By Angel Nuñez
Home remedies have existed since time immortal, since biblical times and throughout time even when there were doctors dealing with illnesses and disease. The last time we learned how to stop a severe bleeding, stop the pain of a large wound or nail puncture, and even ease a severe toothache. So what’s up for this week for our interesting home remedies?
TONSILS: Without a doubt today you get a shot plus a four day dose of some medication. Years Ago your mom would take a chicken feather, peel it off except fore the very tip, dip it into some iodine (three types- purple, red and clear) , and proceed to paint your tonsils as far into the mouth as the feather would reach. Because iodine is intended for external use only, people were told not to swallow for some five minutes until the iodine had dried. And Bingo! By the next day the swollen and aching tonsils would show great improvement. You might ask, why use a feather tip? Simple- because there were not fine factory-made Q-tips back then. Some people also took a tooth pick and rolled some cotton on the tip to make a nice swab.
PASMO: This is a dangerous ailment. Once a person had ‘pasmo’, there was no known doctor to cure it, and people died of ‘pasmo’ due to ignorance of the home remedy and cure for it. ‘Pasmo’ meant that the blood coagulates and clot or is too thick for circulation. The fever is high and the temperature just won’t decrease. Two or three persons on the island knew how to handle a pasmo. They used a bush thorn and pricked your vein at the joint between the upper and lower arm. Once the thick blood would be extracted, they found out what material would dilute it and whatever did so, you were required to take a few doses of that same ‘stuff”. Some known things that did the trick were ashes, urine, limestone, lemon juice, or a mixture of two such items.
HIGH FEVER: Of course we all know of the cold towel compresses applied on the forehead, neck and armpits. However at times this did not work so plan B was to use the method called Estomaticon. A fresh chicken egg is rubbed all over the stomach, the palm and the sole. After a few minutes, the egg is cracked and one would notice that it has been partially cooked. This is a sign that it worked and the fever is already leaving the body.
Finally let’s cure the TUCH, or the navel scar on the baby after the umbilical cord is cut. I am not sure how the nurses deal with this when the baby is in the hospital but all the midwives who delivered babies and several older ladies had the expertise for this. It consisted of a balm- an ointment made using ruda leaves and an oil, aceite de copaiba,” which is an oil that is derived from an oily wood. The ointment is heated and placed over the navel and then tied firmly with a piece of cloth. If not cured properly the navel would heal but it would bulge.
So here you have it folks; in the absence of a professional to deal with the above, practice one of these home remedies, which surprisingly worked very well. Keep reading the weekly column for more on home remedies.
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