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Book is 8”x5” with 1/4” spine and 1/8” bleed on all sides.

Common Medicinal Plants of Portland, Jamaica has been designed as a field guide book for the identification of some of the most common medicinal plants encountered in Jamaica. It is based on the traditional knowledge of collaborating Maroon herbalists who have been cultural practitioners for more than 25 years. This guide includes photos and illustrations of 47 common species along with plant descriptions, traditional medicinal uses and other pertinent information. Most of the plants are widespread species that may be found throughout many parts of the tropics, so this book will be useful throughout the Caribbean region and other tropical landscapes. This publication represents only a small number of plants the Maroons utilize as medicine. It is hoped that this research can serve as a foundation for further documentation and preservation of Maroon traditional botanical knowledge. Dr. Michael Thomas and Summer Austin have dedicated themselves to the documentation, preservation, and continuation of traditional knowledge and the conservation of the environments from which unique plant resources are found. Proceeds from the sale of this publication will go directly to the collaborating herbalists to assist them in the perpetuation of the traditional cultural practices of the Windward Maroons.

www.maroonmedicine.com

Common Medicinal Plants of Portland , J amaicA 2nd Edition AUSTIN

Common Medicinal Plants of Portland, Jamaica

Common Medicinal Plants of Portland, Jamaica 2nd Edition

/ THOMAS


Disclaimer This book is an educational scientific publication on collaborative ethnomedicinal research conducted by the editors in Jamaica. It does not purport to be, nor is it intended to be, any kind of a recommendation or self-treatment guide on the use of plants for medicine. The statements in this book are based on traditional knowledge and folklore. This information has been reported in an attempt to preserve, codify and return knowledge to the participating communities concerning their historical traditions and practices. Nothing should be construed to represent an attempt to diagnose disease prescribe or administer treatment in any manner to any physical aliments or conditions. In matters of your personal health care, it is recommended that you consult a qualified health care practitioner and not attempt to self-treat based on information in this book. Copyright Š2009 CIEER, Inc. All Rights Reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems without permission in writing from the copyright holder, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in review. First Edition: June 2003 Second Edition: August 2009 ISBN 978-0-9729594-0-7 Publisher: CIEER, Inc. Printed in the United States of America For addtional copies visit www. amazon.com Graphic Design (Revision): Kathleen N. Sato Illustrations by Ivor Pennycooke

www.maroonmedicine.com

This project was made possible through support provided by the Office of Environment USAID, Kingston, Jamaica, Bureau for Latin America & the Caribbean (LAC), U.S. Agency for International Development, under the terms of Award No. 532-A-00-OI-00084-00. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Agency for International Development.


COMMON MEDICINAL PLANTS OF PORTLAND, JAMAICA

Edited by

Summer Austin and Michael B. Thomas, PhD In collaboration with

Lee Harris and Lloyd G. Henry Illustrations by Ivor Pennycooke with preface by Colonel Wallace G. Sterling

2009


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Table of Contents DEDICATION............................................................................................... iii PREFACE...........................................................................................................iv FORWARD......................................................................................................v INTRODUCTION......................................................................................vi Objectives...................................................................................................vi Methods and Materials......................................................................vii Results..........................................................................................................vii Conclusion................................................................................................vii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS..................................................................viii COMMON MEDICINAL PLANTS...................................................1 REFERENCES...............................................................................................96 INDEX..............................................................................................................98 ABOUT THE COLLABORATORS.............................................102


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Dedication Dedicated to the memory of Queen Nanny, the great 18th century leader of the Windward Maroons and to all Maroon Herbalists, who for centuries have maintained a traditional way of life distinct from the rest of the island nation.


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PREFACE This book will help to create a clear understanding of some of the herbal medicine that has been practiced by the Maroons over many years. The African slaves who were taken from their African homeland arrived in Jamaica with only the traditional knowledge that they had acquired through the ages. They were very familiar with the medicinal usage of herbs, plants and fruits that grew in motherland Africa. When they arrived to the West Indies, they found the same kinds of herbs, plants and fruit useful for medicine growing in abundance. Today, we continue to use these herbal remedies. During the days of slavery and for sometime thereafter, the traditional knowledge of how to use these herbs played a vital role in the life of the Maroon communities. At that time in history, there was not easy access to medical doctors, therefore the medicine man or “bush doctor� was the person who continued African traditions. They were greatly respected and much sought after to heal people. The Maroons have over the years continued to experiment with many of these herbs. We have gained much more knowledge on how to use herbs for medicine, but we did not share this information with outsiders. The rise of new diseases, and increased outbreaks necessitated the need to share information. Today, much of the traditional knowledge we possess is now common shared knowledge to others. As a people we are proud of the progress that has been made by our forefathers. They have in no small way helped in the advancement of the healthcare of our nation. If we continue to appreciate what God has freely given to us than we can only be better off in the long run. It is a custom of the Maroons, that whenever you cut down one tree, you remember to plant two more to replace the one you have destroyed. The herbs and plants will only take care of us, when we take care of them. I sincerely hope that this book will be of use to those who read it. For those who helped compile the information you have my sincere gratitude. You have opened a door that will surely be welcome by the many who shall enter.

