Zion Valley Herbs
Moses Joseph James, all biblical names represent the actual name of proprietor of Zion Valley Residence at Fond Tou Fe close to the famous "white River" at Delices. While many Dominican are aware of the exploits of the late Disciple Caesar and Ras Bobby Olivacce as renowned herbalist, Moses James has gone a step further by utilising his ingenuity together with his life companion to infuse herbs and healing with the natural Rasta way of life and hospitality.
His lifetime knowledge of herbs has cause him to be acknowledged as the "bush doctor " of the south-east as he often gives lecture to guest of Zion Valley on the Rasta movement, Dominican History and herbal medicines. He also provides hiking &tour services, accommodation by way of traditional rooms or hammocks and tents under the under the stars as he marries this with 'itals', massages, river baths and herbal medicines when required. It is the latter vocation which has moved him to publishing his book titled "Zion Valley Herbs". After over 40 years of research and intensive use Moses has document his findings in this professionally done hard bound publication. At first glance what struck was the quality, art work and numerous photos within which makes it user and even child friendly. The hard cover gives the impression of one of the popular lady bird publications which feature 'Cinderella and the glass slipper" or "Jack and the beanstalk". The contents are however more educational and informative not just on herbs but on Rastafari , the belief espoused by Moses James and is laden with numerous illustrations and vivid photographs of local herbs.
Oliver Pizzighini quotes in the introduction" Moses James emblematic character of the place ( Dominica) will reveal you his lifestyle based n the Rastafarian principles...he possesses an ancestral knowledge of the virtues of healing plants and the gift to help women deliver children." For whatever it's worth the latter is a skill the Moses has passed on to his two, over thirty year old of springs whom he delivered on his own after following some instruction for a midwife in the village. His sons have also done the same since in delivering their own children...his grandchildren. 'The passing of knowledge' he proudly admits.
Moses James recall s a few example where the use of the herbs have proven successful and assisted not only villagers but quite a few visitors who come to his abode at Zion Valley where he resides one on one with nature and extends an invitation to all and sundry. One Caucasian visitor having failed to see her menses for an entire year was treated with herds on his recommendation and within four days she ovulated!
It's all in the book; sage for purification and the protection from omens as well as for various stomach ailments, lemon grass for influenzas, young coconut water and aloes for hypertension, Nettle for asthma, depression rheumatism, Chicory for the cleansing of the circulatory system and kidney stones, uses for rosemary, thyme, basilica...of cause we can't give out all the medical information!
The publication is done both in French and English one book and was printed and published in Barcelona Spain.
According to the author Moses James who also does some of the illustration himself, the great French writer, politician and humanitarian gave his blessing to this project aimed at enlightening Caribbean people and their consciousness on herbs .Persons were accredited to research, photography, research and translation as well. The Book is available at the Alliance Francaise and Zion Valley in Delices or one can log on to his face book page at mosesjamesdominica.com and find out more about the man and his work.