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What is Jamaican Dogwood?

By Harriette Halepis
Updated May 17, 2024
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Jamaican Dogwood is a type of dogwood tree that grows mainly within the Caribbean, though it can also be found throughout North America. This tree is often harvested for its root bark, which has many different uses. Throughout the world, Jamaican Dogwood root bark is used to shock fish, so that certain fish can be easily hunted. In other parts of the world, powder made from the Jamaican Dogwood is used for medicinal purposes.

Many believe that the bark from the Jamaican Dogwood tree has certain healing properties. Tea infused with bark from this type of dogwood tree is often consumed by people who suffer from muscle aches and spasms. In addition, dogwood tea can be used to relieve migraine headaches and to help fight insomnia.

This particular species of dogwood tree has many different names including "fish poison tree," "fish fudle," and "Jamaica Dogwood." Across the globe, this tree is known by various names, though the effects of the tree remain the same. It is dire that Jamaican Dogwood not be used interchangeably with American Dogwood. While Jamaican Dogwood remedies may have many beneficial medicinal elements, American Dogwood can be highly poisonous when consumed by humans.

As with any other type of herbal treatment, bark from the Jamaica Dogwood tree should not be consumed without proper medical supervision. While this particular type of dogwood bark is not poisonous to humans, consuming too much of the bark may cause unwanted effects. Those that do decide to consume any tablet or tea consisting of Jamaica Dogwood should follow manufacturer's directions carefully.

In addition, it is advised that this type of herbal remedy, and all other types of herbal remedies, only be purchased from a reputable retailer. While no herbal remedy can be precisely controlled portion-wise, some manufacturers are more reliable than others. Thus, any herbal remedy concocted by a private individual should not be consumed.

Jamaican Dogwood can be found by visiting a local health food store, speaking with an alternative medicine professional, or searching for the product on the Internet. Various forms of dogwood bark are sold including herbal teas, tablets, and liquids. Frequently, herbs such as Jamaica Dogwood are mixed with other herbs, though this type of mixture is not as effective as one type of pure herb. Therefore, it is important that consumers read the labels of all herbal remedies, since this is the best way to ensure that a product is entirely pure.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon153673 — On Feb 17, 2011

I've been using Dogwood for a few weeks off and on and works wonders for me but then again I've been using sedative herbs for many years including Valerian root, skullcap, kava kava, etc. Be very careful and go very slow and wait to you see how it's going to affect you.

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