Thu | Aug 17, 2017

Back to our roots

Published:Monday | February 20, 2017 | 2:00 AMJody-Anne Lawrence
Colic Mint
Chamomile or Spanish Needle
Dog blood
Ginger
1
2
3
4

Most women go through it - a week of pain and absolute discomfort. We stack up on pain medication, among other remedies. Sometimes we have to just go back to our roots to get the help that we need. Flair, with the help of herbalist Ivelyn Harris, has got a bit of help on some of the roots to help you through this week.

 

COLIC MINT

 

Is great for a general stomach ache as well as menstrual cramps. However, it is especially helpful when it comes to menstrual cramps and painful periods. A quarter ounce of crushed ginger and half ounce of fresh or dried colic mint in a pint of boiling water, simmer the fresh for three minutes and the dried for five. After you allow to steep for 10 minutes or 15 minutes, depending on the fresh or dried, respectively, strain and make three doses. You can drink as is or sweeten with honey.

 

DOG BLOOD

 

According to Harris, this is also called the belly bush and the period pain bush. In her book, Healing Herbs of Jamaica, she notes that it is the "relief for women troubles". You can brew the leaf flower and stem-dried to make tea. All you need is half ounce dried and placed in a pint of boiling water to simmer for one minute, left to steep for 15 minutes. Strain and sweeten with honey. You can also make into a bath when you suffer from tardy periods.

 

GINGER

 

This is like an antibiotic. Sore throat? Ginger. Have a cold? Ginger. And with the expertise of herbalist Harris, well, for menstrual cramps? Ginger. A cup of ginger tea will work wonders.

 

SPANISH NEEDLE

 

Jamaicans call it Spanish needle but many know it as chamomile. We know of chamomile being a relaxing agent; a bit of chamomile tea, to help you sleep. You use the oil to help you relax or even soothe your scalp. However, few know that it helps to regulate one's menstrual flow. Make the tea with either two ounces of fresh chamomile flowers and stem, or one ounce dried in two pints of water. Allow to steep for 10 minutes, sweeten with honey, strain and drink. This will help to regulate your flow.

Further details on these herbs and others, and their benefits can be found in Healing Herbs of Jamaica by Ivelyn Harris with introduction by Dr Al Sears, MD.

jody-anne.lawrence@gleanerjm.com