Colonel Wallace G. Sterling Leader of the Windward Maroons


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FORWARD On behalf of the Portland Environment Protection Association (PEPA), I would like to thank all those who contributed to making this book a reality. This book is the vision of Miss Summer Austin and I am very happy we have been able to make it come to life. Summer’s research with both the herbalists and Dr. Thomas, as well as her determination to make this book happen, has been invaluable. I must also thank the United States Peace Corps who placed Summer with PEPA to our mutual benefit. I want to especially thank the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Office of the Environment, not only for providing the grant for this project but for the assistance of their staff. Mr. Howard Batson and Mrs. Karen McDonald-Gayle really provided terrific support and encouragement to get this book completed. Also, Summer and the research of Dr. Thomas have been critical and we could not have brought this book to life without you, I truly want to express my heartfelt thanks and appreciation. I also want to thank the Institute of Jamaica, The University of the West Indies at Mona and of course the herbalists and illustrator who devoted their time, talent and energy to this important initiative.

Harvey Webb, CEO Portland Environment Protection Association


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INTRODUCTION In recent years, ethnobotanical studies have become an increasingly important method of permanent documentation and repatriation of traditional knowledge to both local communities and the scientific community. However, most of the formal research conducted on the traditional knowledge of Maroon herbalists in Jamaica is located in diverse publications, which are not always easily accessible to the public, local communities, or scientific researchers. The use of a recently developed standardized method of data recording called GEIRS, an acronym for the Global Ethnomedicinal Information Retrieval System has facilitated collaborative data exchange. The database model has formed the baseline for a systematic methodology for archiving traditional plant knowledge. The model provides the necessary tool for local communities to preserve traditional knowledge through an educational publication and for scientists to obtain, and exchange accurate up to date scientific information concerning the cultural uses of plants.

Objectives The aim of the investigation was to systematically document the use of medicinal plants of selected Maroon herbalists and to have this knowledge returned to the local and scientific communities through a printed educational publication and interactive website. The project’s focus consists of three goals: 1. To conduct an investigation of the traditional use of medicinal plants by local Maroon herbalists in the Port Antonio region. 2. To create an educational publication and complimentary lesson plan to be distributed to secondary schools. 3. To record data using the GEIRS database for permanent archival. The database will include the following features: retrievable text, voucher label data, botanical illustrations, digital images of identified plants in the local habitat including the morphological features of each plant (flowers, fruits, leaves, stems, roots, the whole plant), and digital photos of herbarium specimens.

Methods and Materials The principal investigator resided in Portland for a period of 24 months. During this residence, collaboration with 3 Maroon herbalists occurred. Prior to initiating the collaborative project, each herbalist signed a terms and conditions of research to insure intellectual property was respected. Each collaborator identified the plants to be documented through informal and formal interviews. Priority was given to the most


COMMON MEDICINAL PLANTS OF PORTLAND, JAMAICA


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Bas Cedar

Stericuliaceae Guazuma ulmifolia Lam. Description: A tree, 10-30 m tall and up to 60 cm in diameter, with a rounded crown and drooping foliage. Bark is gray or graybrown becoming furrowed and rough with age. Young branches are covered with hairs. Leaves are simple, alternate with serrate margins, 5-7 cm long. Flowers are yellow-brown, about 1 cm long in 3-5 long axillary inflorences. Plant part(s) used: bark Preparation method(s): tea Use(s): For general health and strength, add equal amounts of bas cedar (bark) with sarsaparilla (roots), puron (bark), black wiss, milk wiss, blood wiss, raw moon (bark), standing buddy (whole plant), woodland coco (roots), all man strength (wiss), chew stick (wiss), strongback (roots), and ironweed (roots). Boil together in large pot of water for 2½ hours, strain, and drink 1 wine glass each morning, and evening until symptoms are gone. Do not cover the pot when boiling.


