Jamaicans often use traditional herbal medicines to treat illnesses. Jamaican Guinea Hen Weed, which grows abundantly on the island, is believed to have significant benefits for the treatment of cancer. This belief is bolstered by numerous anecdotal stories told by individuals who cited Guinea Hen Weed as the reason their tumors or other conditions were cured. Said to have anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor characteristics, its scientific name is “Petiveria Alliacea;” it is called “amasu” in South America. It is also known in Jamaica as “gully root” or “garlic weed.”
Anecdotes and Testimonials
In a story shared on YouTube, a woman describes how her mother’s friend picked some guinea hen weed from her backyard, boiled it up with some orange peel, and it cleared up her gastroenteritis immediately. Other social media users have shared their experiences with the plant and its beneficial effects, calling it a miracle cure. In fact, the plant has been the subject of a recent study by two researchers, adjunct professor at Jamaica’s University of Technology in the College for Health Sciences, Dr Lawrence Williams, and American Dr George Levy, who received a patent in the US for their discovery of the anti-cancer benefits of the plant.
Before the discovery of these cancer-fighting properties by Drs Williams and Levy, the plant was known in South America to provide many health benefits. According to nutritionist Chloë-Faith Perez, the plant has been used widely in Jamaica and South America to strengthen the immune system, and it has shown itself to be effective in fighting harmful organisms like bacteria, fungi, and viruses.
Beneficial Properties of Guinea Hen Weed
The plant is known to be rich in antioxidants and is used to treat symptoms of respiratory illnesses like colds and flu, among others. It has a fever-reducing property and is also good for relieving pain. Guinea hen weed has also been shown to have antispasmodic properties and is effective in lowering blood sugar levels. When its leaves are crushed, made into a paste, and applied to the body to ease aches and pains, it represents a traditional remedy for rheumatism and arthritis. The weed can be used to relieve digestive problems like bloating and flatulence, fight infections, boost the immune system, promote the release of toxins via sweat and urine, and is effective as a natural insect repellent. Significantly, guinea hen weed contains phytochemical compounds that are believed to destroy cancer cells while leaving healthy cells undamaged.
Experts Express Caution in Use
While guinea hen weed does offer benefits in treating many conditions, experts recommend against its use by pregnant women and women who are trying to conceive as it may cause spontaneous abortions. Additionally, Perez said that people with chronic conditions should always consult physicians or trained herbalists before taking any kind of herbal tea or supplement.
Photo – YouTube