Ancestors, Ancestry, Bilingual kids, bilingual mom, Bilingualism, Boricua, home remedies, latin moms, los abuelos, Mamás latinas, para la gripe, Remedios caseros, Remedios naturales, Spanish teacher

Home and natural remedies mi abuela and mami told me about… (English version)

English version

My abuela used to say: Mira, si no me mata la enfermedad, me matará la medicina, if I don’t die from the illness I’ll surely die from the medicine I take for it. She said this because she had a tendency of taking on natural medicine with a lot of enthusiasm… lots of it…maybe too much of it! or every day. For example, fresh ginger was always in the fridge. She took it every day (And, admittedly, she never caught a cold!) After an operation where she had cancerous tumors removed at the age of 73, some people thought that she would not survive the year. No, that kind lady lived happily another 20 years.

Because in addition to following doctors’ recommendations, she signed up for any and all kind of natural remedies that were said to combat that illness.


With my sister and grandmother soon after her operation.

This week I was sick with a bad cold and as usual I get a little amnesia when my nose gets stuffy… I can help other people when they are sick, recommending home remedies but when it’s my turn… I’m like…Now what am I supposed to do?  For this reason, we have compiled home remedies to help you with the knowledge and secrets of our mami’s and abuelas. As always, please consult your own doctor for any question about health. If you have a remedy to add to the list, share it with us here or in our page on Facebook.



Iceberg lettuce is to the left.

El té de lechuga – In Puerto Rico it is common to provide children with this tea to help them when they can’t sleep through the night. This tea is prepared with iceberg lettuce, specifically, and can help any person sleep a deeper and more relaxing sleep…. For more information please visit this page.



Aloe Vera is very easy to grow in your yard if you are in the subtropics or tropical climates.

La Sábila – I always have a lot of Aloe Vera plants in the yard and it is the first thing that I run to when there is a burn. I admit that I’m actually the one to get burnt all of the time because I bake a lot, my own gluten free pizzas, breads and cakes. It is good for the skin and for digestive troubles due to its high content of vitamins A, B, minerals, enzymes and folic acid. For more information visit this page.



El Gengibre – Any hot tea is going to give you some kind of comfort during a cold, but the benefits of some are so great that you will need to always have them in your kitchen cabinet: ginger tea, green tea, chamomille tea, lavender tea, mint, anis, oregano and lemon tea.



El Eucalipto – In just about all of the countries the benefits of inhaling eucalyptus is widely known.  You boil the leaves in water and approach the vapors with a towel covering your head. You breathe in these vapors and it is a good expectorant. For more benefits, visit this page…



A woman reads the descriptions for the Bach flowers. They are sold at Whole Foods.

Las Flores de Bach – Have you ever heard of the Bach Flowers. They include “Rescue Remedy,” the most popular anti-stress medicine in the world. Based on a homeopathic therapy that was discovered by a doctor who was called Edward Bach during the 1930’s, which helps to give support to people’s emotions. The theory that he discovered is that all of the illnesses stem from emotional imbalances. I studied these Bach flower remedies and have been preparing them for family and friends for many years.  For more information, please view this page.



El Café – In my family coffee was served at a young age…I began drinking it at the age of 5. They used to say, “it makes them smart!” I think this is due to the fact that it really does help us concentrate better. I just simply loved drinking it with milk and sugar…lots of sugar…I think that was the key. I am not recommending caffeine to young children, you should decide. I do not give caffeine to my own. I think the world is at an accelerated pace already, no need to rev them up even further. But now I have discovered that coffee is a powerful anti-oxidant, aids in diabetes, the respiratory illnesses, the cardiovascular and more. For more benefits, please visit this page.



El aguardiente -When a person just starts getting a cold in Perú and Chile, they can be given el pisco, a drink that includes aguardiente with, grape and lemon juice. Apparently, the person heats up, sweats and feels much better. I have also seen that there are people who can benefit from this drink if they suffer from low blood pressure and may faint. For more benefits, please visit this page.



La cebolla – Another expectorant is the onion. You cut it up and mix with the juice of a lemon and leave it in a bowl overnight. In the morning, you drain the juice out and heat up so that you can drink a cup twice a day.  In fact, it is common in China to cut pieces of onions and disperse them throughout the tables in the house to protect the rest of the family from catching the cold. Onions are rich in Iron, Phosphorous and vitamin E. They help to support hypertension, anemia and it is a diuretic. For more information please visit this page.



El Ajo – There are so many benefits to this condiment that books have been written about just that, garlic. It has been famous as an anti-illness, anti-vampire and overall anti-bad vibes agent since who knows when… The truth is that garlic is rich in vitamin B, which helps blood circulation, it is a natural antibiotic, purifies the liver and many other benefits. One of the first things that I do when I’m about to get a cold is I drink orange juice (vitamin C) and make pan con ajo, garlic bread, for breakfast… for more benefits, please visit this page…



El Amor – Love, whether it’s near or far, can do anything. As a song from  José José says, el amor no conoce el final, love has no end.  Who has not felt the need to spend the night lying next to the baby or child that has the fever? (after administering all of the proper remedies, including drinking lots of liquids, sunflower tea and letting them walk barefoot..) Big hugs for depression and as my mom would say going to bed with someone you are tight with is good for you health. Pray your rosary, send love and good vibes to loved ones who are near or far… that’s it… isn’t it? If you didn’t know it, then try it and you shall see for yourself.  What it is … love and happiness… that’s our key to health…as a friend of mine tells me, who is a psychiatrist, by the way, if you are happy, you are healthy, si eres feliz, estás sano.

And of course for good health, we must move our body, move them hips and dance… increase blood circulation, bring up the good cholesterol (HDL) and lower the bad cholesterol (LDL), make your bones and joints strong… and of course… cure your heartbreaks! as Ricky Martin recommends in this song:

And, it’s not only the moms and the grannies who know how to help us with our illnesses. Let us not forget the wisdom of our herbalists and shamans out there… this is what Juánes speaks about in this song.

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2 thoughts on “Home and natural remedies mi abuela and mami told me about… (English version)

  1. My mom is a big fan of arnica. She goes to the market here in Mexico, buys the leaves, and lets them soak in alcohol for a couple of months. She uses this to rub on bruises and on her aching joints. She got this remedy from my grandmother. Mom also rubs garlic on insect bites. It’s quite smelly, but it really works to stop the itching and the swelling!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, árnica was big with my abuela too.. Yes, the leaves are used topically not internally as they are actually poisonous if consumed directly. I always keep the homeopathic version of it (from the store) handy.. it’s good for if a child takes a bad fall or a hit on the head.. (only the homeopathic version). I know some preschools that keep it handy and with parents consent use if necessary…Gracias Fabiola,

      Liked by 1 person

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