LSS Center for New Americans
Heather Glidewell, ESL Instructor
Here are a few more tips I learned from my students over the past couple of months while discussing health care.
Home Stomachache Remedies
Stomachaches plague both the young and old. Perhaps we eat the wrong food or catch a nasty bug. Maybe we are just stressed out. Regardless, dealing with a stomachache can be quite a challenge. My students had great suggestions on the best home practices.
Ethiopia ~ When I have a stomachache, I use lemon, sugar, and water, mix it together and I drink it. I eat a little ginger.
Guatemala ~ When I have a stomachache, I drink lemon juice and tea for the pain.
Eritrea ~ When I have a stomachache, I drink lemon water and I change my food. I make rice to eat.
Sudan ~ When I have a stomachache, I take a little walk. I take a nap. I drink tea from a tree root.
Ukraine ~ If we have a stomachache, we lie down and then do massage.
So I really did have to look up why lemon (a definitively acidic fruit) would help an upset stomach, and apparently, a little lemon juice can go a long way in helping the stomach clear out any leftover irritants. It gives the stomach the extra acidity to heal itself.
Home Headache Remedies
Headaches, too, are ever present and affect us all. A debilitating headache could potentially affect a person for several days. There are often so many triggers too, from dehydration and hunger to lack of sleep or a sinus infection. Here are the best ideas my students gave me.
Ukraine ~ When I have a headache, I try to relax and put a cloth with mint oil on my forehead.
El Salvador ~ When you have a headache, put a cloth on your forehead. Drink chamomile tea. Use lavender oil. Drink ginger tea.
Sudan ~ When I have a headache, I take a shower with cool water and sleep. I also eat onion, tomato, and red peppers.
Although my research could give me some insight into the herbal remedies my students suggested, I was not able to find as much information on the vegetable-based remedies as I had hoped.
Peppermint oil, in fact, helps stop migraines. Ginger has been used for headache treatments for over 2000 years. Chamomile relaxes the body and relieves stress, and there may also be benefits to lavender oil.
When it came to the vegetables, this is what I learned. Veggies high in water content such as cucumbers and tomatoes can help with hydration and relieve headaches.
Hot peppers, on the other hand, can help with congestion as we sweat, cough, and cry while eating them (haha!). Since some headaches can be caused by sinus congestion, this could be a useful remedy.
There was, however, no mention of onions. I suppose they could also have high water content and if hot enough could help clear out congestion.
Overall I have found the suggestions of my students very intriguing and definitely worth trying. So bring on the spicy salads and lemon ginger tea!
Written by Heather Glidewell, ESL Instructor