COMMON MEDICINAL PLANTS OF PORTLAND, JAMAICA

Figure 1. Guazuma ulmifolia

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REFERENCES Adams, C. Dennis. 1971. The Blue Mahoe and Other Bush: An Introduction to Plant Life in Jamaica. Sangster’s Bookstores Ltd., 97, Harbour Street, Kingston, Jamaica. Adams, C. Dennis [with Contributions by G. R. Proctor, R. W. Read and others]. 1972. Flowering Plants of Jamaica. University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica. Adams, D., K. Magnus and C. Seaforth. 1963. Poisonous Plants in Jamaica: A Brief Review of Jamaican Plants which Contain Known Poisons. Caribbean Affairs. Department of Extra-Mural Studies, University of the West Indies. Asprey, G. F. and P. Thorton. 1953. Medicinal Plants of Jamaica, Parts I & II. The West Indian Medical Journal. Vol. 2, No. 4 and Vol. 3, No. 1. Asprey, G. F. and P. Thorton. 1955. Medicinal Plants of Jamaica, Parts III & IV. The West Indian Medical Journal. Vol. 3, No. 2 and Vol. 4, No. 3. Ayensu, E. S. 1981. Medicinal Plants of the West Indies. Reference Publications, Algonac, Michigan. Brown, B. 1974. The History of Portland. Jamaica Journal. Vol. 9 No. 4. Cover, W. A. 1950. The Handbook of Jamaica for 1949-50 Comprising Historical, Statistical and General Information Concerning the Island, Obtained from Official and Other Reliable Records. The Government Printing Office, Kingston, Jamaica. Fawcett, W. and A. B. Rendle. 1914. Flora of Jamaica Containing Descriptions of the Flowering Plants Known From the Island [Vol. 3, Part 1: Dicotyledons; Families Piperaceae to Connaraceae]. Printed by order of the Trustees of the British Museum, London. Fawcett, W. and A. B. Rendle. 1920. Flora of Jamaica Containing Descriptions of the Flowering Plants Known From the Island [Vol. 4, Part 2: Dicotyledons; Families Leguminosae to Callitrichaceae]. Printed by order of the Trustees of the British Museum, London.


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INDEX

A Acacia melanoxylon 28 ACANTHACEAE 26, 32, 72 Adiantum tenerum 42 Alysicarpus vaginalis 46 ANACARDIACEAE 44 Andrographis paniculata 72 ANNONACEAE 82 Annona muricata 82 Anthurium grandifolium 94 APOCYNACEAE 50 ARACEAE 94 ARISTOLOCHIACEAE 22 Aristolochia trilobata 22 Artocarpus altilis 14 ASTERACEAE 6, 8, 36, 54 Avocado 60

B BALANOPHORACEAE 84 Bas Cedar 2 BIGNONIACEAE 58 Bird Pepper 4 Bitter Albut 6 Bitter Mint 56 Bitter Tobacco 8 Bitter Wood 10 Black Wis 12 Black Wiss 12

Black Withe 12 Breadfruit 14 Bright Eye 16 Bur in the Bark 16 Burvine 30 Burweed 30

C CACTACEAE 88 Calabash 58 Capsicum annum 4 Cecropia 90 Cecropia schreberiana 90 Chainey Root 18 Chamaesyce hirta 48 Chaney Root 18 Chew Stick 20 Chicken Weed 56 COMMELINACEAE 70 Commelina diffusa 70 Contension Weed 36 Contribo 22 Country Elbow 22 Crescentia cujete 58 Croton linearis 74 Curcuma longa 86

D Dandelion 24, 54 Dandelion Bean Tree 24


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About the Collaborators Lloyd Harris was born in Comfort Castle and is a practicing Maroon herbalist who has resided in Mooretown, but currently resides in Breastworks. He is self educated and has been an herbalist for more than 25 years. He received much of his botanical knowledge from his grandparents. Lloyd G. Henry was born and raised in Port Antonio and is a Maroon herbalist. He has been a practicing herbalist for more than 25 years. He received his knowledge of Maroon medicinal plant uses and preparations primarily from his mother who also was a practicing Maroon bush doctor. He is very knowledgeable on the flora of the BIue Mountains region and commonly visits this mountainous region to gather medicinal plants. Ivor Pennycooke was born and raised in Portland. He is a local artist, craftsman, environmental educator, and activist. Summer Austin, holds an MS degree from the University of Hawaii and a BS degree from the University of Florida in Natural Resource Conservation with a minor in Horticulture. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Portland, Jamaica from August 2000-August 2002 working for a Non-Government Organization: Portland Environmental Protection Association (PEPA). During this time she served as the Environmental Awareness Officer and traveled throughout the parish supporting local schools’ environmental education programs. Michael B.Thomas, PhD, is founder and Executive Director of the Centre for International Ethnomedicinal Education and Research. Dr. Thomas is a graduate of the University of Florida (Ph.D. Botany, MSc. Horticulture; ) and Virginia Tech (BSc Forestry), and he has held positions in biological science research and natural resource management with applications in information technology. He also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer (Nursery Management and Fruit Crop Researcher, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry) in the South Pacific island nation of Tonga from 1989-1993.

Common Medicinal Plants of Portland, Jamaica  

Common Medicinal Plants of Portland, Jamaica has been designed as a field book for the identification of some of the most common medicinal p...

Common Medicinal Plants of Portland, Jamaica  

Common Medicinal Plants of Portland, Jamaica has been designed as a field book for the identification of some of the most common medicinal p...

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