I discover blue cooling ice gel for horses is good for ankle swelling too

Cooling gel and Boerseep amongst other quick fixes in the cabinet
Without any warning, I am now the unfortunate owner of a sprained ankle. When I left my home on Saturday morning, I was perfectly fine. I specially chose to wear slip slops because of the long day ahead, spending the bulk of my time sitting through interviews. One misstep and there I was, robbed of a perfectly sound ankle.

I was given immediate treatment by the members of the interview panel. Mr Asia, the SGB chair promptly took his water bottle which contained ice. This was placed on my swelling foot that was now resting on a chair next to mine. In the meanwhile, Mr Rose, the ground foreman, had arranged for another panelist to take him home to fetch the 'blue ice' gel and painkillers. Mr Rose and the others swore about the miracle properties of the blue cooling gel. "This is the best, you will see how fast it works" was followed by loud approving sounds of the rest.

Once at home, we purchased our very own blue cooling gel. I remembered that my three young learners at Lourier Primary school told me about this "horse pee" that is so good. This is what they used when they got hurt during soccer matches or other activities. And goodness, the cooling gel was meant for horses - a beautiful prancing horse on the plastic container cleared this up as well, but humans could use it too. When I shared this with Basil, he quipped: I am not surprised, people take Bob Martins too.

So there I was, smearing the "horse pee" on my foot, almost wishing the swelling and pain away. When we were kids, our parents used to make a poultice of Wilde Als, a herb that grew in our garden, to place on sore tummies or other body parts that were sore. And, when we had colds and fevers, we had to drink Als tea with some honey. When the winter season started, we were given castor oil - absolutely awful stuff. The milk of green figs were placed on warts that may have taken root on hands or feet. I can't really recall when we paid the doctor, Dr Pheiffer, a visit. In fact, we were terrified when we had to go to the doctor because that white coat and stethoscope were draculan, as far as we were concerned.
Wilde ALS was our staple cold and flu treatment
Strangely nowadays, doctors, medi-clinics and pharmacies are almost an integral part of our daily lives. We don't even explore the remedies that worked in the old days. We just scoot off straight to the medical suites - even if we are going to hear the same diagnosis that we have made. That was exactly what I did on Sunday morning and I was both relieved to get the expert opinion, but I am also grappling with this over reliance on doctors for relatively minor medical conditions.

One look at our medicine cabinet, shows our family's dependence on the various medicines. This evening Basil brought home a bar of homemade soap, Ouma Hanna's Boerseep, as a body wash for Sasha's eczema. A colleague who swears about the healing properties of the soap because she uses it for her granddaughter's eczema, gave Basil the soap. I laughed loudly at Sasha's reaction.
"This soap is for washing clothes and dishes, she muttered, quite irritated with her dad.

"And it says here, for use as a body wash for skin ailments," I said. So you use a multi-purpose soap, while I share my healing gel with horses. How amazing!" Sasha wasn't amused and just buried her head deeper into the cellphone.

Come to think of it. we need to start weaning ourselves from all the chemical concoctions and explore those medicines that are mainly plant-based. We may be polluting our bodies even more and may be medi-junkies without realizing it.


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