USC Digital Folklore Archives / Homeopathic
Folk Beliefs
Homeopathic
Protection

Bendiciones

When you greet each other, combination of being catholic in Columbia, you ask or give a bendicion(blessing). It is a common thing to do every time when you greet each other or you are saying good-bye. It is asking for a blessing basically from the other on the one as a sign of belief and good fortune after dismissing the other one from the phone. Alex is a Colombian native who immigrated here when he was just a little boy. His family left Columbia in response to all the violence that was emitting from Pablo Escobar’s reign of terror. In order to keep his family traditions alive, his parents constantly told him about the vast events and beauty of his homeland and people

Customs
Folk Beliefs
Gestures
Homeopathic
Material
Protection

Naciemento de JesusChristo

During Christmas time, the whole family gets together right before eating dinner. In this family ceremony, everybody gets a Jesus looking treat, usually something the mom of the family makes, and everybody then kisses Jesus on the forehead and then eats the head. It’s to symbolize Jesus and the Holy Spirit being in you. This always happens between the hours of 2am-3am after Christmas Eve. The time is important, because that is the time in which it connects to the “witch hour” where Evil is supposedly the strongest.

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Eloisa is a Michoacan born lady who has lived in Arkansas since she has been a little girl. She used to be really religious, but after being opened up to human rights, and mostly women rights, she has taken a step back and tried to analyze everything to decide on what she can really identify as part of her.

Folk medicine
Homeopathic

Rosemary Herb as Medicine

In the following interview, a energy worker and herbal and flower essence specialist explains the significance of the rosemary herb:

Interviewer: “What is one of the main herbs you suggest to your patients?”

Informant: “Rosemary is an herbal staple.  It’s a grounding herb that helps your spirit stay connected to your physical body especially during stressful and challenging situations”

Interviewer: “How do people use Rosemary?”

Informant: “You can rub the herb on any part of your body to make you feel more grounded, especially the forehead and in the palms.  Rosemary can also be ingested which will have the same effect”

Analysis: I have used rosemary and believe it works.  I feel more grounded and able to control my own body when either ingesting or touching this herb however I understand that there is a lack of scientific evidence to back up this claim.  I first heard about this homeopathic method from the informant who heard it from her teacher who prefers to remain anonymous.  She does energy work on both humans and animals and has had great success with her controversial methods.  Using the Earth’s resources as medicine has been around since the beginning of time and the informant is building off of their ancient work to discover more about the undiscovered field.

Folk medicine
general
Homeopathic
Protection

Stone Circle Flower Essence as Medicine

In the following interview, a energy worker and herbal and flower essence specialist explains the significance of the stone circle flower essence:

Interviewer: “What are some of your favorite flower essences?”

Informant: “I find the stone circle flower essence to be quite powerful.  It places an aura of solid protection in the energy field so that one does not take on any unbalanced energy from the environment”

Interviewer: “Who do you recommend this essence to?”

Informant: “People and animals under a lot of stress that need balance in their life.  Especially people or animals who are ultra sensitive to the energy around them and therefore have a higher risk of getting hit with negative energy.  They have to be protected.”

Interviewer: “Who is an ultra sensitive”

Informant: “Your sister, for one.  She is very effected by her environment and the littlest thing could throw her off balance.  For example if a big storm came with a bunch of negative energy that could mess up her balance as well as if she got in a big fight with her parents or is stressed about school work.  Anything out of routine could potentially upset their balance.”

Interviewer: “So how should people like my sister take this flower essence?”

Informant: “I make it at home and it comes in a little dropper bottle.  It’s a liquid that can either be ingested or rubbed on the skin or hair”

Analysis: The informant learned all of her practices from her teacher who would prefer to remain anonymous who learned them from a teacher before her.  This folklore is especially important to me because it pertains to my sister.  I have first-hand seen the effects of this flower essence and how it has completely changed my sister’s personality.  She is more patient now and in control of her emotions.  Although there is a lack of scientific evidence, this remedy that has been passed down for generations seems to work at least in the informant’s experience.

Folk medicine
Homeopathic

Scarlet Monkey Flower Essence as Medicine

In the following interview, a energy worker and herbal and flower essence specialist explains the significance of the scarlet monkey flower essence:

Interviewer: “Which herbs or flower essences help with emotions?”

Informant: “Scarlet monkey flower essence is one of my favorite flower essences because it addresses the fear of repressed strong emotions, especially those of anger and powerlessness.  It helps one communicate clearly and directly with emotional honesty.”

Interviewer: “Who would you recommend scarlet monkey flower to?”

