USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘folk remedies’
Folk medicine
Homeopathic

Wet Socks Fever Remedy

The informant is marked EL. I am CS. She shared with me a few forms of folk medicine practices she has learned over the years.

 

CS: “So are there any other remedies or folk medicine you can tell me about?”

EL: “Hmm yeah let me think. Oh! Ok…there is another super weird one, but I actually kind of think it works.”

CS: “Perfect, can you describe it for me?”

EL: “Yeah so it’s a remedy for when you have a fever. You basically take a pair of socks and put them under cold water, and put your feet in hot water. Then, when you go to bed, you put the wet socks on your feet and I guess it like increases circulation and blood flow? Sounds kind of weird, but the next day it supposedly relieves like congestion and your fever.”

CS: “And you’ve done this before?”

EL: “Yeah my mom always made me do it when I was younger. I got fevers all of the time.”

CS: “Did you notice any results from it?”

EL: “Honestly, yeah. I always felt better the next day. Weird how those things can sometimes really work.”

 

Context:

Met for coffee to record her different encounters with folk medicine and remedies.

Background:

EL is a first year student at The University of Southern California. She was raised in Dallas, Texas.

 

Analysis:

I find this remedy interesting because I have never heard of it before, and the method seems bizarre, yet I understand the purpose behind it. I personally remember whenever I was sick with a fever doctors would tell me to cool myself off instead of warm myself up. I never used to understand the logic because I believed if I was struck with a fever and my body wanted heat, then it makes sense to give it heat. However, warming yourself up does prolong a fever’s duration, and essentially is just another catalyst to making you sicker. So off of this medical point, this method does seem to be logical and probably soothing. Compared to many over the counter drugs and doctor’s diagnoses, I enjoy learning of other methods that could similarly take care of the problem without all of the extra legwork.

 

Folk Beliefs
Folk medicine

Using Baby Pee to Rejuvenate the Skin

Using Baby Pee to Rejuvenate the Skin

“Cuando la mujer esta embarazada, se le mancha bien feo la cara y si uno no se cuida, esas manchas nunca se van a quitar. La soluccion es de agarrar los panales del bebe cuando tengan miados y flotarlos por toda la cara. Si uno hace esto, en menos que uno acuerde, se le va aclarar la cara igual como la tenia antes del embarazo… este remedio lo aprendi de mi mama, ella despues de mi primer embarazo vio que se me puso mi cara muy fea asi que me dijo que me empesara a untar los miados del bebe. No me puso a discutir con ella sobre esto, porque en otras ocasiones, a mis primas tambien les funciono este tratamiento. No estoy muy segura de donde aprendio este remedo mi mama pero yo pienso que le apredio de mi abuela.”

“When a woman is pregnant, her face starts breaking out badly and if one doesn’t take care of those imperfections, they’ll never disappear. The solution is to grab the baby’s peed diaper and rub it throughout the face. If one does this, the face will go back to the way it was before the pregnancy began… this remedy was taught to me by my mother, she saw how bad my face had gotten after my pregnancy so she told me to start rubbing the baby’s pee on my face. I didn’t argue with her about this because I had seen the results of this remedy on other cousins of mine. I’m not sure where my mom learned this remedy from but I think she learned it from my grandmother.”

My informant is a native of Guadalajara Mexico. She was born and raised there until the age of 16 which was when she migrated to the US. She is now 42 years of age and has 6 kids of various ages. Even though she has lived most of her life in the US, she still maintains strong ties with her Mexican heritage through her mother. She is really attached to her mother and therefore most of the things she has learned have been passed on by her mother. She is now also sharing her knowledge with her oldest children and continues to bestow Mexican culture among all her children. Since she migrated to the US she has focused on working and after getting married, to being a housewife. She has not had any formal institutional education, so most of her knowledge comes from others in her daily life.

In my opinion, this seems like a really cool home remedy for something that would otherwise cost a fortune. However, since I have never actually seen the results, I would be pretty hesitant to try it out for myself. It is a pretty gross thing to do so I believe that it definitely takes a lot of trust to actually follow this home remedy. This therefore shows that the informant of this remedy, is willing to do whatever her mother says. The results of this remedy should be tracked so that a definite answer in regards to its effectiveness can be concluded. Even if this remedy actually worked, I don’t think I would be willing to rub pee all over my face but if it were my mom telling me to do this, then I would probably consider it. Ultimately, I believe we all are willing to do what our parents tell us to do, therefore keeping remedies that have been passed on from our ancestors alive.

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