Medicinal Plants

Crescentia cujete
The kalbas, St. Lucia’s national tree, has a long cultural history. Probably brought here by the very early island inhabitants, folklore attending this most useful plant remains as evidence of its importance as a holding vessel and utensil. It was believed that feeding a child from a kalbas bowl would help in learning to talk. Boys thought if they rubbed their penis on a young kalbas still on the tree, (or girls their breasts), as the fruit grew these parts would develop. To release a bad spell, bath with seven kalbas leaves then throw them over the shoulder and don’t look back. For blood clots, nine leaves of kopi le bwa (Polypodium phyllites) put in a new kalbas and water added. This liquid is drunk every day for nine days with one less leaf every day. The woody capsule is used as a bowl and for handicrafts.