St. Kitts & Nevis
Original Official Site of the St. Kitts & Nevis
Department of Tourism

Guided Hikes

Medicinal Plants

Here are a few of the plants that can be seen on the nature trails around St. Kitts & Nevis and their common uses in folk medicine:

Poinciana or Flamboyant tree (Delonix regia)
- national flower of St. Kitts & Nevis, said to be named after the French nobleman, Count de Poincy, a former Governor General of St. Kitts during the French rule.

Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis)
- used as a starchy vegetable in many local dishes.

Black Sage (Cordia curassavica)
- leaves are steeped to treat colds and cough.

Wild Sage (Lantana camara)
- used in tea to treat colds and chills

Mango (Mangifera indica L.)
- the most popular fruit in the West Indies.

Mahoe (Quararibea turbinata)
- stems were used as goad sticks and the bark as a rope substitute.

Soursop (Annona muricata L.)
- used to make ice cream and preserves, and as a sedative for children.

Screw Pine (Pandanus utilis)
- leaves used to make baskets, place mats and other woven craft.

Blood Flower/Milky-Milky (Asclepias curassavica)
- used to treat guinea worm and ringworm.

Wild Coffee (Casearia guianensis)
- easily identified by it's distinct dark bark; used as fuelwood.

Wild Cilliment (Pimenta racemosa)
- leaves were soaked in rum and used to relieve soreness.

Wild Cherries (Prunus occidentalis)
- fruits are used locally to make fruit punches.

Coconut Palm (Cocos nucifara)
- used for medicine, thatch, timber, fiber and copra.

Golden Apple (Spondias dulcis)
- fruits made into preserves or eaten when ripe.

Joint Wood (Piper amalago)
- used in tea for colds and flu and as a laxative.

Tree Fern (Cyathea arborea)
- used by the Carib Indians to preserve and carry fire.

Ficus Citrofolia
- roots unite to form a trunk; were used in making guitars and for fuel.

Bamboo (Bambusa vulgaris)
- used in making furniture, pipes, fences and poles.

Jumbie Beads (Abrus precatorius)
- seeds used as decorations on handicrafts.

Warri Beads
- seeds used to play the game Warri, a game descendant from Africa Mankala, the oldest family of games in the world.

White Cedar (Tabebuia heteropyhlla)
- used chiefly for posts and poles, but also used in boat building.

Silk Cotton Tree/Kapok (Ceiba pentandra)
- used in baths to relieve fatigue and to counteract poisoning.

Seagrape (Coccoloba uvifera)
- fruits used to prepare jellies and wine-like beverages locally.

Hog Plum (Spondias mombin)
- used in a tea to stop diarrhoea or dysentery.

This information was compiled by Pam Barry of the Golden Rock Nature Trail, Golden Rock Hotel, Nevis. All of the plants listed here can be seen marked on the trail.

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