Colombian Folk Medicine

Type: Folk Medicine

  1. “If you ever have a cold, in Columbia we were taught that warm water, brown sugar, lemon maple syrup and/or honey will help you heal faster.”
  2. I obtained this piece of folklore from my friend Daniela. Daniela was born and partially raised (only for a couple years) in the country of Columbia, in the city of Bogota. Both of Daniela’s parents are Columbian, and even though after a couple years they left Columbia, Daniela still goes back to visit and has many friends and extended family from Columbia. Throughout her life, she is always told of this Columbian folk medicine, to heal the common cold. It is a family tradition, that, according to Daniela, is common across many Columbian families.
  3. Currently there is no scientifically proven “cure” for the common cold. Many people across many different cultures have folk medicine for how to cure the common cold or speed up the healing. In Columbia, this folk medicine recipe is very common, and so one Columbian telling this to another Columbian would not really make sense. Instead, this folklore would be transmitted to those of another culture, to share the knowledge and hopefully help those who are stuck with the illness heal quickly.
  4. In considering all the times I have fallen ill to the common cold, I do not necessarily agree with this folk medicine. Everyone has their own ways in which they heal from an illness, and unfortunately, I do not think that there is one universal folk remedy. I think that this drink or medicine does feel good to drink and helps you relax, but I think everyone and each body is different. Across many cultures, honey is said to have “healing” properties, as well as hot water combined with lemon, but I have not personally experienced these.