Mexican Folk Remedy- Stomachaches

The informant is a 47-year old civil engineer working in California, originally from Michoacán, Mexico. He lived a modest life as a young adult, studying to be an engineer. He then moved to the United States with his wife to raise their family and make his career. He primarily speaks Spanish with English as a second language.  He shall be referred to as JB.

JB states that in his household, spongy bread served medicinal purposes. For a stomachache, the spongy, inner part of a French roll was soaked in rubbing alcohol, then rubbed and place on the child’s stomach.

JB notes that his household, while not wealthy, was better off than some other families. Most of his neighbors could not afford bread. Thus, particularly in comparison to the other folk remedies in this collection, this presents a group of people taking advantage of resources at hand. While this family also did not come from outstanding means, they did indulge in a luxury they could enjoy (bread). This may have been a way of demonstrating their relative wealth, while still taking full advantage of humble resources. I expect that as JB grew up in a Catholic community, there was a willingness to take part in practices that didn’t appear to make any scientific sense (there is no medicinal explanation for the bread or rubbing alcohol that he is aware of). As the community is faith-based, there was no strict intolerance of pseudoscience as there is in the United States. JB also testifies that both solutions served their purposes without fail. Again, the faith-based nature of a Catholic community embraced such simple solutions, as they are far more based on familial traditions than they are on any scientific roots.