The All-Natural Remedies Our Abuelas Knew About First

From left to right: honey, aloe vera, garlic, and peppermint. Source: Unsplash.

From treating indigestion to arthritis, our moms, tias, and abuelas have always been at the forefront of using homeopathic remedies to cure us. And let's face it, there's nothing like feeling the love and care from our abuelas, moms, and tías that can cure just about anything. These age-old hacks have withstood the test of time, passed down from one generation to the next, and as it turns out – they actually work! As in, there’s scientific research to back them up. Not like they needed it, anyway.

It's a mystery how our abuelas knew so much, but we'll forever be grateful for these tried-and-true remedies that bring back fond childhood memories. Let's revisit some of these classic cures.

Honey & Lime

honey jar with a dripping honey dipper

Photo by Arwin Neil Baichoo on Unsplash

Sore throat? No worries, grab some honey and lime and mix them together for the best soothing medication out there. It’s sweet, it’s sour, and it’s going to help you! Do we recommend you use it as a chaser for a tequila shot? Absolutely. Rumor has it that tequila can help kick those pesky bacteria to the curb and give your throat some much-needed relief.

But don't just take our word for it - honey has been hailed since the good old days for its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, while lime brings a hefty dose of vitamin C to the party. Plus, the lime's acidic kick will help liquefy mucus and free you from congestion.


wild arnica flower

Photo by Pixs Storage on Unsplash

Aching muscles? Our abuelas have long known the power of these tiny yellow flowers that grow freely in open fields. Once they are collected and dried up, you can add them to a pot of water and bring them to a boil to extract their potency. Add alcohol for additional strength, make a compress, then place the towel over the achy body area for relief.

This inflammation-reducing, blood flow improving superhero of natural remedies will have you feeling like a new person faster than you can say "sana, sana, colita de rana" (which, by the way, is also a magical cure-all according to abuela).


fresh picked garlic bulbs

Foto de Shelley Pauls en Unsplash

Garlic for coughs is not exactly our top pick for natural remedies. But according to abuela, it's the bee's knees. Turns out garlic has some serious antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties that can help calm down your respiratory system and ease that pesky cough.

The recipe is as follows: cut up a head of garlic, a handful of radishes, an entire purple onion, and five ounces of lemon and honey. Mix them together and take a spoonful of this concoction three times a day. Beware the potency but get ready to feel so much better (and probably have stinky breath)!


cannabis bud

Foto de Elsa Olofsson en Unsplash

The craze about the powers of CBD has taken over the internet as the next best thing for anxiety, depression, and countless other body ailments. But our abuelas knew way back when that cannabis had the power to soothe aches and pains, especially those pesky hand cramps from years of hard work (or just aging). So what did they do? They infused their alcohol bottle with cannabis, and extracted CBD to rub onto their hands and soothe the pain of arthritis. The only thing we don’t have an explanation for is where they got the cannabis from…

Aloe Vera

aloe vera plant in a jar

Foto de Alexandra Tran en Unsplash

Aloe has grown in popularity among mainstream brands, but we remember our mamás growing Aloe Vera in their own backyard for personal use. Its hydrating properties make it popular in skincare products, while its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties can aid in wound healing. Aloe Vera also has a soothing effect on the digestive tract and may boost the immune system.

From sunburn to hair health to indigestion, this plant seems to be a miracle plant for all ailments! We suggest peeling the skin and cutting it into strips, then placing them onto a plate and into your fridge for a nice, cooling relief after a sunburn. For indigestion, fix up a smoothie of peeled aloe, green apple, pineapple, and basil.


peppermint plant next to a kitchen sink

Foto de Al Kawasa en Unsplash

While coffee is revered as the drink of choice in Latine households, we recommend you opt for peppermint tea from time to time. Why? Peppermint can serve as a great digestive enzyme and help you with indigestion and stomach aches. Plus, who doesn't love a soothing cup of tea? So next time your belly’s feeling a little off, skip the java and reach for some minty goodness. Your gut will thank you.

a collage depicting a taco stand, soda out of a plastic bag, and drinking mate

Latin America is a vast region comprising 20 nations and a plethora of cultures, histories, and traditions. As globalization spreads, many age-old quirks and customs are finding their way to the global stage.

