Jamaican bush teas have long been an integral part of the island’s culture. These unique infusions are made from the leaves, stems, or roots of the islands plants.
Jamaican bush teas benefits range soothing a migraine headache, treating hangovers, relieving respiratory infections, to promoting resful sleep, and lifting the spirits.
However, these Jamaican teas do not only a wide variety of flavors and tastes, but several recent studies suggest they may provide numerous health benefits as well.
Some popular Jamaican bush teas are the bitter tasting “Cerasee bush tea” which used to treat stomach aches and skin infections, and the delightful Jamaican Sorrel drink that is ever present at “Christmas dinners.”
Le’sl talk about seven benefits and side effects of Jamaican bush teas that have been used by generations of Jamaicans for both medicinal and culinary purposes.
1. Cerasee Jamaican Bush Tea Benefits
Cerasee tea may be the most popular Jamaican bush tea. Jamaican cerasee tea is commonly used for stomach aches, fevers, colds and body detox.
Cerasee tea is made from dried or fresh leaves and stems of the Bitter melon vine. This is definetley the most bitter tasting of all Jamaican bush teas.
How to make Jamaican Cerasee tea?
You will need a handful of fresh or dried Cerasee leaves and two cups of water. Place them in a pot and allow it to boil for about 7 minutes. Strain, sweeten to taste and drink. Jamaican searcy tea can be consumed hot or over ice.
Bonus Tips: The longer your boil the liquid the more bitter tasting your Cerasee tea will be. Cerasee teabags you buy online will not be as bitter as dried organic cerasee leaves.
What are some Side Effects of Cerasee tea?
Drinking too much Cerasee tea can have serious side effects. For example, if you take medication to control diabetes, consuming too much Cerasee tea can drop your blood sugar to dangerous levels.
Also because Cersasee tea is so bitter, it can irritate the stomach leading to naseau, stomach cramps or diarrhea.
2. Soursop Leaf Tea
Soursop leaf tea is another extremely popular Jamaican bush tea. The herbal tea is made from the leaves of the Soursop tree. Jamaican Soursop leaf tea is used to calm nervous tension, help sleeping issues, and control diabetes.
How do you make Soursop Leaf tea?
To make soursop tea at home you need 3 or 4 Soursop leaves and tap water. Pour a cup and a half of water into a pot. Add the soursop leaves and boil for between 7 and 10 minutes. Strain, sweeten with your favorite sweetener and enjoy.
What are some Soursop leaf tea Side Effects?
These are a few things to look out for if you take medication for diabetes or high blood pressure.
- Extremely low blood glucose levels. The tea may interact with your diabetes medication.
- Unstable blood pressure. Soursop leaf tea may interfere the the way your blood pressure medication acts.
3. Guinea Hen Weed Tea
Guinea hen weed tea is made from the shrub commonly known outside of Jamaica as Anamu. Some common Guinea hen weed Jamaican bush tea benefits are digestive support, insomnia, arthritis pain, fever, cough, cancer, and cold relief.
How to make Guinea hen weed tea
Simply bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add a heaped tablespoon of crushed Guinea hen weed. Mix them together, lower the heat and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
A strong garlic odor will fill your kitchen, so be prepared. Strain, and drink. You will need to add some honey and lemon juice to “tame” the strong garlic profiles.
However, the benefits of Guinea hen weed tea makes it worthwhile.
Guinea Hen Weed tea Side Effects
Drinking too much Guinea hen weed tea may cause naseau, upset stomach, or diarrhea. It can also drop your blood glucose to dangerously low levels, and cause extreme drowsiness.
4. Fever Grass Tea
A mild crisp tasting herbal tea made from the species of lemongrass that is common in the Caribbean. Although one would expect this infusion to have a grassy profile, Fever grass tea tastes like a fruity tea.
Some Fever grass Jamaican bush tea benefits are: reducing fevers, relieving colds and flu discomfort, and relieving indigestion.
How to Make Fever Grass tea
The tea is made by boiling the stems and blades of the plant for between 5 and 7 minutes. It is usullly consumed sweetened and consumed warm or hot.
Fever Grass Tea Side Effects
Some things to look out for when consuming Fever grass tea are: Upset Stomach, excessive drowsiness, and allergic reactions.
5. Jamaican Dandelion Tea
Jamaican dandelion tea is not made form your regular lawn dandelion weed. Jamaican dandelion identified by the plants clusters of bright yellow flowers scattered across open fields.
Unlike other Jamaican bush teas, it is the dandelion seeds that are commonly used to make tea. The most noted Dandelion Jamaican bush tea benefits is being a caffeine-free coffee substitute.
How to make Jamaican Dandelion Tea
First you need some roasted dandelion seeds that looks like coffee. The tea is brewed just like you make coffee and almost has a similar taste. So many people drink Jamaican dandelion tea instead of coffee.
Jamaican Dandelion Tea Side Effects
Consuming too much Jamaican Dandelion tea has been linked to stomach cramps, diahrrea, and electrolye imbalance.
6. Bissy Tea
Jamaican Bissy tea is creamy, warm drink made from grated kola nuts. Bissy tea has a nutty taste that is less noticeable when cream and spices are added to it.
One major benefit of Jamaican Bissy tea is the amount of caffeine the beverage has. But other benefits of Jamaican Bissy tea are poison antedote, allergy relief, body detox and migraine reliever.
How to make Jamaican Bissy tea
Pour a cup and a half of water into a small pot. Add 2 tablespoons of Bissy powder and stir. Let the mixtureboil for 5 minutes. Strain and add cream and sugar, half a teaspoon of nutmeg, and half a teaspoon of cinnamon. Serve warm.
Bonus Tip: You may adjust amounts to your preference. (Bissy tea the Jamaican way: Substitute cream and sugar with sweetened condensed milk)
Bissy tea Side Effects
Because Bissy tea is loaded with caffeine, bissy tea drinkers man experience some common side effects. Some side effects of busy tea include difficulty sleeping, anxiety, palpitations, and high blood pressure.
7. Jamaican Black Mint Tea
This Jamaican tea is also called black peppermint tea. The herbal tea is made from a Jamaican Spearmint species known as Mentha Verdis. Black mint Jamaican bush tea benefits are indigestion, gas, and bloating aid as well as headache relief .
How to Make Black Mint tea
Back mint tea is made by placing a few mint leaves in a cup and fill it up with hot water. Cover the cup with a saucer and allow the tea to steep for 4 or 5 minutes to release the mints oils and nutrients.
Strain to remove mint leaves. Sweeten to taste and drink hot or cold.
Jamaican Black Mint Side Effects
Some side effects associated with drinking too much Black mint tea include heart burn and acid reflux. Individuals who are allergic to menthol should avoid consuming Jamaican black mint tea.
Where To Buy Jamaican Bush Teas
Nowadays it’s easy to get the Jamaican bush tea benefits because many of these teas a available commercially. You can purchase bush tea bags from local grocery stores and online.
You can find organic loose leaf Jamaican bush teas which are often shipped directly from Jamaica are availble on Etsy and Amazon.
Of course, these are just a few of the many Jamaican bush teas consumed by Jamaicans. The teas we discussed are easily accessible and are quick and easy to make.
Many of them have been proven to offer some valuable health benefits. However, keep in mind that not all bush teas are safe or effective for everyone.
Some bush teas may have side effects, interactions, or can even be harmful if used with certain medications or health conditions.
Therefore, it is important to consult your doctor before drinking any bush tea, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have a chronic disease.
We’ll answer your questions about what the are used for, where you can buy them, and some side effects associated with drinking too much of these teas.