Mango Medicine and Natural Healing

view from Mombacho

The view of Granada and Lake Nicaragua from on top of Mount Mombacho

People who live in simple homes with dirt floors and open walls are a lot closer to nature than we ever were in Illinois, and they have taught us a lot of the natural remedies and non-toxic solutions that are a part of their lives.

When I broke my foot our first month here, everyone we knew told me to eat mangoes to reduce inflammation. We’d never had a mango before, but they were plentiful and in season here, so our friend Lorena showed me how to wash, peal, and slice a mango. (If they’re too ripe, you just have to peel and eat them like a peach and let the juice run down your arms.) Lorena is the same person who taught us to put garlic paste in all our corners and all around the house to keep out the scorpions.

Then when I had a cold, Marbelly brought me a bag of herbs: leaves of zacate de limon, eucalipto, and oregano to boil in water and make a tea. (You really need honey or sugar for this bitter drink.).

We know that part of the difference is that most people can’t afford to buy remedies from a pharmacist, but our friend Joel, trained as a pharmaceutical chemist, mixed a brew of oregano and honey for his baby who had a cold, so we think perhaps these natural remedies might just be better.

Or maybe handier. Yesterday we took a guided tour of Mount Mombacho, the extinct volcano we’ve looked at for 11 months. We remembered to use sunblock, but forgot mosquito repellant. Never fear! Our guide showed us a broad leafed plant from the pepper family. When crushed, the leaves can be rubbed on your skin and provide a natural repellant.

The view from on top of Mount Mombacho was another kind of medicine, this time for our souls. After months of negotiating the crowded and broken streets of the city, we were thrilled to look out on the lake, city, and volcanic lagoons from another, more beautiful perspective. And we discovered that the volcano isn’t really as dead as it appears. We felt the hot steam rising from fumaroles and smelled the sulfurous gases coming from the craters and vents. We watched a sloth feeding on a low branch, saw a baby porcupine in the path, and touched a rare  salamander, found nowhere else in the world. Ah, nature! What a beautiful place this is.

cold remedy peppery plant

Herbal cold remedies and broad-leafed mosquito repellant

Mombacho salamander

Mombacho Salamander


4 thoughts on “Mango Medicine and Natural Healing

  1. Who knew that going on a mission to see the view from Mount Mambacho would be a piece of heaven on earth. Good. No plastic bandaids in the Celestial Kingdom. Only herbs.

  2. We agree – the Chinese do so may things “naturally” with the local leaves, etc., etc. I guess that’s really what the Lord has provided for us anyway. We just keep trying to improve on His methods. Hmm, wonder when we will ever learn!?! What great experiences you are having as usual. Hope you are healthy and happy. We know you are doing a fabulous job. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a great New Year. One thing we have learned here (the first time and this time) is that Christmas is so $$$$$ oriented and there is no Christ in it at all, except for the Christian churches and our wards and branches. The decorations are fabulous and costly and take your breath away. But the true meaning is still there in the quiet of the scriptures and our pondering of the great Gift we have been given of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and His atoning Sacrifice. Really, we can do without everything else. The music and the Christmas feelings of gratitude and awe really do matter. We send love and best wishes. E/S Paul and Ann

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