subconscious mind.

The spotlight will now shine on a decoction. On January 4 in this column, a decoction was defined as a tea made from boiling plant material, usually the bark, rhizomes, roots or other woody parts, in water. Unlike infusions, decoctions are boiled because roots are harder than flowers, so boiling would assist in extracting the medicinal properties. 

In the Caribbean there are many silent doctors which are used in decoction remedies. This list includes gully root, mini root, dandelion root, ginger, turmeric, anise seeds, mauby bark, hog plum bark, dog dumpling root and many others.

The method of extracting the medicine using a decoction is as follows:

1. Place two cups of water in a saucepan and bring to a simmering boil.

2. Add the root, stem or bark.

3. Keep the saucepan covered and simmer for 19 minutes.

4. Turn off the stove and leave the lid on the saucepan and let the decoction cool.

5. Let the mixture stand overnight and then strain it.

6. Use as desired.

Here are some silent doctors which I have successfully used in my decoction remedies:

• Gully root and Miniroot – for pain.

• Ginger – upset stomach.

• Turmeric – blood cleansing.

• Dandelion – high blood pressure and blockages.

• Mauby bark – high blood pressure and relaxing.

• Anise seeds – anaemia and as an antioxidant.

Finally, as the truth continues to reveal itself, always remember that silent doctors can heal even at a cellular level. 

• 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.