Kriol Folk Medicine

The following list of remedies was taken from an article by Richard O. Buhler in National Studies journal, Vol. 3, No. 3, May, 1975. No medical claims of validity are made here.

For hiccups: 1) Put your hands over your head and then bring them down, placing them on opposite elbows. Hold your head as tight as you can and walk up and down until the hiccups cease. 2) Drink three gulps of water and lie down still with your eyes closed. 3) Eat a dry teaspoon of sugar and wash down with three gulps of water. 4) When infants have hiccups, get two match sticks and form a cross in their hair over their moal, or wet a piece of cloth and paste it on their forehead.

For fevers: 1) Catch a toad (or a young chicken), split it in half, and after setting a half on each foot bottom of the feverish person, tie a bandage around it. If the toad (or chicken) dries out, this means the fever has been drawn out of the person’s body. 2) Beat one or two cochineal leaves and place them on the sick persons head and tie them with a head-tie. This is the same remedy for curing headaches. 3) Make a tea of the different bush medicines like John Charles, fever grass, or hog foot. Boil them together and bathe the sick person with the mixture. Have the person drink whatever is left. After this rub the person properly with coconut oil and salt and put him or her to bed. In the morning the fever will have left.

For a toothache: Use quiebra mula milk on the tooth. If used repeatedly it will kill the nerve and break the tooth into small pieces.

For warts: 1) Tie the wart right at the level of the skin with thread and then cut it off with a sharp tool. Then sprinkle ashes on the spot and cover with a slice of lime and a bandage. 2)Break a twig of the plant called quiebra mula and apply the milk that goes out to the wart; it will soon dry and fall off.

For weakness in the joints: Beat an egg, pour some brandy into it, tear eight pieces of clean cloth and make a plaster of the egg-brandy mixture and tie to each elbow, wrist, knee, and ankle. This will strengthen the joints.

For flatulance: Drink a tea made from the yama bush.

For diarrhea: Boil a green plantain with the skin still on it and drink the water; then mash the plantain and eat it.

For cuts: Peel a banana or a plantain, scrape it and rub salt on it and tie it to the cut.

For earache: Use ground hog, mint leaf, garlic, and sweet oil; stew them together to form a brew. Apply to the ear with cotton.

For swelling and sprains: Make a poultice of “suelo con suelo” vine’s root and apply it to the area to reduce swelling.

For stricture: Drink a tea of the twelve o’clock plant or one of the yama bush. Another remedy is to boil the horn of a deer and drink the water.

For boils: Apply a poultice of bread and breast milk.

For eye infections: Bathe with breast milk.

For gas: Boil an orange peel and then drink the water.

For jaundice: Drink a tea made of the pumpkin blossom or the piss-a-bed plant.

To improve the blood: Drink a tea made of the wild yam or of provision bark.

To improve the appetite: Drink a tonic made of sorosi.