Thursday, April 29, 2010

Rainforest Remedies

A few weeks ago I went to a meeting of the Belmopan International Women's Group. There was a guest lecturer by the name of Rosita Arvigo, an American doctor of naprapathy (yes, we learn something new every day), which is form of chiropractic, those doctors who crack bones or something.I was not very keen as I am not a big fan of alternative medicine, but Rosita immediately caught my interest. Rosita has worked for ten years with an 86-year old Mayan traditional healer who was reknowned for his ability to cure hopelessly ill patients. She has produced a book 'Sastun - My Apprenticeship with a Mayan Healer' about her experiences with this very wise, witty and womanizing man, It's a must-read, thoroughly amusing and highly interesting. Did you know that 80% of the plants and trees in the Belizean tropical forest can be used for something? Ranging from mosquito repellent to easing stomach cramps and high blood pressure, from calming frantically crying babies to contraception. It's amazing what nature gives us, though only a few people seem to know about it and use it. Why would that be? Perhaps it's is quite hard work to collect the leaves, roots, and branches, chop them, dry them, conserve them; it's easier to mass produce pills. It's quicker to buy a can of chemical mosquito spray than to dry Jackass leaves, brew tea and rub yourself with it. Being a skeptic by nature and not suffering from any ailments that I know of, I decided to explore this bush thing anyhow. Together with my friend Linda I went to the Belmopan market. There we found Ms Janice Bain a true bush lady, behind her stall full of weird looking stuff. We bought the following: 

1. The Wash Out: a combination of ginger root, pissabed flowers and bukut leaf, to be boiled in half a gallon of water. It is supposed to cleanse the body. It washes out acids, plaques, fats and what not. Janice warned us about the color and smell of stool, but I was 'brave' enough to try it out for you my dear blog readers. The tea tasted surprisingly good and was very refreshing. I did have to go to the bath room but was not in a hurry or anything. I won't go into too much detail about the odors and colors...but I will say that there were certain changes which could very well be the acids and the plaques. I did not check it...

2. Billy Web Energy and Immune Boost. Little small pieces of brown root, looking like wood. It is supposed to work as an energy drink, to be taken when feeling tired or sluggish. I brewed the tea and drank it half warm, as I fail to see how hot tea can give you a boost when it's 40 degrees Celsius. It tastes awful, bitter and 'woody', maybe I made it too strong. I waited for some effects and I must say: I did feel something running through my veins, and I  felt a distinct energy peak, like drinking a Red Bull. The only  thing is that you'll have to wash away the aftertaste with a glass of wine.

3. Jack Ass Bitter. So bitter that you must be a dumb fool to drink it. Hence the name. It can be used to prevent and soothe mosquito bites, simply by rubbing the leaves or by brewing it and rubbing your skin with the lotion. I tried it by rubbing leaves on my daughter's mosquito bites but she scratched as hard as always.

4. The Hormone Check: last but not least, I bought a bottle of very dodgy looking stuff that is supposed to be a female Viagra, or a 'panty wetter' (not my words). It has wild yam and Chicoloco in it, whatever that maybe, and contains estrogen and progesterone. You can brew tea by soaking the pieces, up to five times. Needless to say that I am dying to try this one out! I did the first soak today... as my husband will be back tomorrow after two weeks of separation.. Curious as to its effects? Me too. More later.


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  2. We're all waiting... how did the hormone brew work?