Grandma Knows It All

Grandmothers carry  timeless wisdom. We will forever be grateful to them for passing it on generation after generation. Be it Asia, The Western World, or Africa, their remedies have survived to this day. In this article, we are exploring the healing remedies from these three regions of the world.  Our ancestors were very much Intune with nature and her cures fast forward to the 21st century there has been a significant decline perhaps  due to our hectic lifestyle, having a quick fix from the pharmacy for an everyday problem the list is  pretty long.

Mind you, modern medicine is amazing and continues to save thousands of lives. In all this we must not forget the simplicity of our elders. After all, it was their wisdom that got them through all the difficulties of their era and we can safely say  they led more authentic lives than we do. From baby feeding advise, to using vanilla to pacify an excruciating toothache, our nanas have helped us in countless ways. Here are a few remedies from around the world that were introduced to us and remain effective to this day.

Remedies for Babies (Africa)

1.Baobab powder is indeed a powerhouse. It is a good source of vitamin C and contains almost 50% fiber plus  antioxidants. The calcium in baobab improves bone strength. Add half a teaspoon of baobab powder into ½ cup yogurt or milk  and feed the baby This is a sure way to boost heir immune system and keep the colds and flu at bay

2. Turmeric paste  helps in removing the phlegm add a tablespoon of water in 2 tablespoons of turmeric powder to make a paste  then heat  the mixture, once it cools apply it on your little one’s chest, forehead, and feet.

3.Rooibos tea  is a revered herb. It has anti-spasmodic properties; alleviates colic and stomach cramps. The anti-allergic properties of rooibos relieve skin irritation due to eczema, nappy rash, and acne. Rooibos  increases the absorption of iron, potassium, and copper which are excellent for your metabolism. You can give it to your baby in between milk feeds and if your baby doesn’t like the taste  of rooibos, you may add fruit juice to mask the taste.  It has a nice earthy taste

Remedies for Toddlers

1. Peppermint is a well known herb worldwide with antibacterial properties, indeed we have all heard  stories of its benefits from our elders. It can calm an upset stomach almost immediately.  Peppermint is also soothing for colds flu and headaches. Make your toddler peppermint tea and add a dash of honey. Infact why not make it a regular part of their diet the benefits are awesome. 

2. Another very powerful herb that has made  mom’s life easier and babies healthier is guava leaves. Its antimicrobial properties  reduce the production of mucus and boost the immune system.  Equally helpful in relieving the symptoms of typhoid and  preventing viral infections. It is easy to make; take 4 leaves of guava, crush them and extract their juice. Feed one teaspoon of this extract to your child 3 times a day for about a week.

3. Aloe Vera  can be used to treat first- and second-degree burns. Apply it directly on the affected area to reduce the healing time by 9 days. It is also used as a mouth rinse to reduce dental plaque and speed up the healing of mouth ulcers. Aloe Vera mouth rinse can be easily made at home. Add 1 cup of distilled water to ¼ cup of aloe vera juice (equal to 3 medium leaves of aloe vera) along with 2 teaspoons of Xylitol and 2 teaspoons of Baking Soda. Blend the solution for 1 minute. If you want to change the taste, you can add 2-3 drops of peppermint essential oil for a fresh minty taste. Make sure that your child doesn’t swallow the solution.

Remedies for Babies (Asia)

1. It is very common for wax to buildup in a baby’s ear this can cause pain and discomfort. To ease the pain crush marigold leaves and take away the juice, add drops into your baby’s ear. This juice brings out the wax making it easier for you to remove it. The marigold leaves have antiseptic and antibacterial properties that help to alleviate ear pain.

2. Use garlic to fight unwanted infections. It can be used in powdered or juice form. Studies have proven that extra garlic in your baby’s diet helps boost their immune system and helps fight chronic infections.

3.Eucalyptus oil continues to sour generation after generation.  It is beneficial in respiratory congestion when sprayed on baby’s bedding, When purchasing this oil make sure it is certified organic do not use neat oils on children dilute with water or a carrier oil.

Remedies for Toddlers

1. Warts are uncommon in babies but in the case of toddlers, they’re quite prevalent. An easy antidote for warts is simply applying adhesive tape to treat the warts. Just cover the wart with adhesive tape for a few weeks. This suffocates the wart. Remove the tape carefully and clean the skin. Repeat this process until the wart is gone.  

2. Kids are very energetic and often get sprains, using ice on it may seem like a good option however, it is important to note that some kids  have very sensitive  skin therefore ice is not ideal. For this, mothers can use this remedy i.e. Rub clay and vinegar compress on the sprain for 20 minutes. Even the football players have been reported to use this solution to treat sprains.

3. There’s a special ancient drink called Haldi Doodh which reduces  pain and helps speed up the recovery of wounds in few days. Haldi is essentially Turmeric powder. Turmeric powder  mixed with milk is indeed healing to the body and a boost to the immune system.  Add 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder, 1/4 teaspoon of cardamom, 1/8 teaspoon crushed black pepper, 1 pinch of crushed ginger, 1 pinch of ground cloves, 1 pinch of ground allspice, 3/4 teaspoon of honey, and 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract in 1 cup of milk. Warm the milk for 3-4 minutes and slowly add the ingredients one at a time  while stirring the solution. 

Remedies for Babies (Western World )

1. This particular remedy works for each age bracket,  mix a teaspoon of honey in warm water and let your baby drink it. This will help with the cough and equally soothe and lubricate the throat. Depending on the age raw undiluted  honey can be utilized.

2. Eliminate diaper dermatitis by just one easy trick. If you’re breastfeeding your baby, you’ve got the right solution. Clean your baby’s bottom thoroughly and apply breast milk on the affected areas. This is often quite useful as breast milk is enriched with antibodies, it heals the skin and soothes the irritation without the risk of an allergic reaction.

3. When it comes to nourishment of the baby’s hair and skin, Drumstick leaves oil has shown magical results. It makes their skin soft and smooth whilst providing their hair with  nutrients for  essential growth.

Remedies for Toddlers

1. For nasal congestion our grannies have us covered.  Boil some water and pour in a big bowl. Add one teaspoon of vapor rub, you can add eucalyptus oil to the warm water. Make your child inhale the steam while you cover their head with a towel. Make sure the towel blocks any steam from getting out. Try this process twice a day for five minutes and your toddler will be cured in no time. 

2. A bee sting can leave one in pain for several hours or even days. Try not to press and punctiliously remove the bee stinger using a nail cutter or a needle. Just take an onion, cut it in half and rub it over the affected area. Your child will be relieved in no time.

3. For fever,  cut a raw onion in half and carefully tie one piece to each foot making sure it doesn’t touch the underside of the foot. You can also easily tuck the 2 pieces inside the socks of the child.

This amazingly sums up the fact that grandmothers not only provide us with delicious dishes from the kitchen but also effective remedies, curing minor ailments  like a pro! Indigestion, bee stings, coughs and so much more. The real heroes sleep in our homes and we love them!