Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Dominican Heritage Month, Day 21

This is Vick's Vapor Rub.

Growing up, this little blue jar cured all of our ills and then some. I remember having "vaporu" applied to my chest, back, throat, IN my nostrils, across my forehead and down the bridge of my nose. This was the surefire way to force all the phlegm out of the body. Apply hot washcloths to the chest and back that have vaporu on them and DING DING DING, instant cure for a cold or fever. A little sinus infection? Place some vaporu IN your nostrils and then sit in a steam room or with a towel over your head and your face over some boiled water (to get the steam all up your nose). This will also help.

This is Sancochito.

Not to be confused with my delicious meat stew, sancochito is a castor oil-based elixer that will not only cure asthma (it's true!) but force phlegm and other impurities out of your body, either through vomit or feces. Listen, I don't make this up. I'm just passing on the information. All I know is sancochito tastes like the fourth ring of hell but works like nobody's business.

This is Bergamot.

I'm not sure what it is but you put it in your hair to help it grow and thicken and shine. If you use the essential oil instead of the pomade it works even better. Just ask my cousin Vanessa whose mother used bergamot on the child daily...and Vanessa had hair almost down past her butt. It works!

This is Agua Florida.

Santeros use this stuff during "voodoo" rituals or healings and shit. OR it's a cologne used by Dominican grandmothers all over the world, sometimes rubbed into the skin to alleviate aches and pains. Fuck a BenGay- Agua Florida is all you need for your ouchies and honoring your household saints alike!

This is the Humphreys brand of medicines.

There's one for teething babies, for colds and to bring on your period (for late bloomers). There's even one to cure bed-wetting (I may have made that up. Or not. My memory is fuzzy from all the Humphrey's I was forced to take.) They, too, work like little pellet-shaped miracles. My medicine cabinet was FILTHY with Humphreys meds so I guess it works. At least, according to my dry, unstained mattress, it works.

I think this is all I'll share for now. Y'all ain't ready for the urine baths that bring down high fevers. You're not ready.

*besos...hoping this will help you stay well*
you laugh, but we were very healthy children. thanks to all this crap we had to ingest and the fact that we had no medical insurance.