|| |||© W.D. Hawthorne|
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Places where this species can be found :
- Beausejour Bay - GRENADA
DescriptionWeedy herb to 2m, with strong smell of onions or garlic. Flowers in spikes, with 4 tepals. Fruit with 4-6 hooks.
InterestPetiveria - honour of James Petiver (1665-1718), London apothecary and an ardent collector of botanical specimens. Used as a tonic by the Caribs on Dominica. Can cause dermatitis. In Grenada it is commonly used by traditional healers for coughs colds and as an effective cleaner for the guts (Politi, 1994). "Cudjoe root is well established, if only half-remembered, in Grenadian folk botany and medicine, used predominantly for sinusitis and colds, but also for diarrhea/dysentery and gynecological complaints. It has been shown to contain unique sulfur compounds (e.g. dibenzyl trisulphide) with immunostimulant and antiviral activities, both of which have value in diarrheal disease (e.g. Rotavirus)." (Averis, 2003) Features prominently into the disappearing folk tradition of obeah, a kind of vodoo, both in St. Kitts (Whittaker, 1992) and Grenada/Carriacou (Moore, unpublished). In Carriacou, the plant is placed under one's pillow to guard against spirits , and boiled as a wash either to remedy children of the evil eye (Moore, unpublished); a similar wash is used to protect livestock from obeah and vampires (ligaroo) (personal communication, 2001) .
CollectorW.D. Hawthorne, D.Jules
LocationValley end swamp close to sea, swampy and muddy. Zanthoxylum, Casearia guianensis, Tabernaemontana citrifolia, Hura crepitans.
NotesAbundant in a patch below trees, single stemmed shrub to c 50cm. All parts smelling foetid, somewhat like garlic or burnt rubber, with an aftersmell on the back of the nose like ammonia. Said to be used as a cold cure, and as an ingredient in childrens' stink bombs.