Saturday, July 21, 2012

A quick run to town & Medicinal Herbs of Belize

We were stuck on the hill for the majority of the week again because of the random afternoon rain storms and the mud that comes from those storms - but we took advantage of the few hours of sunshine yesterday morning and went into town for a few things.

I don't know which is scarier - sliding down the driveway and praying we don't slip right off and careen to our deaths, or trying to make it back up.

I had Trip drop me off at the market so I could load up on fruits and veggies since we're still waiting for our own crops to mature...

I always buy from the same guy...I forget his name.

Always a big selection

I saw this sign outside of one of the little bodegas on the main street and went in to see if they had any mint leaves so I can start making myself Mojitos at home..

Talawala - all I've been able to find online about Talawala is that you're supposed to scrape off all of the red bark, soak it in cold water, rinse it off and then soak it again in clean water. You can drink it cold or heat it up and drink it as a tea for high blood pressure.
I don't know if it's a tree, shrub, bush, root.... It might be the same as the Bear Paw Fern, from what I've read - but I can't find anything to prove that.

China Root - This one I found easily, and it sounds like a good one:  
Uses : The rhizomes are bitter, acrid, thermogenic, anodyne, anti-inflammatory, digestive, laxative, depurative, aphrodisiac, diuretic, febrifuge and tonic. It is used in dyspepsia, flatulence, colic, constipation and helminthiasis. It is useful in skin diseases, leprosy and psoriasis. It is used in fever, epilepsy, insanity and neuralgia. It is used syphilis, strangury, seminal weakness and general debility. Detoxifies organs, cleanses blood, aids absorption and kills bacteria. It also stimulates digestion, increases urination, protects liver and promotes perspiration. (info from

Provision Bark - Also known as Malabar Chestnut, Guiana Chestnut and Saba Nut. this tree is sold commercially in the USA under the name Money Tree. It produces large, colorful flowers and fruits. The fruit can weigh up to six lbs, and be a foot in diameter. The seeds can be roasted and eaten.
Provision Tree bark is highly regarded as a blood tonic. A tea made by boiling its bark is used to help anemia, low blood pressure, fatigue and to generally build strength.(info from this helpful web page, Bush Medicine of Belize and Central America)

Gumbolimbo Bark - One of my favorite trees, the Gumbolimbo! Strips of bark are boiled in water and then used topically for skin sores, measles, sunburn, insect bites, and rashes or drunk as tea to treat backaches, urinary tract infections, colds, flu, and fevers. Young leaves rubbed on skin exposed to poison wood can prevent reaction and will sooth itching and speed recovery. (info from Bush Medicine of Belize)

Billyweb Bark - I'd never heard of this one, either, and there isn;t much information about it other than it's used as a cough suppressant and blood purifier.

 Maybe this is something I can work on - compiling a complete list of Belize's medicinal herbs/trees/plants/leaves/shrubs...

They didn't have any mint, but I'm going to Cayo again next week and I think I know where I can find it there. (Wish me luck, I really need a Mojito!)

My tough guard dogs, protecting the truck

Something I thought was weird yesterday was all the compliments my dogs were getting from people about how nice looking, healthy, and strong they are... They all seemed genuinely shocked that someone had tossed them out of a car and left them.
Don't they know that if they treat their own dogs as well as we do, they'll grow up strong and healthy, too?
Everywhere I look are skinny, malnourished, abused dogs that get no love, only rocks thrown at them.
I don't get it. 
(I was told recently that I'm known in the village as "the pretty gringo up on the hill that's friends with all the mean dogs")

 Well I guess that's all I have for you today. 
If the weather is nice Monday or Tuesday I WILL be going to spend a day on Tobacco Caye again - I was instructed to soak my dreads in the sea and wash them once before I go to my next hair appointment on Wednesday... and I'm happy to obey :) 
Maybe you'll get some pictures, too.


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