We have some new babies in the family, and one of them was not sleeping through the night. My mother suggested that they put a little cereal in the two-month old’s bottle at night. That was met with a lot of arched eyebrows and “thank you, Grandma, but we’re only giving the baby breast milk.”
My mother was not amused and said to me, “I had four babies and every one of you had cereal in your bottles. You were hungry. That’s why you couldn’t sleep.” I privately wondered if this is when my life-long battle with the stomach bulge began. “My doctor told me to do it,” she huffed. He also told her to give us a teaspoon of castor oil each day. I should point out that she was talking about many moons ago, when women smoked when they were pregnant and put babies down on their bellies to sleep and children rode standing up in the front seat next to their parents.
My grandmother made us spread aloe on our skin after being in the sun. She said it would prevent peeling. It didn’t. It made us feel better, but the skin always peeled. This is the same grandmother who drank a glass of buttermilk every day to help with her digestion. My other grandmother swore that Oil of Olay would burn your skin if you left it on too long, and that eating a big, white, raw onion like an apple was good for her diverticulitis. Where did they get this stuff?
But some of it has been clearly ingrained into me. I told a kid recently who had the hiccups to eat a teaspoon of ketchup. When my brother had indigestion, I told him to jump up and down several times. That just came out automatically, with no thought, and I honestly have no idea where it came from. And, I admit, I look for sun products with aloe in them just in case. I have recently read that cherries are the perfect antidote for gout, and I remember another ancient relative who believed in the overall power of cherries. However, I do not, and have never, eaten raw onions like apples.
What home remedies were used on you? Do you have any that have held over? What potentially life-threatening things did your parents do to you?