Posted tagged ‘tea’

Bahamas Bush Medicine: Cerasee

May 18, 2010

I’m feeling a little tickle in my throat today. A little dryness. A slight cough now and then. I hope I’m not coming down with a cold. Vitamin C on a regular basis is a traditional way of keeping your resistance up, but here in The Bahamas, you can walk right into your garden and find something that will make you feel better in no time: Cerasee.

Can you see the cerasee growing like a vine in this tangle of green in the picture above?  It’s the one with the yellow flower and the five-fingered leaves. Taking some of the cerasee leaves, stems, flowers, (and even seeds!) and pouring boiling hot water over it and letting it steep to make a tea infusion is said to be one of the best cure-alls for whatever ails you. It’s known as a blood purifier, blood sugar stabilizer, skin soother, immune system enhancer, and just all round tonic for keeping you strong and helping you “live long”, as they say in the islands!  The wise elders in The Bahamas recommend a cup a week to keep you going. It is a nasty tasting medicine — I have trouble imagining how anyone drank enough of it in the first place to realize it had therapeutic properties — but it is a long standing, sworn-by, tried-and-true remedy recommended by countless 80 and 90-somethings in The Bahamas. I’ve given up on putting honey in it to kill the taste. It doesn’t really help. You’ve just gotta down the bitter brew.  It doesn’t taste like Paradise, but cerasee’s body-boosting abilities do make it a true heavenly gift if you like living well. I’ve thought myself too busy to brew up a batch these past few weeks, and you see what happens?!! Okay, I’m going to take Mary Poppins’ advice and maybe add just a spoonful of sugar …  augghhh … To your health!


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