Headache, backache, tummy hurts, joint pain, cold or flu – no matter what is causing you to feel sick, your Jamaican parents and or grandparents will always tell you to drink “likkle tea.” Our foreparents always believed that tea will cure all and although they may not have had the scientific background or knowledge to support their claims, there are some teas that help with specific ailments.
Let’s take a look at some popular teas and what health benefits they can offer:
Cerasee – this is one of the most popular teas on the island, more popularly used as a blood purifier to cleanse the blood of drug related toxins such as THC. The tea is made from the leaves and stems of the Bitter Melon plant and like its name suggests, has a bitter taste. It’s antioxidant and phenolic contents are beneficial for lowering cholesterol, blood pressure and sugar, and alleviating skin conditions such as ringworm or rash.
Fever Grass – more popularly known as lemongrass, is another favorite. It is believed to contain substances that reduce fever, pain and swelling and to also help stimulate the uterus and menstrual flow. Studies have shown that fever grass may have some diuretic effects relieving bloating and also that drinking fever grass tea for at least a month can help to increase hemoglobin concentration and subsequent red blood cell counts.
Mint tea – there are many varieties of mint, with the most common ones being the peppermint and spearmint. Spearmint is more cool and sweet, while peppermint is sharper and more minty. Mint tea is believed to offer upset stomach relief and is the go to tea for cold and flu symptoms. Peppermint tea can also help in regulating digestion, help to combat nausea and vomiting, as well as break or reduce a fever.
Bissy tea – Bissy or bizzy tea is a popular folk remedy for treating food allergies, food poisoning, diarrhea and infection, or for doing a detox. Kola Nut as it is more widely known, originates from Africa and is also used as a flavoring agent in beverages. A study back in 2014 shows that bissy had potential in helping to treat certain cancer cells. In addition to this, bissy tea is helpful in relieving the symptoms of Chikangunya virus which includes headache, fever, inflammation, joint and muscle pains.
Lime Leaf – the tea has the flavour of the lime and a distinct green colour. Lime leaf tea is believed to have great benefits for gastric ulcers, gastritis, nausea and vomiting. Lime leaves are said to be very beneficial with neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and seem to be beneficial for prostate cancer treatment.
Ginger Tea – Ginger is a great antioxidant, anti-inflammatory agent. Ginger tea helps soothe discomfort in digestion, helps ease headaches, reduce blood pressure and with regular consumption may help to prevent the growth of cancer cells particularly pancreatic and colon cancer. When blended with honey, the pair is a great treatment for respiratory congestion.
Comfrey Tea – this tea has been used for years to treat aches and pains. Some of these benefits are said to include improved blood circulation, treating bronchitis, rheumatoid arthritis, rashes or insect bites, wound healing and relief from excess menstrual flow. Although the tea has many benefits, consuming too much can be dangerous and it is also recommended that you speak with a doctor before consuming this herb.
Photo – Deposit Photos