Grand Bahama Island's Ashrubs
(Medicinal Plants)

ALOE PLANT (Aloe vera) 
This is probably one of the oldest plants known to man and was mentioned in the Bible. Legend has it that the aloe plant was the only one brought by Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden. Medicinal properties of the leaves are today used in modern medicine and beauty preparations but has been used for centuries as an "instant" burn cure, pain reliever, tonic and laxative. Aloe is planted, not grown in the wild. 

BAY GERANIUM (Ambrosia hispida)   
This vine grows in the wild, along the seashore. It can be made into soap and used to relieve itching skin. It is highly recommended for indigestion, and can be used by those going into a decline or for the cleaning of lungs. It is mainly used for the common cold and can be made in a strong tea with lime and salt added for taste. 

BLUE FLOWERS (Valerianoides jamaicensis)  
This wildflower is used for soothing babies with colic, gas and constipation. It is also used for cooling of the blood and soothing skin irritations in children. 

BRASILETTO (Caesalpinia bahamensis var. reticulata) 
This plant grows in the wild; its leaves are used for tea. 

CATNIP (Salvia serotina)  
This plant, usually grown in gardens, is popular as an appetizer, as a health drink during pregnancy, and can be given to children to rid them of worms. It also relieves itching skin, and can be used as a nasal douche for sinus. 

FIVE FINGERS (Tabebuia bahamensis)  
This common tree has pink flowers and its leaves make a soothing tea for body strains and aches. 

GALE OF THE WIND (Phyllanthus amarus)  
This weed grows wild, near the beach, and is used to make tea, to reduce fever and as a tonic to improve the appetite. 

GEIGER TREE (Cordia sebestena) 
The leaves of this tree are used for tea; it sharpens the appetite. 

GUM ELEMI (Bursera simarouba) 
This common, large tree secretes a natural resin that can be used to stop blood flow from wounds.  The sap can also be used as an antidote for poisonwood, a tea for rheumatism, and in a bath for back pain; a poultice of crushed leaves can soothe bee and wasp stings. 

LOVE VINE (Cuscuta) 
This parasite vine grows in the wild.  The leaves are used for bush tea, an aphrodisiac for "sex weakness,' and as a soothing bath for itching and prickly heat. 

MINT (Mentha)  
This common garden Mint or Spearmint is commonly used for cooking purposes. The leaves are also to make good tea for stimulating the body. 

PERIWINKLE (Vinca rosea, Vinca alba) 
Also known as Sailors Button, this plant has many uses:  In the treatment of Leukemia, because it is effective in killing the white blood cells; for the treatment in diabetics, which reportedly originated in Polynesia. However, when tried in Jamaica for this purpose, it was found ineffective. 

PIGEON PLUM (Coccoloba) 
This common tree has small, edible black fruit.  The leaves are used to make a tea which is used to stop diarrhea. 

SAGE (White [Lantana involucrata] & Orange) 
This shrub grows on beaches and blooms practically all year round. When the leaves of this plant is crushed, an aromatic odor is released. The white sage can be used as a tea and the yellow as a bath to promptly relieve itching of Measles and Chicken Pox. 

SALVE BUSH (Solanum verbascifolium) 
This is a rank growing shrub used for coughs as a tea and as a wash for sores on the skin. 

SHEPHERD'S NEEDLE (Bidens pilosa)  
A common attractive weed which bears small daisy-like flowers. Foliage and flowers are steeped and used for prickly heat, the cooling of the blood, and to relieve a sick stomach. It can also be given to children for nine days to cure worms. 


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