Also known as Anamu, garlic weed, or gully root, this herb is popular in Jamaica where it is made into a tea commonly used to treat colds and fever. Originally found in the Amazon rainforest, Guinea hen weed has been used by indigenous people for centuries, and was considered to have magical as well as health-promoting properties.
In Jamaica, it is still seen by some to have spiritual benefits – being referred to as “duppy root” for its ability to chase away ghosts (when its strong-smelling leaves are sprinkled around a room – also working as a natural air freshener).
Like many herbs traditionally considered magical, it has been found to possess many healing properties. Today, science has confirmed that it has powerful anti-inflammatory effects. It has been examined as a potential treatment for arthritis. It also has anti-cancer properties and laboratory studies have shown it can selectively target cancer cells. It also appears to support the immune system.