Noni & Guifiti
While in Guanaja (Honduras), I learned about a couple of regional health elixirs from the locals and wanted to share my discovery.
One is noni juice from the noni shrub. A 75 year old ex-deep-sea marine I spoke with swears by the stuff, drinks the juice every day, and admits it tastes pretty bad. The fruit, leaves, flowers, bark, and roots have been eaten and used topically for hundreds of years by different cultures to treat various ailments. Many claim that noni contains valuable nutrients and phytochemicals that can treat asthma, lower cholesterol and inhibit cancerous cells from growing - a controversial claim that "modern" medicine has not proven yet...
Another is the Garifuna tonic guifiti - an elixer of plants soaked in rum. Made from medicinal plants (including local spices and noni), the recipe is guarded and passed on generation to generation. The Garifuna use guifiti for all sorts of ailments: impotence, menstrual cramps, pain relief, nerves, high blood pressure, low blood pressure... I remember the bottle I saw had a long list of all sorts of things. I tried some, and it was spicy, herby and swampy tasting - not that bad :-)