Tuna plant is of the cactus family, growing with prickly nodes on its broad leaves or stems. It has been utilized for many years as a shampoo for the hair, restoring refulgence and an healthy appearance to over processed hair. It is currently being used as an ingredient in various shampoos. I have no need to buy shampoo with this plant as an ingredient in it because I have it in abundance in my yard. Whenever I wash my hair, I simply cut one of the huge leaves in halves and used it to rub in my hair, let it stay for few minutes and then rinse it out. Tuna medicinal herb always leaves a natural glow in my hair and it will allow the hair to comb out easily.
Some of the common names are Cactus flowers, Tuna cardona, Pear fruit, Cactus fruit, Indian fig, Opuntia and West-wood pear. Tuna (Opuntia) plant constituents are pectin, fiber, calcium oxalate and calcium malate.
Tuna is a good remedy for back pain and that is the reason it is loved by most Jamaican men who use it to treat these back pains. It is used by women as well for menstruation conditions and as I said before, for shampooing the hair. This is especially done by the older Jamaican women who really know the worth of this plant.
Many individuals, including myself and my husband just love to combine the juice from the leaves with coconut water and store it in a container in the refrigerator. This we will drink periodically for the pain in the back and any other ailments, such as cleansing of the whole body system. This juice has no taste but it is so slimy. However, the coconut water will help to minimize the slimy taste that most people fear inclusive of myself. It is also believed that coconut water is also good for back pain, hence the mixture of both.
Tuna juice also can be utilized as a poultice for swelling of the feet, especially for the ankles, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, viral infection, colitis, obesity as well as benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH).
The leaves or stems are used to make a decoction to prevent internal inflammation. Also, the sliced stems may be bound to the head to alleviate headaches.
I prepare my tuna juice by washing thoroughly two to three whole leaves and then
slice them in quarters and put them in half jug of coconut water. Let
it stand overnight for best results. Then consume as you so desire.
You may also want to read prickly pear same as tuna plant.
Updated June 23, 2015