Item description for Bush Doctor by Sylvester Ayre...
BUSH DOCTOR... Jamaica and the Caribbean's Almost Forgotten Folklore and Remedies. Did you know... . That sour oranges, if left on the tree, will change from ripe to green and back to ripe again? . That 'love bush' is good for Gripe? . That burning dried orange peel will keep mosquitoes away? This book captures the folklore and almost forgotten ways of Jamaica and the Caribbean in four sections augmented by black and white photographs of utensils and plants. . Medecinal use of Plants . Beliefs and Myths . Diet and Folklore . Folk Ways and Means A MUST READ BOOK FOR ALL AGES! The author, Sylvester Ayre, hails from the hills of St. Cathrine and the first free slave village of Sligoville. He has spent many years accumulating a small folk museum to accompany his recording of a Jamaica of yesteryear.
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GETTING WELL ON YOUR OWN Aug 5, 2008
BUSH DOCTOR: Forgotten Folklore & Remedies From Jamaica and the Caribbean
By Sylvester Ayre
A review by Marty Martindale
Your reviewer was in a little bookstore on the southern Caribbean island of Grenada when Bush Doctor caught my attention. There is little doubt millions of Caribbean people have known remedies they used on each other over the years, from bush teas to tree sap compresses, which could alleviate many ailments. However, few, very few, have taken the time to write these folkways down and get them circulated, worldwide, as a book.
Sylvester Ayer, the author, was a member of the first free slave village of Sligoville, Jamaica. His home was in St. Catherine. For many years he populated a small museum with relics of old beliefs, myths, remedies, also with what he called Means along with some mixtures of locally foraged foods. From all of his findings and life tales comes his fascinating book of some 100 pages.
Here are a few items from his Beliefs, Myths & Truths section:
If a woman went into labor unexpectedly early, they could delay delivery by placing a fist-sized stone on her forehead.
Van-van oil was regarded as a love charm. If rubbed on the hand of one seeking a new love, she would be his after he merely touched her.
They learned dogs would become fierce with regular drinks of strong coffee. Feeding them ganja-tea made them even more dangerous.
Some of the Remedies, Ayre cites:
For hypertension they gave crushed garlic in water daily. Another aid was coconut water and lime juice. Comfrey tea was another as was a combination of banana and breadfruit leaves boiled to become a tea.
For measles they boiled dried corn kernels and water for 40 minutes, cooled and administered.
For toothache they burned the shells of dried coconuts and smeared the residue on affected gums.
For underarm perspiration odor, they applied lime juice to the area.
They treated diabetes with a tea made from red water grass.
Thrush mouth was treated with the juice of green tomatoes. They also used the juice from the inner part of trunks of banana trees.
One of their treatments for diarrhea was to place six buds from a guava tree on the patient's tongue who chewed them thoroughly.
In a third section Ayer calls Means he tells how they used found items to act as tools or utencils for their work: Strainers were fashioned from sheets of fabric-like material from the coconut tree.
In the absence of soap, they scrubbed with emptied ackee pods.
For black shoe polish and ink for school pens, they relied on certain flowers from the hibiscus bushes.
Gourds served as food containers or "pakkies" as they were called.
Burned, dried orange peel drove mesquitos away.
Foods were simply concoctions of what each island yielded, and with ingenuity, they created favorite dishes. Ayre includes recipes which frequently involve fascinating methods.
Jackfruit Whack Asham Cake Choco-Fix-up Arrowroot Porridge Coconut Custard Corn Dumplings Kwa-Kwa or Flour Dumplings Bana Friggazee Jokotoh CoCo-Shoots Soup Corn as Coffee Chocolate Veal
If you wish to give a gift to someone in the field of wholistics, this would be an excellent choice.
Marty Martindale's website is: FOOD SITE OF THE DAY