Medicinal Plants

Manihot esculenta
Cassava has been a staple food in St. Lucia since Amerindian times but it has medicinal uses as well. The starch, mixed with vinegar, is used to treat wezipel. Sometimes it is mixed with blue and sometimes with powdered milk of magnesia. A paste is made and applied to affected areas. Some people recommend rubbing the leg with the belly of a frog in addition to the starch treatment. For ground itch, the leaves are boiled and the feet wash with the water. For inflammation, grated watjet (Opuntia dillenii) is put in water with farine and drunk. Raw roots and leaves contain hydrodynamic acid that can cause death if not removed in the grating and washing process done in preparation for eating.