I don’t know about you, but I spent most of my childhood with Abuelita. She was the one to always take care of me while my parents went to work.
Oftentimes, this meant she would have to nurse me back to health whenever I felt ill. My Abuelita always seemed to have a home remedy on hand, no matter my ailment.
What I didn’t know was that these beliefs came from generations and generations of health legends that are passed along. Here are some of the most common ones I would hear.
Going To Sleep with Wet Hair Give You Colds
Going to sleep with your hair was one of the biggest sins you could commit in a Latino household. My Abuelita made it seem like I’d catch pneumonia if I went to sleep with my hair wet.
This legend came out of a place of concern, but as moms, we simply do not have the energy to do a blowout every time we wash our hair. You should feel happy that I at least took the time to clean the bird’s nest out of my hair.
And remember, colds are caused by viruses, not by sleeping with damp hair or walking around barefoot.
Aloe Vera for Skin and Haircare
Whenever I complained about my skin or hair, my Abuelita would always tell me to use penca. To be honest, I would feel annoyed because she seemed to believe this would solve all my beauty concerns.
In fact, I remember feeling mortified when I saw my tia one dia grab an aloe leaf from outside and cut it into pieces to use the gel on her face before eating it. Yes, she ate it.
However, as I have grown older, I have learned that aloe vera does have a lot of health benefits. It is moisturizing in nature and antibacterial, so it helps with acne and dry scalp. It also promotes shiny hair and gut health as it acts as a prebiotic.
Vicks Vapor Rub Cures All
Ah, the famous “Vivaporu.” Our Latina abuelitas would store tubs and tubs of Vicks Vapor Rub at home. Anytime you had a cold, they’d rub some of the ointment anywhere you could think of.
But, besides helping with the common cold, abuelitas also used it for stomach aches, ear pain, and even on their feet. Sometimes, I had the urge to ask my parents why they simply wouldn’t rub vivaporu on their marriage to see if we could bring an end to the unnecessary toxicity and trauma. One can dream, right?
In the end, our abuelitas instilled these legends in us, and we all still believe them to a certain extent, one way or another.