Remedios Caseros (Household Remedies)

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For the last two days in Spanish class, we have been looking at home and herbal remedies. Some of the medical conditions sound even worse in Spanish. Upset stomach is a widespread problem, but there are plants that can help most people. For homework, we had to bring in a list of four home remedies/uses of plants for addressing a variety of health conditions.

We talked about, among other things, the uses for garlic, cinnamon, aloe, seaweed, and honey. One woman said, “You can eat local honey during a pregnancy to fortify a child against allergies later.” Flor said that Mexican women are warned against eating honey because it can make the baby sticky. The stickiness is a problem because it may cause the birth to be more difficult.

I could hardly take the conversation about parasites. The indicators: grinding one’s teeth, incessantly itching one’s nose, failing to be hungry, and diarrhea made me feel itchy and sick. This is supposed to be a way to expand our vocabulary, but it can also produce symptoms.

Speaking of symptoms, for the majority of the conversation hour, we played a game where we were given various descriptions of a person with a particular affliction or instructions for caring for this affliction (which was unknown to us, but was delivered in phrases by the rest of the group. There were words such as: pregnant, cancer, bruise, shiver, cough, etc. We had to pay attention to the clues and try to guess what the sickness/pain was (in our new Spanish vocabulary). This proved a bit harder than it sounds. And, some of us received a penalty of Flor’s choosing, and so she chose.

Tomorrow, I will make a fake phone call and order a fake pizza from a fake pizzeria. Another student is to report to us in vivid detail how he would woo a Mexican woman. Finally, one of the students is to bring in a stanza of a song and sing to us. I am grateful for only having to order a pizza!

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