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Medicinal Database

Achyranthes indica (L.) MillNettle/Devil's HorsewhipPlantaeMagnoliopsidaCaryophyllalesAmaranthaceaeAchyranthesA.indicaAchyranthes indica (L.) Mill is an annual pubescent herb with a more or less erect stem, that can grow to about 1 m in height. The floral stem is studded with small, scale-covered fruits and is whip-like in appearance. It is commonly found in disturbed waste land and in some cases it is cultivated. Achyranthes indica is often used in teas that are effective at treating ailments such as: cold,colic, nausea, flu, fever, chest pains and general pains. It has also been linked to the treatment of venereal diseases and the leaves and roots are sometimes used for treating children with malnutrition.Flowering Plants of Jamaica…p 255, Herbal Plants of Jamaica…p 48, Medicinal Plants of the West Indies…p 34,Adams, C. D. (1972). Flowering Plants of Jamaica. Mona, Jamaica: University of the West Indies. Ayensu E. S. (1981). Medicinal Plants of the West Indies. Michigan: Reference Publications, Inc.
Alysicarpus vaginalis (L.) DC.MedinaPlantaeMagnoliopsidaFabalesLeguminosaeAlysicarpusA.vaginalis .Alysicarpus vaginalis (L.) DC. is a small, low spreading herbaceous plant with tough ascending or more usually trailing glabrous branches that may vary in lengths from 20 cm to 100 cm. The flowers are usually reddish-purple, fading violet or pink in appearance but in rare cases they are orange. This plant is commonly found in sandy waste places, in pastures or it is cultivated.In most cases, it is prepared as a tea that acts as a remedy for conditions such as: menstrual pain in females and gas (indigestion). It is also known for its use as an aphrodisiac.Common Medicinal Plants of Portland, Jamaica…p68, Flowering Plants of Jamaica…p 371,
Ambrosia peruviana WilldBitter TansyPlantaeMagnoliopsidaAsteralesAsteraceaeAmbrosiaA.peruvianaAmbrosia peruviana Willd is a slightly aromatic herb that may range in height from 0.6 m to 2.5 m. Locally, it is a very common plant but it is found mostly in the Eastern parishes and St Ann.The leaves of this plant are used in teas to minimize the effects of fevers (it functions as a febrifuge) on the body.Flowering Plants of Jamaica…p 752, Medicinal Plants of the West Indies…p 78
Andrographis paniculata (Burm.f.)Rice BittersPlantaeMagnoliopsidaScrophularialesAcanthaceaeAndrographisA. paniculataAndrographis paniculata (Burm.f.) Nees is an annual herbaceous plant that usually grows to about 1 m in height. Locally, it is a very common plant, especially in Kingston and St. Thomas, and it is oftern observed in waste places and on gravelly exposed pathways.Andrographis paniculata is often compounded with other plants such as: Logwood Heart, Bitter Albut, and Bitter Tobacco to create a drink for diabetics. It can also be used in beverages to treat ailments such as stomach ache, flu and cold. Andrographis paniculata has been connected to the treatment of dysentery, malaria and cholera, and it is a rich source of Potassium. Common Medicinal Plants of Portland, Jamaica…p 100, Flowering Plants of Jamaica…p 695, Medicinal Plants of the West Indies…p 34
Andropogon citratus DC.(synonymous with Cymbopogon citratus DC.)Fever Grass/ Lemon GrassPlantaeLiliopsidaCyperalesPoaceaeAndropogonA.citratusAndropogon citratus DC. (synonymous with Cymbopogon citratus DC.) is a robust perennial plant with leaf blades that are tapered at both ends and measuring up to 1m in length. It is commonly cultivated in gardens and it can also be found growing along the sides of pathways.As the common name suggests, this plant is used primarily for the treatment of fevers and influenza. The grass itself as well as the rhizomes of the plant are used in teas that are effective against fevers and nervous headaches. Also, the grass is known to possess volatile oils that are said to yield antispasmodic and antiseptic effects. Decoction of the leaf is also effective against problems with coughs. Common Medicinal Plants of Portland, Jamaica…p 40, Flowering Plants of Jamaica…p 199, Medicinal Plants of the West Indies…p 103
Asclepias curassavica L.Red Head/ Red Top/ Blood FlowersPlantaeMagnoliopsidaGentianalesAsclepiadaceaAsclepiasA.curassavicaAsclepias curassavica L. is a sparingly branched and erect herb that usually grows to bout 1 m in height. The flowers are red in appearance and the plants are found in pastures, on limestone and on waste land.Decoctions of the roots of this plant, serve as effective remedies for fevers as well as venereal diseases while the leaves are used in a poultice that is applied to sores in order to promote healing. In most cases, the fluid from the plant is made into a syrup to expel parasitic worms from infants. The milky latex from the plant is employed to treat warts and the root has long been known for its emetic effect (induces vomiting to clear the stomach).Flowering Plants of Jamaica…p 596, Medicinal Plants of the West Indies…p 50, Traditional Maroon Medicine in Jamaica…p 68
