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June 3, 2011
Star News



A tree believed to be able to cure up to 300 illnesses has been in high demand in the northern parish of St James, THE WEEKEND STAR has learnt.

"Mi neva see people gone crazy so yet, not even when Noni did just buss pan di scene," one resident told THE WEEKEND STAR.

The tree known as the Moringa oleifera, or the 'Miracle Tree', is said to be effective in lowering blood sugar and blood pressure. It is also believed to be effective in fighting against skin infections, reducing swellings and calming the nervous system.

Information reaching THE WEEKEND STAR is that a few of the tree's leaves are sold for anywhere between $100 and $500.

Joyce Duncan, who lives and works in Montego Bay, St James, told THE WEEKEND STAR: "It's crazy, they have chopped down many of the trees, some of them on the highway close to the airport. Them say it has things in there that are able to heal or give remedy to 300 ailments."

Duncan noted that the leaves can be found in large quantities selling on the streets in downtown Montego Bay.

She explained that persons have been buying the leaves to make tea and to steam with spinach such as callaloo.

When asked how and why the craze started, she said, "I heard that a lecturer came to the West Jamaica Conference and he was giving a lecture. A tree was on the compound and he made mention of it, about the properties and he said he was surprised to see so many in Jamaica and since about last weekend it has become extremely popular."

trees cut down

THE WEEKEND STAR understands that since then, several trees have been cut down or stripped down to their barks. It is further understood that persons have been coming from far and wide to get a hold of even a few of the leaves.

Duncan reasoned that, "I see a man and him say him purchase $4,000 worth of gas an come from Ochi Rios, cause him say anywhere it is he will have to get it."

When contacted, The Scientific Research Council confirmed that they had done some research on the tree and that they have put together a publication in their library about it titled The Miracle Tree.

Meanwhile, when checked, the website treesforlife.org revealed that dried Moringa leaves have six times more iron than in spinach, as much protein as in eggs, seven times more vitamin C than in oranges, four times more vitamin A than in carrots, three times more potassium than in bananas and four times more calcium than in milk.

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