On Sunday morning during breakfast, I started complaining about an earache.
“Which ear?” my mom asked.
“The right one. I don’t know why it just started hurting,” I told her.
She got up from the table and went to the backyard. A minute or two later she was back with a little green object between her fingers.
“The right one?” she asked to make sure.
I nodded, and she took the small rolled up green stuff (shown above) and stuck it in my ear.
“Es ruda,” she explained. “It’ll make you feel better. Just leave it in there like that for a little while.”
“You know, this reminds me of a conversation I had with Nancy last week,” I explained to my mom. “We were talking about the backyard home remedies our parents use, like sávila (aloe). My tío Pancho would slather it all over her sunburnt arms and back when she returned from a day-long concert. You know, like you would do when we returned from the beach.”
“Oh yeah, the best is when you cool it down in the refrigerator before rubbing it on. Then it’s nice and cool.”
“I thought it was weird when I was kid. It felt all sticky,” I admitted.
“Yeah, but it helps,” my mom replied.
Over the years, our backyard had provided all sorts of plants for home remedies. We have sávila (aloe) ready to provide some relief from a sunburn. If I have cramps or a sore throat, my mom or grandma will pick off orange (and lemon, I think) blossoms from the trees in the backyard to make té de siete azahares. We also have ruda which my mom has used for earaches for my siblings.
By the time I was done with my breakfast of huevos rancheros, frijoles y chorizo con papa (yum!) my earache was gone.
I love my mom’s (and grandma’s) home remedies.