Folk Medicine

--Informant Info--
Nationality: American
Age: 19
Occupation: Student
Residence: Newberg, OR
Date of Performance/Collection: April 05, 2008
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s):

Diet/ Folk Medicine

I was told that eating the “BRAT” diet when your stomach is upset would calm it down and help you feel better. The BRAT diet being: banana, rice, apple sauce, and tapioca.

When I asked Matt where he heard this, he said his mom had told him about it when he had an upset stomach one time. Matt says that whenever he his stomach is up set or he feels nauseous, he returns to the BRAT diet. He doesn’t eat all the foods suggested; apple sauce and tapioca are his favorites.

This is the sort of folk medicine that would be passed from mother to mother at a day care or other places where there are lots of small kids. Little kids generally like eating most of the BRAT diet, so when their stomach is upset it is easy to get them to eat. It is also convenient because all the foods are common foods found in most grocery stores so no special trips or prescriptions are necessary. Most of the foods can already be found in houses that have little children.

When I asked Matt if he knew other people that also ate a BRAT diet when not feeling well, he said he knew several people that ate several of the foods in the diet, but did not call it by the acronym B.R.A.T.

For further reference in texts, see:

Schmitt, Barton D. Your Child’s Health : The Parents’ One-Stop Reference Guide to: Symptoms, Emergencies, CommonIllnesses, Behavior Problems, and Healthy Development . New York: Bantam Books, 2005. Pg. 248-250.