CUPECOY–More than 55 different types of “bush teas” are used in St. Maarten, a study entitled “Exploring the use of bush teas on the island of St. Maarten” conducted by a group of American University of the Caribbean (AUC) School of Medicine medical students shows.
According to the study, the most common use of bush teas is for fever, followed by sleep and energy.
Students conducted the study because they wanted to explore the uses and ingredients of bush teas in the community.
“We have heard about all the uses of bush teas here from locals and we wanted to learn more,” the students said in a publication about their study. “Our goal was to explore these uncharted aspects for this island in order to identify trends and patterns.”
For the study, students created a survey which they distributed to the AUC/Cupecoy community and surrounding areas.
A total of 116 surveys were distributed and 82 were returned for a 71 per cent response rate. Of the respondents, 29 were men and 51 were women. Two persons did not indicate their gender.
The study found that soursop was most commonly used for fever and menstrual cramps, and is known to have anti-inflammatory properties. It showed that men and women equally use bush teas. The most commonly used herbs for bush tea were mint (30 per cent), soursop (23.3 per cent), lemon grass (22.2 per cent) and other (24.4 per cent).
A total of 39.6 per cent of the respondents grow their own herbs used for their teas, 29.2 per cent obtain it from a family member, 20 per cent obtain it from a local store or market, 8.8 per cent from foraging, 0.9 per cent from postal mail and 7.1 per cent from other sources.
The most common uses of bush teas, according to the study, are fever (30 respondents), sleep (26 respondents), energy (18 respondents), headaches (13 respondents), menstrual cramps (14 respondents), hypertension (nine respondents), anxiety (5 respondents), diabetes (4 respondents), mosquito bites (one respondent) and other (44 respondents).
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/83409-auc-study-shows-more-than-55-bush-teas-used-locally