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Quassia Chips (Bitterwood chips)
Scientific Name(s):Quassia is a collective term for 2 plants: Picrasma excelsa and Quassia amara L. Family: Simaroubaceae.
Quassia chips come from the white bark of Picrasma excelsa a tree that is indigenous to Jamaica and many other islands of the West Indies. The tall elegant trees are not troubled by insects or pests as the entire tree in particular the timber, contains quassin an astringent resin which is a very effective insecticide.
Amargo, Bitter-Ash, Bitter Wood, Bitterwood, Bois Amer, Cuasia, Écorce de Quassia, Jamaican Quassia, Palo de Cuasia, Pao Tariri, Picrasma, Picrasma excelsa, Quassia amara, Quassia Amer, Quassia Bark, Quassia de Jamaïque, Quassia de Surinam, Ruda, Surinam Quassia, Surinam Wood.
The Quassia wood is used a lot in medicinal and pharmaceutical applications. In manufacturing, quassia is used to flavour foods, beverages, lozenges, and laxatives. The bark and wood have been used as an insecticide. Other applications and uses may apply.
Volatile oil, quassin, gummy extractive pectin, woody fibre, tartrate and sulphate of lime, chlorides of calcium, and sodium, various salts such as oxalate and ammoniacal salt, nitrate of potassa and sulphate of soda.
Scientific Name: Cola nitida
The Kola nut is a caffeine-containing nut of evergreen trees of the genus Cola, primarily of the species Cola acuminata and Cola nitida. The trees have yellow flowers with purple spots, and star-shaped fruit. Inside the fruit, about a dozen round or square seeds develop in a white seed-shell (nut). The 5-centimetre- (2-inch-) long brown nut is dried in the sun for commercial use, mainly as an ingredient of soft drinks and medicine. As a major flavoring ingredient in beverages, the term "cola" originates from the nut as it is boiled to extract the cola. In many cultures it is also grounded and consumed as a natural herbal tea often referred to as ‘Bissy’.
Other names: Arbre à Cola, Arbre à Kola, Bissey Nut, Bissy Nut, Cola acuminata, Cola nitida, Guru Nut, Gworo, Kola Nut, Kolatier, Noix de Cola, Noix de Gourou, Noix de Kola, Noix du Kolatier, Noix de Soudan, Noix du Soudan, Nuez de Cola, Soudan Coffee, Sterculia acuminata, Sterculia nitida
Kola nut is used for short-term relief of fatigue, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), melancholy, lack of normal muscle tone (atony), exhaustion, dysentery, a type of diarrhea called atonic diarrhea, weight loss, and migraine headaches. In foods and beverages, cola nut is used as a flavoring ingredient. Other applications and uses may apply.
Kola nuts comprise about 2% caffeine, as well as containing kolanin and theobromine. All three chemicals function as natural stimulants in and of themselves. caffeine (2–3.5%), theobromine (1.0–2.5%), theophylline, phenolics, phlobaphens, (kola red), epicatechin, D-catechin, tannic acid, sugar, cellulose, water
Scientific Name: Piscidia piscipula
Jamaica dogwood is native to Central America, Florida, and the West Indies, and can now also be found in Texas, Mexico, and the northern part of South America. The plant's characteristic pods bear four projecting longitudinal wings.The bark is yellow or grayish brown on the outer surface, and lighter colored or white on the inner surface and gives off an unpleasant odor.
Chijol, Cornouiller de Jamaïque, Dogwood Jamaica, Erythrina piscipula, Fishfudle, Fish Poison Bark, Fish-Poison Tree, Ichthyomethia piscipula, Jabín, Jamaica Dogwood, Jamaican Cornouiller, Piscidia, Piscidia communis, Piscidia erythrina, Piscidia piscipula, West Indian Dogwood.
Jamaica (or Jamaican) dogwood (Piscidia erythrina or Piscidia piscipula) has been used as a traditional remedy for treating nerve pain, migraine, insomnia, anxiety, fear, and nervous tension. As early as 1844, Western scientists discovered that Jamaica dogwood had pain-relieving and sweat-promoting properties. More recent scientific studies have also shown that bark extracts of this plant have anti-inflammatory, sedative, and antispasmodic (helps relieve smooth muscle spasms along the digestive tract) effects in animals. This herb also contains a substance known as rotenone that has been used in insecticides to control lice, fleas, and larvae. The bark is also used in the treatment of anxiety and fear, for sleep problems (especially sleeplessness due to nervous tension). It is also used for painful conditions including nerve pain, migraines, and menstrual cramps. However, Jamaica dogwood is potentially toxic and should not be consumed by humans without appropriate medical supervision. Other applications and uses may apply.
