If you have not yet tried any of the home remedies discussed so far, chances are you never get sick or you like to run to the doctor as your first recourse. You never try anything at home as a first attempt to alleviate the ailment or perhaps cure what would have proven a simple ailment. However, you can cut these pages and keep them for that emergency. You never know when you will be caught in the middle of the night with no doctor at hand.
COUGHS: There was a very simple remedy for this- Vicks. Vicks has existed for as long as you know yourself. Well, do not worry if the bottle reads “for external use only”. Dip the finder into the pot of Vicks, carry it to the mouth and wash it down with hot milk. Or put some Vicks into your cup of milk, allow it to dissolve and then drink.
Another home remedy is the “cebo”. Everyone in San Pedro knows this stuff. You might know it as this fatty substance, which is actually the product of animal fat, namely beef fat. The “cebo” is formed into small pellets or capsules and drunk with hot milk. In a short moment, your cough will be gone and you will be able to sleep like an angel. (No pun intended)
FEVERS: This is a very common ailment; therefore there are many remedies. Apply a wet or cold cloth on the forehead, neck, armpit and sole of feet. Along with this you can drink some “cebo” pellets, or Vicks with warm milk.
On the herbal side, “las viejas” (the old wise ladies) used the Santa Maria leaves. Nine Santa Maria leaves were applied on the sole of each foot. They absorbed the heat of the body and the fever diminished quite rapidly. On a friendly note, you might want to know the Santa Maria plant (Holy Mary Plant). Go over to doña Marina Graniel, who shared a lot of thoughts with me and verified my notes. She has some Santa Maria plants in her garden.
SAND IN THE EYE: As you can expect living on an island with a lot of sand, you often got sand in the eye, especially on windy days. This remedy works for sand, dust, sawdust, pollen, any small object that irritates the eye. In the backyard of most homes 25 years ago, there was always an “albajaca” plant. There is one at my front garden, right now where you can get some seeds or know the plant.
The plant produces hundreds of small black seeds on the flower stem. One of these seeds inserted into the sick eye would do the trick of removing the irritant overnight. The seed sort of travels under the eyelids and collects all foreign and disturbing particles. Somehow the “albajaca” seed would find its way out and the next morning you will find the seed at the inner corner of the eye. Of course, it would be whitish as it was covered with all the “eye trash” in the eye. The eye would then look cleaner and the annoyance or disturbance would be gone. Sounds incredible? No, I have used the “albajaca” seed many, many times and it never failed anyone that I know of.
MAL DE VISTA: This is not to be confused with “mal de ojo”, which according to superstition was caused by the strong eye of a person. Mal de vista is an eye infection, which causes the eye to be partially closed with pus. Now listen to the cure- breast milk. Yes, breast milk, fresh and warm. Any recent mother who was breast-feeding would do your child the favor if he has “mal de vista.” Ah, one more remedy is “te serenado”. Te is actually tea. Brew some tea by boiling some tea leaves. Leave it outside and overnight in the “sereno” (dew of night) and next morning apply it to the infected eye. That worked quite well also.
Well folks, a lot of home remedies in one issue. Hope you can get to use anyone when there is a need. I hope you adults do not irritate your eyes so as to go for some breast milk treatment. You can actually get some milk in a clean test tube and apply it with an eye-dropper. So long, and enjoy your remedies of 25 years ago.