Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Grandmotherly Remedies ...

I was having a slight headache a couple of days ago while trying to find out everything there was on Seattle personal injury lawyer's and was complaining to wifey about it, the headache I mean. She asked me to pop a couple of Panadols but unfortunately we ran out of them and I was too lazy to go out and get some. Then she said why not go crush some ginger and rub it around the side of your temples.

I looked at her quizzically? Crushed ginger? Rub it around my temples? Yes, she said. I don't know if it'll work or not but back in the old days, that's what my grandmother always suggested, she said. Oh, it's one of those grandmotherly remedies, huh? They had quite a lot of weird remedies for all kinds of ailments back then, that much I know.

So, we both got down to comparing our grandmother remedies. Wifey and me are both from totally different backgrounds but when it comes to grandmotherly remedies, we found out that it's almost always basically the same with a slight variation here and there.

When I was young my grandmother had a 1001 remedies that supposedly could cure anything and everything. Take for instance earaches, which I used to suffer a lot from back when I was a kid. I'd always run up to her (I was grandma's pet grandson by the way ... hehehe ...) complaining that my ears hurt. She in turn would go into the kitchen, take a piece of garlic and slowly toast it over an open flame. Then when it got hot enough and after peeling of the burnt skin, she would stuff it in my ear and tell me to keep it there for at least half an hour!

Trust me, it wasn't the best feeling having a freaking piece of hot garlic just out of the fire stuffed in your ear for half an hour ok, but then she was grandma and you had to listen to her. The hot garlic was supposedly able to urmmm suck out the pain or whatever was giving me the earache ... LOL! But strangely enough, the bloody pain would actually subside, whether it was psychological or not, I don't know.

Actually wifey's suggestion about rubbing some crushed ginger on the temples for a headache wasn't too far off from what my grandma would do whenever I had a headache. My grandmothers version of a headache cure was to slice some ginger really thin and stick them around the sides and front of the head and to leave it there for as long as the headache persisted.

And that also wasn't a really nice feeling cos the blooming ginger started to sting after awhile. But again, strangely enough, the headache went away after awhile. I think the sting from the ginger probably caused me to forget about the pain from the headache ... LOL! Sometimes I had to grapple with just trying to keep the darned ginger stuck to my head cos it'll just keep on falling off.

One of my grandma's worst remedies that I would be in fear of is when I suffered from a tummy ache and if going to the toilet didn't help clear it, then grandma would head into the kitchen (almost all remedies back then involved the kitchen) and take a piece of bread, toast it over an open flame till the bread turned really crisp black and then soak it in hot water and make me drink the blasted concoction!

Trust me, it looked and tasted and sometimes even smelt like I was drinking something straight out from the sewers! It was horrible and bitter and had this burnt wood kinda taste. I still can remember the awful taste till this very day! It was so horrible that I think whatever it was that was giving me a tummy ache in the first place probably upped and ran away ... hahaha!

There were a lot more remedies for a lot more ailments but I can't remember them these days. It's like a dying culture altogether. Maybe I should go and do some research along with wifey on this and compile a book of 'Ye Ole Grandmommy Remedies' or something ... LOL! I wonder if we can try some of these on the boys and see if it works. They might just report us to the authorities for prescribing medicine without a license ... LOL!

What about you guys? Care to share any of your grandmotherly remedies?
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18 comments:

  1. Crushed gingers?? Oh.. I've never heard of that one. Thanks for sharing, Nick! Next time I sakit kepala, I might give it a try. What I normally do was to blend starfruits with some water and some sugar - starfruit juice lah I mean - and drink it. It normally works on me. :)

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  2. Cindy - Yeah, that's what wifey said, crushed ginger ... hehehe ... but I've no guarantee that it's going to work at all you know. You just try your luck la ... LOL!

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  3. There's most probably a scientific explanation for most of grandma's kitchen remedies. When I get diarrhea, burnt toast (but not soaked in water, thank goodness) is the best.. it emulates the effect of the carbon the doc gives you. There's surely an 'active ingredient' in ginger that makes the headache go away...

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  4. Yuck! burnt toast soaked in water ..that's gross! Here in Malta, our poverty-stricken ancestors had a whole list of remedies for illness. Only the rich people could afford doctors, so for the rest of the Maltese people especially during the world war years they had to make do with natural stuff. Wish I could tell you about one of those gross remedies used in my country that I read about a long time ago but alas I've got a poor memory : (

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  5. Terra - I guess you do have a point. Well, good thing you never got forced to try burth toast with water, it's horrible I tell ya ... LOL!

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  6. Zen - Yeah, I guess in the old days over here it was the same story too. Maybe people couldn't really afford going to the doctors so they cooked up their own remedies.

    And I'm sure my grandma had something for memory loss too ... LOL!

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  7. Hmmm..i never know that too..I always have a bad headache..so i guess i have to stock up more gingers at home lah..Thanx for sharing about this.. :)

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  8. hahaha!! that's so funny nick! i mean hving to stuck garlic in yr ear. haha!! but you're such an obedient kid. :)

    I love hearing all yr remedies, it sounded just like M's grandma. I dun rem my grandma coz she passed away when i was little. So now that I hv M's grandma, i stick to her for cooking recipe. :)

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  9. sliced ginger... to place on both side of your forehead.. it works :D mom used to do that when we gave her lotta headaches.. :D

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  10. A grandmotherly remedie I use for mouth ulcer is to spray some melon powder (I don't know what kind of melon...just know it's some melon stuff) you can get from Chinese medicinal hall. Works fine without the horrible pain from using salt

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  11. I'm still laughing at the thought of you sticking all that food on yourself! You could have a piece on every part of your body perhaps? Well, the way I feel these days, moaning about my feet/back/skin, I would have a whole supermarket on my body!
    I think the book could work though.

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  12. *imagines Nick with a hot garlic stuck into his ear XD *snap a photo

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  13. Kadusmama - LOL! Let me know which one works better, the crushed version or the sliced version ...

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  14. Jean - If you had a grandma like mine, you will also be obedient, she very garang one ... LOL!

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  15. Anny - Hahaha ... you must have been a little terror when you were young right? But seriously, those ginger on the head remedies do work though these days Uphamol works just as good :D

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  16. Mei Teng - Those Chinese medicinal halls has even stranger and weirder remedies ... hehehe ...

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  17. The World According To Me - Hahaha ... I think I would probably be having all kinds of thing sticking out from me too with the way my body feels half the time ...

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  18. Maslight - It was a funny sight la, trust me :D

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