Voodoo People…

Another week and another plump piece right out of the brains in the A Mind of Its Own laboratory. The team has been working hard to ensure there is enough in the tank so that you receive something each week going forward after our brief hiatus, due to a certain podcast that we are trying to make viral. With so many projects up in the air it’s a little hard to come up with new and exciting ideas for you all but nevertheless we seem to have come up with a couple lately that we have found to be quite interesting whilst doing some deep dive research. Like the band The Prodigy who came to fame with their punky, dark, often weird and interesting electronica hits like Breathe, Fire starter and the title of this week’s blog Voodoo People. Why did we pick Voodoo people? Well because Voodoo people believe in the content of this week’s blog. They are happy to stick a doll crafted in your likeness with pins just so you feel some pain.

Firstly, this was one of those blogs that just happened to write itself, with a little help from the research team who trolled Wikipedia, Encyclopaedia Britannica and our favourite search engine to find you the truth… Google. Have you ever had one of those headaches that just lingers on the edge of becoming a full blown migraine? Of course you have, you read our blog each week and it does tend to take on a mind of its own, so we can understand that you’ve probably had a migraine induced by reading this fine piece of modern literature. The man sitting in the corner office overlooking a wall of solid plasterboard has had a couple of migraines as of late and the editor, better known to you lovely folks as LMC, suggested he get a piercing to help with the migraines. Our thoughts however were that perhaps he should have looked after his body a bit better when he was younger.

From there it was a call out to the research team to find out everything they could about these piercings that help with migraines and the history behind them. Yes ladies and gentlemen you can actually get a piercing that is said to help lessen the effects and reduce the number of migraines and headaches suffered. When it first started to take hold in modern society we believed it was more of a fashion statement rather than having a medicinal purpose and to be honest you don’t actually see a lot of blokes with this particular piercing but then again we read the statistics on migraines and well it would seem to be that it’s the fairer sex that tends to suffer more with them. As always, the more we researched ‘Daith and Rook Piercings’ the more it got the writers thinking about other non-traditional medicines or remedies that people have used throughout history and continue to use today.

But before we head further down the path let’s learn a little more about daith and rook piercings. These two piercings are done on the inner cartilage of the ear and are said to act in an acupuncture manner on pressure points. Traditional Chinese medicine explains acupuncture as a technique for balancing the flow of energy or life force known as chi or qi (Chee), it is believed to flow through pathways (meridians) in your body. By inserting needles into specific points along these meridians, acupuncture practitioners believe that your energy flow will re-balance. In contrast, many Western practitioners view the acupuncture points as places to stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissue. Some believe that this stimulation boosts your body’s natural painkillers. According to LiveScience acupuncture works like a starter motor in a car. Without the starter motor you have no way of getting a spark to the engine in which to ignite your fuel. You pierce the skin creating a tiny wound that tells the brain to send out chemicals to relieve pain and/or begin the healing process.

With people becoming more and more conscious about what they put in their bodies or people finding western medicine is failing them more often people are turning to non-traditional medicines and remedies. As children for those of us who grew up with grandparents and great grandparents who spent their lives working the land, they had a remedy for everything. Some of them were a little left field and a little disgusting if you ask the writers, and it seems there is a group of new pundits who want to champion some of these so called remedies and medicine. According to some experts, whom we are questioning the validity of their expertise, your own pee, yes urine is said to be a good cure for certain things if applied topically. One of these so-called experts is Martha Christy, nutritionist and author, champions the natural cure, outlining the healing powers of urotherapy and its antibacterial and antifungal properties in her book Your Own Perfect Medicine.

Her book goes on to say that a swig or two in the morning could also boost your immune system. We don’t know about you but we certainly don’t want to be drinking our own urine each and every morning just to boost our immune system when there are much more palatable ways to do so. From this we once again continued down the path of wondering what strange and unusual remedies are out there in the world. The good news ladies and gentlemen is there is no shortage of remedies, homemade cures and voodoo to get you through the darkest of ailments and frustrations that besieges your body on a regular basis. From the flu to increasing your breast size there is a non-traditional cure for everything. Some of them gave us a good laugh while others made us cringe in somewhat pain at the thought of the lack of science behind some of these remedies, wives’ tales and voodoo spells all with the intention of healing you.

There are the ones you hear from your grandparents like peeing on blue bottle stings at the beach to stop the stinging. The science tells us this isn’t the case and will most likely make the pain worse due to your urine either being too acidic or too alkaline which stimulates the release of more stinging cells. So next time you are at the beach and get stung don’t get someone to pee on it unless of that’s a little fetish you find yourself interested in, then go right ahead. Instead rest and ice are the best treatment as recommended in most first aid guides available from your local bookstore. So where did the origin of these so-called cures come from? Was it through experimentation or was it myth and legend passed on from generation to generation?

A lot of these home remedies to cure common ailments date back generations but are more easily traced once we began recording history. From the early 1300s home remedies were recorded and passed on. Examples such as onion in socks which were used when it was thought that Bubonic plague was passed on via bad air and not germs. Science has since then disproven that theory and shows that most plagues and flus are passed on via germs. The more research we conducted into these home remedies the more unbelievable and strange ones we came across. There are some that provide natural healing properties and some that are just gimmicks, used to suck people in to believing they were slowly getting better with the assistance of these ‘remedies’.

Below are examples of some of the stranger remedies we came across in our quest to understand the voodoo medicine that people believe in, these home remedies are believed to have worked for centuries and are passed from one generation to the next.

Marshmallows for a Sore Throat

Sick of medicinal throat lozenges or plain old lemon, honey and ginger tea? Apparently a youthful round of marshmallows is the tastier way to soothe a hoarse throat. While the sap from the marshmallow plant originally used to make the lollies has been praised for its anti-inflammatory properties, people continue to believe that the gelatine-based sweets we see in stores today still offer relief. Sounds like a sneaky excuse to have a fire and roast some marshmallows to us.

