Jamaican Nickel Tree

Young Nickel Tree Nestled Among Other Plants

Young Nickel Tree Nestled Among Other Plants

Have you ever heard of the Jamaican nickel? I am not talking about a coin, I am talking about a tree in Jamaica that bears seeds called nickels, hence nickel tree. Nickels are grown in pods that are attached to the vines of the nickel tree. The pods possess some sharp-edged prickles. So due care must be taken when breaking the pods, which are very hard, to get to the seeds.


They can be found growing on trees deep in the bushes of our community, as well as by the seaside. I wanted to take my own picture but it is so deep in the bushes that it is not possible for me to go there and that area is not very far from where I live. Someday after the trees are hewn, I might be able to take my very own pictures and to get a pod or two to get those nickels.

It is still very clear in my mind, when as children, we never had any running water. We did not have the luxury of such things. Therefore, we depended on the rain as well as, we carried water from stand pipes that were placed at strategic sections along the streets in our community. This was one of our daily chores, outside of school hours of course. Our grandparents made sure of that. As a matter of fact, we had no other way of getting water
for household use.

I still admired them for such natural and herbal approach to everything. Medicinal herbs were also an integral part of them. I inherited that side of them.

The containers we used to store water were water storage drums, and they were placed under gutters that would transfer rain water to them. We covered the drums to prevent noxious substances from contaminating the water.

Everyone of those drums had three or four nickels that were seen floating on top of the water. It is believed that if the nickels sank to the bottom of the drums, then it was a sign that the water was poisoned.

Another reason for the nickels in the water was that they keep the water very cool. I am a witness to this and of a fact, the water was always very cool indeed, no matter how hot the sun was. It was so cold that my cousins and I were afraid of using the water to bathe.

I was told the nickels can be parched, beat into powdered form and used as coffee. Although my recollection of the seeds are dark gray, there are other colours, such as olive green, white as well as yellow-orange.

Nickels can also be mixed with various beads to make jewelry. I think these trees are forgotten by most persons in Jamaica but to some of us, including the craft vendors, the nickel trees still lives on.

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Oct 21, 2019
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nickel
by: Ann-Marie

Hello CACTX! Much obliged to you for your remarks. You definitely made me laugh since we use to do something very similar by burning each other with nickel.

I genuinely concur with you on your title, Different Islands Same Experiences. We are only an ocean apart, but with one heart.

God favor our grandmas. They were without a doubt our tutors. My grandma is no longer with us yet her memory lives on. I am always thankful for her lessons which have made me who I am today.

Oct 21, 2019
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Different Islands Same Experiences- SKN
by: CACTX

Growing up in St. Kitts-Nevis, my memories of nickel seed are no different.

As kids we went a little further. We would rub the nickel seed on rocks or similar hard surfaces and burn each other. Using nickel seed in this way was the cause of many fights at school.

It is quite interesting how harnessing the knowledge of old is now coming full circle.

Looking back through my childhood, I can now acknowledge the importance of granny's teachings. I am truly indebted to her for everything.

Thanks kindly for this medium...one love

Sep 04, 2019
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Nickels, Treasured By Us Boys When Growing Up
by: Ann-Marie

Hi Omroy! That is my intention, to remind us of our rich herbal heritage. I sure do remember that lucky seed tree. Jamaicans are very unique and we love our culture. I am happy that my site brought back some memories to you. I will join you to say, Oh sweet, sweet Jamaica.

Sep 04, 2019
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by: Ann-Marie

Hi! I smiled while reading your comment because we use to do the very same thing as children. You are so correct! Those are fond memories. We should cherish them.

Sep 04, 2019
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by: Ann-Marie

Hi! I smiled while reading your comment because we use to do the very same thing as children. You are so correct! Those are fond memories. We should cherish them.

Sep 02, 2019
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My Cousins Used Nickels to Play Games
by: Anonymous

Thank you for sharing these remedies. At first, when I was reading your post I could not think what nickels were but as I continue to read I remember my cousins and I use to collect nickels and play marble games. In this game, the marbles were higher in value than the nickels. The seeds were grey.

Jun 15, 2019
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Nickels, Treasured By Us Boys When Growing Up
by: Omroy

What a wonderful site you have! Your blogs have me reliving chunks of my treasured childhood. (smile)
I grew up in Portland parish. We boys would collect nickels by the sea side, as marbles were not easy to come by in those days.

Do you remember "lucky seed tree"? It had needle-like leaves and had a rich milky sap. We used to carry a seed or 2 in our pockets. The claim was that it makes you (money) lucky. (lol)

Oh, sweet Jamaica!!

May 23, 2019
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nickel
by: Ann-Marie

Thank you Mike for your contribution. I pray for your recovery and hope that nickel will work for you.

May 23, 2019
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nickel
by: Mike

I have not seen it since I was a boy. I have kidney issues and someone told me that it is good for it. So I am glad I found this forum. I will be trying it out soon.

Jun 23, 2018
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by: Ann-Marie

Hi Patrick! Thanks for your contribution. I am so happy to hear that nickel worked for you.

Jun 18, 2018
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I Used Nickel at my Father's Day Dinner
by: Patrick

Yes, I was at my father's day dinner and my brother used it to make tea for me because the top of my foot was swollen. I drank it and it worked well for me. It is bitter but good for pain and kidney issues.

May 29, 2018
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by: Ann-Marie

Is that so? Well I can see that it is really being utilized in parts of the country.

May 29, 2018
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Nickel
by: Anonymous

I bought Nickel and Dandelion mixed in the powdered form in May Pen April 2018

May 13, 2017
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Jamaica Nickel
by: Anonymous

I have nickel with dandelion coffee for my kidney. You can get it to buy in Jamaica.

Jan 28, 2017
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Nickel
by: Ann-Marie

That is such great news Desmond. I have to get some to make my tea as well. Thanks for the information. I am so elated to know that it is still being used.

Jan 28, 2017
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the nikel
by: desmond

The Nikel is still in use today just had some tea the other day;

Jan 26, 2017
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Nickel
by: Ann-Marie

You are not alone my friend! Many of us have not seen it since we were children. The tree is still existing in my community but because its hardly being used, no one seems to care to venture in the forest that has engulfed it.

This generation does not even know what I am talking about. However, the memories we have of nickel and all other natural things that are forgotten, let us hold fast and cherish those memories.

Jan 24, 2017
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Nickel
by: Norman

Haven't seen nickel since I was a little boy.

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