Cures and Healing
Though not liable to many disorders, the gypsies in Eastern Europe, from their wandering, out-of-doors life, and camping by marshes and pools where there is malaria, suffer a great deal from fevers, which in their simple system of medicine are divided into two types:
- The shilale – chills or cold
- The tate shilalyi – “hot-cold,” or fever and ague.
For the former, chills or cold, the following remedy is applied:
Three lungs and three livers, of frogs are dried and powdered and drunk in spirits, after which the sick man or woman says the following incantation:
“Čuckerdya pal m’re per Čáven save miseçe! Čuckerdya pal m’re per Den miseçeske drom odry prejiál!
“Frogs in my belly Devour what is bad Frogs in my belly Show the evil the way out!”
By “the evil” is understood evil spirits. According to the old Shamanic belief, which was the primæval religion of all mankind, every disease is caused by an evil spirit which enters the body and can only be driven out by magic.
If parsley is thrown into fishponds,
it will heal the sick fishes therein.
The most popular culinary herb is probably parsley. The Romany folk used it for many cures. Parsley is best when fresh and green, and goes with almost any dish, adding not only flavor but also helping to keep the system clear and disease at bay. Incidentally, a sprig dipped in vinegar and chewed will sweeten the sourest of breath.
Have parsley at hand at all times and use it as a garnish in stews, soups, and sauces. Sprinkle it on cooked mushrooms, tomatoes, potatoes, artichokes, and add it to a vinaigrette sauce, french dressing, and creamed cheese dishes. Use parsley stuffing for chicken to give fragrance to the flesh.
Here are some authentic Romany recipes that use parsley:
More About Parsley:
Common Names: Parsley, Persil, Devil’s Oatmeal, Perceley
Latin Name: Petroselinum crispum
Parts Used: Leaves, stems, roots, and seeds
Cultivation: Parsley is a hardy biennial. It doesn’t transplant well, so sow the seeds where you wish it to grow. Cut the flowers off as they appear the second year or you will have all flower and no leaves.
Cosmetic Uses: Add parsley infusions to your bathwater to soothe and cleanse.
Culinary Uses: Everyone is familiar with the soggy piece of curly parsley that appears on your plate in restaurants. Curly parsley is used most often as a garnish as it has a relatively mild flavor. Flat or Italian parsley is used frequently in cooking and has a strong flavor that mixes well with just about any dish. Use it fresh (dried has NO flavor), and add to foods towards the end of cooking.
Magickal Uses: Parsley promotes fertility and encourages lust. Use it in purification baths. Sprigs of parsley were once used on plates to keep food from becoming contaminated.
Medicinal Uses: Parsley has more vitamin C, proportionally, than an orange. Take infusions of parsley for bladder infections. It is also rich in other vitamins, like A, several B’s, and contains good quantities of calcium and iron. Parsley increases milk production and tones uterine muscles. The chlorophyll acts as a natural breath freshener.
Cautions: Large quantities can cause decreased blood pressure and pulse. It can also irritate the kidneys if overused.
This tea is for clear skin, to promote the immune system, and the help remove toxins from the bloodstream.
- 3 tsp chopped young nettle leaves
- 1 tsp parsley
- ½ tsp lavender flowers
- juice of ½ a lemon
This blend is for one person and is intended to have half a pint of boiling water poured over it. Allow the infusion to stand for 10 minutes before straining and do not stir, as this bruises the plants. Obviously, you can adjust the amount of water or standing time to your own taste. If you prefer your tea sweet, add a little honey, not sugar, to the strained infusion.
Source: Tami Brown
Anyeta claimed to cure many people of rheumatism. She always said that if celery was cooked in milk and eaten with the milk it would neutralize uric acid, lactic acid and other excess acids in the body. Cleansing muscular tissues and so curing rheumatism. She brought this cure with her when she came over to England from Romania.
Certainly celery is a soldier in the fight against rheumatism, it contains many nourishing salts and a great deal of organic sulfur. Sometimes people find they cannot take it, but these are few and far between. Stewed celery was a frequent dish on the Romany table, and the seeds have an even greater therapeutic action than the plant itself. Place a teaspoonful of the seeds in a cup of boiling water. Allow to infuse and drink a cupful of this two or three times a day- it can be sweetened with a little honey.
Horseradish is also good for rheumatism, whether taken internally or externally. For external use, grate a little on a plate, cover with boiling milk and apply to the affected part while still warm. You can also try an embrocation made of bladderwrack which you can obtain from a good herbalist.
One of the best gypsy remedies for rheumatism is made with dandelion root. You boil 1 oz of the root in one and a half pints of water for 20 minutes. Strain and take a wineglassful twice daily. Another simple remedy is to paint peppermint oil on the affected part.
