“Ok so, we were at this party my boss was throwing, a bunch of event planners, makeup artisits, florists so vendors, and this makeup artist named Sheila told me this story about this bride that had food poisoning. She ate Mexican food before her wedding, why would you eat Mexican food before your wedding because it’s going to make you feel bloated in your dress? I don’t understand. But then, she got really bad food poisoning, she was throwing up everywhere and she was about to cancel the wedding, they tried everything from pepto bismal to modern medicine crap and this one photographer lady came into the room and I kid you not, she had this Umeboshi paste, and it’s literally purple plum paste from Japan, like Japan-style plum paste, but you cant get it at Walmart or other grocery stores, you have to get it at like worldly food stores. So she comes in and takes a spoonful of this purple paste and gives it to the bride, and the bride did not want to eat it at all, because it was something that nobody had ever tried before and it didn’t look appetizing, but they forced her to have a spoonful, and the makeup artist Sheila was looking at the bride and all the color came back to her face and she felt better instantly. So ever since then, every single event planner I know carries this in their purse just in case, God forbid, the bride gets food poisoning again.”
Informant: The Informant is twenty-one years old, and of Spanish, Italian, and Mexican heritage. She grew up in Arizona, and now works for an event planning company. She is a public relations major with an Italian minor at the University of Southern California.
This is an especially interesting story about folk medicine and its success. For most brides, the wedding is a particularly stressful event due to the expectations of perfection placed upon them. In many scenarios, lots of money is put towards the celebration, hiring event planners to make sure the day runs smoothly and the bride is able to remember the day as her own special day. Therefore, getting food poisoning on the day of one’s wedding is a terribly aggravating prospect for future brides.
As so many hours were spent planning for and so much money put into this one day, it is unlikely that any bride would be willing to cancel her wedding because she did not feel her best. Because of this, there were most likely many techniques that brides have used that they learn from their mothers or other women about how to remain calm or stress-relieving techniques. Therefore, it is not surprising that an event planner, or anyone involved in setting up a wedding would have their own ways to help the bride cope.
This pickled, plum puree is one such calming technique. Because it is not widely known, tested, or accepted that this puree helps food poisoning, such a technique for calming the stomach could only be learned from someone else who has tried it. This story is a traditional example of how folk medicine could work, because doctors do not prescribe this puree as a cure for food poisoning, despite its evident success in settling the stomach. This is true for many types of folk medicine, as many people have learned many techniques that sometimes work very effectively, but they have not become classified as modern medicine due to the lack of scientific proof. However, it is interesting to see how such medicine can be effective without the sealed approval of science. This reaffirms the fact that just because it is folk medicine does not mean that it is ineffective or useless.