Dadima ke gharelu nushke/old wine in a new bottle
Once upon a time... There was an advertisement that showed the baby crying incessantly.
The grandmother asks the child’s mother the reason for the baby to cry and tells her to give
gripe water with this famous dialogue...
“Main Bhi toh tujhe vo hi deti thi jab tu choti thi”
This ad became such a hit in every household that the products started selling like hot cakes. During our times, we were given carom seeds (ajwain) tea to drink, it used to be a natural painkiller, relieves gas and bloating. (I take it even now) Taking a look back, when I was nursing my baby. I was a new mother, learning the tricks of the trade. Loads of advice, tips given by my granny really helped me pass this phase.This article explores many such home remedies given by the grandmothers throughout the world - some conventional and others non-conventional.
Garlic for cold
A homemade cough syrup followed by many grandmothers in the Dominican republic. A boiled concoction of garlic, onion and honey, a tsp to be taken daily. It is a great decongestant, prevents throat irritation and suppresses cough (of course, along with the bad breath which automatically creates social distancing)
In India, the most common is tulsi leaves, its juice is mixed with honey and given to infants having a cold and cough. Another sure shot medicine is the kadha - a bitter spicy herbal tea made from spices like ginger, pepper, clove, cinnamon, carom seeds that has the reputation of killing germs of all kinds. Just close your nose and gulp down the kadha in one shot. It not only releases the sputum but also gives a good night's sleep.
Lettuce for a good night’s sleep
The grandma’s of Puerto Rico had a unique way to induce sleep in hyperactive kids. Boil lettuce leaves in the water, strain, add a bit of sugar, let the kids drink it warm. Lettuce contains a phytonutrient called lactucarium, which is said to induce sleep. Meanwhile we in India grew up drinking the traditional recipe of turmeric latte/haldi ka doodh containing milk, turmeric, black pepper, sugar/jaggery to be consumed warm. Post that anyone could hear you snoring away to glory!!!
Rice for ear pain
An age-old remedy for getting relief from the ear pain which used to frequent in childhood was raw rice. Take a heapfull of raw rice in socks, heat it over a stove top and place over the infected ear. In the times where hot compress was not available, heated rice was used to give relief and bring down the inflammation.
Another ‘upai’ was to crush garlic pods, cover them with cotton and place them in each ear. The fumes from the crushed garlic had the ability to kill the germs and bring relief from the pain. Many of these dadima ke nuskhe still work. The pharmaceutical company has taken these age-old formulas to prepare cough syrups, cough drops, and antacids medicines.
During the time where access to medical care and medicine was limited and costly. Grandmas would look for foods and herbs in their own gardens and pantries that contained healing properties to fight off illnesses..
Thanks to them, we developed natural immunity against the common infections unlike the generation now, who pops a pill for every small ache and pain. It is required to bring back the age-old remedies for better health and immunity in today’s time where covid has brought back the emphasis on one's health.
- Rohini Prasad