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 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/-Bush-tea–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 http://consejo.bz/belize/bushmedicine.html