SOME USEFUL PLANTS OF SOUTH WATER CAYE
Belize is home to a huge diversity of flora and fauna, making it a hotspot for global biodiversity. From the tropical forests and mountains, to the islands and reefs, Belize is a naturalist’s playground. South Water Caye and Blue Marlin Beach Resort are no exception, being located in protected marine area with a host of unusual, unique critters and greenery.
Despite conditions that might not seem conducive to a diverse ecosystem– such as high salinity in the air and soil, sand with little topsoil, constant sea breezes, and lack of fresh water sources— there is an abundance of plants on the island, many of which have medicinal, food, or decorative value. Here are a few plants that can be found right around the property:
NONI! We say YES-I to NO-NI! This strange fruit grows on trees throughout the island. When ripe it has a very pungent smell, but this might explain some of its nutritional and medicinal value. The entire plant, from the leaves, stems, to the fruit, have been used for centuries in the tropics as a therapeutic superfood. The noni has been used as a skin healer, immune booster, and analgesic.
ALOE VERA! Aloe vera is used as an immune booster when consumed as a drink, and a skin and hair healer and strengthener. Aloe grows in abundance at Blue Marlin Beach Resort. It is a great sunburn remedy as well. We always recommend using Reef Safe waterproof sunscreen at least 1/2 hour before snorkeling or swimming. But should in case you miss a spot and come out looking like a candy cane, you can always go pick some fresh aloe as an after sun treatment.
BREADFRUIT! Breadfruit, although being a fruit, is more of a potato substitute. It’s starchy flesh can be found under a thick green exterior. Breadfruit may help your blood sugar stabilize. The breadfruit is native to Polynesia where it is baked, boiled or fried as a starchy, potato-like vegetable and made into bread, pie and puddings. In 1789 Britain sent Captain Bligh on the H.M.S. Bounty to Tahiti to collect breadfruit cuttings for introduction into the New World colonies.
HIBISCUS! The hibiscus flower is not only very ornamental, it is also edible. Our chef often uses the fresh flowers as garnish for our delicious meals. For a romantic welcome to the island our housekeepers will impress you with their floral designs in your room. Any woman will feel a little more special with a hibiscus blossom tucked behind her ear. And what better way to refresh than a nice cold hibiscus juice? This is a truly a beautiful and useful plant known to lower blood pressure and help with digestion.