Folk Medicine: Hot Toddy

--Informant Info--
Nationality: American-black, African-American
Age: 73
Occupation: Retired, former office worker
Residence: Los Angeles
Date of Performance/Collection: March 31 2013
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s):

Ingredients:

Lemon juice

Lemon Rinds

Sugar

Water

  1. Mix all ingredients in a saucepan
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil
  3. Cook slowly until it thickens to a syrupy consistency.

After the mixture is finished the sick person is supposed to drink it.  My informant used this as a remedy for colds and congestion. She used learned from her mother. She used it on herself, her children, and her husband. Her children did not use this on their children, well at least her daughter didn’t. She thought it was gross and thought that Vic Vapor rub was a preferable substitute.  The informant says hasn’t used it in years. She says it is because she is lazy, there other things on the market, and no one has the time to do that anymore.

 

This is an example of a tradition falling out of practice due to it being inconvenient. This bit of folk medicine was passed down through the family but feel out of practice because modern medicine is more widely available. It didn’t fall out of practice because it didn’t work or that modern medicine was better. It fell out of practice because it became impractical.   My informant also grew up in the South and mentioned that folk medicine was popular because doctors were scarce. It came into existence out of necessity then fell out use when it became impractical.