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Ko-Joe Root, my vagrant friend

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“Yuh need to detox, Bassy,” Doctor Toney said. Den he gave me ah lecture on de subject of Detoxification; more simply put it’s De-tox-if-he-care-shun. Dat’s when yuh eat too much ah junk and never bother to purge or clean out, de body literally becomes ah warehouse full ah toxic stuff, ah real slow poison. So when dat abscess or “blind-eye boil” shows its ugly head under yuh arm, by yuh neck, between yuh legs next to yuh bat-tea or any soft point (gland) in de body, it is ah sign dat yuh overdue ah De-tox!{{more}}

Doc Toney put me on ah course of ole time remedy: “Ah teaspoonful ah Baking Soda in ah glass ah warm water at mornings; dat taste nasty, so ah does doctor-it-up wid some lemon juice and ah lickle sugar in de water, it becomes like ah fizzy lemon drink. And den he asked me if ah ever heard bout ah plant name, Ko-Joe Root. Ah tell him ah remember it smell like Vagrant and ole people used it foh joint pain, sap head, bark or bathe babies wid it, to keep way jumbies. “Yuh certainly don’t know much about Ko-Joe Root, Bassy.” He continued by describing dis Miss-Tree healing plant to me: “Dark green leathery leaves dat grow close to de ground and has tall spikes lined with many tiny white flowers above de leaves. De roots have a strong garlic smell.” I asked him when ah drink dis Ko-Joe Root what to expect. He replied wid one word : “Everything!” And he gave me ah list: “Reduce pain, reduce fever, fights Can-saw, Aunty-viral, Aunty-buy-ah-tick, Die-or-be-tease as it lowers blood sugar, Arthur-write-dis, Hype-her-ten-shun.” Ah asked him how come he men-shun everything but nothing bout Viagra, dat certainly Lie-Za will want me to ask him bout dat! His final instruction was foh me to look it up on de Internet : “Google Kojo Root or Unamu!”

On de Internet ah read dat Ko-Joe-Root belongs to ah large family of brothers and sisters all over: “de Amazon Rain forests, de tropical areas of Central and South America, de Caribbean and of course, Africa.” And in every country is de same plant wid ah different name: Guinea Hen Weed, Douvant-Douvant, Garlic Weed, Chasser Vermine, Congo Root, Gully Root, Huevo de Gato (Spanish foh Cat Egg wow)! and in Vincy it’s Ko-Joe-Root (Kojo Root).

Yuh would think dat an ole Land Surveyor like me who roamed all de mountains in SVG would ah know Ko-Joe Root. Ah did not, so ah had to rely on Otto, my former crew leader. To my great surprise when Otto brought de plant, he looked around my garden and had ah good laugh, squatting peacefully next to my chive bed, was Ko Joe Root himself. Needless to say dat ah drinking my Ko-Joe Root and Baking Soda and ah can’t find dat miserable Blind Eye Boil, it gone!

Ah next time ah will write ‘bout my fair-foh-it Vagrant friend, how my Canadian cousin Ken, who is retired and comes here every winter foh vacation. He got Die-ah-be-teased and when he is here, he gets his sugar level down to ah Six, by eating boiled breadfruit, and has to reduce his intake of insulin. He tries everything foh his sugar including drinking our fare-most Captain Bligh! He had ah taste of my Ko-Joe Root and next morning when he called, ah got scared when he said: “Dat Kah Jah Root yuh gave me to drink is dangerous!” His sugar level was down to Three. He is his own expert who could adjust his insulin intake. What he also did was to drink de Ko-Joe Root foh de entire two months he spent here dis year. He even took back ah bag ah dried leaves.

Ko-Joe Root dey all over SVG. Imagine ah went to Bagga last week wid Doc Fraser, as we were exiting his family estate in Nugent, ah saw ah cluster ah my Herbal friend growing in de wild, like ah vagrant doing nothing along-side ah de road. Ah stopped de vehicle, broke ah few branches and in an unconvincing way tried to explain to Doc Fraser what Ko-Joe could do. We stopped by his ole family home where his Aunty Doreatha on vacation from Canada, treated us to Fry fish, doe-boy and ginger beer. One fault, it had ah more-ish taste! Ah told her ah was trying to convince Adrian to drink Ko-Jo Root, of course she too remembers it as ah child, interestingly she even has ah plant in de yard. To show she still has her roots, Tanty invited us to ah cup of her special “Herb Tea from Canada.” Very professionally packaged, colourful and inviting. But de Label reads Big’n’bold : “Guinae Hen Weed, grown and packaged in Jah-mek-her.” Guinea Hen Weed back ah yard is de same Ko-Joe Root in SVG!

Now ah have to claim ah disclaimer too. Dis article is written just foh light reading. Don’t try nothing ah write bout, especially if yuh Pregnant! If yuh on medicare-shun, do not try Ko-Joe Root, unless yuh ask yuh doctor. Expect s/he to run yuh!

And just foh de records eh, Dr Toney is ah Vincent-shun son of Carrierre Village, born to Joy and Jimmy Toney both have long deceased. De young man studied in Cuba, is ah qualified specialist in Gynecology, Obstetrics, he did studies in Alternative Medicine. Oh yes, he is ah Sexologist but de herb foh dat is deep in de forest, LOL. And wid dat is gone ah gone again.

One Love Bassy

Bassy Alexander is a land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.

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