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Jack'na Bush

Jack'na Bush is a spreading shrub which can grow up to 4m high. It has slightly oval leaves that have dented margins and a long tip. It is native to tropical and sub-tropical Americas, but now grows in many tropical regions. The plant has fluffy, cream flowers, which disperse on the wind when dry.

Traditional Uses

Jack'na bush Flower

Scientific Name:
(Eupatorium odoratum - Asteraceae)
Other Names:
Christmas Rose, Bitter Bush, Siam Weed, Santa Maria, Hemp Agrimony, Flewi Nwel
Parts Used:

In Jamaica, an infusion of the jack'na bush leaves is used mostly for coughs, colds and flu. The herb is widely used throughout the Caribbean for coughs, colds and boiled in milk to treat bronchitis in children. Jack'na bush is also used in Jamaica to treat cuts and wounds.

Modern Research

A recent study from Vietnam has confirmed the traditional use of jack'na bush to treat wounds. An extract of jack'na bush leaves lessened blood flow in wounds and promoted healing. It was also found to be effective in treating haemorrhoids.

Jack'na Bush has anti-inflammatory properties as well as antimicrobial activity and an alcohol extract of the leaves was effective against staphylococcus and E-Coli. The aqueous extract was however less effective. Research at UWI also found that jack'na bush was effective against staphylococcus bacteria.

A study carried out in Nigeria confirmed that the essential oil of the leaves of jack'na bush was effective against staphylococcus and E-coli bacteria. The herb also showed marked anti-oxidant activity in lab tests using a variety of methods.

Plant Chemicals

The plant chemicals in jack'na bush include: triterpenes, poriferasterol, octadecane, butyrospermol acetate, eupolin, chrysophanol, palmitic acid, eupatoric acid.

The essential oil of the leaves include:

  • Alpha-pinene
  • Cadinene
  • Camphor 
  • Limonene
  • Beta-caryophyllene
  • Cadinol isomer


  • Amatya, S & Tuladhar, SM - Eupatoric Acid : A novel triterpene from Eupatorium Odoratum - www.znaturforsch.
  • Amatya, S & Tuladhar, SM – In Vitro Antioxidant Activity of Extracts from Eupatorium Odoratum – www.scialert.net (14/07/2010)
  • Asprey, GF & Thornton, P - Medicinal Plants of Jamaica Parts 1-4 - West Indian Journal of Medicine vol. 2-4 (1953-1955)
  • Inya-agha, SI et al – Phytpochemical and Antibacterial Studies on the Essential Oil of Eupatorium Odoratum – Pharmaceutical Biology – (1987) Vol 25(1) pp 49-52
  • Mitchell & Ahmad - A Review of Medicinal Plant Research at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica 1948-2001 - WI Med J (2006);55(4):243
  • Phan, TT et al - An aqueous extract of the leaves of Eupatorium Odoratum (Eupolin) inhibits hydrated collagen lattice contraction by normal human dermal fibroblasts -
    J Altern Complement Med (1996) Fall; 2 (3): pp 335-343
  • Robertson, D - Jamaican Herbs: Nutritional & Medicinal Values - (1982) - Jamaican Herbs Ltd.
  • Wongkrajang, M et al - Eupatorium Odoratum: An enhancer of hemostasis - Mahidol Jrnl of Pharmaceutical Sciences (1990) Jan-Jun; 17(1): pp 9-13
  • Sasidharan, VK et al - Antimicrobial activity of nine plants in Kerala, India - Philippine Jrnl of Science (1998) vol 127(1) Jan-Mar: pp 65-72