Bread & Milk for Boils

Moistening bread with milk or water and slapping it on your skin seems like something only an infant could teach us to do right? But seriously, there are full-grown educated people treating their boils this way today. What’s a boil? Ever had an infected hair follicle, well yeah that’s a boil. Poultices (that is, any soft, moist substance used for healing) come from the word for “porridge,” which is likely where the idea to transform day-old bread into a skin remedy originated, sounds absolutely tasty doesn’t it?

Hard-Boiled Egg for a Black Eye

Got into a fight or copped an errant elbow from the other half in bed while you sleep? It’s no longer a problem or need for well-placed infomercial products. Asian tradition states that you should slip an old silver coin into a freshly peeled hard boiled egg whilst it’s still warm, wrap it in a thin cloth and then rub it into the bruise until the coin “absorbs” the purple hue. No intelligence exists on the financial value of the smelly violet coin after the procedure, or how long your face will smell like a bad 90’s perm but hey the alternative is you rock that bad boy with pride like a battle wound. We know which route we would take.

Wet Spinach behind the Ears for Nosebleeds

Regular sufferers of nosebleeds have likely been advised to up their intake of vitamin K-rich foods like spinach, this is due to the nutrient’s role in blood coagulation. A fair bit of research went into working out why Popeye ate so much of the green stuff that we’ve only recently all started to enjoy. But some families figure, why bother eating it when you can just hang it like a dangling pair of slimy spinach bangles or earrings behind your ear? Well, we all had plenty of opportunities as kids to hide our greens in unforeseen places, but it’s probably time we stopped pretending this could magically work at reducing and treating nosebleeds.

Put Fresh Basil in Your Bottom for Constipation

From spinach to other garden greens. Basil has long been regarded as a natural laxative and home remedy for constipation, but most modern holistic websites just tell you to chew and eat the stuff like a normal person. Some homemakers, on the other hand, swear you need to insert the fresh leaves up through the back door like shelving a pill and let it sit there until something comes out. It’s essentially a homemade enema. We can’t imagine how this awkward trick would work or who thought to test it out, but on the bright side, your bowel movements might smell like pesto!

Papaya Juice and Milk for Bigger Breasts

Looking to perk up the girls? Forget the Wonderbra and just pour yourself a glass of fresh papaya juice and milk instead. For decades, women have sworn by this natural boob job, there are multiple blogs solely devoted to this technique! The theory largely supported by science is that the milk supplies a hit of protein, while the papaya’s unique enzymes help digest and absorb that protein which in turn helps to bulk up those pectoral muscles. All that sugar sounds like any other classic weight-gain cocktail to us, so you may get bigger boobs, but don’t be surprised if they come with a matching belly and love handles.

Liquorice for Calluses

A snack and a remedy all in one while you work out! Athletes, Gym junkies and roid ragers rejoice! You can apparently run off those calories and then keep yourself from eating them by rubbing your favourite liquorice candy onto your callused feet or hands. The theory goes that liquorice supposedly contains an estrogenic-like substance that can soften tough skin, especially when mixed with a little oil or jelly.

Onion in Sock for a Cold or Flu

Tradition says that when a baby runs a fever, just slip a slice of onion into their socks and let the onion “absorb” the ailment through their little feet. This old wives’ tale stems from the early 1900s when families claimed they survived influenza by placing cut onions around their homes. While there is no doubt that onions have powerful health and nutritional properties when consumed, feet don’t have mouths and are putrid enough as it is. Put your onions in your sandwich or salad, not in your socks.

Gizzard Tea for Diarrhoea

Well, doesn’t this sound appetising? Apparently next time you have the shits, you just cut the lining out of a standard chicken gizzard, for those asking, it’s the thick muscular walled part of a bird’s stomach, and then let it dry out. After it’s dry, you can pop it into a pot of boiling water and drink the tea until your diarrhoea disappears. Honestly, just the thought of gizzard tea makes us want to rush to the bathroom and vacate our bowels, so it may just have the opposite effect.

Chocolate Coated Garlic to Boost Memory

According to Google, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt’s daily routine to improve her memory included eating three chocolate-covered garlic cloves, assumedly it was due to the brain-supporting antioxidants that are found in both foods.

Grated Onions and Ouzo for Sprain

The Greeks know how to work a little booze into everything they do. After a nasty fall, the standard suggestion is to mix Ouzo and grated onion into a paste and bandage it onto the swollen area to sit overnight. The next morning — Opa! The swelling should have disappeared!

Coffee Potty to Induce Labour

Impatient for the little bundle of joy to arrive and take away the sleep you currently enjoy so much? Mums have been abuzz about this natural induction method for years. Just pour a fresh pot of Joe into a bowl, pop it into the toilet and squat over it like you’re going to relieve yourself. Apparently, you may end up relieving yourself of something a lot bigger than your daily business but who doesn’t love a good cuppa first thing?

In the interests of full disclosure we aren’t sure that any of these will actually work but we’ll certainly try a few of them over the next couple of months and let you all know how we go. There is a good chance this voodoo medicine better known as wives’ tales won’t actually make any sense whatsoever or fix your ailments but hey why not give it a go. People are doing much weirder things these days anyways so what’s doing something a little different in an attempt to save a trip to the doctor or the chemist. Anyway that’s enough from us for now, we’ve once again managed to take up your time with what is interesting and yet pointless. So until the next one enjoy your spinach behind the ears, your gizzard tea or whatever home remedies have been passed down in your family. Whatever floats your boat right, peace out hombres…

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