Medicinal Plants

Cucurbita moschata
Pumpkin serves as a food staple in St. Lucia and doubles as a medicinal component in folk medicine for measles, jaundice, insomnia, colic, and treatment for amoebas. For jaundice a three-inch piece is boiled with nine grains of corn and 11 grains of barley and the water poured over a grated carrot. This water is mixed half and half with one bottle of Porter, and one-third drunk hot three times a day for nine days. For colic in babies a male flower is boiled with three inches if khus khus (Petiveria alliacia) and a branch of mint. Nine seeds of pumpkin boiled in water and poured over three leaves of lettuce (the kind with long leaves that sends milk) make a tea for insomnia. For parasites, a pound of seeds are pulverized, mixed with water and allowed to ferment in the hot sun for four or more hours until the fermentation odor is obvious and the mixture looks green. Two glasses are given at night on an empty stomach followed by a dose of castor oil the next morning. For measles a piece of pumpkin is boiled with three leaves of malomain (Chamaesyce hirta). And lawzé or gwen anbafey blan (Phyllanthus amaras), chadon benni (Eryngium foetidum) and six grains ofrice.