Jolt of Strength From Jamaica

I just got back from spending more time with my good friend and colleague, Ivey Harris, at her home in Cornwall Barracks, high up in the John Crow Mountains of Jamaica. I’ve written about Ivey before… she’s the last of the traditional herbal healers in Jamaica’s Maroon culture.
Dr. Sears and Ivey Harris in Jamaica
In fact, Ivey is the seventh generation of her family to practice this nearly lost art. She’s a direct descendant of Princess Nanny, the first leader of the Windward Maroons. Princess Nanny was a renowned herbal healer, and is Jamaica’s only national heroine.
At just five feet tall, Ivey’s a tiny bundle of pure energy. She’s vivacious but has this calm way about her. And she always welcomes me with open arms every time I make the trek up the treacherous mountain roads leading to her remote home.

A Woman's Best Friend

Today I want to let you in on a cure for hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause that my friend and herbalist Iveyln Harris showed me.
Have you heard about Ivey yet? She has a reputation throughout Jamaica as a great natural healer.
Ivey built her practice on her experience and knowledge of the rich culture and heritage of her ancestors, the Koromantyn of West Africa. They came to Jamaica five hundred years ago and became known as the Maroons when they were driven deep into the John Crow Mountains.

Piercing a 500-Year Veil

I steered my little Nissan rental car higher… deeper into Jamaica’s John Crow Mountains. S-curves and switchbacks emerged suddenly out of the sheets of blinding rain.
As the storm finally began to clear, I spotted a cluster of tin-roofed houses and tiny shops. I had reached my destination: the home of Jamaica’s last living Maroon healer, Ivelyn Harris.
For centuries, the Maroons have been among the world’s most skilled herbalists. With just the plants growing in their mountain home, their healers may have already conquered problems that still challenge modern medicine. For example, I’d heard stories that…