Tuesday, April 23, 2024

HEALING HERBS: Rare wonder in buttonwood

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I AM ENJOYING my vacation away from school. Last month I spent a considerable time researching the healing herbs that are very rare in Barbados. A few years ago I have made an interesting discovery and want to share it with readers who religiously follow this column. Those active readers must be identified as committed, honourable and firm.

Anyone who is reading this article for the first time you have hit jackpot because you have landed on a very rare and beneficial silent doctor. The stakes are high on this silent doctor and the gross winnings are unimaginable. New readers you have actually landed in the honeymoon suite.

Silent doctor spermacoce prostrata, also known as buttonwood, is a rare medicinal plant in Barbados. I located it near Brandons Beach in St Michael. It is a very stately and spiritual plant and the species located here carries white flowers. The plant is described as follows on wikipedia.com: “The species are herbs or small shrubs with small- to medium-sized, four-lobed flowers arranged in capitate inflorescences. Some have a brightly coloured calyx and are eye-catching, particularly the Australian species. The corolla is variable in colour, often white, but also all shades of blue, pink and maroon. The fruit is usually a two-seeded capsule, sometimes a schizocarp or nut.”

Research shows that buttonwood is used to treat the following health challenges:

Martinique: colds and skin complaints.

Brazil: pain, diarrhoea, for reducing fever, treating haemorrhoids, and skin problems and as an emetic.

The Caribbean: used to treat diabetes and menstrual cramps. Also used as a diuretic.

Senegal: Treats bacterial skin infections and leprosy.

Nigeria: used to treat eczema.

The webpage http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Spermacoce+verticillata  has indicated that spermacoce prostrata is used to treat many other conditions. Research shows that the leaves are diuretic and purgative and can treat conditions such as schistosomiasis, kidney problems, fever and blennorrhagia. Further the leaves are said to be applied topically in the treatment of skin problems such as leprosy, furuncles, ulcers, itches and gonorrhoeal sores. For those people who have problems with sandflies, you can heat some crushed leaves and steam and add some salt and use as a plaster to expel sandflies.

Finally, it is very important for us to understand the true value of silent doctors. I am encouraging you to go out there and locate this healing spiritual silent doctor. It is very fascinating and has many beneficial healing properties.

 Annette Maynard-Watson, a teacher and herbal educator, may be contacted via silentdoctors@gmail.com 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.

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