Wellbeing with Nutrition
Nurturing the Mind and Body

My Mum and Traditional Herbal Medicine

My mum is a firm believer in traditional healing. When she was young girl living in Pakistan, the option of conventional health care wasn't always readily available. She grew up using traditional herbal medicines which is why she has such an impressive portfolio of remedies. I remember taking a teaspoon of ground up ajova seeds with a glass of water for an upset tummy. My mum had a great recipe for treating sprains with a poultice made from turmeric.

The turmeric poultice was used a lot! We often fell and had lots of bumps and scratches - the joys of childhood!

One particular story sticks in my mind. My mum woke one night as a teenager with stabbing pains in her abdomen accompanied with nausea and diarrhoea. She didn't have access to phones, pain killers or anything like that. Medicines were made in the kitchen using herbs and spices and medicinal foods. Mum's intuition told her to peel an onion and mash it up using a pestle and mortar. She took off her headscarf, placed the onion pulp onto a corner wrapped it up and squeezed until she had extracted some onion juice. Drinking the juice felt like acid going down and burned in her belly but within ten minutes the pain subsided and she could sleep. The next day she felt a lot better but over the following days, other family members became ill with the same symptoms. They all drank raw onion juice and recovered quickly.

Now the story goes is that they all had cholera but with no doctor to confirm this I don't know specifically what they had. Perhaps it was food poisoning or some kind of infection but the point is my mum treated her symptoms using her intuition and knowledge of traditional medicines. 

Onion has antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. It is rich in sulphur which supports detoxification and vitamin C which supports immunity. I can understand why drinking raw onion juice would work!

Being born and brought up in the UK I have been privileged to be able to access care from both conventional and traditional medicine. It was my mum who sowed the initial seeds of my path into nature based healing. She started my journey and showed me many examples of  medicinal foods and techniques. Thanks mum, you're the best!

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food"

I often wonder, what would happen if conventional health care is unavailable. How many of us could draw on the traditional healing knowledge from our ancestors?

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