Posted on

HEALING HERBS: The power of the chenille

ANNETTE MAYNARD-WATSON, [email protected]

HEALING HERBS: The power of the chenille

Social Share

After the pyramids and the kohl painted eyes, almost nothing evokes more awe and mystery than the fascination ancient Egyptians had with cats. They were not only the most popular pet in the house, but their status rose to that of the sacred animals and then on to the most esteemed deities like no other creature before them. –

CHARLES HACKETT is bold, a gifted storyteller and a trailblazer for this column. I acknowledge him because he does excellent complimentary advertisement for this column. 

On Mondays when I arrive at school, he normally has a hook-line to spread the word to the other workers. His manner of spreading the word is unique and loaded with repetition, and he always makes us chuckle when he speaks about ‘head-on-bush’.  

Last week he was constantly on my case about the article Cat’s Whiskers Good For Kidney Stones, and he had three different lines of oral advertisements in circulation. I do not know how he is going to react this morning but I am sticking with the cats for the month of November. 

Red hot cat tail, monkey tail, red cat tail or chenille plant, scientifically known as acalypha hispida burm, is a popular Caribbean garden plant. Those who are seeking to add this and silent doctor cat’s whiskers to their garden can call any plant nursery to obtain the necessary details about caring for them. 

Alternatively, readers who are seeking this plant for medicinal purposes can google where research shows: “A recent scientific investigation revealed that chenille plant could be a potential source of antioxidants, used as a future therapy against diseases such as cancer and coronary heart disease.” It added: “Alcoholic extracts of chenille plant have been reported to be biologically active against bacteria, such as pseudomonas aeruginosa, escherichia coli, staphylococcus aureus and salmonella typhi.” 

This plant can also treat constipation, asthma, high blood pressure, nosebleed, gonorrhoea, kidney ailments, skin rashes and leprosy. The bark, flowers and roots are boiled by some indigenous people when they are treating asthma. The web page reveals: “The leaves are used for treatment: white patches on the skin due to loss of pigment (vitiligo), dysentery, coughing up blood (haemoptysis), bleeding wounds and ulcers.”  

Finally, I implore Mr Hackett and other readers to continue to spread good cheer about this column. Moreover, I want you to answer this question. What is red cat tail communicating to humans through its long red tassels? You would be amazed at the spiritual answers which pop into your mind to assist with healing.


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.