How I Use Sitti's Home Remedies to Help Cure My Health Issues
By: May Shabti/Arab America Contributing Writer
There are many Arab home remedies our grandmothers love to share with us! For centuries, Arabs have been using natural home health remedies to fix little problems, such as cuts, stings, and other sorts of colds and aches. The majority of these ingredients and substances may also be used to combat illnesses and provide an alternative to medicine.
Preserving these remedies keeps Arab traditions strong and will hopefully be passed on to future generations to help them in any sort of situations they come across. By preserving these remedies, and others, from their ancestors, Arab Americans have established their own pharmacies at home!
1. Tea With Mint Leaves (Shai na’na’ ) to Relieve A Sore Throat
This home remedy has been practiced among numerous families from the Arab descent. It has been taught to all generations and most likely, upcoming ones as well. Tea with mint leaves is a good cure for a sore throat since it is a mixture of hot water which soothes the throat and the menthol in the peppermint which also cools inflamed throat tissue and may have anti-inflammatory effects to reduce the swelling in your sinuses. Furthermore, Mint is thought to increase bile secretion and encourage bile flow, which helps to speed and ease digestion (which may also support healthy cholesterol levels). Peppermint is also thought to relieve pain and discomfort from gas and bloating. Peppermint tea is a common home remedy for flatulence.
2. Raw Garlic Clove to Relieve the Pain of a Bee Sting
This home remedy is one of great significance since it truly does help in the healing of a sting. A raw garlic clove, which is known in Arabic as “Toom”, is a remedy which helps the pain and reduces the swelling. Furthermore, conducting this method on bee stings will overall soothe the skin and irritate it a lot less than how it was when the victim was first stung. Placing the cloves of garlic and its juices is what works wonders.
3. Chamomile Tea
4. Ma-elwared/Mazaher (Rosewater)
Ma-elwared is known across the Arab world to have many benefits for one’s health. For instance, it can relieve any type of stomach pain. All one has to do is drink a bit of it and it will work its magic of soothing your stomach pain. In addition to its benefits, Rosewater is natures best astringent. It decreases damage to skils elastin fibers and helps reduce or delay wrinkle formation. Pour generously in an ice cube container and freeze. Once frozen, take one cube and wipe till melted all over the face and neck. Not only will this rosewater help tighten your skin, but the cold temperature will also help raise the blood to the surface of your skin for overall better circulation, as well as a nice natural blush effect. This remedy should not be overused, once or twice a week is more than enough.
When Sitti (grandma) is asked of her favorite tea; usually, she tends to have a tie between yansoon (anise) and maramiyeh (sage tea). Sage is a herb native to the Mediterranean, which aids in the healing process of sore throats, calms down frazzled nerves, and also relieves aching gums. There is probably a number of other uses to this tea that Arab moms and grandma’s swear by and scholars agree with. Furthermore, Sage is thought to balance hormones, so menopausal women often drink sage tea to reduce hot flashes and calm mood swings. The tea also can be effective in calming menstrual cramps and overactive bladders. Sitt and my Mama rely on this specific herb to aid them during that time and would find it extremely difficult living without it.
When it comes to health, Arab mothers and grandmothers have passed down some brilliant natural remedies generation after generation, and the power of yansoon (anise tea) is a case in point. As soon as you tell your mom that you are struggling to sleep, she will probably rush to fix you a cup of yansoon, which often works like magic. It is also our moms’ go-to cure for cramps. Known as anise in English, the flowering plant was first cultivated in Egypt and the Levant. It was later brought to Europe for its medicinal value.