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My Mexican Mom Had A Weird Remedy For Every Illness

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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.

CREDIT: @HeyVivala/Twitter

“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.

CREDIT: My Strange Addiction/TLC

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.

CREDIT: Pulp Fiction/Miramax Films

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.

CREDIT: Giphy

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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A Millennial Guatemalan Artist Gave Lotería Cards The Millennial Treatment And They Are Hilarious

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A Millennial Guatemalan Artist Gave Lotería Cards The Millennial Treatment And They Are Hilarious

@millennialloteria / Instagram

The game of lotería is a staple in a lot of Latino households. It brings families together, or tears them apart, depending on who you play with, but it always leads to a great time shared with those you love. However, one Latino thought that the popular game needed a bit of an update to make it more relatable. So, with some inspiration and an artistic eye, Mike Alfaro took it upon himself to create new, “millennial” lotería cards. Sadly, these cards are not for sale but they are great to look at. Alfaro spoke with mitú about his inspiration for creating the cards.

This is Mike Alfaro, the brains behind the Instagram page @millennialloteria.

Alfaro, who is originally from Guatemala, was back home visiting and researching for a project when he found his old lotería cards. He remembered them from his childhood but tells mitú that he was shocked at how outdated they were, so he took the opportunity to create a parody version of the timeless game.

The Guatemalan artist and writer has taken the classic style of the cards and paired it with things millennials can relate to, like “La Protest.”

“It became this parody of taking these illustrations that are already iconic and sort of slightly changing them a little bit to create some humorous contrast within this modern world and the world that lotería lives in, which is still stuck in the past,” Alfaro says about his inspiration for more relatable lotería cards. “[The older cards] aren’t as interesting to us as a phone or an app, which is something that’s more common to ours lives.”

As part of the millennial glo up, certain cards took on new meaning, such as La Dama, which became La Feminist.

Alfaro, who works in advertising, says that he spends a lot of time in his work judging and looking at creative projects or conceptualizing ideas. He says that skill definitely came in handy with this project.

When he first came to the U.S. for college, he was shocked how little people knew about Latin America and wants the cards to challenge the stereotypes he heard from classmates.

“Cell phones, for instance, are so prevalent in Latin America because now you don’t need to run the power lines down to village; now you literally just beam information there. It’s this modernization that people don’t really understand,” Alfaro says. “When I came to college, people would ask me, ‘How did you find the university, did you have internet back home?’ like they didn’t think that I had Internet, a cell phone, nor watched cable television. When I look at these lotería cards it feels like it’s so old-timey and I wanted to show that Hispanics’ lives are modernized, just as much as American life.”

“At the same time I want to poke fun at these stereotypes that people have about millennials,” Alfaro says.

One stereotype Alfaro is trying to dismantle with his art is the concept that millennials aren’t in touch with the issues.

“We live in a time where we really have to use our voices and talk. It might be parody art, but that also means that it’s art and it has to have a message,” Alfaro says. “I think there are so many things that politicians and Trump are saying about Hispanic people and it’s so offensive. This was my way of jabbing back and having a bit of a message to it without being too nasty.”

He’s also bucking the stereotype that being gay in the Latino community is not okay.

Alfaro says he believes that the millennial generation of American Latinos are a lot more accepting than our grandparents. Even though some brands are still not sure if it is beneficial, marketing-wise, to add LGBTQ pride themes for Latino audiences, Alfaro says that it should be promoted as something that is okay and normal because there is nothing wrong with being gay.

Alfaro has received a lot of attention for his millennial lotería art, it even became real product that is available for purchase.

“I am excited that people really want it,” Alfaro says. “I’m actually not marketing a lotería game because I would be competing against the actual lotería. So, in reality, I would have to work with them and if they see there is a market for this. Right now I’d be infringing on their rights if I tried to sell a game that was very similar to theirs, even though its a parody.”

And while Alfaro is letting everyone know that it is just parody art and not anything serious, who knows what might happen in the future.

Even if these never become a real thing one thing is for sure, the cards are funny and relatable af.

READ: La Sirena Just Met Her Match With This Queer Chicanx’s El Sireno Lotería Card