Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ox Eyes

Me with Alex - our friendly neighborhood herbal man

Have an ailment? Here is the "cure"

Remedio (remedy) for lack of breast milk

The "ox eyes" and remedy book

This week we are studying about medical terminology. This also includes homeopathic medicine. Our language instructor gave us an assignment to interview two people about home remedies, if they believe in them, and if they use them. I thought the best way to accomplish this assignment was to go downtown to the Central Mercado (Central Market). This is a HUGE in-door market place. It is an awesome place! I could spend hours and hours there, and for those of you who know me really well know that I HATE to shop - and to say that I would spend hours there is saying something! So...two friends of mine from school and myself, went around to a few of the local remedy stores. We asked them our questions, found out about all sorts of home remedies, and even bought a few from each vendor. The one I found MOST interesting was the cure for hemorrhoids. Apparently, if you put these "ojos de buey" (ox eyes) in your back pocket every day, you won't get hemorrhoids. No, they really aren't ox eyes, they are "sea beans" (sea-beans come from trees and vines that grow along tropical shores and rain forests all over the world. The seeds or fruits fall from their parent plant into waterways, such as the Amazon River, then drift through inlets to reach the ocean. They travel with ocean currents until they wash up on a beach somewhere, perhaps thousands of miles from their origin. Sea-beans are quite hard and buoyant, which helps them survive their long-distance voyage.). I can also tell you to cure "fungus" on your body - you soak romero (rosemary), madero negro (don't ask - don't know), and hombre grande (some sort of wood) in water, then you rub it on the area with fungus...hmmm...I'll post more pictures of the market on Saturday - Madison really wants to go "shopping" and spend lots of time there....so I guess I'll get my hours of fun :-)

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