In Chile, women use indigenous knowledge about medicinal plants to strengthen themselves physically and mentally. This knowledge also helps during the coronavirus pandemic.
This pandemic has had cruel consequences for many in Chile. Hundreds of thousands of people lost their jobs. Women were forced to stay at home with violent partners because of the curfew. Parents had to explain to their kids that there’s no dinner tonight. How do we not break down under all this suffering?
SEDEC, the Development and Community Education Service of the Methodist Church in Chile, has been giving classes in herbal medicine in the city of Concepción for many years. In this time of great crisis, knowledge of the healing effects of plants proved a valuable resource for physical and psychological strengthening. Today, SEDEC shares tips on herbal remedies via social media under the motto: “We will defeat the coronavirus with intelligence, solidarity, and a good immune system!”
Learn how to strengthen yourself with these recipes:
Strengthen your respiratory system with a chest ointment
1) Place 150 grams of solid petroleum jelly and 50 ml of liquid petroleum jelly (Vaseline) in a metal pot with a lid.
If you don’t want to use petroleum products, you can substitute 150 cc of vegetable oil, 50 g of coconut oil, cocoa butter or shea butter, and 5 g of beeswax or other wax.
2) Add 1 tablespoon of eucalyptus leaves, 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves, 1 tablespoon mint leaves, 1 tablespoon of fennel seeds, leaves, or flowers. All the leaves should be well crushed; they can be fresh or dry. Other medicinal plants that can be used in this preparation are thyme, lavender, chamomile, pine, or anise.
3) Heat in a water bath over very low heat for one hour. The pot must be well covered so the essential oils don’t evaporate.
4) Filter and pour into small pots.
Application: For coughs and other respiratory problems, rub on the chest and back as often as necessary. All the plants used are expectorants and antimicrobial.
Note: Do not use on children under one year old, and on children under age two, apply on the back only.
Strengthen your immune system with garlic
Garlic has multiple health properties. It is antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral; it is low in fat and cholesterol and is an anticoagulant and antioxidant. It can be consumed raw or cooked (approx. 1-2 cloves per day). Black garlic has the same effect.
Take care of your skin with aloe vera
There are many types of aloe, and all of them help soothe skin irritations. Use only the clear, viscous, colourless gel inside the leaves: peel the leaves very well and remove all thegreen layer and the yellow juice that is just below the surface.Aloe vera is healing, refreshing, and regenerative. It is applied directly to the skin.
- Two tablespoons of aloe gel, crushed; three tablespoons of plain yogurt; three tablespoons of orange juice.
- Mix all ingredients, apply to the affected area, Leave on for approx. 20 minutes, then remove, wash the skin with warm water, and apply a creme.
To soothe irritated skin, apply every day. For a cosmetic mask, once a week is enough.
Note: Use only the clear gel and do not expose the treated skin to sunlight.