She used to tell me stories about her life back in Columbia growing up, and interestingly enough, lots of things she brought with her as a lifestyle and taught her kids, even in the US. The whole family takes cold showers. Always. 'You get used to it' she'd remark. 'The littlest one hates it, but she'll thank me later when her skin is tight and fresh at age 70'. I couldn't dream of climbing out of bed on a cold and dark winter morning and slipping into a cold shower to start my day. But in Colombia, and most of the countries South of the US, it is not uncommon. Not then, and not now.
She also taught me about a cold remedy she called her 'Witch's Brew'; some concoction of onion, garlic, spicy pepper, radishes and who knows what else, intensely boiled into the cure-all for colds, fevers and flus. Her littlest one hated the Witch's Brew too...
I think of her often, as I am now living in Latin American, a few countries North of her homeland. These last few days especially, as I've been trapped at home fighting a nasty cold.
Although I didn't get out of the house to purchase the ingredients to brew up the Colombian Cure-All, I did get some fascinating remedy recommendations, mostly from the locals.
- Boiling Ginger, Lemon and Onion to create a illness fighting tea
- Eat homemade & hand delivered hot Chicken Noodle Soup
- Take a good healthy shot of fresh Lime Juice + Rum + Honey 'You'll be back at work tomorrow!!'
- Sniff rubbing alcohol to dry out your sinuses
- Snort salt water from the ocean and let gravity take care of the rest
- Purchase 'ViroPulmin Siete' from the local pharmacy and drink every 2 hours
- Squirt nasal spray up your nose until it runs down the back of your throat. Wait 2 minutes and blow your nose
- Smoke pot
- Sinus rinse using a syringe and salty filtered water (sans needle please)
I won't lie, I have tried a fair amount of these remedies, desperate for any inkling of indication that my sinuses will indeed not explode.
So far, the winner is......... A tie between the epic Home made Chicken Noodle Soup delivered to my door AND this Spanish cough syrup I just learned about tonight - ViroPilmin Siete.
What strange, interesting or curious remedies do you use to fight illness?