HOME REMEDIES / TRADITIONAL MEDICINE – HOW MY GRANDMOMA DID IT
True story: recently my middle child comes to me one eye is all red and thinks she has pink eye. “Oh no, you don’t” lol Positive affirmation right? (really dreading that I may have to make a doctor’s office visit) Much like the 1001 other ailments my children have had over the years, I decide to take matters into my own hands…the usual. My kids HATE IT! They think I’m weird, but so what?, right? LOL I get some raw honey and put a dab in the corner of her eye. WHAT?!
Their pediatrician would have a fit! (not really, she’s super cool) But, I did it, she let me do it because she didn’t know what to expect and it burned like shit. But less than 24 hours later, eye infection totally gone! Amazing! Well maybe not so amazing. Honey, is known to do more than taste great. Check it. Not a pretty website but lots of info.
I didn’t learn this remedy or most of my remedies from the internet though. I learned them long before the internet was invented (dating myself lol) at the feet of my Gigi, my Grandmother Lucille Hicks . She’s responsible for my love of home remedies, traditional healing, baking, “a lil jumpstudy (wine) now and then” and about 1/3 of my no nonsense attitude. I think one of my favorite Gigi/home remedy stories is when my middle daughter was teething and got an ear infection at the same time. We kept going to the doctor to get antibiotics of increasing strength. Nothing worked. I happen to be talking to my Gigi one day and she gave me two remedies. I thought both were crazy at the time.1. she told me to boil 9 cloves for 9 mins and put them on a string around the babies neck (WTH?) and 2. warm up a little garlic oil or “sweet oil” and put a couple of drops in her ears with cotton. Thinking she was crazy, I didn’t do it immediately. I went back to the emergency room for yet more antibiotics.A few days later, they were still not working. I got desperate. Any mom with a crying, non-eating baby knows what desperate means… I finally tried the remedies and felt stupid as hell because within 30 mins she stopped crying, started eating and was actually laughing within an hour.
After that, Gigi was my folk medicine hero! I used to listen to all of her remedies as a child but as I grew older and was more socialized, I discounted the “old ways.” But now, I was a re-convert (is that a word?). and from that moment forward, I started collecting her stories and remedies. I also found out later her grandmother, (who actually raised her in the country in McRae, Georgia) Marina Canady was considered a “Country Doctor.” I have dreams about her sometime. (this is not random, dreams offer great insights…) Seems like my family has a line of female “country doctors.” Anyway, this is where my interest in traditional medicine began. I’ve been to Africa, the Caribbean, Central and South America studying traditional medicine and traditional healing. Many many folks think I’m insane for using so many folk remedies and traveling many, many places to learn about them. But, my Gigi used to say, “I may be crazy, but I’m crazy like a fox.”
Yes Ma’am, I am too! I moved to Costa Rica for about a year and a half with my children (another crazy story for later) to study tropical medicine and have decided to combine that with another love of mine “women’s empowerment.” I’ve designed a women’s wholistic natural medicine certification program.
Ceiba Women “Natural Medicine Certification” – Hyperlink to Natural Medicine Pageis a 6-month training program for women and men to dive deep into plant science, herbal medicines, and indigenous healing practices. Each month, Dr. Arletha Williams will teach two online classes, and bring in esteemed guest teachers to teach on specific topics, such as food medicine, water crystals, medicinal inhalants, plant identification, and herbal healing concoctions. The class culminates in a 7 day-6 night amazon retreat.
Class 1: The Nature of Health & Healing, Reconstructing Our Ideas of Medicine
Class 2: Types of Healers & Indigenous Healing Practices in Africa, Amazon, and America
Class 3: Botany 101, includes toxicology, planting, foraging, wildcrafting, drying/storage, identification of roots, nuts, leaves and seeds
Class 4: Human Anatomy, Understanding the Body & Responses to Natural vs. Artificial Medicines
Class 5: Natural Medicines: teas, tinctures, poultices, creams, salves, and preparation of healing foods, cooking herbs, and spices
Class 6: Preparation for the Amazon, includes what to expect on our trip, preview of the plants we’ll be studying, and introduction to the indigenous healers we’ll be meeting
My Gigi lived to the age of 98 (and my other Grandmother lived to 105) using mostly folk remedies, good nutrition and exercise. I think we should all be “crazy like a fox” and learn to take care of ourselves using the land and be care-takers of the land that sustains us. I think my Gi-Gi would be proud of my program!
Do you any of you have remedies that were passed down in your family? Do you think they are crazy, superstitious, weird? Do you use them? Do they work? I’d like to know your thoughts!
Founder, Ceiba Women