Olivia June Fite, OHerbals
During a workshop I was leading at an International Woman’s Day celebration I asked participants to share “What home remedies do you remember from your childhood?” It was amazing to hear as the woman recalled, sometimes with difficulty and sometimes with joyful certainty, the healing that happened at home.
It is a question that is rarely asked and in today’s modern times more often forgotten. Whether it is gripe water for a colicky baby, onion syrup for a cough, or a good old Epsom salt foot soak, there is a tremendous amount of healing that has happened at the hands of parents, grandparents, friends, and even the neighborhood natural healer.
My work as a community educator and as a wellness clinician often focuses on re-introducing these easy and vital self/family care techniques to folk. It is always a process of excitement & empowerment. I love showing people the medicine that is growing up & out of our city sidewalks and backyards. I live for watching folks make their first vinegar infusion. I am even astonished when I try new remedies that others have passed on to me.
Holding the knowledge & skills of home healing can be money & time savers as well. If you have a spice rack in your house you also have lots of good medicine. Modern science is slowly catching up as papers are published on the healing powers of saffron, turmeric, and garlic. We cannot forget that people have known this for a long time through a different type of wisdom and investigation.
Home remedies also remind us that we are part of a larger matrix, interconnected with nature. We owe it to ourselves, and the future generations, to keep that knowledge alive. When we care for those around us with food, joy & plant medicine, we are practicing the oldest and most tested form of healing, and it can happen right here at home.
Recipe for Onion Syrup
- In a ½ pint glass Mason jar, layer slices of white onion and sugar until jar is filled. You should be able to fit about 4 layers in the jar.
- Seal with a clean lid. Give it a good shake to spread the sugar to cover the onion slices.
- Watch over the next two days as the sugar dissolves the onions.
- Strain what is left of the onions out of the syrup.
- Store syrup for 2 months in the fridge.
- Use 1 teaspoon in hot tea to help with coughs and colds.
You can learn more about Olivia’s work with home remedies at the BMA’s Imagining Home Opening Celebration, Sunday, October 25, 2015. In this free and festive day-long event enjoy creative art-making activities, fascinating demonstrations, lively performances, and intriguing in-gallery conversations that engage with the deep, varied, and complex connections we all have to home.