Culture

My Mexican Mom Had A Weird Remedy For Every Illness

Growing up, my mom knew more than all my doctors. At least that’s what she’d tell me back then, and still does to this day. She insists that American doctors only push pills they’re paid to prescribe, and that those pills valen pura madre. So she has always used her own style of medicine, much of it passed down to her from her own mom.

When doctors tell her she shouldn’t be messing with medicine, well, let’s just say she isn’t having it.

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Every time I’ve gotten sick with anything from a cold to viral meningitis, my mom has come to the rescue with her Mexican mom remedies that somehow, and seemingly magically, got me back on my feet in no time.

There were, of course, the staples of Mexican medicine cabinets.

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“Ponte Vicks en las patas y en el pecho. Y mas te vale que te pongas los calcetines!” Totally normal, right? Well, my mom also added banana leaves to the Vick’s foot wrap. Why? Because that’s what her mom did, and that’s reason enough.

Even then, she took it a bit further, making me eat a chunk of Vicks she would scoop out with her fingers and shove into my mouth.

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I have no idea where she heard that this works, but my stomach would feel weird for hours after. I’m also pretty sure this could have poisoned me. By the way, Vicks doesn’t taste good. Luckily, there was always caldo on the way to get the flavor out of my mouth.

Lemon also made its way from the kitchen to the medicine cabinet.

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Along with gargling lemon for a sore throat, my mom would make me put it on my arm pits instead of deodorant, rub it on my elbows to get rid of dark patches or use it on my face when I broke out. Lemon fixes everything.

Fear of needles was not allowed in my house. If I acted scared, my mom basically called me a wimp.

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When my anginas were swollen or if I came down with a fever, my mom went to the pharmacy, bought a fresh pack of needles and the serum needed to cure me. When she came home, I knew what time it was.

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And it was going to hurt.

There was no messing around. It was “bajate los pantalones, chamaca” and then…

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It worked though, and fast! I rarely missed a school day.

And it went both ways. If she was sick, I was tasked with injecting her despite having zero medical training. Because I was a teenager.

To say stabbing a needle into my mom’s butt cheek made me nervous is an understatement.

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But I didn’t have a choice. Mami was sick and I had to help, because she always did the same for me. Now as an adult, I’ve got it down. Well, better than when I was 16 at least.

“Tronando los cueritos” is another one of her go-to remedies.

CREDIT: YouTube

While it sounds pretty gross, and sort of like a norteño song, tronando los cueritos meant pulling the skin on my back and stomach until it cracked. Yes, cracked. It’s not fun, but that was her cure for empacho, or a uncomfortable blockage in the stomach or intestines. Sexy, right? She’d cap it off with a teaspoon of olive oil and orange juice down the throat, which she said would unstick food stuck to my stomach. Again, sexy, right?

While my mom didn’t use lard in any of her cooking, she would mix it with sugar and slap it on my head if I got a bump.

CREDIT: Martin/Fox

It seemed to get the swelling down pretty quick too.

Trust though, she would rub it on while reminding me that’s what happens “por andar de vaga.”

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“A ver si así aprendes.”

Burns happened in our house all the time. It’s unavoidable when most of your time is spent in the kitchen. That’s where mustard came in handy.

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The burn would kill, but the mustard soothed it every time.

My mom truly had a cure for anything, and it didn’t dawn on me until years later that some people might think her remedies were strange. They worked though, and I still use many of these years later.

And no matter how old I get, any time I’m sick, I know exactly what I want.

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And maybe a spoonful of Vick’s.


READ: You Are NEVER Too Old to Try Abuelita’s Tried and True Cold Remedies


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Community Rallies Around Latina Leader Who Needed A Double Lung Transplant Because Of Covid

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Community Rallies Around Latina Leader Who Needed A Double Lung Transplant Because Of Covid

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There is still so much that we do not know about Covid-19. One of the biggest mysteries is the long term effect of the virus after people recover. One of the most common things caused by Covid is the need for lung transplants. A Latina leader in Milwaukee experienced just that.

Carmen Lerma is a beloved member of the Latino community of Milwaukee.

Lerma was diagnosed with Covid-19 in July. At the time, cases were growing across the country and we knew even less about the virus than we know now. Lerma’s Covid diagnosis led to the beloved community member needing a double lung transplant because of the viciousness of this virus.

