The Super Weed
Guinea hen weed is a pungent smelling plant presumably because of its sulphur compound called sulphide. The botanical name for guinea hen weed is Petivera alliacea. Other common names are garlic weed, anamu and devil’s horse whip. This weed grows in the wild in tropical countries. In Jamaica it can be found in abundance and can be harvested just when needed. The medicinal use of this herb has been known for several generations. What is exciting is the depth of research and clinical trials to test and prove what the folkloric healers have always known about the medicinal healing properties of guinea hen weed.
Properties of Guinea Hen Weed
The active ingredient in guinea hen weed with the medicinal property is dibenzyl trisulphide (DTS). The DTS acts on the thymus (which is a gland in the neck which is most active in childhood) to stimulate it to produce T-lymphocytes the components of white blood cells which selectively attacks cancer cells.
Exciting research on Guinea hen Weed and Cancers
The clinical trials have revealed that DTS is effective in curing a number of cancers namely:
Other Medical Conditions that can be improved are:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
This weed is a popular home remedy choice for symptomatic relief of pain, diarrhea, sinusitis, and headache.
In health food stores and pharmacies the guinea hen weed can be purchased as tea bags, a powder or as a dried packaged herb. Jamaican scientists are very optimistic that in the near future they will have the pure DTS in tablet preparation.
A Word of Caution
For those who are harvesting herbs in the wild, be aware that it could be contaminated by urine and feces of animals. It is extremely important to wash properly and dry the fresh herb before use. If you plan to dry and store the plant also remember to hang the herb up and then store safely in a jar or re-sealable bag.
While there does not seem to be any toxic reaction attributed to the use of the herb, it is important to know that it is advisable to be mindful of the quantity to use and the frequency of use.
Many traditional healers recommend only a stalk in 3 cups of water, bring to a boil then enjoy hot or cold, sweetened or unsweetened. They further advise to drink the tea for only three (3) days. For those who make their own tincture by soaking the herb in rum, wine or vodka, the same caution holds true with respect to quantity and frequency of use.