MSC Buon Gusto

Nature’s Medicine

- BY JENNIFER BILLOCK

Call it what you will — bush medicine, folk remedies or jungle medicine — but Caribbean mothers call it by the proper name: good health. Traditiona­lly, ÀRUD JURZLQJ WKURXJKRXW WKH UHJLRQ has been used to heal ailments of all NLQGV HYHU\WKLQJ IURP FROGV DQG ÀXV to more intense issues like infections and parasites. And the best thing about bush medicine is it’s freely available, growing out in the wild. Check out these 10 indigenous island plants that have long cured what ails the people of — and visitors to — the Caribbean.

Aloe Vera

We know this as sunburn relief, the magical ingredient in gels and lotions that eases the burn from too much time in the sun. It’s the same in the Caribbean; the clear gel inside the leaf soothes pain and speeds up healing time from cuts and burns. To the Caribbean people, though, it’s known as “the miracle SODQW´ EHFDXVH LWV EHQH¿WV UHDFK far. Drinking the gel as an herbal tonic relieves all types of breathing ailments, from bronchitis to colds, and the browner-colored gel is a strong laxative used to purify the body’s digestive tract. If you put the gel on your head, it helps ease GDQGUX̆ DV ZHOO DV VWUHQJWKHQ­LQJ the hair and encouragin­g it to grow. Plus, aloe can prevent both scars and wrinkles. Miracle plant, indeed.

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