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.
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.
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.
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: