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CFCA stories

Woman's herbal remedies help community

January 11, 2012

Maria, grandmother of three CFCA sponsored children in Honduras, has made a practice out of making home remedies with a combination of knowledge passed down from her parents, respect for nature and the gift of friendship.

Maria and three CFCA sponsored children in Honduras
Maria, second from left, is the grandmother of
three CFCA sponsored children in Honduras.

The home remedy practice started when Maria's children were very young, and it was difficult for her to access a traditional doctor.

"The limitations of the area where I live motivated me to use home remedies," Maria said. "I learned from my parents, and so these traditions continue being passed on through the generations."

She hopes to set an example and pass on her knowledge to her three grandchildren, who live with her. Maria does not charge anything for her services, but says she works from a desire to help others.

People within Maria's community in Santa Barbara began to take notice of her practices and visited her when they were sick. One friend saved money to buy her a botanical reference book. This tremendous gift helped Maria learn even more about home remedies.

"Up to that time, I knew what to make because of what I learned from my family, but really I know all this from what I learned to do (from the book)," she said.

Maria's practice does not discourage her neighbors from visiting doctors or hospitals. Because of her vast knowledge in herbal remedies, however, neighbors often prefer going to her first for a quick diagnosis and affordable treatment.

When members of her community approach her for health advice, Maria diagnoses the ailment and prescribes a remedy. Her remedies primarily take the form of teas that alleviate discomfort from common ailments such as colds, cough, fever and nausea. She helps children and adults.

She grows many of the plants she uses at home. Because she doesn't own a lot of land, she also relies on friends and families to bring her plants.

Her skills have fostered a solid trust and loyalty among those she has helped.

"Many people seek me out and ask what's good for this or that and their confidence increases each time I have helped them, and then later, they return for something else," she said.

Maria attributes some of her success to CFCA and the mothers group she belongs to in Honduras.

"They [CFCA] had given me the opportunity to grow and organize myself in the self-help group," she said. "When my fellow members need help and look for me, I help them."

Read about some of Maria's home remedies on our blog.

Note: This blog post is provided purely for informational purposes to shed light on the lives of CFCA sponsored children and elderly. CFCA does not endorse these remedies or encourage readers to try them.

If you do decide to try a natural home remedy, please check with your doctor first. Certain home remedies, particularly herbal ones, can interact with prescription medications.

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