The shimaruku (Malpighia emargenata punicifolia) often grows as a capriciously bizarre shrub or a small multi-trunked tree, that can be found on all types of soil in Curacao. The tree used to be planted in cactus fences and many had a shimaruku in the garden. If you are standing very close to the tree, you will see that the leaves differ in shape; some leaves are elliptical with a blunt top, others have a pointed end. After a good rainfall, the shimaruku shows purple flowers and remarkably quickly the flowers turn into fruits. Because men used to work on the land, they kept an eye on when the shimaruku was ripe. Then everyone went to pick the fruit. Women sold the fruits in the city. They sometimes went to town twice a week on foot
The use of herbs and their medicinal effect goes back to the very beginning of our history.
The earliest civilizations already used plants instinctively for both nutrition and healing. Also, the ancient Egyptians practiced herbal medicine - at a particularly high level. The Jewish people know clergymen who heal people with herbs. Around 460 BC, the father of medicine, Hypocrates, works in Greece. The Romans use herbs and flowers in various ways. In China, herbal systems have traditionally been developed for therapies. Native American Shamans and indigenous African cultures use herbs for healing and rituals.
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