Medicinal plants on Saint-Martin

Rédigé le 02/07/2024
Jujue LV

On Saint-Martin, an island bathed in warm Caribbean waters, nature abounds with medicinal treasures. Local plants, often little-known, harbor ancestral therapeutic virtues handed down from generation to generation. As we explore this rich botanical heritage, we discover natural remedies that bring relief and well-being, harmoniously integrating local traditions with modern health benefits.


Aloe Vera

A well-known medicinal plant with many beneficial properties. Used for centuries for its healing and soothing properties, accelerating the healing of burns and skin irritations while deeply moisturizing the skin. Its anti-inflammatory and analgesic action relieves pain. Consumed in juice or smoothies, Aloe vera helps eliminate toxins and improve digestion. Its ability to boost the immune system and promote healthy digestion makes it a valuable remedy in traditional West Indian medicine.



Widely recognized for its characteristic lemony fragrance, citronella is a natural mosquito repellent. But it's also an aromatic plant used for its medicinal and culinary properties. It is renowned for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects. In infusion, it can help relieve digestive disorders and headaches, while promoting relaxation and stress reduction.


Guava Tree

Guava is a tropical berry with multiple health benefits and is rich in vitamin C, which boosts the immune system and promotes healthy skin. Its antioxidants fight harmful substances in the body, preventing premature aging and certain chronic diseases. Guavas are a source of fiber, essential for digestion. Guava leaves are used in traditional medicine for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, helping to treat various gastrointestinal ailments and infections. Thanks to their antibacterial properties, they also contribute to good oral health.



This tropical fruit, native to warm regions such as the West Indies, is famous for its many health benefits. Noni contains beneficial substances such as antioxidants, which help protect the body's cells, and immunostimulant compounds, which strengthen the immune system. It is traditionally used to relieve digestive disorders, promote wound healing and improve skin health. Noni juice is the most common form of consumption, although its taste is often described as strong and not very pleasant.



West Indian basil in particular is an aromatic herb renowned for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Rich in essential vitamins and minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium, it aids digestion, helps reduce stress and optimizes cardiovascular health. Incorporated into the diet as an infusion or in cooking, basil is a valuable addition for its multiple benefits.



This highly nutritious plant, often referred to as the "miracle tree", has powerful antioxidant properties that combat free radicals. Rich in essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids, it contributes to digestive health and increases energy and vitality. Anti-inflammatory, it strengthens the immune system and lowers cholesterol. Its antibacterial and antifungal effects help fight bacteria and fungi, helping to prevent infections. Moringa is consumed in the form of dried leaf powder, capsules, oil or tea to enjoy its many health benefits.



Mint is a plant with digestive and relaxing benefits. Famous for its cooling power, especially when consumed as a tea or infusion, it relieves sore throats, freshens breath and soothes hot sensations. This plant aids digestion by stimulating bile production, and has soothing effects on the skin. Its antimicrobial properties effectively combat bacteria and fungi, while its stimulating effect improves mental alertness.



Widely cultivated in tropical regions, this plant offers a rich source of nutrition, with fruits rich in starch and fiber, which can be cooked, boiled or transformed into various dishes. The sap and leaves are used in traditional medicine to treat skin infections and joint pain. The Breadfruit tree is precious because it thrives in hot climates, contributing to the diet and nutritional health of the local population.


Indian wood (or Pimenta Racemosa)

Native to the West Indies and Central America, Bois d'Inde is a plant renowned for its many medicinal virtues. Its leaves and essential oils are prized for their soothing properties against muscular pain, rheumatism and headaches. India Wood is also appreciated for its beneficial effects on digestion, and is often used in the form of herbal teas to relieve stomach cramps and gas. Its pleasant fragrance also makes it a prized ingredient in the cosmetics and perfume industry.



Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties help reduce inflammation and improve overall health by purifying the body. Rich in essential vitamins and minerals, it boosts the immune system, promotes healthy skin, hair, joints and bones, while helping to maintain good cardiovascular health. Nettle leaves are widely used for their beneficial effects on urinary comfort. They are consumed in tea form or as a dietary supplement, with the prior advice of a health professional recommended before their inclusion in the daily diet.


Gros Thyme

Also known as the "Doliprane plant" on Saint-Martin, this plant is appreciated for both its medicinal virtues and its taste. Traditionally used to relieve headaches, it also has antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal properties that combat respiratory infections and skin problems. In herbal tea, it has a soothing, relieving effect. In cooking, Big Thyme is used to enrich the taste of dishes such as sauces, grilled meats and soups, adding both flavor and health benefits.


Saint-Martin's medicinal plants represent a veritable treasure trove of natural health benefits. From Aloe Vera and Gros Thyme to Lemongrass and Moringa, each plant offers unique therapeutic properties, rooted in local traditions and used for generations to treat a variety of ailments. These natural remedies don't just bring physical relief; they are a testament to the deep connection between people and nature in the Caribbean.