My abuelita is a wise old bundle of soft yarn, white fluffy hair, and cookie-tin sweetness. She has more grandkids than she can count on two hands, yet she always finds time to offer me health advice. Back in her hometown, over-the-counter medicines were pretty hard to come by, so traditional herbal remedies were common and encouraged. Here are her top six home remedies that have kept me alive for the past 20 years.
1. Trauma/Big Scare
If you ever find yourself uncontrollably sobbing or gasping for air — like when the 2016 election results were confirmed — warm a cup of water and dissolve two tablespoons of sugar in it. Something about its sweet simplicity always soothes the nerves.
If Pepto Bismol just isn't doing the trick, try a cold bottle of Sprite, 7-Up, or ginger ale when you're feeling stomach pains. The fizziness and acidity of the limón will unravel those knots in no time.
3. Bad Luck/Anxiety/Depression
It's not you, it's the "mal de ojo" (evil eye). Most commonly affecting babies and young children, it can happen unintentionally when someone stares at you or something that you have with intense desire or jealousy. Apparently, the stank eye happens so much that the abuelitas of the past invented a ritual to remedy it. The process requires you to lie on the floor while somebody rubs an egg all over your body. Once that's done, crack the egg in a glass filled with water and place it under your bed while you sleep. The egg will dissolve all the bad spirits, and you get to live ojo free.
4. Period Cramps
Manzanilla (chamomile) tea is the go-to medicine for when you're doubled over cursing your ovaries. Drink it with a tablespoon of honey, a squeeze of lemon, and an optional shot of tequila (if you're of age, of course).
5. Sore Throat
Rub the outside of your throat with Vicks and wrap your neck in a scarf. Any certified abuela will tell you that Vicks is the all-encompassing remedy that can fix anything — from the common cold to fever, and probably the economy itself.
Or, um, stubborn bowel movements. If you're backed up in all the wrong places, try eating a banana and drinking warm water with honey and lemon. Things will start movin' in no time.
Trust Her, She's an Abuela
My grandma hasn't been sick since probably before JFK's assassination, so her remedies have definitely proved themselves effective over time. If you're feeling too ill to make a trip to the local pharmacy, try looking in your pantry instead. Her home remedies are feel-good, all-natural, and 100% abuelita-approved.