Healing plants

The SC/SS 115 Ethnobotany healing plant presentations Shalein presented the Pohnpeian use of Coleus (now reclassified as Solenostemon scutellarioides) for skin rashes, ear ache and kilimahd skin sores. Coleus leaves are also commonly used to bring a boil to a head.

Melanie detailed the Pohnpeian use of Scaevola taccada for pink eye and itchy eyes. The white fruit is squeezed into the eyes for relief of symptoms. This is identical to the Kosraean use of the fruit.

Melanie also noted that the leaves are useful for a postpartum cleansing bath. The leaves are pounded, boiled, and the leaves with the water are added to a larger basin for bathing.

Rose Ann presented the use of idanwoal (Flagellaria indica) with liwadawad marer (Centella asiatica) for winien pwuriamwei. Winien pwuriamwei is used to treat startle in babies. Four leaves in pairs from each plant are pounded in a banana leaf, folded, and squeezed onto the fontanelle. Startle is a culture bound syndrome wherein a child may fail to thrive due to having become scared, startled, or in some way psychically shocked.

Masumy covered the use of the leaves of the Javanese wax apple (Syzygium jambos) tree to treat chicken pox. The leaves are chewed and then spit onto the chicken pox pimples.

Ezerin noted the use of the outer shell of a very young coconut of a particular type which is eaten to treat vomiting.


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