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Home Remedies Saved The Day!

Deep cuts or wounds were more common 25 years ago than today because people walked totally barefooted. Occasionally one jumped from the pier into the shallow water only to discover that there was a broken bottle that caused a large cut on the sole of the foot, or a conch shell that caused a deep and wide wound.


Okay these injuries bring along a lot of bleeding, so direct pressure was used just as it is used today. But since there were no antibiotics, the folks had to find something to do to prevent infections.

The first thing done, listen to this, was to pour kerosene on the wound. This caused the blood to clot so the bleeding was stopped and the people assumed that this kerosene also acted as an antibiotic. But that was not the end. Some folks got hold of a roach, yes a cockroach, and they fried it crispy in a small frying pan. No you did not eat it. You applied it to the injury and bandaged it over it. This bush medicine, whatever the scientific explanation, did work for the pain and it would be gone soon thereafter. A further treatment of the deep cut would be to fry the tail of a scorpion and it would be smashed into a cream and applied to the would. This also helped in preventing infections.

But the home remedies did not stop there. Every family had three types of iodine at home – white, red, and black. They worked in that order. White iodine only burned slightly. Red iodine burned a little bit. Black iodine burned like hell.

If we injured by accident, mom would apply one that did not burn, but if we got the injury due to stubbornness, mom would apply the black one and did not allow anyone to blow on it. It was believed that the more the iodine hurt, the better the effects.

That was not the end. No shoes meant the injury was at risk of dirt and infection. Therefore the cut was bandaged for a week or two. And since there were no bandages, some old clothes was slashed into strips, washed and boiled to sterilize it before it would be used to bandage the injury.

Now finally, in the middle of the night if the patient was still complaining of pain, then there were the home pills that everyone had in a little box. There was “Mejoral” and “Aspirina”. Both contained acetylsalicylic acid, which is a good pain killer. But if that did not work, here is the best shot at pain killing practiced only by the older guys – one two ounce shot of white rum or a good shot of tequila. If this did not cause the pain to go away, at least it caused one to forget it temporarily.

And so folks, if you got a deep slash 25 years ago, there were many tricks in the bag to help. And don’t tell me they did not work, because I tried several of them, and I can give full testimony of their effectiveness.

By the way, I have just purchased a Garifuna drum, and the guy who sold it to me recommended to apply some baby oil on the tiger skin, and then when one is getting ready to play, to rub some Caribbean Rum on the skin. I imagine if you drink the Caribbean rum, you would play better too, or at least you would think you were playing better. Until next week folks, and I will give you some home remedies that will save you inconveniences and money.

– by Angel Nuñez, Columnist

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