For many Latinos, these customs evoke a sense of nostalgia and fondness, while for outsiders, or even younger generations, they may come off as weird or even cringeworthy. The sibling trio Yahritza y Su Esencia recently stirred up controversy when they made what many perceived as negative comments about their recent experience in Mexico City and ultimately apologized after they faced widespread backlash.

But let’s be real - this is nuanced terrain, and not every custom or experience is going to be liked or admired by all so we explore whether these Latin American customs are a beacon of nostalgia or a reason to cringe, or perhaps both.

Drinking Soda from a Bag

In several Latin American countries, especially in street markets, it's not uncommon to be handed your soda in a plastic bag with a straw, rather than in a bottle or can. It's like a DIY drink pouch! They do this so they don't lose out on the bottle, which they often recycle for a return of a small deposit. It also prevents a bunch of empty containers discarded around on the streets.

This tradition brings back memories of hot afternoons and local markets, offering a unique and memorable way to enjoy an ice-cold drink. For many Latinos, it's reminiscent of childhood and simpler times.

But for visitors unaccustomed to the practice, the idea of drinking from a plastic bag may seem wasteful or unsanitary, especially if they lack insight into its original purpose.

The Mate Ritual

Mate is a traditional caffeinated drink consumed mainly in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and parts of Brazil. The ritual involves drinking from a hollowed gourd with a metal straw and is often a communal activity.

Sharing mate is seen as a symbol of friendship and camaraderie. The act transcends the drink itself and becomes a means of bonding and social connection. Yet, the idea of sharing saliva by passing the gourd and straw can be off-putting to some, especially in a post-pandemic world.


I've been drinking yerba mate for 6 years🧉(and not because of Messi) #yerbamate #messi #yerbamatetok #mateuruguayo #yerbacanarias #mateargentino #maté

Being Woken Up By A Loudspeaker In The Morning

Waking up to the sound of a loudspeaker is a quintessential experience for many Latin Americans. Whether it's the all-too-familiar call of "¡Fierro viejo!" for Mexicans, the reminder from the natural gas vendor, or the garbage collection announcement, these loud calls are an integral part of life in many neighborhoods.

For many Latinos, these loudspeaker calls evoke nostalgia, reminding them of the close-knit communities and the rhythm of daily life. Yet, for some, especially those in urbanized zones or the younger generation who value their morning quiet, these calls can understandably be a source of annoyance, and even be viewed as noise pollution.


credits to irogerp

Eating Street Food While Standing

Street food is the heart and soul of the culinary landscape in many Latin American countries. From savory arepas in Venezuela to sweet churros in Chile, many times, these delights are enjoyed standing up, right on the spot. Holding your plate and drink in one hand while eating with the other is an art form in and of itself.

Eating street food while standing often brings memories of spontaneous moments with family and friends, late-night munchies, or a quick bite during busy days. It's all about the immediacy and intimacy of the moment.

But for those used to dining in seated establishments or valuing a more formal eating environment, this might feel a tad informal or unsanitary, given the bustling street surroundings and potential for food contamination.


World record taco maker in Tijuana, Mexico🇲🇽😍❤️ #taco #tijuana #mrtaster #food #foodlover #foodporn #delicious #restaurant #streetfood

Over-The-Top Telenovela Antics and Low-Quality Cinema

Say what you want to say, but telenovelas are undoubtedly an integral part of Latin American culture, and for many, they’re a daily entertainment staple. From stories of forbidden romances, rags-to-riches tales, and intricate family dramas, these TV series often span hundreds of episodes, keeping viewers hooked for months, even years.

For many Latinos, telenovelas, low-budget shows, and movies are a source of shared experiences. Families gather around the TV in the evenings, eagerly discussing plot twists and character developments. They are an embodiment of passion, drama, and the myriad emotions that define human relationships.

Yet, to the uninitiated, the over-the-top nature of these soap operas can seem excessive. The exaggerated acting, implausible plot turns, and melodramatic confrontations can be a little too much.


Spanish Tv be like: 😂

Latin American customs are like that favorite family album. While some pages make you chuckle or shake your head in disbelief, others bring a teary-eyed smile of nostalgia. But whether it's sipping mate with friends, getting jolted awake by loudspeakers, or being completely engrossed in fictional drama, these customs are the threads that bind the Latin American spirit.

U.S. and Latin American Latinos have to face it - there's a bit of nostalgia and cringe in every culture, and not everything, is for everyone.