Leah Perez studies Latin American History at the University of Southern California. She was born in Gardena, California and moved to Torrance, California at a young age. Her parents are both Hispanic; her father is Puerto Rican and Mexican, and her mother is Mexican. Leah’s entire extended family speaks Spanish, and while Leah grew up speaking English, she has gained some fluency in Spanish by communicating with her relatives. Her immediate family observes Mexican traditions and has imparted many of these values to Leah and her siblings. In the excerpt below, Leah describes a tea remedy for menstrual cramps that is used in place of pain medication:
Leah: “My family in New Mexico boils the corn hairs… like, the corn silk. You make a tea out of it when you have menstrual cramps, and it’s supposed to be a remedy for that. It tastes like shit though. It’s solely for the functionality of it.”
Isabella: “Does anyone like the way it tastes?”
Leah: “I think it depends on the sweetest of the corn, so that the silk can taste better. The silk is the little hairs… you know, when you shuck corn, you have the little hairs… little fine fibers that are underneath the husks. They’re yellow, and that’s what you make the tea out of.”
Here, Leah describes a homeopathic remedy that is used to treat menstrual cramps. Though she admits to disliking the tea’s taste, Leah still drinks the remedy when she needs relief from menstrual pain. Both she and her family acknowledge the health benefits associated with the tea; moreover, its main ingredient (corn) is tremendously important amongst Latin American communities. It is a food staple throughout Central and South America so it is not surprising that it appears throughout homeopathic recipes.