Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Travelling Medicine

When preparing to fly with Kayla I thought for sure there should be some medicine that could help with the cabin pressure or to ease the stress of flying. I was quite nervous because we would be flying 8hours to Abu Dhabi then another 4 hours to Manchester….then we would reroute back to Johannesburg through Greece. That was a heck of a lot of flying.  Anyways while in Dischem (pharmacy) I decided to ask an African Male chemist who offered some assistance.

He didn’t know of anything specific but he did recommend Entressdruppels which is a German herbal medicine which I had heard of before. About a month after Kayla was born we went to visit Avon’s Auntie in Aldo’s. She was adamant that I should apply the stuff on Kayla’s scalp whenever I go outdoors. She did a whole demonstration on Kayla for me and even gave me some to take home. While driving home the potent smell of the Entressdruppels filled the car …it smelt of tar and vowed that I would never use it. You must know that by this time I had had a lot of tips and recommendations on what to do with Kayla so this was just one of the ones I wasn't going to use. The second time I heard of it was when I was on my way to the shops in Nhlangano, Swaziland (rural part of Swaziland) and Avon’s Grandmother told me I should put it on Kayla because I was going to be around Swazi’s. I was so offended by it because I thought she was being racist, but then Avon’s mom did some further explaining. Apparently Swazi’s are known for carrying herbal medicine on them especially in the rural areas. Some of the medicine is for healing and some is for Mootie to gain wealth, punish your husbands mistress  or whatever witchcraft might be needed for.  I am aware of this because I grew up in Swaziland and know most Swazi’s are deep into medicinal herbs and culture. However some of these “mooties” are very strong and dangerous for babies…apparently so bad that if a child inhales the mooty the baby could die..or it could just enter the baby through the soft scalp. Avon’s mom shared several stories of babies that had been affected by it..some died one had to go get the Sangoma (traditional healer) to reverse it. The stories gave me the jibbers and made me think...was this all true? Were those cases of child death something else rather than mootie??? Part of me didn’t want to believe a word of it but another part of me didn’t want to take the risk either. Needless to say that particular day I didn’t take Kayla into the rural Swazi shopping centre.

So you can imagine how baffled I was when the chemist recommended this remedy.
Kanya: “you are joking with me right?”
Chemist: “No seriously every time I take my child on the bus I use it. And my son is 14months old! It helps with the motion sickness.”
Kanya: “My husbands family mentioned this stuff but I assumed it was just a coloured old school remedy that didn’t work.”
Chemist: “It works!”
Kanya: “But what about all those stories about babies inhaling mootie ect. Isn’t that why it is used?”
Chemist: “Well the remedy does have a history to it. But I am recommending it as a calming motion sickness remedy. Just take a drop and rubb it on the scalp of the baby, behind the ears, under the armpits and even between the legs.”
Kanya: “Well if you say it is a medicine rather than a mootie blocker …then yes I will use it. I don’t want to start getting all superstitious about things.”

So I left the shop with the small bottle of Entressdruppels. I used the Entressdrupples as recommended and Kayla was as calm and as normal as ever during every flight. I can’t say it was the medicine entirely. But I wasn’t going to fly with out it! Maybe I am a bit superstitious lol.

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