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Columns : Let's Grow Bahamas Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM

Fever Grass: Not Your Usual “Cup of Tea”
By Luckner Timothee
Oct 13, 2012 - 3:44:43 PM

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The author with Fever Grass in Grand Bahama Island Photo: B-United Artist Photography

Quite a few people have asked why the sudden interest in Herbs and bush medicine? My answer is “why not!”There are many things when it comes to farming that one can learn and knowing the essential plants are just as important. I think educating people on plants to grow is just as important as telling them how to grow. My articles are about the starting process, not everyone is going to instantly plant today but giving them advice about an herb here and there will give them a push in the right direction. On that note, here is an herb that has some great properties and is grown locally here in the Bahamas.

 “That herb is “Fever grass”, also known as “lemongrass” or “Cymbopogon.” This herb is one of my favorite that I brew along with many other herbs in our yard. What makes me like this herb is the minty taste it gives and the aroma it expels is attractive. We have an almost endless supply in my backyard that I use to make either hot tea something I learn from my mother or lemon grass Ice tea a great drink for my relentless days in the garden. This herb can grow 3-6ft depending on conditions and is easy to deal with hardly needing much care. But for those of you who haven’t heard of Fever/Lemongrass or the purpose of this herb I encourage you to read this article further. My discovery has broadened my knowledge on a plant that most likely grows in your backyard and I also discovered how beneficial this particular herb can be to our health. Fever grass when brewed is a healthy nutritious drink which should really make us consider replacing our regular daily caffeine brew.

Bahamians in particular, at least the older generation have been using fever grass as an herbal tea for many years, but aside from Bahamians; Native Americans and Chinese has also been using this herb as herbal tea and medicine purposes.  Other than using this herb for tea it has been used by many University and Medical Professionals. There have been reported cases of fever grass being used to treat Leukemic Cells with results showing death of those cells in 58-90% of the cases.

In 1991, The Department of Nutritional Sciences and Human Oncology, University of Wisconsin found that an extract from fever grass was great while combating cancer cells in mouse trails. In 2005 a study was done by The Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Ben Gurion University in Israel found that Citral a key component that is found in lemon grass can kill cancer cells. After this study came out it prompt cancers patients across Israel to start brewing fever grass. Also research by the University Malaysia Pahang found lemon grass oil is very effective in the prevention of Bacteria.  Fever Grass has been known to be used to combat against seizures, cold and Flu, fever viruses, stomach aches and also is a natural Pain reliever. One of my mentors speaks of fever grass as being an excellent insect repellent.

For cuisines purposes fever grass is great for seasoning fish and poultry. A favorite of South East Asian dishes after it has been pounded. The School of Nursing Science, Tshwane University of Technology in South Africa has used fever grass against HIV. It was used as an oral treatment though the cases didn’t prove any finding the fact that fever grass was used in these studies show that there is something more to this herb. So why not plant this herb in your backyard who knows you might find that it will be useful in your remedy since every person is different on a biological level. So enjoy a fresh cup of fever grass tea you might be surprised at how good it makes you feel and (FYI) if you have a dog try to keep this herb away from dogs as they do love to urinate on this plant.

About the Author: Luckner Timothee is a backyard Farmer in Grand Bahama since starting his garden a few years ago he has wooed his friends with his produce and creative farming ideas. He continually learns from his friends and family about the process of farming and the struggles that a farmer goes through daily. He is now working on a Web show called “Let’s Grow Bahamas” to be released on “Grand Bahama Backyard Farmers”. He is attending seminars in order to meet other farmers around the world and to further his knowledge about Farming. To contact Luckner Timothee email him at: bahamasfarmers@live.com

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