All across Africa our grans have their own way of dealing with our common health ailments. And each of these grandmothers insist that their way is the best. As time goes by these become part of the “Old Wives Tales” but we chatted to some friends and discovered that many have used the same or similar remedies for the same or similar ailments. So, there has to be something to it, right? Take a look and see how many you can identify with.
1. The number ONE go-to for any ailment that even remotely sounded like the cold or flu. Vicks VapoRub – Applied to nose, feet, temples, forehead and anywhere else you can think of since before our grannies were grannies.
2. Cod Liver Oil – Apparently apart from other uses is also great for hair growth. Needless to say, it tasted vile and just when you thought it was over, each time you burped it came up to remind you it wasn’t.
3. Guava Leaves – Used for constipation and/or diarrea relief. Steep into a tea and drink.
4. Aloe Vera – For coughing/chest pains/asthma. Chop up aloe vera, boil and strain – drink when very hot
5. Ginger bush (iboza) – A cure all, from period pains to toothache, only if this didn’t work then you went to the next alternative.
6. African Wild Potato –Great for bladder infections and UTI. Boil as you would beetroot, but drink only the water.
7. Helichrysum Petiolare (Imphepho) Known as Africa’s sacred herb – Boiled in either water or milk it is good for headaches, hypertension, infection, menstrual pain, coughs, and diabetes.
8. And if you have a boil, well, it’s simple. Add some rough salt to a band aid and apply to the boil.
9. Sea Water – Cleansing. Drink it for physical cleansing. Bathe in it for spiritual cleansing.
10. Castor Oil – Laxative. The taste was vile and this was the part of the school holidays we all dreaded. All the kids had to be ‘cleaned out’ before going back to school. Regardless of the fact that we were given an orange segment to ‘sweeten’ the experience. And let us not forget: Scotts Emulsion, Milk of Magnesia or even Borstol. These were the bain of every child’s existence.
Now after quite a bit of research, our gran’s were on to something. For instance, Cod Liver Oil is one of the best sources of Omega 3 fatty acids and has high amounts of vitamin A and D. Guava Leaf tea can lower blood glucose in diabetics as well as lower bad cholesterol without any adverse effects on good cholesterol. And Ginger Bush really can assist with respiratory ailments, headaches and even colic.
So go on, give granny’s methods a go…..but maybe just research a little more if you’re still skeptical. It seems they can’t really hurt.