Living with your grandparents means you automatically become their little helper, but we often don’t realise we become their memory bank as well. My grandmothers would constantly tell stories about life in the country and the resourcefulness of life back then. Especially when anyone was sick, I would see my grandmas transform from lecturing me about my behaviour to a master blender as her hands reached instinctively to the “bushes” around the back of the house to make a tea or tonic
“Bush” is that is use for all plants that look unassuming and are sometimes a nuisance. Only as I became older did I realise the value in my grandmas’ ramblings. Although I heavily rely on our modern biomedical achievements, I’m always curious how these medications came about and whether or not my grandmas’ were on to something similar when the would reach into the bushes.
It’s always good to take a look back at where where coming from and appreciate that our grandparents’ knowledge of herbs and tonics from the past form the basis of our present.
Some remedies are definitely out of date & dangerous (I’m looking at you quick silver) but some still stand the test of time, like ginger tea for an upset stomach. I don’t believe we should all adopt the home remedies of the 19th century but instead remind ourselves that modern medicines are a product of evolution. Evolving from and improving the herbal remedies that did work to create more reliable and available solutions to our problems.
I’ll be picking the brains of grandparents & those around me to catalog their knowledge. I want to record our memories so we can share them later on and see if our traditions hold up to modern reasoning.
This is a dedication to all the grandparnets, mothers and fathers who nursed us.