Jamaican dogwood is known for its sedative and calming properties. The ancient Mayans were known to use this herb for asthma and to reduce fevers. In the late 19th century, Western scientists discovered that jamaican dogwood had pain-relieving and sweat-promoting properties. More recently, it has been shown that jamaican dogwood bark extracts possess anti-inflammatory, sedative, and anti-spasmodic properties.
Jamaican dogwood is a tropical shrub that is native to the West Indies, Mexico, and parts of Central and South America. It possesses pods that bear four wings. It is covered by a yellow-hued bark that emits a pungent odor. It has a bitter taste that causes a burning sensation in the mouth.
The bark of the jamaican dogwood root works in a similar manner as that of aspirin pain relievers. It is said to block an enzyme that produces inflammation and pain-causing chemicals called prostaglandins.
The following are the active constituents of Jamaican dogwood bark: isoflavones, organic acids, beta-sitosterol, and tannins. The beneficial essence of Jamaican dogwood may be obtained by making a tea out of the herb. Simply place 1 teaspoon of the dried bark in newly-boiled water. Then let it soak for about 5 to 7 minutes. Then strain and drink.
While Jamaican dogwood tea has been shown to be non-poisonous to humans, it is important to consult first with a competent physician before taking this herb and tea as it is a potent sedative. Taking too high a dosage may result in unwanted side effects. Nursing and pregnant women should not take jamaican dogwood tea.
The following are some health benefits attributed to this tea:
- Said to be very potent against pain, i.e. migraine, toothaches, ovarian and uterine pain.
- May help in the treatment of insomnia.
- May help alleviate anxiety.
- May help relieve muscle spasms.
- May help in suppressing cough.
- May help in lowering fever.