Exotic Teas of the Caribbean and the Rest of the World

by Henry Lowe, Janet Lowe

Kingston, Jamaica

Cashew – Anacardium occidentale

Other vernacular names: Acaya, Caju, Merey, Corosi, Pauji

Parts used for tea: Leaves and bark

History/Tradition: Cashew is native to the American Tropics. The nuts, which are rich in protein and fat, are usually roasted, salted and widely eaten in Jamaica. The cashew nut is a limited export crop in Jamaica. Uses: The bark and leaves can be made into a tea to treat indigestion, stomach pains, diarrhoea, dysentery and other bowel disorders. The tea is also a remedy for colds. It has also been used to increase the flow of urine. The leaves are sometimes used as a bath to cure fevers.

Cerasee – Momordica charantia

Other vernacular names: Bitter melon, Karela, Balsam apple, Paoka, Madian apple, Caprika, Mexicaine, Achochilla, Wild Cerasse, Art pumpkin, Balsamo, Archucha, Balsam Pear, Coraillie, Papayilla pepino, Surcy, Sorosee

Part used for tea: Leaves

History/Tradition: Cerasee is a native of the Old World Tropics. One of the most widely used medicinal herbs of Jamaica, it is also used (especially by the Chinese) in cooking. The aerial parts of the plant, either dry or fresh and free of late fruits are used to make a decoction, which is very bitter – or in some cases to make an infusion. Of note the decoction of Ginger rhizomes and Cerasee is taken as a carminative and digestive stimulant.

Uses: Cerasee is useful as a general tonic, which contributes to the well-being of the body. It is very useful to women who suffer from painful menstrual cycles. For persons with skin infections and ailments, cerasee tea helps to clear up the skin. It purifies the blood and is…