IMMUNE BOOSTERS: BELIZEAN LOCAL REMEDIES
Amidst all the uncertainty in these unprecedented times one thing is for certain— boosting your immune system has never been more important than now. As the staff and crew at Blue Marlin have left our island home and returned to our families to bunker down through this ordeal along with the rest of the world, we look around and see how blessed we are in this tropical wonderland we call home.
We can’t wait to welcome back guests to our beautiful island paradise! In the meantime, we are regrouping, social distancing, and rediscovering the bounty of nature with our own backyard herbal remedies.
Here are just a few of the medicinal plants Belizeans will be turning to for their amazing healing and health-boosting properties:
This is a vine that grows profusely along fences in people’s yards. The leaves can be used as a green supplement in chicken soup and can be boiled into a medicinal tea. The melon which is in the gourd family can also be eaten and used in a variety of dishes. It is sharp and bitter in flavour, but has potent healing properties.
- Juice bitter melon along with a few other fruits and vegetables for a nutrient-packed beverage.
- Mix bitter melon into your next stir-fry to bump up the health benefits.
- Sauté bitter melon alongside tomatoes, garlic, and onions and add to scrambled eggs.
- Combine seedless bitter melon with your choice of dressing and garnish for a savory salad.
- Stuff with ground meat and vegetables and serve with a black bean sauce.
Cuban Oregano (also known as Soup Mint or Indian Borage, and Spanish Mint) traditionally used in soups, sauces, and stews. It is a perennial succulent that grows well in sunny, warm climates with well-drained sandy soil. It has fuzzy, thick leaves with saw-toothed edges. It has a strong pleasant scent and brings a warm and subtly sweet flavour to dishes.
- Dry leaves in the sun and boil in two cups of water to create a strong tea. Half-cup of the prepared tea will help with fever, cough, digestive disorders, and serves as a mouthwash as this is anti-bacterial.
- This particularly useful herb is a wonderful source of minerals just like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium.
- Potassium is a crucial element of cell and body fluids that can help manage heartbeat as well as blood pressure levels brought on by higher sodium.
Moringa is a tropical bush with dark green leaves that can be dried and turned into a powerful nutritional supplement and mixed in smoothies or sprinkled on food. The seed pods of the moringa tree are also edible and have a taste similar to asparagus if steamed or boiled.
- If you are feeling run down, a green smoothie with lime juice, moringa powder, fresh ginger and some ripe bananas. The vitamin C combined with the ginger helps support the immune system while the moringa powder works its magic against infection.
- Moringa is a strong agent packed with nutrients, minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins and has powerful healing properties and immune-system boosting properties.
- Moringa significantly reduced the asthmatic activity by reducing inflammation in the lungs and increasing overall lung capacity and expiratory flow. This is also the case with bronchitis in which lung inflammation creates excessive mucus. The moringa fights this inflammation and reduces mucus as a result.
Noni is a tropical fruit used for over 2000 years for its medicinal properties in Polynesia. It grows profusely near the beach and grows very well on the islands. Noni fruit can be blended and mixed with sugar or honey and a fruit juice to cut the intense taste and smell of the ripe fruit (which is VERY pungent almost like a stinky cheese).
- Noni juice is a great source of vitamin C, biotin, and folates.
- High levels of antioxidants help prevent cell damage caused by free radicals. This may also lead to increased endurance and relief from fatigue. Pacific Islanders believed that eating noni fruit strengthened the body during long fishing trips and voyages.
ORANGES and CITRUS
We are blessed with a fertile agricultural belt specializing in citrus fruits—especially oranges and grapefruits. At Blue Marlin, we squeeze all of our own fresh juices for our guests to enjoy.
Aside from our profuse orange orchards, Belizeans grow lime trees in their yards and have papaya trees as well. Belizeans use limes for cleaning meats, washing dishes and sanitizing, and flavouring foods. A squeeze of fresh lime over fresh papaya sprinkled with grated ginger and drizzled with honey is a great vitamin-packed snack.
Some great health benefits of oranges:
- Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C. One orange offers 116.2 percent of the daily value for vitamin C. Vitamin C, which is also vital for the proper function of a healthy immune system, is good for preventing colds and preventing recurrent ear infections.
- Anti-oxidants in oranges help protect skin from free radical damage known to cause signs of aging. So when you are out playing in the sea and sun on your next vacation to Belize at Blue Marlin, make sure to drink a glass of fresh orange juice, which we squeeze daily, with breakfast.
We are sending our best wishes and prayers to all our guests—past and future. Stay safe and healthy and we are looking forward to welcoming you all to discover the natural bounty of Belize with us!