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The Herbs

Annatto is a shrub or small tree, native to South and Central America and the Caribbean. It was introduced in the Philippines by the Spanish and now grows in various parts of Indo-China. The tree can grow up to 10m and bears hundreds of the heart-shaped prickly pods, which contain many tiny red seeds.

Bas Cedar

The bas cedar tree is native to the tropical regions of the Americas and can grow to a height of 20m or more. The leaves are oblong and the tree bears very pale yellowish flowers which give way to small green fruits, which have a very rough skin and turn dark brown when ripe. The bark has a rough, fissured texture.

Carry Mi Seed

Carry mi seed is a small erect herb, which is native to tropical parts of the world from the Amazon and Caribbean to India and China. It grows wild as a weed and is noticeable by the seeds which grow on the underside of the compound leaves. The male plant is greener in appearance than the female which has a reddish tinge in the stems. The female plant is said to be stronger than the male.


Dandelion is not the "dandelion" usually referred to in western herbal systems. This shrub is native to South America but now grows in many tropical parts of the world. Dandelion grows up to 5m high with large compound leaves. It bears clusters of small yellow flowers and thin pods which contain small seeds.

Fence Stake

Fence stake is native to Central America, but is now grown in many tropical and subtropical countries. The tree can grow up to 10 m high, with light green compound leaves and bears clusters of pinkish-purplish flowers.


Grown in most parts of the world, ganja is a bushy shrub which can grow up to 4m high. The palmate leaves which are serrated are distinctive. The plants can either be male or female and the stem of the plants become very fibrous when mature.


Guava is a common tree in the tropics, which grows up to 10m m high. It is native to the Americas, but has now spread to other tropical regions. It has a distinctive bark that is light coloured and peels to show the layer beneath, similar to another member of that genus, pimento. Guava has rough, light-green leaves and the tree bears small white flowers. The fruit of the guava varies according to growing conditions and variety, but can be as big as an orange, with numerous small seeds.


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