Dog blood (Rivina humilis) medicinal herb is native to the Americas and very short in stature bearing red berries. It can also be found in the Caribbean. It is well known and used in Jamaica but is referred to as inflammation weed, especially by the older people. It is from the Phytolaccaceae family. It is a perennial plant and the main parts used as herbal medicine are the leaves.
However, the juice, which contains Betaxanthin humilixanthin, may be made from the berries for consumption. In days gone by, the juice was utilized as ink and dye. This is very interesting indeed.
The common names are Inflammation weed, Pigeonberry, Blood berry, Rouge plant, Baby peppers, Coralito as well as Baby peppers.
I asked my elders why it was called inflammation weed and the answer was simple. It is one of the best medicinal herbs to treat various types of inflammation. It is not well known to many of the young people, but it has been around for ages in Jamaica.
You may ask, what is inflammation? According to the Oxford Pocket dictionary, it is a bodily condition with heat, swelling, redness and usually pain and the remedy for all this is found in this medicinal plant.
It may be used to treat wounds, bruises and cuts. This may be done by making a tea from the leaves and then used it to wash the wounds, bruises and cuts and any other skin ailments. The tea may also be used as herbal bath and this can also treat the skin ailments as well. It really depends on the individuals the method they wish to use.
For pains including headaches, the tea from the leaf is a good remedy. Other uses include the clearing of the Fallopian tubes with the decoction and inflammation of the stomach, joints and just about anywhere on the body that is inflamed may be treated with this medicinal herb.
It is also known as the fertility bush because there are those who use dog blood for infertility.