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.
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