Thursday, November 17, 2011

When In Rome...

Around the time I was leaving the US, I frequently heard "There's an App for that!"  Well, here I am hearing "There's a yuyo (sounds like jew-joe) for that!"  Paraguayans as a whole seem to really like natural remedies--and I'm willing to try them.  Since it generally just means drinking what we might call weed-water, I'm okay with trying things out.  (I have a friend in Asia who had a friend scrape her back with a coin...she left with 33 stripes!)

Cola de Caballo=Horsetail 

This week I've had a urinary tract infection, and my friend suggested I drink cola de caballo.  She gave me some today to try, and said to boil it in a liter of water for 1-2 minutes.  I can drink it hot or cold (I'm going with cold tomorrow because it's 74* outside...and I did some research--it's a diuretic.  Definitely not drinking it before I go to bed!)

According to Wikipedia, "The plant contains several substances which can be used medicinally. It is rich in the minerals silicon (10%), potassium, and calcium. The buds are eaten as a vegetable in Japan and Korea in spring time."  It also came with some long-term use warnings, so despite the many benefits, looks like this is not a daily thing I'll be drinking.

The list of illnesses it treats were quite diverse:
  • Kidney and bladder stones.
  • Edema
  • Weight loss.
  • Hair loss.
  • Gout.
  • Frostbite--definitely not an issue here
  •  Fluid retention.
  • Urinary tract infections.
  • Incontinence.
  • Tuberculosis
  • Jaundice
  • Hepatitis
  • Osteoarthritis and osteoprosis
  • Use on the skin for wound healing.
  • Strengthen fingernails
  • Polish pewter and wood--yikes!
  • Other conditions.
 And my favorite use I found:
It was used by Hurdy-Gurdy players to dress the wheels of their instruments by removing resin build up

Everyone hates a resin-chunked Hurdy-Gurdy.

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