Much of the gypsy`s strength and health came from the abundance of wayside plants which they understood and knew how to use to keep them healthy. Many of these wayside herbs are recognized by herbalists and can be obtained from them in a dried form. Others are so readily available that they grow unasked in any garden and are angrily rooted up and thrown away even destroyed by weedkiller in ignorance of the goodness that is so carelessly discarded.
The children of the gypsies were often sent out to gather sack loads of herbs, particularly dandelions and stinging nettles. These were sent to chemists and herbalists to be made up into remedies. It makes you wonder if farmers as they plow through their fields realize how much value they are destroying as they plow in all the herbs and `weeds`. To cultivate and sell them for use in medicine might well pay more than selling cabbages!
Where there is much damp and water, there grows the willow, with its bark to cure aches and pains. The names of many herbs and roots point to the complaints they can cure- for instance, chestnut leaves for chest complaints, gravel root for stone and gravel in the kidneys, Liver Wort for the liver, Lung Wort for the lungs and Hearts Ease for weak hearts.
Where there is a nettle to sting you,always close at hand you will find a dock leaf to rub on the sting and reduce the pain. But besides this practical use of the leaf, the Romanies also know that the seeds of the dock form part of a charm against pain. They should be gathered when fully ripe, placed in a little muslin bag and tied round a patients left arm. This old gypsy charm will cure many pains and it is particularly useful to any woman or girl who suffers pain with her periods.
The gypsies often wore herbs- for instance, balm,which gives out a wonderful lemony scent when the leaf is picked and rubbed between the fingers. The Romanies believed that wearing the leaves and roots in a sachet next to the heart made one beautiful, healthy and happy. Bees love it and for this reason it is often called Bee Balm. If you grow it in your garden you will know how swiftly it spreads. The best time to harvest it is in July in the early morning.
Burdock grows wild on waste ground, in hedges and by the wayside. Its leaves are large and heart- shaped and its purple flowers bloom in July and August. It is said that wearing burdock seeds in a muslin bad, around your neck, keeps rheumatism at bay.
Here is the secret of the most health- giving drink.
Mix a chopped carrot, celery and spinach in equal proportions and add a teaspoonful of chopped parsley. Put into the blender and mix to make a drink that is rich in potassium – in fact it contains practically the whole range of organic minerals and salts necessary for good health!
Legend has it that the early Gypsies formulated Queen of Hungary’s Water, and claimed it to be a cure-all. It is an excellent astringent for the face and a great rinse for dark hair. It combines gentle, common herbs in a masterful way, it’s easy and inexpensive to make, and it’s very versatile. The Gypsies claimed it was good as a hair rinse, mouthwash, headache remedy, aftershave, foot bath, and who knows what else!
To make it, combine:
- 6 parts lemon balm
- 4 parts chamomile
- 1 part rosemary
- 3 parts calendula
- 4 parts roses
- 1 part lemon peel
- 1 part sage
- 3 parts comfrey leaf
Chop herbs finely. Fresh herbs work best but high-quality dried herbs are next best. Place them in a clean, dry jar. If using dried herbs, fill the jar only half way to allow for expansion.
Heat raw organic apple cider vinegar to a warm (not hot) temperature. Pour in enough to completely cover the herbs with a margin of 2 or 3 inches. Seal the lid. Leave the jar in a warm spot and let the herbs soak for 4 to 6 weeks – the longer, the better. Shake the bottle daily.
Strain the liquid through a stainless steel strainer lined with cheesecloth or muslin. Place in dark cobalt or amber glass bottles, label, and store away from heat and light.
After aging and straining, add 1/2 to 1 cup rose water or witch hazel to each cup of herbal vinegar. Store in dropper or spray bottles. This product does not need refrigeration and will stay fresh indefinitely.
Because it stains, this blend is not recommended for light or white hair.
Source: The Whole Dog Journal
The Romany philosophy is that depression attracts depression like a vibration. To ward it off play happy music or mix with happy people. Alternatively, walk to a hilltop to literally rise above your problem. Looking down on roads, cars, houses, and people makes them appear in better perspective.
Romanies always try to look on the bright side of any situation. However, if that is not so easy, try this Romany antidote to the blues.
Peel several cloves of garlic and place them in a saucer. Pour white vinegar over the cloves until they are partly immersed in it. Place the saucer beside your bed while you sleep. The garlic is said to turn pink because of the negative energy it absorbs.
The cloves should be buried in the morning and replaced by fresh cloves at night.
Here are a few old Gypsy cures for a headache:
- Rub your forehead with a stone and then cover the stone with soil.
The ache is said to be absorbed by the soil.
- Alternatively, you can rub a headache away by rubbing a horseshoe on your forehead.
(A piece of iron is said to work just as well.)
- Yet another method is to lie down and place a quartz crystal on your pillow. If you can’t lie down, try holding a quartz to your head for a few minutes to relieve the discomfort.
- Rosemary oil dabbed on the temples and third eye will end most headaches.