Isoflavones, organic acids, beta-sitosterol, tannins.
Scientific Name: Smilax ornata
Sarsaparilla, more formally known as Similaxornata or Similaxofficinale, is a plant that is popular in Jamaica as it is widely believed to contain health benefits. It is a thorny plant with long fibrous roots.
Ecuadorian Sarsaparilla, Honduras Sarsaparilla, Jamaican Sarsaparilla, Liseron Épineux, Liseron Piquant, Mexican Sarsaparilla, Salsaparilha, Salsepareille, Salsepareille d’Europe, Salsepareille du Honduras, Salsepareille du Mexique, Sarsa, Sarsaparillae Radix, Sarsaparillewurzel, Smilax, Smilax Aristolochaefolia, Smilax Aristolochiaefolii, Smilax aristolochiifolia, Smilax china, Smilax febrifuga, Smilax medica, Smilax officinalis, Smilax ornate, Smilax regelii, Zarzaparrilla.
Sarsaparilla is a plant. The root is often used to in medicinal applications. Sarsaparilla is used for treating psoriasis and other skin diseases, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and kidney disease; for increasing urination to reduce fluid retention; and for increasing sweating. Sarsaparilla is also used along with conventional drugs for treating leprosy and for syphilis. The sarsaparilla plant is used in Jamaica for a number of its believed benefits. It is most popularly used today as a base for tonic drinks that are believed to not only serve as an aphrodisiac but also as a way to increase sexual stamina and libido. Athletes sometimes use sarsaparilla as a steroid for performance enhancement or bodybuilding. In manufacturing, sarsaparilla is used as a flavoring agent in foods, beverages, and pharmaceuticals. Other applications and uses may apply.
The nearly evergreen plant contains a small proportion of starch along with traces of glucoside, sarsapic acid,sarsaponin, and fatty acids. The fatty acids present in the sarsaparilla plant includepalmitic, stearic, behenic, oleic and linoleic acid.
Jamaican Ginger Root
Scientific Name: Scientific Name: Zingiber Officinalis
Ginger is root. The rhizome (underground stem) is used widely in culinary and medicinal applicatons. The Jamaican ginger is known for its premium quality on the world market today. Although this popular plant is native to Asia, the Jamaican Ginger is by far more pungent and aromatic than the others cultivated in other countries. The eatable part of the Jamaican ginger is grown underground and its botanical name is Zingiber officinale. However the name ginger came from the Sanskrit word “singabera” which means “horn shaped”.
African Ginger, Amomum Zingiber, Ardraka, Black Ginger, Cochin Ginger, Gan Jiang, Gingembre, Gingembre Africain, Gingembre Cochin, Gingembre Indien, Gingembre Jamaïquain, Gingembre Noir, Ginger Essential Oil, Ginger Root, Huile Essentielle de Gingembre, Imber, Indian Ginger, Jamaica Ginger, Jengibre, Jiang, Kankyo, Kanshokyo, Nagara, Race Ginger, Racine de Gingembre, Rhizoma Zingiberi, Rhizoma Zingiberis, Rhizoma Zingiberis Recens, Shen Jiang, Sheng Jiang, Shoga, Shokyo, Shunthi, Srungavera, Sunth, Sunthi, Vishvabheshaja, Zingiber Officinale, Zingiberis Rhizoma, Zingiberis Siccatum Rhizoma, Zinzeberis, Zinziber Officinale, Zinziber Officinalis.
Jamaica Ginger root (Zingiber officinale) is well known as a remedy for travel sickness, nausea and indigestion and is used for wind, colic, irritable bowel, loss of appetite, chills, cold, flu, poor circulation, menstrual cramps, dyspepsia (bloating, heartburn, flatulence), indigestion and gastrointestinal problems such as gas and stomach cramps. Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory herb and there has been much recent interest in its use for joint problems. It has also been indicated for arthritis, fevers, headaches, toothaches, coughs, bronchitis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, to ease tendonitis, lower cholesterol and blood-pressure and aid in preventing internal blood clots. Ginger root was recently the subject of a startling new research report presented at The American Association for Cancer research conference in Phoenix. In the study, ginger actually suppressed cancer cells suggesting that the herb was able to fuel apoptosis or the death of the cancer cells. Ginger has been shown to work against skin, ovarian, colon and breast cancer. But it had not been shown to halt the progression of cancer until now. However, more research is required to confirm this. Ginger may also be taken orally as a herbal remedy to prevent or relieve nausea resulting from chemotherapy, motion sickness, pregnancy, and surgery. Ginger is widely used in the Food and Beverage industry in a wide range of applications. The juice from ginger roots is often used as a spice in Indian recipes and is a common ingredient of Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, and many South Asian cuisines for flavouring dishes such as seafood, meat, and vegetarian dishes. Powdered dry ginger root is typically used as a flavoring for recipes such as gingerbread, cookies, crackers and cakes, ginger ale, and ginger beer. Candied ginger, or crystallized ginger, is the root cooked in sugar until soft, and is a type of confectionery.
