Araceli Del Rio
“I’ve got a bottle of cura-lo-todo my family keeps under our cabinets. Which means cure-all, or “cures everything”. My parents used to soak cotton swabs in it and stick it in our ears when we used to have earaches. So it’s pure cane rubbing alcohol, the Mexican kind, and alcamfor, rue, and marijuana. It’s a liquid- you can soak it in something and then leave that on an area that’s in pain, like a tincture. It helps with arthritis. And alcanfor is a derivative of the camphor laurel.”
Context: This is a folk remedy that is used in the family to treat a variety of illnesses and pains.
Analysis: Family remedies, and folk remedies, have been used long before and long after formal science-based medicine came about. This is a tincture that uses fairly typical ingredients that are used for folk healing- rubbing alcohol and marijuana, and also rue and alcamfor for their spiritual associations and scent. The use of marijuana in the household by a family is interesting, and departs from the traditional association of it as an illegal, recreational drug. Here, Araceli’s family truly believes that it is a strong healing agent to be used for arthritis and other aches.