9 Uniquely Egyptian Remedies Far Better Than National Healthcare
Who needs 10 years of medical training when you can just get an egg and some colone for your kidney failure?
Egyptians have their own...special ways of tackling all manner of problems; from financial management to receding hairlines, complex technology and even training a camel to twerk. When it comes to DIY medicine however, we are the folk remedy centre of the world. We don't just like to copy Western ideals - sticking to what has been passed down through the ages of our ancient (and weird as all hell) civilization; whatever Teta tells you will fix your ailment is the right way to go, alright Dalia?
So to help you soothe your woes without having to ask your 4th year pharmacy friend what to do about that rash you've developed, we've amassed a modest collection of tried and (not totally) true Egyptian folk remedies. Who the hell needs a doctor when you have lemon soda?
55555 (excuse you) Colone
To deny the kind of gravitas and raw appeal that the famed Khamas Khamsat brand of Egyptian colones - courtesy of the legendary Hamza El-Shabraweeshy - is a gross insult to one of Egypt's proudest achievements. This outrageously strong colone could boost your self-esteem from zero to Robert De Niro in record time, but we bet you didn't know about its healing prowess. According to "ancient" Egyptian myths, this unparalleled, complex formula of Khamas Khamsat has the overwhelming power to cure a congested nose and generally make your cold much more manageable. It can also be quite the effective wound cleaner (though stick to Betadine anyway), as well as help snap a motherfucker out of a feinting episode. It has been argued that it could also treat a stomach cold - which is actually a simple case of gastroenteritis - by applying it over your stomach and wearing heavy clothes on top to exorcise the cramp demons or whatever they thought back then.
The gastrointestinal tract is both a marvel of intricately minute plumbing, and a horrible wasteland full of actual waste and a slew of microorganisms that should only exist in a stray Rick & Morty episode. But to most Egyptians, it's regarded as a drainage more line than a biological miracle. Case in point; if you're feeling at all ill, or if your stomach is going through an existential crisis, drinking a refreshing bottle of 7UP (or whatever other lemon soda you have handy) can make all the poopy booboos go away. Why would this be the case? Few guesses; way the hell back in the day, 7UP used to contain lithium, which generally works on altering people's moods, and supposedly, help soothe an ailing stomach. It was even advertised as being "slendering," which is funny because lithium makes you gain weight, so that may have been why it was passed down so many generations. It could also just be the carbonation that helps expel gasses and make room, or it may have been the acidic content of the soft drink that edges the stomach towards releasing more stomach acid; "killing germs" and aiding digestion. Much like most things on this list, it's just a placebo effect; one so believable, folks don't want to question it.
Please seek actual medical assistance before turning to your nearest koshk, and FYI: folks used to used it for infant diarrhea, but the glucose content aggravated the diarrhea effect, causing more complications for the little ones.
Coins (post-devaluation recommended)
Though you can trace this one back to god-knows-when BC, we like to think that Egyptian metal coins have much more of an edge of any other small metal object the world over. They can be used to prevent further coin-sized head bruises that may or may not have occurred due to somebody whacking you with a sock full of coins. What you do is get a cloth of adequate length, tie a bunch of coins on one area in the middle and use it as a sort of compress to heal bruises, and generally apply pressure. The low temperature of the metal, coupled with hilarious devaluation, will easily soothe your bumps.
Unfortunately, this application was used to dismal effect when applied to infant belly buttons - which usually protrude a short time after birth before subsiding - to decrease the "swelling." Not only did this complicate the body's natural processes, it also caused severe infections in the typically weak area. Not a fun time for any baby.
Towels and a wooden spoon
The above complex combination of items are used for headache and migraine management, and if you're particularly lucky, treatment. When such ailments arise, get a towel and masterfully wrap it around your head - as if trying to look ethnic but just stop - then use both ends of the towel like the letter X, wrap them around the wooden spoon and turn the spoon in a circular fashion, thus creating a tighter grip on your head. If it feels painfully excruciating and it’s about to squeeze your brain out then you’re doing it right. If you're somehow still sore in the noggin, consider low-cost burial options.
Turkish coffee - perhaps owing to its innately high content of caffeine in addition to its texture - is often used to staunch bleeding from severe cuts and gashes. Fact of the matter is; people have been plugging their plumbing with dirt ever since the sun was a thing, but being a thick powder (and particularly flavourful) helps it bind with blood, causing a barrier to prevent bleeding, and speed up wound homeostasis (that's pretentious meds-speak for blood clotting). We obviously still recommend you have a first aid kid or a friend who knows what they're doing, but hey, we're nothing if not easy-going.
Though you'd probably be much more familiar with the humble clove as an additive to your tea, giving it that extra warm edge, but as we're certain that many of you have done this one in the past. Cloves are a lot more than meets the eye. Legend tells of a simple, organic seed that - when chewed on or near a sorely painful tooth - can numb the pain, cure your gums and ward away freakishly expensive demons draped in white coats and carrying demon-spawn metal tools. What's the deal, you ask? Cloves contain this nifty little organic compound called Eugenol; which is a pretty good numbing agent when applied topically. Rinsing your mouth out a couple times with salt water, and keeping a clove or two near your miserable tooth ( and chewing it when it softens later) will soothe your pain with the slow release of Eugenol. Be warned though; too much of a good thing can be poisonous, so exercise restraint.
One would argue that we’re all guilty of this one, but usually when we get a burn, we go for tap water or some ice. Rest assured though; your infinitely wise parents did that a whole hell of a lot. Legend has of that folks used to treat their burns by liberally applying toothpaste to the affected area. which is as effective as you can imagine (even you, Dalia). Maybe the menthol usually present in most commercial toothpastes intensifies the burning sensation to such a degree that, when the minty burn combo recedes, you will no longer give a flying fuck about your initial burn or how it feels. Definitely some ass-logic in this one.
NO TOOLS NEEDED (t-shirt maybe)
If your eye gets something caught in it, an eyelash, a little piece of cake, or even some unidentified sticky liquid, all you need is a t-shirt and a willing friend to place the t-shirt on your eye and blow on it. This will cure the eye and furthermore remove the item stuck in your eye, and replace it with love. Similarly, you can use the palm of your hands, unless you've touched yourself lately, in which case, consider talking to your parents.
Warts on a Budget
Boys and Girls, if you were under the impression that we weren't in the universal voodoo scene, you are sorely uneducated, and even more so uncultured. Remedies don't always have to entail conventional medical applications; they can include supernatural influence as well. For those of you battling with warts of any origin, obtain an egg specifically created on a Saturday. Then, obtain exactly seven black lentil seeds, making sure to wear your mother's headscarf while you do all of this. First, puncture a strategically narrow hole on the narrow end of the Saturday egg, then place the seven seeds inside the egg, placing it afterwards in a sack and nailing the sack to the outside of your main doorway. Within four to six business days, all your warts, lesions, sores and boils will disappear, as if never to have existed.
So yeah, next time you find yourself thinking you need a trip to the clinic and waiting at least 3 hours with 70 other people, perhaps employ one of these simple (and terrible), wonderfully hick remedies, and pray that you don't keel over the next day.