Crazy Jamaica Zooming in on Jamaica
  • Healthy the Old Jamaican way- (Herb was king)

    Filed under JAMAICAN HERBS
    Aug 17

    Years ago in Jamaica,Doctors were few and far.Not that they were not important but they were visited only when the condition was very serious or suspected to be very serious.A regular check up was not considered the ”normal” thing to do.Most illnesses like the cold,flu,a head-ache,stomach ache and fever were ”taken care of ” at home.The various HERBS AND THEIR MEDICINAL USES were learned and practiced.


    Herbs are excellent in healing the body naturally.However,there were many other habits that contributed to a healthy lifestyle in earlier times.


    1) WALKING was not a chore,it was a way of life.Most kitchens and bathrooms were outside of the houses so walking was a must even when staying home.People walked to the markets and stores instead of driving.People walked to church and other community functions.Children walked to and from school.People would walk for miles to destinations and not think about it or complain.(THERE WAS NO OTHER WAY OUT)Children played outside when at home,instead of being in front of the tv or computer. The active lifestyle led to a much healthier generation and things like childhood obesity,adult obesity and heart conditions were much less than we see now and were not a major issue.


    2) FOOD mostly eaten were reaped from the family garden and land.Food was not loaded with pesticides and chemicals for growth and ripening.Produces were natural,healthy and nutritious. Food earlier on were mostly from the garden or the fields,not made in a factory.


    3)WATER was consumed on a regular basis. Drinks with sugar were limited to dinner and maybe lunch. When thirsty from playing outside,children would run for a glass of water, not a glass of soda.Water helps to move toxins from the cells in our body,so water is one reason people had more energy then.


    4)LAUGHTER- Jamaicans built houses with what we call Verandas. This is a front porch or patio.Neighbours would never pass someone sitting on the veranda and not say hello. This usually started a conversation and then laughter.In past years,entertainment did not come from the soap opera or the reality shows on tv.People in the community had to find ways to entertain themselves (sometimes that was not so good, because news, good or bad would spread like wild fire through a community)Some entertainment in the communities were dances and meetings.Others entertained themselves by having small gatherings on neighbors’ veranda, while watching the children at play outside.They would also have fun later in the nights by telling ”duppy stories”,Anansi stories, Big boy stories and riddles (brain teaser questions that you have to figure out and give an answer) the air would always be filled with laughter and fun.


    Laughter is medicine for the soul.


    Along with this lifestyle, herbs worked like a charm!! They still work today only that we need to be more disciplined because of our lifestyle.A herbal Tea was the regular morning beverage. This acted as something warm on the stomach and a detox agent for the blood.Herbal teas were taken for almost every ailment or sickness and they showed none or very little side effects.


    The unhealthy foods,the air we breathe,the toxic water we drink,the amount of sugar we consume,the very little vegetables we eat and so little exercise,all cause a major change in health conditions.We do have to clean a lot more toxins from our blood and maybe take a look back more often on previous lifestyles.We could all learn and greatly benefit from it.








2 Responses to “Healthy the Old Jamaican way- (Herb was king)”

  1. I think it's the time or more exactly the era in which we now live. I was not born on an island, nor my parents. We hail from the southern United States, where what you discribe about Jamaica back in the day took place in the U.S. back in the day when I was a little boy.

    It was like a ritual every evening after supper (thats what they called dinner back then, and it was served around 3 or 4 in the afternoon) when my grand farther returned home from work, was to sit on the porch in the front. Some neighbors would sit on the porch and others would go out for an evening stroll (not like you see today with exercise the intent) as was custom. And, just like you said it always happend the whenever a neighbor would walk past a conversation would strike up about the weather, hunting, what was happening in the neighborhood or church.

    My grandfather owned a plot of land where he raised corn, beans, squash, tomatos and sweet potatos just to name a few. And everyone in the neighborhood would come to pick whatever they wanted and needed. Never having to pay, but did assist in taking care of the garden. I remember one sunny day, my grandmother and her friends went to pick sweet potato, beans and okra and took me in tow. Being a little boy at that time, meant you had to entertain yourself. Use your mind and believe me it was not all play. You had to use your mind, no game boys or things like that at the time. I also had to help carry the baskets from place to place as they picked. Also, there was a man that came through the neighborhood in a truck to sell fresh veggies and fruit from his property. And the in the neighborhood that was the best fisherman would always have freshly caught to sell.

    It was the time period or the era. Today, our children cringe at the thought of your granny going in the back to kill the chicken Saturday evening to be eaten for supper on Sunday. Or the thought that you would have to be careful eating a piece of real fruit, that just might have a worm or larve of some kind in it. But, I am glad I had the opportunity to experience it.


  2. Hi there Amenta,

    It was a pleasure reading your post .Very interesting the similarities back then with the Caribbean and the U.S! I think it was basically good values bestowed upon us by our parents and grandparents.What really amazes me though is the fact that we were never bored and we did not have a lot of toys. These kids with all the toys ,game boys,cell phones and computers complain of boredom !!

    Yes I am also very happy I experienced the ''back in the day'' era when playing outside was the norm and picking fruits to eat ,then drinking water to quench thirst instead of soda was a way of life.

    Real refreshing post. Please continue being a part of our posts.

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