The University of the West Indies Warns of “Bush Tea” Danger

According to recent scientific studies at the University of the West Indies-Mona, in St. Andrew, Jamaica, natural herbal remedies, or “bush teas” widely consumed in Jamaica and other Caribbean nations have been found to be potentially harmful. Among the bush teas identified by the studies as favorites across the Caribbean are cerassie, annatto, periwinkle, dandelion, vervine, guaco, cashew bark, coconut shell, aloe vera, and cannabis satira (marijuana). Here are excerpts with a link to the full article below:

The studies said that although these “bushes” had possible beneficial ingredients, they also had potential toxins which could be harmful to individuals. It noted that use of bush remedies had greatly impacted the health of the region.

“The researchers found that across the region there is widespread use of bush teas for a variety of ills, inclusive of diabetes…The medical authorities believe that these bush teas when drunk result in a negative urine test for sugar, and even a real or imagined lowering of blood sugar. The reason for this is obscure, but these clinical findings cannot be ignored or denied,” the regional university cautioned in a news release this week. [. . .]

Professor Dalip Ragoobirsingh, director of the UWI (Mona) Diabetes Education Programme and temporary consultant to the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) project on Improvement Initiatives for Diabetes Care in the Caribbean, had serious news for Guyana and Jamaica—two countries where bush remedies are very popular.

Guyana, 20 times the size of Jamaica, has much of its population living in its extensive hinterland and resorting to bush remedies for many ailments. Jamaica, with the largest population in the English-speaking Caribbean, is also well known for its consumption of bush remedies. “Many Jamaican diabetes patients showing up at the University Hospital of the West Indies seem to suffer more severe kidney problems than other patients,” Ragoobirsingh told the Jamaica Observer yesterday. “It’s especially major for Guyana, and Jamaica, too, has its problems.” He said the findings of the research would be used for patient education in the management and hopefully prevention of diabetes.

The findings were also used to inform discussions at a recent workshop for the development of a curriculum for health professionals organised by the University (of the West Indies) Diabetes Outreach Programme in collaboration with PAHO. The specific goal of UWI (Mona) Diabetes Education Programme is to achieve real and sustained improvements in diabetes care in 10 Caribbean territories — Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Barbados, Belize, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

For full article, see–danger_11141393

See cerassee plant (known in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean as cundeamor or cundiamor), shown above, and more on bush medicine (in Belize) at

4 thoughts on “The University of the West Indies Warns of “Bush Tea” Danger

  1. Jamaicans have been using herbs since time began and these herbs have been found to be quite helpful. Who is influencing your studies, who has been directing and deciding your health care system as to what medications to give to give to the patient population. As far as the drug companies are concerned, I think they would like to get every Dick, Tom< Harry and Charley on their drugs. It is nice to do research however think of all the unnecessary drugs given to people. Stop selling out the country to Bull-shitt drug companies. We grew up drinking and bathing with local herbs/bushes and we were strong and healthy. At seventy, I have no cavity because as a child I had to use Chew stick (a bitter vine from the bushes)to brush my teeth. Look at the athletes we have, nine times out of ten, their parents fed them natural foods and treated their ills with local bush medicine. There are too many big shots at the university giving away our country to intruders.Yes, we need progress but not at the expense of the citizens.

  2. Amen! to what you have said. I see this as another ploy to rape Jamaica of its natural heritage and God given substances so people can be fed and become hooked on pharmaceutical drugs to make pharmaceutical companies and their shareholders rich. I was given Cerassie baths and infusion of the same tea when I caught the measles as a child and drank a lot of this over a period of time. I am now 69 years of age all thanks and praise to God, not to drugs!!

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