Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Herbs Heal You

Here is an amazing piece of antique history in a painting..

I saw this on Casa de Cura - Rituals, Remedies and Culture of Sicily & the  Mediterranean which is a very informative website written with dedication by Cristala Mussato-Allen. She writes about her mother's Albanian/Sicilian roots as well as her fathers Caddo (Spanish) traditions of healing. Quite a fascinating person, I think.

I am so often brought back to my Bosnian Grandmother and her herbal tradition.  As a child when we lived with her I saw all manner of healing in our house, I just never knew it. Baka brought her knowledge with her to Germany from Bosnia during the war and I know she used it all the time. It is indeed amazing how subtly our elder mothers and aunties, neighbors and local healing women show us the way with natural remedies. In Bosnia, like in most ancient countries, Folk Medicine is a practice that is used and respected.  Grandmother learned from her Bosnia born mother Anna but she also schooled in Vitez with the nuns, who kept a large garden for that purpose. My Baka did not think of her talent as anything special, quite the contrary it came natural to her. She said God gave us flowers, herbs and nature to use so we could clean ourselves of disease while also nourishing our bodies.

Paula Welte Melinc
She did what almost every Bosnian woman in those days and still sometimes today do to keep her family healthy. Grandmother used modern medications very, very sparingly.

Healing can be traced in so many families in every culture. That is why I am posting about Casa de Cura and Cristala. She picked up on the Albanian/Sicilian connection and that is so fascinating to me.

Growing up, a child might not even know she is being schooled in the healing arts. I made fun of my Baka with all her drying herbs on every imaginable counter and tinctures in the secret cabinet in the kitchen all the time.  Until I was sick. Then, she was the wonderful 'goddess of the cures' and not my eccentric grandma. I'm happy now I learned from her and keep a candle burning in honor of her soul and her knowledge.


  1. I am glad these traditions are still being passed down. Herbal medicine is so valuable. We do what we can to stay away from conventional medicine as much as possible.

    I was really touched by the way you wrote about your Grandmother.

    1. Thank you Lillian, I think so too. I am always trying to remember how exactly she did all her potion/lotion/elixir's so deftly a lot of memories are full color but not much detail. She left cryptic notes and a lot I fill in from my friends that live in the same region she came from, so I ask them.
      Many of my posts are about my grandmother, I often surprise myself how much I miss her and truly how terribly I regret not sitting at her feet more than I did. Thank you for visiting!! Cheers!

  2. I just now saw this post! You are so sweet! Thank you for sharing your family story :-)