Broad leaf thyme

Ark of taste
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Poor man pork

This perennial herb belonging to the Lamiaceae family. is known as Poor man’s pork, or broad leaf thyme in Barbados. It is widely used in folk medicine to treat conditions like cold, asthma, constipation, headache, cough, fever and skin diseases. Also, it has been found to be effective against respiratory, cardiovascular, oral, skin, digestive and urinary diseases.
Plectranthus amboinicus is a shrub with a tendency for climbing or creeping. It can reach over 1 m in height and even more in width in the wild. This sprawling large herb is fleshy and highly aromatic. The fleshy stems grow about 30–90 cm. Leaves are undivided, broadly ovate to suborbicular with a tapering tip and very thick. The taste of this leaf is pleasantly aromatic with an agreeable and refreshing smell. Flowers are on a short stem, pale purplish in dense whorls at distant intervals in a long slender raceme.
This herb grows easily in a well-drained, semi-shaded position. It is frost tender and grows well in sub-tropical and tropical locations.
Poor man’s pork has an agreeable and refreshing oregano-like flavor. In Barbados, the leaves of the plant are often eaten raw or used as flavoring agents, or incorporated as ingredients in the preparation of traditional food, such as the typical Barbadian Bajan seasoning for fish. It is a favorite in local cooking, and in the old days, people would fry and eat it as bacon is eaten, which can explain its popular name. Nowadays, the knowledge related to the benefits of this plant is gradually being lost, but a few people are slowly reviving its consumption.

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Spices, wild herbs and condiments

Nominated by:Slow Food Barbados - Lani Edghill