Bidens cynapiifolia KunthChamomile/ Spanish NeedlePlantaeMagnoliopsidaAsteralesAsteraceaeBidensB .cynapiifoliaBidens cynapiifolia Kunth is a herbaceous plant that usually grows to just about 120 cm inheight but in rare cases it may grow to 2m in height. It is often found growing on partly shaded stony ground, along roadsides and in open woodlands.Herbal teas made from this plant, are often effective at treating fevers and a poultice made from the leaves is used to relieve ear-ache. Plant juice has exhibited antibacterial effects and it is often used as a wash for conjunctivitis (pink eye). Bidens cynapiifolia is also known for its effectiveness at relieving tooth aches.Healing Herbs of Jamaica..p 141-143, Flowering Plants of Jamaica…p 743, Medicinal Plants of the West Indies…p 78
Bidens pilosa L.Spanish NeedlePlantaeMagnoliopsidaAsteralesAsteraceaeBidensB. pilosaBidens pilosa L. is an erect, hairy herb that usually grows within the range of 60 to 100cm in height with spreading branches.The florets of the plant may vary in size and colour but sometimes the florets are absent.This plant is often boiled with lard to relieve bowel problems and it is also used in teas to aid with the expulsion of parasitic worms. The flowers are of strong medicinal value along with the foliage of the plant and are together steeped to relieve stomachaches in children and skin rashes (from prickly heat). The tea may also be used as a remedy for cold, gas (indigestion), high blood pressure, fever and it is often used as a diuretic by individuals suffering from urinary tract disorders. Additionally, the plant is boiled with or without Anethum graveolens to treat problems with hot urine (“cooling the urine”). Bath with decoction is effective at relieving itches. The fluid from the leaves is effective at treating irritation of the eyes.Flowering Plants of Jamaica…p 744, Medicinal Plants of the West Indies…p 78
Bixa orellana L.Anatto/AnnattoPlantaeMagnoliopsidaViolalesBixaceaeBixaB. orellanaBixa orellana L. is either a shrub that grows to about 3 m in height or a tree that is capable of growing to 6 m height. Its flowers often display pinkish coloration but in some cases they are white in appearance. The plants are commonly cultivated or they are found on waste grounds. Aqueous and rum infusion of the root can be used by diabetics and this infusion can also be used for treating flu and venereal diseases. Seed infusions can be used to treat individuals with oliguria. Additionally, the leaf extract contains the phytochemicals: cyanidin and ellagic acid, which have both been linked to anti cancer properties due to the presence of anti-oxidants.Flowering Plants of Jamaica…p 496, Medicinal Plants of the West Indies…p 54
Blighia sapida KonigAckeePlantaeMagnoliopsidaSapindalesSapindaceaeBlighiaB.sapidaBlighia sapida Konig is an evergreen tree that often reaches a height of 15 m, with fragrant flowers that are cream in appearance. It is a commonly cultivated throughout Jamaica and it may be considered as a naturalized plant.The leaves of the plants may be decocted and used as a rub for general pains. Additionally, teas made from the leaves can be used for treating colds and salt may be added to the tea and used for a mouthwash in persons with pyorrhea (dental inflammatory disease).Flowering Plants of Jamaica…p 441, Medicinal Plants of the West Indies…p 167
Borreria laevis (Lam.) GrisebShine A NightPlantaeMagnoliopsidaGentianalesRubiaceaeBorreriaB.laevisBorreria laevis (Lam.) Griseb. is often described as a loose, trailing plant and in rare cases it is described as an erect annual or perennial herb with branches measuring up to 1 m in length. The flowers are usually white with pink tips and these plants are commonly found in pastures, on waste grounds or along the banks of roads.Borreria laevis (Lam.) Griseb, is used in teas to relieve constipation and it is also effective at treating colds. In some cases it is compounded with plants of other genera such as Cuscuta and Zebrina to treat Amenorrhea (abnormal supression or absence of menstruation). Additionally, Borreria is used as a diuretic (especially when compunded with Iresine and Desmodium) for individuals suffering from urinary tract disorders.Flowering Plants of Jamaica…p 733, Medicinal Plants of the West Indies…p 159
Bryophyllum pinnatum (LAM.) OkenLeaf of LifePlantaeMagnoliopsidaSaxifragales/ RosalesMoringaceaeBryophyllumB.pinnatumBryophyllum pinnatum (LAM.) Oken is a glabrous, more or less fleshy herb that is capable of reaching a height of 1.2 m. It is commonly found along pathways and on the banks of roads.The bruised leaves are used as dressing for insect bites, bruises, boils and ulcers. Boiled leaves from the plant and decoction can be used as a remedy for hot urine or when urine is dark in hue. It is also effective at ridding the intestines of bacterial infection and the leaves of the plant can be steeped to alleviate the pains associated with kidney problems. The Abaxial side (back) of the leaves can be placed on cuts to promote healing of wounds. The bryophilline content of the leaf extracts makes this plant effective against Gram positive Bacteria. Flowering Plants of Jamaica…p 310, Medicinal Plants of the West Indies…p 88