Informant: “Well your mom currently takes scarlet monkey flower.  She has expressed and I have observed that she struggles with accepting her emotions so she has been using this flower essence for a few months now”

Analysis: My mother claims this flower essence works and has improved her quality of life significantly as she is happier and more in tune with herself and her spirit.  I agree as she has been much better at communicating with me when she is feeling angry or upset instead of just letting her emotions brew until one day she explodes.  This flower essence has been passed down for generations from the informants teacher to her and now to my mother who excitedly tells anyone willing to listen about the miracle essence.  Although the flower essence is ancient, the informant is finding new uses for it in the ever adapting world.

Folk Beliefs
Homeopathic
Magic
Protection

Rabbit Feet

I’ve heard people cut off rabbit feet for good luck. I remember when I was growing up in school in the 70s it was really popular for people to carry around a rabbit foot on their backpack or their purse. I can’t remember if it brought you good luck or what. Definitely not good luck for the rabbit. And they were real rabbit’s feet, so gross. But I think I wanted one.

I had heard of rabbits feet being lucky before, but I had never actually seen it in person. I feel like this piece of folklore might disappear with the next generation.

Folk medicine
Homeopathic

Sore Throat?

This entry comes from the interviewer’s mother, P, in a conversation they had about homeopathic medicine. Coming from an Indian family, the interviewer, DP, was curious as to whether or not his mom encouraged him to take homeopathic remedies for common ailments as a child. It should be noted that Eastern medicine is much different than and often rejects Western medicine. At this point, the informant tells the interviewer:

 

“You used to take a drink made of roasted turmeric root. Once the turmeric was dried, I would grind it into a powder and combine it with milk.”

 

DP: “did it help any?”

 

P: “it was supposed to”


 

From the point of view of the interviewer, it is perfectly reasonable for Eastern medicine to be effective in curing common ailments. These remedies have been around for such a long time that there must be some base element of truth – or they wouldn’t be so strongly encouraged. The interviewer also concedes that it isn’t the best to take over-the-counter medication every time one’s throat hurts or they have a headache. In these cases, folk remedies provide the best application.

 

Folk medicine
general
Homeopathic

Sore Throat

The interviewer was curious about Eastern Medicine based remedies because of their supposed homeopathic properties. Luckily for him, his grandma, G, knew a few tried-and-true methods to relieve everyday aches and pains. Over the years of seeing success in their implementation, Indian elders would much rather administer these folk remedies than to give out medication like Advil or Tylenol which they see as unnatural.

This particular remedy is for a sore throat:

“Mix 1 teaspoon pepper powder, 1 teaspoon ginger powder and 1 teaspoon honey. Consume this mix twice a day”


The interviewer understands the need for folk remedies. From the point of view of his grandma, these folk remedies provide effects that are similar to pharmaceutical medicine but at a fraction of the cost and are immediately available. Furthermore, they wouldn’t be so prevalent as they are in Indian societies if they were not at some level able to treat the malady.

Homeopathic

Oily Scalp

The interviewer was curious about Eastern Medicine based remedies because of their supposed homeopathic properties. Luckily for him, his grandma, G, knew a few tried-and-true methods to relieve everyday aches and pains. Over the years of seeing success in their implementation, Indian elders would much rather administer these folk remedies than to give out medication like Advil or Tylenol which they see as unnatural.

This particular remedy is for oily scalp:

“Massage a mixture of lemon juice and honey into your hair. Rinse it off after five minutes. Repeat daily until your hair is no longer oily”

 

The interviewer understands the need for folk remedies. From the point of view of his grandma, these folk remedies provide effects that are similar to pharmaceutical medicine but at a fraction of the cost and are immediately available. Furthermore, they wouldn’t be so prevalent as they are in Indian societies if they were not at some level able to treat the malady.

Homeopathic

Cure for Depression

The interviewer was curious about Eastern Medicine based remedies because of their supposed homeopathic properties. Luckily for him, his grandma, G, knew a few tried-and-true methods to relieve everyday aches and pains. Over the years of seeing success in their implementation, Indian elders would much rather administer these folk remedies than to give out medication like Advil or Tylenol which they see as unnatural.

This particular remedy is for depression:

“Powder the seeds of cardamom and boil them in water along with tea. It gives a soothing aroma to the tea. Take this tea regularly for the treatment of depression.”


The interviewer understands the need for folk remedies. From the point of view of his grandma, these folk remedies provide effects that are similar to pharmaceutical medicine but at a fraction of the cost and are immediately available. Furthermore, they wouldn’t be so prevalent as they are in Indian societies if they were not at some level able to treat the malady.

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