When I was a little girl living in Jamaica my mother who worked at the University of the West Indies Hospital, hardly ever took us there, or any Doctors office, other than for our regular shots and check up, we hardly visited the Doctor, but then again we were hardly ever sick. Two of my sisters had asthma, but my mother and the elders in the community attended to them most often and it was rare that my mother took any on them to the hospital. When I had a fever my mother would give me ‘bush tea’, and rub me down with rubbing alcohol (wet me up, while I shivered), then cover me up from head to toe for me to “sweat” it out, and It worked. If I had a cold she would rub my chest and back with vicks vapor rub and place some under my nose which would allow me to breathe and when tomorrow came I was ok.
I was speaking to my friend the other day and mentioned to them that I thought it best when our parents used home remedies to care for us, as in using lime and blue and a cork, (yes a cork, lol, Jamaican people ah de bes) to fix the dreaded ring worm, my friend said “ok, but which one was the better choice, going to the pharmacy or going through the torture of getting the lime rubbed on the area affected by the ring worm until the skin breaks which is painful”, this is done along with the “blue” which is now crushed into powder and added to the affected area, then corked with the bottle stopper from a D&G bottle (de one wid de rough edges) and that is done to trap the ring worm so that it would not spread to other areas as it is highly contagious. My friend concluded that a simple trip to the pharmacy was best, and while it may be so, for convenience sake and to spare the child some torture, I argued about the warnings and side effects which may come with a ‘simple” topical solution.
Dare I say Modernization has ruined the world as oppose to traditional culture? In some instances I think so, although I am sure I will meet much argument. Things of olden days I believe were better than how de ting set up nowadays (things of now). Gone are the days when the grandmothers and grandfathers took care of us with their wisdom of homeopathic cures. Traditional culture, if understood in a broad sense, indicates all human activities such as religion, philosophy, moral standards, laws, politics, economic, society, history, literature and art, such as have been preserved, learned and transmitted in a given community or group over a long period of time. The parents, or grand parents will teach the upcoming youths/generation all which they have been taught and the cycle continues, to cure, help and assist. In Nigeria and I suppose All of Africa going to the “Bush” to source remedies for almost anything still happens as we speak, and in Jamaica land of my birth this also still happens, although many like to say, “Lawd go to de pharmacy, which bush?, these are modern times!”. but never throw out the baby with the bath water, ah doe even know if this proverb fits here, I just like it and have been itching to use it, oonuh doe mind me! de poor baby, lol
This Is what is known as Bisi in Jamaica Obi Kola nut in Africa, and it is used for removing poison among other things. There is a post here on this blog dedicated to Obi Kola Nut.
This is sinkle (spelling, aldoe patois spell henny way) bible otherwise known as the Aloe vera plant, there are many medicinal uses for this plant and I have even used it as instructed by spirit along with another plant to help a lady remove what was seen on her ovary, which worried the doctors who ordered an biopsy, the woman was given the medicine prepared by me and the gone back to the doctor for another examination which turned up nothing, it has been fifteen years now and all is clear for her. I have used this plant, when I had digestive problems, for menstrual problems for others for my daughters eczema among other things, while the taste is dreadful the cures which this plant can perform is unimaginable and the list is very long.
Fever Grass used as the name suggests, for high fever and headaches among other things.
Cerasee bush used against diabetes, a blood cleanser, for cramps, headaches, high blood pressure and lung cancer among other things
I do not know the Jamaican name of this, if you do pray tell, but in Africa (Yoruba land), it is called Jiwene (Ji-weh-ni_ or Jinwinini , other wise called Copper leaf, beef steak, used for skin rashes, constipation among other things
Abora, abora in Yoruba or Devils Horse whip, the leaves and roots are used for stomach dis orders, abortion, diarrhea, skin diseases Malaria, venereal diseases among other things
This is Ginger, and the uses are many, other than used as a delicious tea, one of many teas given to Jamaican children and people in general, “fi buss off de lickle gas off yuh stomach”, lol, ginger has so many uses, and it is so delicious in your cooked foods. It is good for colds, belly ache,(for belly ache, you must drink or sip it while hot), if you can stand to chew it raw it removes the most severe colds and it is also used for upset stomach among other things.
Called Arokeke Godogbo in Yoruba Land, or Adenia, the leaves and bark are used for Hypertension, nervous disorder, stress coughs, gonorrhea among other things
The list is plenty and we will be visiting these topic again and again so let us leave some for now, although if any of you want to add to the list, find the picture then copy and paste and tell us about it, knowledge is key and each on teach one.
I am sure you have noticed that after each plant I described I added “among other things”, I did not hide myself from any of you here on this site, I told you all in another post that I love juju work, good Juju work, also I am a spiritualist and a traditionalist, so while we as practitioners of our craft use these herbs and plants to heal, we also use it to work Juju, for the assistance for all who come for help, for example
Red Dracena, or Peregun in Yoruba Land, is used as Juju work for many things but if it prepared a certain way it will protect you from unwanted spirits entering your home.
Known as leaf of life and if you know how to use it, it will bring money, lots of it…
Alligator Pepper, or Atare in Yoruba land, we initiates chew the seeds, for a man he will chew a certain nunber and for a woman so will she, this peps up Ase (ah-shay) ones ase, (enforces power of command), and it is used to prepare lots of Juju work, again all these can be used for good or bad, but here whenever I Obara Meji point toward something it is always to be used for good as that is the road I walk!…or unless oonuh frig wid me and get me bringle, den oonuh wi si how wata walk guh ah pumkin gut…lmaoooooo just kidding, lolo! a little fun is better than quarrel!
There are so many things out in nature to assist us in what to do and how to heal, and how to stave off illness. My Padrino gave me a joke a long tome ago, this story may not be keeping in theme of this post, but it is in a round about kind of way and also sometimes mi head tek mi, so please bare with me.