“She is very kind. She is very loved,” fellow volunteer and friend Carmen Hernandez said of Lerma to NBC News. “I feel so bad for her situation right now. She can’t even breathe. It’s really hard for me to see her going through this when she’s such an active person.”

Months after her diagnosis, Lerma has a new pair of lungs.

Credit: Carmen Lerma / Facebook

The Covid-19 pandemic is entering a new and terrifying chapter as cases are growing around the world. Countries in Europe are implementing new restrictions to control the spread of Covid and certain states are follow suit to protect residents. Lerma is hoping that her story can help to convince people of the severity of the virus.

Lerma’s story highlights the seriousness of Covid-19 complications after surviving a diagnosis.

Lung transplants for Covid-19 patients are becoming more and more common as more people are infected with the virus. Currently, more than 8 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with Covid. More than 220,000 people have died and cases, which never significantly decreased, are on the rise again in most states.

Lerma is using her story to get people to care about Covid-19.

Credit: Carmen Lerma / Facebook

There has been a lot of misinformation spread about Covid that has contributed to the spikes. President Donald Trump used his own diagnosis to tell people not to worry about the virus and to get out there and live life, something health experts around the world rebuked. Even Harvard University released a study debunking the claim that certain blood types are more resistant or prone to Covid-19.

In one of the most American traditions, friends set up a GoFundMe to help cover the costs of Lerma’s medical care.

The GoFundMe page has raised more than $30,000 of the $100,000 they are hoping to raise to pay for Lerma’s medical costs. She spent months in hospitals fighting the virus that is currently devastating Wisconsin as it spreads unimpeded. Wisconsin is facing one of the worst outbreaks in the U.S. right now after a conservative judge declared Gov. Tony Evers’ restrictions to slow the spread. The state’s Republican Party is suing to reverse the mask mandate, the single strongest tool we have to battle the virus and save lives.

READ: Joe Biden Walks Away With Final Presidential Debate On Healthcare, Covid, And Many Issues

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Latino Homes Are Experiencing The Highest Rate Of The Worst COVID-19 Symptoms

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Latino Homes Are Experiencing The Highest Rate Of The Worst COVID-19 Symptoms

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COVID-19 is still a threat to the U.S. The country is experiencing a sudden spike two weeks after Americans defied social distancing rules and gathered in mass for Memorial Day. Latino households are experiencing a higher number of cases with severe symptoms and the rising cases are troubling the community.

Latino households are experiencing some of the worst COVID-19 cases.

A new analysis from USA Today found that Latino households are experiencing severe COVID-19 symptoms at higher rates. According to a study of more than 1.6 million people, Latinos, by and large, said they have experienced the symptoms tied to COVID-19. These symptoms include difficulty breathing, loss of taste, and coughing.

“Data is now emerging that matches the reality that we’re seeing,” Clarissa Martínez de Castro, deputy vice president of UnidosUS, told USA Today. “There are lots of factors at play, but among the biggest is the overrepresentation of Latinos in front-line jobs that don’t allow working from home.”

This a trend that health experts have seen within Latino communities in major cities.

Latino and Black communities have been devastated by COVID-19. The communities have been disproportionately affected by the virus with death rates higher than the population statistics in various states. Fears of discrimination and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrests have prevented Latinos from seeking medical care long before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Public charge was just the latest thing,” Dr. Daniel Correa, a neurologist at Montefiore Medical Center, told NBC News. “There was already a lot of apprehension in the community before the pandemic. We were seeing concerns regarding public services, and in health care we were already seeing a decrease in public visits.”

These statistics come along the backdrop of Latinos facing the steepest financial and employment impact of any other group.

Latino households have faced the most job losses of any other demographic in the U.S. because of COVID-19. The job losses have compounded problems for the Latino community as DACA recipients and undocumented people are not eligible for federal government aid, despite paying billions in taxes.

According to Unidos US, 5.3 million out of 27.8 million Latinos in the U.S. are out of work giving Latinos the highest unemployment rate. Unemployment within the Latino community is 18.9 percent. The current national unemployment rate is 13.3 after the U.S. added 2.5 million jobs in May as states reopen.

The current job numbers are being celebrated by the Trump administration as a signal that the pandemic economic toll is ending. However, the current unemployment rate is higher than any point since the Great Depression and most jobs added are part-time jobs. The large portion of part-time employment has left some skeptical about the stability of the economic recovery.

READ: Covid-19 Cases Surge In Meat-Processing Plants As COVID-19 Spreads In Rural America

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