Dateline: 11 August 2014
Dr. Joy is nine years old. She's not really a doctor, of course. She's just a dear girl who attends the same church Marlene and I go to. She has one younger sister, two younger brothers, and another sibling on the way. Joy is blessed with godly parents who I admire because they take their Christian faith seriously, live frugally in a simple rural home, and have taken on the responsibility of educating their children themselves. Joy's father is a capable man who works hard to provide for his family. They are my kind of people. It has been a great pleasure to know this family, to see the children be born and grow up, and to interact with them.
It was a few weeks ago, after church, that Joy told me about plantain for bug bites and bee stings. She told me that if you get a bee sting, you just chew a plantain leaf, and put it on the sting, and it won't hurt anymore. In case you don't know, plantain is a ubiquitous weed. Joy told me that the leaf tastes terrible, but it really works to cure a bee sting. She knows this from experience.
I was impressed with this useful little bit of medical advice, especially coming from a 9-year-old girl. So impressed, in fact, that I told Marlene about it on the way home from church. And I have since bestowed the honor of the medical prefix: Dr. Joy
It has a nice sound to it, don't you think?
But there is more to this story…..
Yesterday afternoon, Marlene walked into the house with a plantain leaf in her hand. She told me she had just gotten a bee sting on her finger. I took the leaf and quickly mashed it to a pulp in my little mortar & pestle (pictured above, with some young plantain leaves).
I could have chewed it. Marlene wouldn't mind. But I like using the mortar & pestle. I've used it to mash comfrey leaves for a small poultice in the past. It mashed up the plantain leaf just fine. I added a couple drops of water to make the job a little easier.
Less than 3 minutes after getting stung I had put a dab of the plantain mash on the bee sting, and taped it in place...
Marlene said the pain of the sting subsided quickly. After an hour or so, she removed the plantain mash and everything was fine.
It really works.