|Jamaican Bush Tea|
Jamaica’s hot herbal drinks that are usually consumed at breakfast are referred to as Jamaican “bush tea.” In every imaginable way that name is aptly put.
Cerasse, the one and only Jamaican bush tea feared by everyone because of its bitterness, is believed to be a blood cleanser and sugar control agent for diabetes.
And it is widely accepted that a fair consumption of this bitters on a weekly basis will prevent colds, flu, headaches, jaundice, and bellyache…and that’s just for some ailments that this Jamaican bush tea is good for.
This medicinal herb which is used in Jamaica and many other tropical and sub-tropical countries around the world is still revered by many.
This fact is so because you will find cerasse and other Jamaican bush tea nowadays in your favorite health food or grocery store… packed and branded for your consumption.
These packed cerasee tea bags are convenient for just one 8 oz. drink. And that extreme bitter taste is not there like the freshly picked cerasee bush we had years ago.
Black Mint Tea
“Mint teas” are used primarily for breakfast, and at times it is given to young children at bedtime. However Black Mint seems to be the more dominant breakfast favorite. But Pepper Mint is the true all-rounder. It is accepted like that because it’s the first piece of bush we boil or steep whenever we have minor ailments like, nausea, headache, vomiting, or any general “bad feelings.”
Pepper Mint Tea
Pepper Mint is also easily grown and cared for; you don’t need any fertilizer or special handling when it comes to growing Pepper Mint. Simply plant it, water it for a few weeks and you will get the best tasting mint ever imagined.
Fever Grass Tea
Another one of my all time favorite herb is Fever Grass, or Lemon Grass as it’s known in some places. As the name implies, we drink it for a speedy recovery when we have a fever. But you can drink it anytime, day or night.
This grass grows wild in the rural parts of Jamaica, and is seasonal. The taste is a light lemon flavor. It is boiled in water for about ten minutes and then sweetened with brown sugar. Everybody loves Fever Grass tea; no complaints from anyone.
The ginger root is also used to make tea. But ginger tea is very rarely used, if at all, for breakfast. Many people make ginger tea to aid in digestion, cure “bad feelings,” cool down, and remove mucus from one’s system. It is also combined with Pepper Mint to make Ginger/Mint tea. Ginger/Mint tea bags are available in packs nowadays.
Soursop Leaf Tea
The soursop fruit, has many uses as in making juice, and ice cream. However the leaves from the tree are used to make tea for such ailments as diabetes and nerves problems. And quite frankly, it is very inexpensive to make, just pick a few leaves from the soursop tree, boil them in water for a few minutes and in no time you have a delicious tea.
Lime Leaf Tea
This tea is made just like soursop leaf tea. Lime Leaf Tea is the ultimate poor man’s tea. Sweetened with brown sugar after boiling for a couple of minutes, this lime flavored hot beverage is good to go.
There are some bushes (herbs) in Jamaica that are made into hot or cold beverage solely for their healing properties. Those “teas” are not casually consumed by everyone and you can understand why. These beverages have dosage amounts and restrictions given by the originators and local advisers.
One such bush is known as Donkey Weed. This drink was given to me a couple of times because I felt dizzy and my vision was temporarily blurred.
Don't drint too much of this drink as it is said to “kill my nature.” Meaning, my sexual desires may decrease. Well, Donkey Weed has not been talked too much; first of all it grows only in gravel, or in the middle of railroad tracks.
Bizzy Tea (Kola Nut)
And last to mention is the one and only Bizzy. This nut is grated, boiled and then sweetened with sugar or honey. The ailments Bizzy is said to relieve are, menstrual cramps, headache, gout, rheumatism, jaundice, nausea, vomiting, and upset stomach. Bizzy is further used in removing poisons from the body, birth control, aids in the control of diabetes, and weight loss. Enough can’t be said about this miracle nut.
Of course there are many more herbs that are used for various things from menstrual problems to getting rid of ghosts that need to be covered, under another topic.
1. Cocoa: Good with a little milk and a dash of vanilla.
2. Chocolate: Old-time chocolate tea is made from grated chocolate, boiled with milk, cinnamon leaves, vanilla, orange rind. Best had with a bit of hard dough bread and from an enamel mug.
3. Milo: Loved by the younger children.
4. Cucumber leaf: Good for jaundice.
5. Susumber leaf: Cold reliever.
6. Rice and pea bush: Good for congestion and colds.
7. Noni: Lowers high blood pressure.
10. Thyme leaf: Aids in delivery
11. Medina: Good for cold, fever and male virility.
12. Search-mi-heart: As the name suggests, it is good for the heart.
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