Wellness – A few things I kept with me from my grandmother


As a Jamaican, it is natural to lean towards nature’s cures. Some of my habits were formed from fond memories with my grandma. When she passed away, I searched my brain and filed away all the things she taught me. Among those things, I took creative lifestyle practices that to this day help my sanity. 


I must admit, herbal remedies such as this have definitely made a comeback. In the name “berry” sounds promising, however please do not eat this. You can make the syrup as a DIY. It has become so common that you can even find this at CVS and any local grocery store. So when someone mentions “Elderberry” we automatically think cold/flu. I take a spoonful, every now and again as a pick-me-up. I like to ward off all the nasties before I am fully under the weather

Please note: most on-the-shelf products contain honey as a preservative and are not suitable for little ones under age one.


To be honest this is an acquired taste. I make a cup of Turmeric tea once in a while. If I am out I will grab a cup from Green and Tonic – check out their GOLDEN TURMERIC LATTE. Turmeric has been said to have great benefits, anti-inflammatory properties, and antioxidants. And as a foodie, it is a great flavor profile enhancer for many dishes. Simply taking it in capsule form also works.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Oh where to start!? I do a flu shot potion: ginger, garlic, habanero, honey, and apple cider vinegar (this is not for the faint of heart). It probably doesn’t even work and just sends any icky bugs running for the hills. This can also be used as a hair rinse because it softens and conditions the hair. If you have scalp issues, such as dry flaky scalp or excess build up, this helps to strip the hair. 


When I think about bedtime my first association would be tea. This is safe with mamas and babes, and used in a variety of ways. You can find it at any local grocery store or ordered from popular herbal websites. I have a cup of Chamomile tea each night, plain or sometimes I add a bit of honey.

Activated Charcoal

Charcoal was seen as the holy grail. If you had an upset stomach or food poisoning, charcoal was the go-to thing. This has become very popular with brands like HELLO in their oral care line. Charcoal can be used for teeth whitening and is also recommended for other ailments with naturopathic remedies. 


We use this in our household as a part of our nighttime routine (adults only). I have recommended it to a few friends and they have also adapted this in their own regime. I purchase this from tons of places – Fairway, Whole Foods and Amazon.

Some of the benefits are:

Increased energy

Better sleep

General relaxation

Reduced muscle aches

Improved heart health

Controlled migraines

Improved heart health

In moderation these are a few of the elements that naturally make up my wellness/health routine. It doesn’t mean I whip these out everyday, but they play an important role. If my Grandma Ruby were still alive, I think she would be proud. I bet she would be surprised that most things I scrunched my nose up to, has now become a trend of sorts. 

I am not a medical professional. This is my own personal advice and a lifestyle choice. Please be sure to check with your physician before implementing anything listed above.


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