Book Hippo

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Folk Remedies

On a day not so long ago, I was making stew. Some of it splashed out and burned my finger. Wow, did it hurt. I was watching carefully to see if I would need medical care for it and I couldn't help thinking of, first, my mother and second, my late landlady.

Before I was born, when my brother was just crawling, my mother was cooking something in her deep-fry pot. This was a large steel pot with a mesh steel strainer. You could put your potatoes in the mesh strainer and lower them into the spitting, hot oil. It had an electric cord attached because you had to plug it in.

I think you know where I'm going. My brother sat on the floor, and interested in the wire, pulled the whole bubbling, spitting oil down on himself.

My mother picked up a sack of flour and dumped the whole thing on his head. He only had a scar on his chin. He grew up with no disfigurement at all. That was my first lesson in 'folk' medicine.

Years later in Ottawa I lived on a street named James Street. A girl named Karen  lived there also. She had a cup of tea and spilled the whole thing in her lap. She let out a yell and went running to our landlady who hurriedly cut some raw potatoes and put them on the burns.

Later, Karen went to the hospital where they diagnosed third-degree burns. The end of this tale is, when she healed, there were no scars. Was it the potatoes? Another 'folk' remedy.

I don't really know if these remedies work, I only know that if I had had raw potatoes when my stew slopped over, I would have used them.

1 comment:

  1. There's wisdom in those old folk remedies. My mother used to blow cigarette smoke in my ear to make my earaches go away. It always worked.