The characteristic odor and flavor of ginger is caused by a mixture of zingerone, shogaols, and gingerols, volatile oils that compose one to three percent of the weight of fresh ginger. Ginger contains up to 3% of a fragrant essential oil whose main constituents are sesquiterpenoids, with (−)-zingiberene as the main component. Smaller amounts of other sesquiterpenoids (β-sesquiphellandrene, bisabolene, and farnesene) and a small monoterpenoid fraction (β-phelladrene, cineol, and citral) have also been identified. The pungent taste of ginger is due to nonvolatile phenylpropanoid-derived compounds, particularly gingerols and shogaols, which form from gingerols when ginger is dried or cooked.
Nutmeg and Mace
Scientific Name(s): Myristica fragrans Houtt. Family: Myristicaceae
Nutmeg and mace are two spice products of the same nutmeg-fruit. While its seed kernel is popular as nutmeg-seed, the crimson-red, thread like aril closely enveloping around the kernel is known as "mace." Both spices feature a similar warm, sweet aromatic flavor.
Pleasantly aromatic, nutmeg is actually seed kernel of fruit-nutmeg. It is one of the highly prized spices known since antiquity for its aromatic, aphrodisiac, and curative properties.
Common Name(s): Nutmeg, mace, magic, muscdier, nux moschata, myristica oil, muskatbaum
Nutmeg and mace spice contains many plant-derived chemical compounds that are known to have been anti-oxidant, disease preventing, and health promoting properties. The spicy nut contains fixed oil trimyristin and many essential volatile oils such as which gives a sweet aromatic flavor to nutmeg such as myristicin, elemicin, eugenol and safrole. The other volatile-oils are pinene, camphene, dipentene, cineole, linalool, sabinene, safrole, terpeniol. The active principles in nutmeg have many therapeutic applications in many traditional medicines as anti-fungal, anti-depressant, aphrodisiac, digestive, and carminative functions. This spice is a good source of minerals like copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese and copper are used by the body as co-factors for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron is essential for red blood cell production and as a co-factor for cytochrome oxidases enzymes. It is also rich in many vital B-complex vitamins, including vitamin C, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin A and many flavonoid anti-oxidants like beta-carotene and cryptoxanthin that are essential for optimum health. Both nutmeg as well as mace is used in cooking recipes. Mace has delicate flavor and gives saffron like color to the food items. Whole kernels generally preferred over powdered form since they possess more essential oils, which thus, give rich flavor and freshness to recipes. In general, completely dried kernels are either grated or milled just before being added at the last minutes of cooking.
All Spice (Pimento)
Scientific Name (Pimenta dioica - Myrataceae)
Pimento is native to the West Indies, mainly Jamaica and Cuba. Pimento got the name 'allspice' because of its smell, which is a mixture of nutmeg, cinnamon and clove.
Allspice, Jamaican Pepper, Myrtle Pepper Parts Used: Leaves, Berries (ripe and dried), Oil
Identification of the active plant chemicals confirm that pimento is aromatic and carminative and is useful in the treatment of digestive problems, such as diarrhoea and flatulence and as an aid to digestion. Eugenol, one of the main plant chemicals in both the berries and the oil, has local anaesthetic, analgesic and antiseptic properties. Pimento can stop chills, improve circulation, and is useful for colds, flu and for menstrual pains. Pimento oil, which can be extracted from both the unripe berries and the leaves is used in similar ways to clove oil to treat toothache, rheumatism and muscular pains and is antioxidant. Pimento is mainly used as spice and was particularly important pre-refrigeration, when it was a key ingredient in preparations to preserve meats and vegetables. Pimento is still widely used in the in the food industry where it adds flavour to well known sauces and condiments. A liquor from the ripe berries is still made in Jamaica.
Unripe pimento berries contain 3-4.5% oil, tannins and alkaloids. Oil made from the unripe pimento berries contains 70% eugenol and oil from the leaves 96% eugenol, cineol, methyleugenol, a-phellandrene, caryophyllene, and cadinols. The leaves also contain lipids, protein, Vitamins A, C and some B vitamins and minerals.