10 Best Jamaican Herbs for Respiratory Health and Immune Support
In Jamaica "bush tea" is often the first line of defense against any ailment. Herbal medicine is part of our Jamaican heritage and it is still prevalent today, working side by side with modern medicine.
Jamaica is known to have some of the most potent healing herbs in the world, including many popular remedies for respiratory illness such as the cold, flu, or even the big 'C" that is currently a full blown pandemic!
Use these Jamaican herbs to build up your immune defenses and support optimal respiratory health.
1. Leaf of Life (Bryophyllum Pinnatum)
Leaf of Life (Bryophyllum pinnatum) is a succulent plant that is a good Jamaican remedy for bronchial problems, colds, chest congestion, flu, asthma and shortness of breath. The common names are Tree of Life, Miracle leaf, Wonder of the world, and Live forever. It is has been shown to rid the body of mucus when it is drunk as a tea, juiced or even eaten raw. It is also said to address asthma and shortness of breath, and also boosts the immune system.
2. Guaco (Mikania micrantha)
Jamaican Guaco Tea (quaco) is a well-known herbal remedy for upper respiratory problems including colds/flu, coughs, bronchitis, asthma and some allergies. It is an effective natural bronchodilator, expectorant and cough suppressant to relieve upper respiratory discomfort. It is also effective at soothing sore throats, laryngitis, and reducing fever. Wildcrafted Jamaican Guaco Herb is available here.
3. John Charles (Hyptis Verticillata)
John Charles herb is considered a household staple in Jamaica for respiratory ailments. Everyone has it growing in their yard! It is used both internally and externally. Internally it can be consumed as a tea or even used externally as a balm or tincture for congestion relief.
4. Jack-in-a-Bush (Eupatorium odoratum)
Jack-in-a-Bush is a flowering shrub that can be found in all over Jamaica. Herbalists recommend inhaling the pungent, aromatic smell from the crushed leaf to bring relief from nasal congestion. The leaves can be crushed in the hands or ground to release the healing aroma. The leaf of this herb can also be steeped in hot milk, or used as to make herbal tea for treating bronchitis, asthma along with the cold and the flu. Tests conducted by the University of the West Indies also show that Jack -in-a-Bush has anti-inflammatory properties.
5. Rice and Peas (Antigonon leptopus)
Also known as the bees bush, the bright pink flowers of rice and peas bush can be see along many roadsides in Jamaica. It is popular known as "cold bush" and is highly regarded for addressing the flu and colds. It is also used to relieve period pains and muscle cramps, but its primary use is to support the lungs.
6. Fever grass (Cymbopogon citratus)
Jamaican fever grass, also known as lemon grass, is an aromatic healing herb that is a favorite of many due to its pleasant taste and aroma. It got the name "fever" grass because it is typically used to reduce fevers. It is also reputed to relieve nasal congestion and sinusitis and dry cough. You can take fever grass as a tea, or add it to a bowl of hot water and hold your head over the bowl with a towel and inhale the steam herbs.
7. Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus)
This herb needs no introduction as it is known worldwide for its soothing effect on the respiratory tract. It can be made into a tea or used in a steam bath to address congestion, sore throat, bronchitis, sinusitis, pulmonary tuberculosis and microbial lung diseases. It can also be used to control typhoid, scarlet fever, diabetes and intermittent fevers.
8. Spanish Needle (Bidens pilosa)
Spanish Needle is known to possess anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiseptic,
antimicrobial and antidysenteric properties. A tea drawn with Spanish Needle may be used as a natural mouthwash to combat sore throat, and odour causing germs along with sore gums and mouth. The herb is also beneficial in treating joint discomfort, swellings, colic, stomach ailments along with the cold and flu. The leaves may be eaten raw like green vegetables or steamed with other greens such as callaloo and cabbage to create a tasty and healthy meal that is loaded with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.
9. Cerasee (Momordica charantia)
Nearly every Jamaican should be well acquainted with the bitter taste of Cerasee aka Bitter Melon. This infamous Jamaican herb is typically used as a blood cleanser, however, it is also used to rid mucus build-up in the respiratory tract.
10. Breathe Easy Herbal Blend
Breathe Easy Herbal Blend is a carefully balanced combination of the BEST Jamaican herbs that support the respiratory and immune systems. These "cold bush" herbs have been used in Jamaica for centuries to address respiratory problems such as colds, influenza(flu), coughs, bronchitis, asthma, allergies, and to boost the immune system against respiratory pathogens such as viruses and bacteria. The herbs in this blend include (but are not limited to):
- Leaf of Life (Bryophyllum pinnatum)
- Guaco (Mikania micrantha)
- Rice and Peas Bush
- John Charles (Hyptis verticillata)
- Jack in a Bush (Eupatorium odoratum)
Breathe Easy Herbal Blend cleanses the Respiratory system of excess mucus so you can BREATHE with EASE to allow the efficient flow of oxygen through the body. It also supports healthy immune function against respiratory and other infections by boosting the body's natural ability to eliminate pathogens. Order your Breathe Easy Herbal Tea here.