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Volume No: 
219

Well, no lawsuit yet, and still not in jail for malpractice. So I have a few more home remedies (medicinas caseras) that were popular 25 years ago. It is not suppose to discourage you from going to the doctor, but to give you an alternative in case no doctor is available or your pocket is low.

CHEST COLD: A very common ailment of all times, which our moms used to treat with honey mixed with lime juice. Two or three spoonfuls every two hours did produce good results by the end of the first day. Adults, however, had the habit of curing the chest cold with a straight shot of white rum, or tequila if available. If that shot did not work, then 3 or 4 shots did, or at least it made you forget that you had a cold.

EAR ACHE: Now tell me about a very painful ailment and what to do in the absence of a doctor or any prescribed medication! Well, twenty five years ago people grew the tobacco plant in their backyards. You warm one leaf over a fire and squeeze the juice out of the tobacco leaf. Apply a few drops into the ear, and bingo! Now if there were no such leaves, then father would be called to make a few puffs of cigarette smoke directly into the ear and this would sort of ease the pain to allow some sleep of the patient.

HEADACHES: Tylenol or Advil? Forget it. The pain killers in those days came from Mexico and was called “Mejoral”. However, all families had this plant in the backyard near the wells- “Siempre Viva” (translated literally as Always Alive). The very fleshy leaf of this plant was kind of smashed and applied to the forehead with a piece of cloth. It really works wonders. Another remedy was to use a very sharp thorn known as “cinanche”. Whenever dad went to the bush up north, he would bring some “cinanche” for the home. With it one would pierce the forehead, sort of an acupuncture, and then tie the forehead with some “siempre viva” or just a wet cloth. According to “las viejas” (the old ladies) one should never pierce the forehead with a needle because it is not sterile. The “cinanche” is a thorn.

“CAGALERA” OR LOOSE BOWELS: Any Pepto-Bismol for the cagalera? Forget it. But there was one sure good stopper. You boil 2 or 3 small or young coconuts for a few minutes. You then drink this liquid by spoonfuls every so often all day long and by evening time you should notice the slowing down of the flow of the river. Another remedy for the cagalera was to boil the bark of the sea grape tree and it worked but not as efficiently as the young coconuts.

Don’t worry, I’ll get to your ailment soon. I have some good home remedies in store for your individual needs, so stay in tune with Twenty Five Years Ago for some more good home remedies.

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