12 September 2010

Rooting out all that evil.

The other day I was reading a wonderful blog written by my blogger friend Leslie Harris de Limón called "Motherhood in Mexico" and she was talking about an unpleasant experience that she had with a Mexican home remedy. I just had a rather pleasant experience with a home remedy and so I thought I should blog about it too. This home remedy is more for the older crowd so if you don't remember Ted Mack and "The Original Amatuer Hour" then this remedy may not be what you need. Those who do remember Ted Mack will probably remember that the program was sponsored by "Serutan" which was a laxative. The manufacturer, J. B. Williams Co., capriciously decided to name the product Serutan which is "Natures" spelled backwards, and the product's advertising slogan was "Read it backwards". You may also remember that the program started with Ted Mack spinning the Wheel of Fortune and chanting "Round and round she goes and where she stops nobody knows".

Okay, I confess. Every now and then I get constipated. There! I said it. To say "I am constipated" in Spanish you can say "Estoy estreñido" (ess-trehn-YEE-doh). You can ask the pharmacist "¿Qué puedes darme para el estrenimiento?" (What can you give me for constipation?). For some reason or other I usually get "estreñido" after eating "milanesa de res" which is a breaded cut of round steak or something similar. The cheaper the cut of meat the worse the constipation is. I always end up eating it out of politeness and then it takes me a week to get over it. Up until now I have tried various laxatives with varying degrees of success but no miracle cure. Then one day my suegra (mother-in-law) Carmelita overheard me talking to my wife Gina about needing to get some more laxative the next time we go shopping. She said that she had a better idea and took us to her friend the medicinal herb lady at the market. We bought a little bag of dried leaves called "Senna" for a few pesos and what a treasure it turned out to be. The Latin name for Senna is "Senna alexandrina" and it has been used to relieve constipation for thousands of years. You put about a tablespoon of dried leaves in a pot of boiling water and let it steep for a little while and then you strain it and drink a cup of it like tea. The taste is not unpleasant either. Then in about eight hours you go the bathroom and dump your load and come out smiling.

Now for the disclaimer. Note that you shouldn't make the tea too strong or drink more than one cup at a time or you may get the cramps. You shouldn't take this stuff more than a few days in a row either and you shouldn't have to. If you need more laxative than that then there must be something else wrong with you. If you are over 60 and Senna makes you squint to see fine print or makes you forget where you put things or makes little hairs grow out of your ears then that's okay because that stuff is preconditional and a little bit more won't hurt you. By the way, Senna is already becoming a popular ingredient in many over the counter laxatives so all you will be doing is cutting out the middle man. So, there you have it folks. When it comes to things scatalogical or coprological just ask an expert.


GlorV1 said...

Nice, very nice indeed. I do believe that there are medicinal herbs. When you think about it, in the bye gone days, they relied on home remedies. For us it was yerba buena for everything. Warm olive oil rubbed on your ears took earaches away and then if a cotton ball was slightly dipped into the warm olive oil, and then tucked into the ears, it took the earaches away faster. I can attest to that because I always had earaches as a child. My uncle was a preacher and had a great congregation and he did the same for people who went to church asking him to heal them of their earaches or other things. He would have the warm olive oil in a small pot and dip the cotton ball, squeeze it a little and place it into the persons ear and then put his hands on their head and start praying in Spanish and at the same time moving their head back and forth. They too would attest to being healed. Hmmmmm, I wonder about that now. I always felt that he had the calling and could actually heal through God. Makes me wonder now. Hmmmmm. Oh well, thanks for the great post Bob. You're the best blogger I know. Take care.:DD

Tancho said...

Something to be said about medicine other than Western Style which more people are trying alternatives to.
I will need to get some, we will see if act faster than my old standby prunes.....

Bob Mrotek said...

Your blog is the best of all!

It works much better than prunes but just don't overdo it or you might become a new constellation :)

Unknown said...

Oatmeal, old fashioned, does the trick for me. But gee, Bob, glad you shared about your, um, problem.

Bob Mrotek said...

Well, at least I didn't show you my nose hairs :)

Don Cuevas said...

Ten Grain hot cereal topped with a good portion of Spicy Radish Kimchi, for that "afterburner effect.".

Whooooo. There it goes!

I have had senna in Sennakot, and it's very effective.

Don Cuevas

Anonymous said...

This blog really made me smile. And educated me at the same time. Senna, I have to remember that. Although I don't know how anyone in Mexico could suffer from estrenimiento--all those chilis and spices and fiber.

Anonymous said...

Your post about 'Serutan' reminded me of another famous manufacturer. A company that made women's garments (bras) under the brand name 'Embargo'..

Anonymous said...

I'm going to Mexico next week and often have that problem when traveling. I needed to know how to say "I'm constipated." So, thanks!

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I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. I have been living in Mexico since January 6th, 1999. I am continually studying to improve my knowledge of the Spanish language and Mexican history and culture. I am also a student of Mandarin Chinese.