Guinep leaves are good medicinal herbs to treat intestinal ailments and the fruits are not enough when it is in season in Jamaican. Jamaicans love the fruits with a passion. Day or night, we consume them here on the Island. We love the guinep season and guinep season means that the guineps are fully ripe. They should not be consumed when they are green.
Many of us approach guineps with great expectancy. In other words, we expect them to be sweet. However, a lot of times, they can be very sour, stainy and very hard to be sucked from the seeds. Sometimes the creamy looking jelly like fruit can be very tricky. Some comes off easily in the mouth, while some give a little trouble to leave the seeds. No matter what, we still adore them, sweet or sour, they are one of our favorite fruits.
Guinep (Melicoccus bijugatus) is native to South America, Central America and the Caribbean Islands such as Jamaica, Cuba, Tobago, Haiti, Dominican Republic as well as Puerto Rico. It is a fruit bearing tree in the Sapindaceae family.
The common names are Guinep, Guinep fruit, Genip, Queneba, Quenepas, Spanish lime, Genipe, Quenepe, Mamoncillo, Skinip, Chenet, Mamon, Limoncillo, Canepa as well as Quenepa. Other Caribbean Islands refer to guineps as ackee. I have no idea how that came about seeing that ackee is an entirely different fruit to us in Jamaica.
Guinep is packed with nutrients. It possesses tryptophan, antioxidants, vitamins A and C, phosphorus, calcium. So why not have some guineps? You could be preventing cancer, cold and flu, stroke, heart conditions, asthma, diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure) and lots more ailments.
Guineps will boost your immune system and give you a good night sleep. That is one of my favorite times to eat them, in the nights while watching television or reading. You guess right, I always get a good night rest.
A tea which is made from the leaves is very good for intestinal conditions as mentioned before. Therefore, it is a good remedy for constipation, inflammation in the bowels, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), pain in the stomach, peptic ulcers, infections as well as conditions associated with the anus.
Bring to boil five to seven guinep leaves and consume one cup per day which will be able to treat these conditions.
Not to be out done are the seeds which are edible and can be cooked or roasted. This reminds me of jackfruit seeds. The guinep seeds can be used to eradicate diarrhea.
Avoid giving guineps to children. The seeds can cause choking and this can be very fatal.
Although the guinep tree is a great shady tree, next time when standing under one of the trees just think of the guinep leaves as medicinal herbs.
Submitted October 2, 2015