Folk Medicine

Cure for Soar Throat:

  • Glass of hot water
  • Squeeze half of a lemon in the water
  • Place a tablespoon of honey in the glass
  • Stir and serve

Chris grew up in San Diego all of his life and learned this remedy from his Chinese grandmother.  “Growing up, my family was very close and my grandma was always over at my house.  It tends to be a common trend with Chinese families to have close ties with your elders.  My mother is Chinese and my father is American, but still, my mom’s mom always came over and I had a close relationship with her.  Whenever I would be sick, throughout all of my childhood in San Diego, my grandmother would make me this drink and it tended to work the majority of the time, unless I was extremely sick.  If that was the case it did help temporarily.  She probably first gave me this drink when I was five years old.  A simple remedy like this is something that will always make me smile even if I’m not feeling too good, because it will remind me of her.  It’s one of those things that I will definitely pass on to my kids when they have a soar throat”.

Different cultures from across the world tend to have their own remedies for situations where someone isn’t feeling well.  From a personal standpoint, the Jewish version of this remedy is a bowl of chicken noodle soup.  It seems that a simple Chinese remedy, in this case, has more meaning than just trying to cure a soar throat.  There is clear sentimental value for Chris since it reminds him of his childhood and his grandmother.  It is also a case where someone who has parents from two different cultures, in this case American and Chinese, will pass on a specific cultural remedy to another generation.  As this process continues, it will become harder to trace which culture the remedy originated from, as cultures begin to homogenize.