Padrino told me that when he was a little boy in Cuba, times were so hard that his family barely had food. The suffering was so much that one night his father came home with some chains and told him a boy of eight years old not to sleep because he had to follow the father to the grave yard (I love theses stories). Padrino said he almost pissed himself, but this was the work his father did (he was an Obeah man), so he was used to his father doing odd things, and bringing a young Padrino along was a way of training the boy, although Padrino said he wished he had kept him out of it, those were his thoughts back then. I too involve my girls, when I am doing juju work or anything spiritual or traditional, also, they must learn these things from me, so that in life they will never be fooled by anyone, their mother was no ordinary woman!
That night around 1 am, Padrino and his father went to the cemetery, he said at the gate they stopped and he was instructed to remove all his clothes, (hehehe, this is correct, I will explain to you later why this is so), Padrino did as he was told and Daddy Padrino also removed his clothes. Daddy Padrino then dropped some coins at the gate and proceeded to go in, he told his son, to walk straight ahead and not to look about, as he held Padrino’s hand, while he wrapped the chains around the shoulder of his free hand. My padrino said they walked around in the dark for a bit, he was unsure why, but he suspected that his dad was looking for a particular grave, and when he found it, he steadied his son and told him not to fear. The father went to the head of the grave and began a long prayer while rattling the chains and moving it in a certain motion which Padrino could hardly see, (but the noise the chains made he have never forgotten), as it was pitch black and the only light was that of a waning moon and of the stars.
He did not remember much of what daddy Padrino said, but he remembered this much. His father called a name , possibly belonging to the spirit buried there, and told the spirit in no uncertain terms, and in a commanding voice, that he and his wife and children were suffering and it should not be so, as he daddy Padrino had did all he was supposed to do in keeping the order in the family and if the spirit did not get up now and attend to him and his family in ways of providing for them, then he, daddy Padrino would not attend to them any longer, then he dropped the chain a number of times according to my Padrino, on the grave he then spewed some rum from his mouth onto the grave and dropped some coins and left. The walked backwards out of the cemetery which was a very hard thing to do. My Padrino said from that day, they never went hungry again, he said that Daddy padrino had so many costumers that he even had to hire assistance, Daddy Padrino lived past 107 year old, his mother lived 12o and my Padrino lived over a 100 years old.
I do not know why I threw this story in, but it felt right to share it.
As Usual I will pause here to honor my Padrino….My sweet Padrino, I honor you today and every day, here is a story you told me when you were here in your physical body on this earth plane, during a time when I was with you almost every day, oh how I love you! I have shared this story while honoring your name, and your memory and in turn some of who will read this story will also share it and so on, I was your student sir, and here I am teaching and sharing things which you taught me, I love you always, keep watch over me and my family as I know you do, I have never forgotten you sir and I never will.
We need to visit the days of our fore-parents and do some lifestyle changes, we need to not conform or roll with the punches with everything that is suggested we do through advertisements and all, but as a people who are on a path, and you are on a path, from you are reading this blog, you are set aside from everyday folks. We should go back to the days when our parents or grandparents,planned carefully before they made a meal, once per month Mojo herb (this was a herb used in Jamaica as a laxative) would be prepared for us as wash out, we would be given bush medicine for worms, and we were not given “drinks” or as it is called in Africa “Mineral” sodas to drink but for special occasions. My father would wake us up in the mornings and give us a scald egg and after that he would peel an orange for us, then we would have our breakfast. In Jamaica Breakfast was a must, and it was accompanied by hot tea, which we could not refuse. We were encouraged to eat fruits and when my mother boiled banana she called us and gave us a cup of the water to drink, for the Iron. If we had a splinter in the foot, mama would scrape the banana skin and put kerosene oil on it then use calico cloth to tie it on the wound with the splinter, when morning came the splinter would be drawn out as was evident on the cloth. So many remedies, so many uses of natural things, we need to bring back the Old time sing ting (something, for the none patois speakers, lol).
We need to think about these things especially for our children and our health and the preservation of culture as stated above. I wrote about the use of the rhythm method which I wrote about last night and thought to myself (while chuckling) do Jamaican men especially have the discipline to do this, “no shade at them”, but to “pull out” at the sweetest time, when the rain start fall, and girl begin to bawl, she not thinking about sending telegram or making a phone call while de “hammer ah tear dung har wall, (for the none patois speakers, this line is of a song which I am sure many will get!) but to be disciplined and withdraw before climaxing, how admirable for those who can do this. Please bloggers, add to this post and let us keep the knowledge coming.
Thank you blogger Ty for your contribution to yesterdays post, I would like you to give us as much as you can, so glad to have you here as you have so much knowledge and nuh mention yuh very sensible husband, what ah team you both must make, the heavens have been kind to you both, can you imagine the super kids you both produced, an de lilly gal whey cyann wait fi come, I love your family, God Bless, big up yuh self mi fambo, Yw, I am so blessed to have ALL of you here with me, unity is strength, and God is Good OOre Yeye Osun OOOO!!
Domgoa, I did not miss your contributions as well, big up yuh self!
Àdánìkànrìn ejò ló ńjẹ ọmọ ejò níyà. /
It’s penchant for moving alone is what exposes the snake to life-threatening risks…….Yoruba Proverb!
[Isolation is unwise]
All religions are valid as long as it teaches peace and love….Obara Meji
Obara Meji is a spiritualist, Ifa-Orisa practitioner, and teacher of metaphysics. Since 2011 she has used her online platform to share her personal experiences to those seeking answers about spirituality. Her teachings will expand into short stories, novels, and public speaking to continue her mission of bringing enlightenment to the world.