My aunt was helping me learn to drive. During one of our lessons, I remembered what my grandma had done when my younger cousin got sick. I asked my aunt about the remedy and this is what she had to say:
“Do you mean ‘La sobada para el empacho’ (The Remedy for Indigestion)? Your grandma did that on all of us all the time while we were growing up. It really does work, just look at Alex (my younger cousin), he got better didn’t he? What you have to do is… let me think… your grandma will take castor oil and mix it with a spice called ‘brassica nigra’. She place it on a fire and let it sizzle for a while, then she’ll move it onto a pot and let it boil. Then, she’ll add water. Before it begins to boil, she removes the pot from the fire and begins to grind the mixture. She’ll place the pot back on the fire until the mixture boils, and the water turns as black as coffee. After that’s happened, she’ll add milk to help it cool down. She begins by rubbing castor oil on the hands, elbows, knees, and feet on whoever she’s trying to cure. After she’ll take the mixture and feed the person a spoonful. The rest is used to massage the stomach and intestine area. You let the oils sink in and they should get better. I always did.”
According to my aunt, this is a genuine remedy. She has personally experienced the healing qualities of this remedy. She says that the remedy is for indigestion but also food poisoning, as it helps children release everything they’ve recently eaten. Folk medicine is an interesting category because even modern medicine is based in folklore. I wonder what kind of characteristics the ingredients in this remedy have to offer, or why the remedy even works. I, personally, have not experienced the remedy because my mother does not believe in it. However, I will say that my younger cousin did get better after my grandma had finished. Coincidence?