Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mustard seed oil and belly buttons

The remedies which my family has given me for my “delicate” stomach (usually my excuse for not eating all the stuff they force on me at the dinner table) have been quite interesting. When I first expressed that I had any problems, they suggested their natural remedies. I’m all for natural medicines and letting your body naturally fix itself, so of course I agree. My mom whips out a jar of white fluffy, seed-like things and says drinking them with water will help. The directions are to pour a tablespoon of seeds into a cup of water, stir briskly, and drink immediately before the stuff settles. So they get me a class of water and I start to stir the seeds when I suddenly feel like I’m participating in some drinking game. The three of them get on the edge of their seats, talking me through the stirring, “Ok, keep stirring a little more. Are you ready?” I take the spoon out. “NOW DRINK!!” My mom nearly yells and then starts chanting “drink, drink, drink!!” while head-bobbing and lightly pounding her fists on the table. My host dad and brother start to partake as well, and I can’t help but laugh. The seeds start to settle and I slow down. My mom immediately orders, “No, Jessica. Chug!” I didn’t even know Indians knew that word. By the end, I had drunk all the water, so the bottom was just soggy seeds. That was fun to chug. After that whole ordeal, I was watching tv with my host brother (which means me awkwardly pretending to enjoy this British show about muscle cars) when my mom comes into the room and exclaims, “Jessica, I forgot, there is another remedy for upset stomach! Follow me.” So I follow her into the kitchen and she shows me a bottle of mustard seed oil. “How could I forget? If you put a little bit of this in your belly button before bed, then you will be cured. It cures tummies and chapped lips.” Oh naturally. She was dead serious and I wasn‘t about to decry her natural remedies. So I took a spoonful of mustard seed oil back to my room to use before bed. Nothing eventful happened after putting it in my belly button. I was mostly uncomfortable because I couldn’t move off my back until it was nearly dry. Two or so days later I was better and my mom remarked that the mustard seed oil never fails.

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