Thursday, January 26, 2017

Mama Juana: Dominican and Taino Indio spiritual & medicinal drink

Mama Juana (or mamajuana) is a drink from the Dominican Republic that is concocted by allowing rumred wine, and honey to soak in a bottle with tree bark and herbs.The specific herbs that make up Mamajuana were originally prepared as a herbal tea by the native Taino Indians; post-Columbus, alcohol was added to the recipe. Besides being rumored to be an aphrodisiac, with many natives of the Dominican Republic claiming that the drink has similar effects. The Taino live throughout the caribbean of Haiti into Cuba and Puerto rico, as well as Florida.

Mamajuana is also consumed for its purported medicinal value. The alcohol is said to act as an extract base that pulls the herbs' curative properties, creating an herbal tincture often served as a shot. The reported positive effects on health vary, ranging from a flu remedy, to a digestion and circulation aid, blood cleanser, sexual potency, kidney, gallbladder and liver tonic. The tonic can be used to cleanse internally of any witchcraft and poisons. For arthritis, autoimmune disorders, and against cancer if anamu is added. Diabetes also with the cinnamon. It is warming, often used in winter and at Christmas, as well as an offering to the Taino indian spirits. Of course do not use when pregnant.

Method: soak bark/leaves in red wine for 5 days, and then pour it out. You can aso soak with rum or some do with hot water. Discard the liquid after a few days and then follow your rum, wine, and honey recipe. By doing this, the initial bitterness is released from the bark/roots, making for a more drinkable first batch.It also removes any mold, dirt or bacteria.Then, mix dark or white rum an wine(90%) and honey(10%) and pour that combo into the bottle. Let this sit in a dark place for 2 weeks to cure. Shake it up to get the bark/leaves taste, and then adjust to taste, as some prefer strong and some prefer sweet. The locals also said that it will last for years, even a not to worry about it going bad. You can refill with alcohol 15-20 times to make more batches.

I drink straight as a shot, but some sip with an iced cola soda.
  • Mamajuana is available in two ways:
  • prepackaged dry ingredients, or plants procured, which the customer prepares
  • dry batches are not allow through customs in different regions, bypass this by adding rum to it when travelling and place in checked bag.
  • ready to drink, filtered and bottled

I prepare mine spiritually, with rum, wine and honey, usually with these herbs: anamu, cinnamon, very small amount anise and clove (I hate the taste of licorice), cats claw, palo brazil, pega palo, milk wort, I may start adding a small amount basil as many spirits love it and it has many health benefits, and not to interfere with the taste.

    Fill your bottle over 1/2 full with about 7 of the following herbs, roots and sticks:
    • Anamú (Petiveria alliacea) guinea henwood
    • Anis Estrellado (Illicium verum) anise
    • Bohuco Pega Palo (Cissus verticillata) hitting stick
    • Albahaca (Ocimum basilicum) basil
    • Canelilla (Cinnamodendron ekmanii): rosewood
    • Canela de tierra: cinnamon
    • Bojuco Caro (Princess Vine)
    • Bojuco de Palo China China root
    • Bojuco de Palo Indio Chew stick
    • Bojuco de Tres Costilla Basket wood
    • Marabeli (Securidaca virgata) Milk wort
    • Clavo Dulce (Whole Clove)
    • Maguey (Agave spp.) leaves and sticks (cleansing and sweetness)
    • Timacle (Chiococca alba) west indian milkberry
    • Manzanilla: Chamomile
    • Guauci: Minnieroot
    • Osua: bay rum tree
    • Palo brazil: brazil wood
    • Raiz de coco: coconut tree root
    • Una de gato: cats claw
    • Button weed
    • Cornutia

    • In addition to the above standard recipe, it is common for individuals to add other ingredients such as; raisins, strawberry, molasses, and lemon or lime juice. 
    •  Another popular ingredient is the addition of mariscos (shellfish) such as conch, octopus snails and even the private parts or grated shell of a sea turtle! Undoubtedly the combination of these ingredients would provide mamajuana with its aphrodesic powers. 


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