Background: Informant, B.B is a mother of 3, she knows about this home remedy because of her mother.
Interviewer:Are there any kind of home remedies that you took from your mom and used on your kids?
Informant B.B: Yes, a remedy my mom told me about when my kids kept getting ear infections was to dampen a cotton ball and stick it in their ear. Then I would grab a paper and roll it up thinly, kind of using it like a funnel and lit it on fire. It sounds crazy but it would always work
Interviewer: What was the purpose of lighting it on fire?
B.B: I think it would “suck up” the pain from the ear, I am not too sure how it works and did not believe it would work at first but to my surprise it did.
Context: My informant is a family member, when I asked her about any home remedies she knows about, this one instantly came to mind. She used it plenty of times, because of how effective it is.
Thoughts: This home remedy sounds a bit dangerous, because of the fire but I suppose the purpose of the paper is to act as a funnel and keep the fire away from direct contact with the ear so with a parent doing it, it should be safe. It is interesting how it sounds like a crazy remedy but actually works.
Using Baby Pee to Rejuvenate the Skin
“Cuando la mujer esta embarazada, se le mancha bien feo la cara y si uno no se cuida, esas manchas nunca se van a quitar. La soluccion es de agarrar los panales del bebe cuando tengan miados y flotarlos por toda la cara. Si uno hace esto, en menos que uno acuerde, se le va aclarar la cara igual como la tenia antes del embarazo… este remedio lo aprendi de mi mama, ella despues de mi primer embarazo vio que se me puso mi cara muy fea asi que me dijo que me empesara a untar los miados del bebe. No me puso a discutir con ella sobre esto, porque en otras ocasiones, a mis primas tambien les funciono este tratamiento. No estoy muy segura de donde aprendio este remedo mi mama pero yo pienso que le apredio de mi abuela.”
“When a woman is pregnant, her face starts breaking out badly and if one doesn’t take care of those imperfections, they’ll never disappear. The solution is to grab the baby’s peed diaper and rub it throughout the face. If one does this, the face will go back to the way it was before the pregnancy began… this remedy was taught to me by my mother, she saw how bad my face had gotten after my pregnancy so she told me to start rubbing the baby’s pee on my face. I didn’t argue with her about this because I had seen the results of this remedy on other cousins of mine. I’m not sure where my mom learned this remedy from but I think she learned it from my grandmother.”
My informant is a native of Guadalajara Mexico. She was born and raised there until the age of 16 which was when she migrated to the US. She is now 42 years of age and has 6 kids of various ages. Even though she has lived most of her life in the US, she still maintains strong ties with her Mexican heritage through her mother. She is really attached to her mother and therefore most of the things she has learned have been passed on by her mother. She is now also sharing her knowledge with her oldest children and continues to bestow Mexican culture among all her children. Since she migrated to the US she has focused on working and after getting married, to being a housewife. She has not had any formal institutional education, so most of her knowledge comes from others in her daily life.
In my opinion, this seems like a really cool home remedy for something that would otherwise cost a fortune. However, since I have never actually seen the results, I would be pretty hesitant to try it out for myself. It is a pretty gross thing to do so I believe that it definitely takes a lot of trust to actually follow this home remedy. This therefore shows that the informant of this remedy, is willing to do whatever her mother says. The results of this remedy should be tracked so that a definite answer in regards to its effectiveness can be concluded. Even if this remedy actually worked, I don’t think I would be willing to rub pee all over my face but if it were my mom telling me to do this, then I would probably consider it. Ultimately, I believe we all are willing to do what our parents tell us to do, therefore keeping remedies that have been passed on from our ancestors alive.