section gather texts, articles, stories and customs
of the Caulonian traditions
you ever heard about the semplici (literally, the
simples)? Not the gentle and good souls which many
would like to describe as simpletons or worse; but the herbaceous
and arboreal sources which have medicinal and curative properties?
is worth knowing about them if you consider that even Achilles,
back then, according to what we read, used to heal his soldiers
wounds with the Achillea milleforum juice, a mixture
which took its name from him
you have any vague notion of the Latin language, it would suffice
to reflect a moment on the meaning of Salvia salvatrix,
as the Salernitana school called the well known plant used since
the middle ages by the monks who cured the sick by creating a
decoction mixed with vinegar which gave immunity to a kind of
illness. Another well known remedy was that known as Celidonia
(coeli donum, a gift from heaven), the yellow lattice from a kind
of poppy which Peracelso used for biliary conditions following
his theory of similia cum similibus
certainly you already know that rheumatic conditions and bouts of
influenza are, today, the main cause for absence from work, so much
that they have been defined as social illnesses and
they can lead respectivelyto permanent deformation and serious pulmonary
complications if left untreated.
Against the former an important remedy advised the patient to use
the lemon cure: the progressive assumption of the juice of one lemon
the first day to the assumption of the juice of seven lemons on
the seventh day, then progressively backwards again to the juice
of one lemon on the fourteenth day. There followed a pause for fifteen
days and then the cycle was started again twice over.
is obvious that, three months later, either the affliction had
passed or the patient had become used to living with it.
support a theory that this remedy is a rumour set about by the
citrus fruit growers in order to bypass the competition brought
by the new entries within the European community market
but I can assure you that the remedy precedes the entry of Greece
acute attacks, it used to be advised to gently caress the affected
area with a bunch of nettles, it would certainly not be the caress
of a friendly hand, but relief seems to be assured.
any case one will feel a scorching sensation and the slight burn
will surely be forgotten. There is also the cauliflower remedy.
Yes, you read correctly: one good sized leaf, well oiled and ironed
out between two kerchiefs, applied hot to wherever it is needed,
is sure to calm stomach and muscular cramps!
a collateral purifying, diuretic cure, the decoction of spear
grass (Cynodon dactylon or pedi i gadina) was
prescribed: 30 gr. of rhizome, boiled to eliminate the bitterness
and earth then boiled again for ten minutes in a litre of water:
three mugs a day for three weeks (because of the miraculous power
the end of the cure you will find yourself reinvigorated by the
weeding work and with a perfectly kept vegetable plot.
for the influenza cures, a subtler illness than it used to be
but refined, like the monsoons, by the attribution of delicate
names: English, Asiatic, Hong-Kong
is commonly confused with a cold because both are viral infections
with debilitating and annoying symptoms. The only difference between
the two is that the latter has a less painful and less feverish
course; the remedies for one are valid for the other as well:
eat raw garlic infusions of rosemary, 5-15 gr. per mug
infusions of cinnamon, 5-10 gr. per litre of boiling water;
1-2 small glasses while it is hot then bed rest infusions
of borage (Borago officinalis), 20 gr. of flower heads in one
litre of boiling water, for 10 minutes, 3 mugs a day infusions
of eucalyptus, 20 gr. of dried leaves per litre of boiling water,
3 mugs a day infusions of onion, chopped and boiled in
sweetened milk, drink while hot then bed rest Infusions
and decoctions will be more effective if sweetened with honey.
wine: 150 gr. of chopped onions, 100 gr. of honey, leave to macerate
for 15 days in 1 litre of white wine: 3 spoonfuls a day.
and anti sneeze remedy: smell a pinch of ground origano or basil.
I will skip the well known camomile remedy as well as those of
mallow, dried figs, and hot wine; but I must underline the benefits
of a resting warm bed convalescence.
these remedies really effective? I
can already hear the unmistakable question coming from the sceptics.
do not wrench digressions from me. The century old certainties
have crumbled away; beginning with those of rights, of which only
the reciprocal rights still survive because innate in mankind
it used to be enough for an eccentric to wrap himself in a sheet
(which the Romans would call toga) to go and be a
peripatetic under the Athenian porticoes, for his
principle of identity and his findings (according
to Aristotle)to challenge the millenniums and become Gospel
no less than four centuries before the real ones with a capital
g. Or for another person to state that the basic chemical
unit was the atom, for such a theory to arrive almost
intact to the beginning if our century. While one of their modest
predecessors only had one certainty, that of knowing nothing.
But that was a sure strong and unmoveable certainty!
and mathematical certainties have been destroyed by our politicians
with more advanced equilibrium and parallel
convergence; and so have the tout-court policies.
certainties have been literally ditched by the Livorno
youths, with the Modigliani stones.
certainty of fixed stars in the night skies has been
invalidated by radio-telescopes; which have found that many stars
have become extinct many thousands of centuries ago; and that
all we still admire are their ghosts
upon a time, a crusader, or an explorer or a Ulysses would leave
to conquidere lAve, to discover new lands or
to conquer Troy; and decades later they would find their small
family again, with their wife older but still faithful and their
dear little children somewhat grown-up. Today, a poor man goes
abroad in search of work; within a few years he manages to put
by a small sum of money, he returns home where he finds a man.
Not the third party that you may be thinking of but the natural
mother of his children who now find themselves with two fathers.
fluctuations or the work of complacent do-gooders
on her behalf, thus she came into her own!
upon a time people used to sing with their uvula, whether it was
of gold or not; songs like Sole Mio and Grazie
dei Fiori and Serenata still travel the world
moving peoples hearts. Nowadays, people sing with parts
of their bodies destined for very different purposes and which
deteriorate much faster than the uvula, and so the heart ends
up playing the role of the guest of stone.
Who remembers the last songs which won the Castrocaro or S.Remo
closing this digression the only thing left to do is to draw the
conclusions. If you have attentively followed the above described
remedies and something still does not convince you, there is an
alternative: refer to your doctor and blame him for any resulting
failure. If however you are people with character, clench your
teeth and start singing.
che ti passa! (sing and it will pass), thus states the proverb
distilled from popular wisdom. A vague and halved wisdom because
like any oracle it always omits to specify the subject!
illnesses and natural remedies
by Vincenzo Franco Corriere
di Caulonia - July 1989