Green Health · Medicinal plants

Not just a pretty face

Walking through The Sanctuary in Roche Caiman, it is impossible not to notice the numerous yellow spots on virtually every part of the site. Yellow petals, blooming bright in the sunlight, seem to call for your attention whenever you go past. The Yellow Alder (Koket in Creole) is widespread in the Seychelles and certainly plays its part beautifully in adding to the stunning paradise the islands are famous for.

But this gorgeous yellow flower is not just a pretty part of the landscape. The yellow alder has various medicinal properties. In fact, it is growing in Nature Seychelles’ Heritage (organic) Garden with other medicinal plants and trees. As an infusion, the plant is used for ailments such as stomach aches, coughs and digestion issues. In Brazilian traditional medicine, it is used as an anti-inflammatory.

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The flowers can also be used to make a natural and gentle eyewash. This is done by simply steeping the flowers in water for several hours. The liquid is then strained using a clean cloth or fine sieve. The strained liquid is then used to wash each eye. The best time to apply the eye wash is just before going to bed so that by morning, impurities from the eyes will have been expelled.

The flowers appear only in the day and are fantastic at attracting bees, butterflies and birds. The shrub grows up to one meter in height. Because it is drought tolerant, it is good for landscaping and gardening without the need for irrigation or in regions with limited supply of fresh water (xeriscaping). The Yellow Alder is also commonly known as Yellow Buttercups, Buttercup Bush, Cuban Buttercup, Bankers Bush, Politicians Flower and Sage Rose

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