Sep 22 , 2019
The popular Jamaican herbal cleanser has been a mainstay in the Jamaican kitchen for ages as it continues to “purge” the nation’s blood. Scientifically known as Momordica Charanta, it was brought to the island and cultivated by African slaves for its purpose as a health tonic. The fruit and leaves as shown in the picture has long been eaten and used to make tea for a wide cross section of Jamaican people. The main use of the cerasee tea in Jamaica is to provide what is called a “wash out” for individuals who may have consumed excessive amounts of sweets or junk foods. It is usually consumed on a regular basis by individuals who strive to keep their blood as pure as possible. It is mainly used by rural dwellers who usually grow the plant in and around their homes or on their farms. It can also be found on fences of homes that are mainly composed of trees and other grasses.
The reason for such excessive use in the rural areas is due to traditional health ideologies about the plant being passed down by fore parents as well as the younger generation seeing firsthand the healing properties of the plant. The rural areas are also filled with “bush doctors” and the cerasee plant is an integral part of their medicinal offerings. An ideal time when cerasee is drunk in abundance by the entire family is just at the beginning of the school year to cleanse kids just before the school term begins. This is vital as young children are known to consume incredible amounts of junk food during the school break. This is particularly important as it is said that cerasee prevents the blood sugar from building up which may lead to diabetes.
Cerasee is mainly prepared two ways in Jamaica, (1) boiling the plant and water together; (2) by boiling the water and then adding it to the cerasee plant in a separate container. The leaves can be used green or be allowed to dry and is said to be more potent when dried. When using cerasee as a form of purge for the blood it is not sweetened, however when it is being used for a regular cup of tea it may be sweetened with cane sugar or honey, while the more sceptical drinkers add condensed milk to the tea.
The Jamaican populace has held this tea in high regard and more often than not it is consumed as a tea of choice by individuals who prefer having the raw unprocessed plant in comparison to its artificial counterparts. It is a tea that is etched in Jamaican traditions with many partaking in it without evening being aware of the numerous health benefits. Its slightly bitter taste is one that is savoured and considered a delectable drink by the local people.
The benefits of drinking cerasee tea go far beyond what it is known and used for in Jamaica. Studies from the University Of Miami, School of Medicine have “found an element called guanylate cyclase inside the ripe fruit which has the ability to inhibit the growth of cancer caused by chemicals”. The Sloan-Kettering Institute has also put forward the idea after several studies that the herb is a possible cure for leukaemia. It was also revealed by Dr. E Barrett-Hall in his book (Diabetes: Can It Be Reversed?: What Your Doctor May Not Want to Tell You!) that cerasee can treat liver conditions successfully as well as control the blood glucose level. His claims were backed up by an article published by the Journal of Nutrition in April 2003 that stated that "studies have shown great insulin resistance and reduction of blood sugar levels on lab animals treated with extracts from the plant". It is also an ideal remedy for other illnesses such as colitis, parasitic worms and liver problems. The tea treats urinary tract infections and also reduces menstrual cramps. Cerasee is so powerful it is said to be able to purify the skin of an unborn child if the pregnant mother partakes in the drinking of the tea. Cerasee is the ideal tea for anyone looking to cleanse their body.
The cerasse plant is easily grown with little to no care in comparison to other medicinal plants. With that being said, its health properties stack up equally or above any medicinal plant that can be found. A proven testimonial of the cerasee plant came in the form of a mixture of the tea with aloe vera and coconut water, the patient had intestinal problems and was told by doctors he had to take daily tablets or do a major operation. After deciding to try the combination of drinking cerasee, aloe vera and coconut water daily along with practising healthy lifestyle habits, this significantly aided in preventing a lifelong treatment with daily tablets and or having a major surgery performed, 15 years on the person can still recall the benefits of this.