Folk Beliefs
Folk medicine
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Folk Remedy – India

“If I’m sick my parents give me tea with ginger, honey, or cloves. The honey tastes good but the other stuff tastes nasty. For a sore throat, my parents tell me to suck on some cloves. For a stuffy nose, they tell me to put salt water in my nose. For sinus problems, I’m supposed to gargle with salt water. Getting a head massage with coconut oil is good for hair, and it’s supposed to be cooling.”

Asif told me that his parents have been giving him these homemade remedies since he was a small child, probably around 5 years old. As far as he knows, the remedies have been passed down through the generations in his family, and are actually quite common in India. From his experiences, he said that whenever his parents give him the remedies he feels better afterwards, and actually prefers the remedies to some of the more mainstream or western medicines. He thinks that he will continue to use the remedies and pass them onto to his own children.

My parents are from India and they have given me the same simple remedies for these common ailments. The only remedy that I actually use is the tea with ginger in it because I take more common medicines most of the time. When I was younger, my mom would put coconut oil on my hair, which felt pretty good. If I had an upset stomach my mom would sometimes give me ground up nutmeg. Also, my mom told me that although she hadn’t ever tried it, she heard of people in India making a paste of dried ginger and applying that to their foreheads as a remedy for a headache. It is supposed to burn a little but it helps get rid of a headache. But, now I mainly use the medicine you buy at a store. These remedies are just known and accepted in India, but I fear that they are becoming less popular as India is modernizing.

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