Anyone who has ever nursed a sick child knows what I’m talking about here. The sheer helplessness, the frustration, the sleepless nights. We yell and scream because “these stupid doctors won’t give any medication to a child under 2…or 5.” And then I calm down and collect my thoughts and think about how our grandmas managed. Did they have access to doctors and hospitals? Most likely not, unless it was an emergency…and even then sometimes this was not available. So what did they do? They trusted that the earth would provide. They looked in the garden and in the kitchen cupboard and came up with a remedy for every malady.
It’s now been nearly 8 weeks since my beloved Bapaiji died and so I dedicate this post to her. She was a little dynamo, the pocket-rocket, the matriarch of our clan. I remember her smooth glowing baby-soft arms and legs (and when I was old enough, I wondered “What the…, doesn’t she ever wax? How is she so hairless?!”)
I remember her cutey little cheeks, how they glowed like two little half-apples stuck on her face. I remember sneaking in to the dark smokey pantry to stuff my mouth with “boras”, salty soft home preserved native berries. And I remember her giving me “faaki” to swallow when I had a crook tummy. Oh if only I could find your exotic magical “faaki” remedy, Bapai.
So today I dug up these little treasures, notes made in mum’s hand but Bapaiji’s words. Notes that link generation to generation, woman to woman, family to family. Notes and recipes that I hope to someday pass on to my kids and they to theirs. Notes that cure, that heal and that sometimes amuse.
Use these home remedies wisely and never let them take the place of professional medical advice. If you have a special home remedy you’d like to share, send it to me. I’d love to hear from you. I’d especially love to hear about the funny, ludicrous ones that have been in your family for yonks.