Growing up I was always intrigued by and passionate about folk remedies and superstions. Information I often held near and dear to my heart was when elders in my family would tell me bits of folk-wisdom that they knew growing up.
I believe my attraction and fascination to such truly was a major element in nurturing and cultivating my spiritual path and practice.
Another aspect of this is that I find many nowadays seem to see all such tales or information of nothing with any real-world merit. However, we’re forgetting one simple fact: much of our modern knowledge, understanding and advancements in modern medicine often have a foundation in old folk remedies. Such examples include: the cherished benefits of honey. We now know in a modern scientific world why that is. Along with certain plants and herbs being associated with healing and protection. Often such plants actually contain anti-bacterial or anti-fungal properties.
With observing such trends this further fueled my fascination with studying such things often referred to as “old folk-remedies” and “wives tales.” I found a deep connection and sense of pride connecting with my German/Northern European heritage by studying the folk beliefs, customs, and even superstitions of my ancestors. As well learning comparative customs from the cultures of surrounding peoples. And of course as anyone of a German or Scandivian background will know that even within one respective general group there is much variation. One example is that my own family background is that more so of Scandinavian and North-German or rather my family is predominantly of a Plattdeutsch background.
Many are often intrigued to notice that there is some actual major variation of my specific background and that of my significant other’s who is Bayerische (Bavarian.) In-fact even in-terms of dialect and language I can honestly say that I have a hard (nearly impossible) time trying to understand a conversation between my fiancé and in-laws. The type of Deutsch they speak sounds much different than that of the Platt or Pommern dialect Hochdeutsch and the accents I heard my own grandparents speak. Just as how I believed my fiancé must have had the most terrific childhood ever cause you know….. They have Krampus!
When meeting my now soon to be husband we immediately bounded over our love and passion of lore, history and our culture. And of course for me it allowed me to discover a whole new world of German customs and lore that I was previously not entirely familiar with. The fascinating thing about the Bavarian and Alpine people is that they have so wonderfully kept their traditions and customs in-tact.
One instance I recall last fall I was preparing my usual tinctures and remedies I always keep on hand for the fall and winter season ecspecially. A lot of garlic infusions along with elberberry and echinacea blends. Mixtures I create both for their handy medicinal uses ecspecially for assisting the immune system in the cold season along with uses in Hexerei workings to do with such works in a magical manner. As I was doing so my fiancé was watching “Bayersiche YouTube” he came across a video and said “Here this! You will find of interest. This is a popular remedy back home. I know it from growing up.” He then explained to me the subject matter something called “Schwarzer Radi Hustensaft” roughly translated to English it would be “Black Radish Cough syrup.” He explained to me that this remedy has been popular with and prepared by the Alpine people for centuries.
The ingredients for the preparation of such would be as follows:
~Schwarzer Radi (Black Radish) or sometimes it is often called “Black Spanish Radish.”
~Brown sugar or raw cane sugar
Preperation method involves first cutting the top off of the black radish. Then from here you want cut into some of the inner-flesh hollowing some of it out as to make a funnel with the radish.
As you can see you want your radish to sit on top of a glass/ container as a funnel would. From here place your brown sugar into the radish, then pour in your honey.
What happens now is your ingredients will slowly sift into the glass. The process should take a couple hours. Thus the honey and sugar is slowly being infused with the juices and properties of the black radish.
This is the most common and traditional “Bavarian method” that I was informed of. However, off hand I know that some may find it easier to make a similar such concoction by means similar to how I make my own garlic infused honey/syrup.
This can be done by dicing the radish into pieces or cubes. Letting it steep in honey for sometime. An additional step (if desired) one can also add chopped garlic cloves to add the added benefits of garlic.
~So what is it about the black radish?
Of course I am sure many are familiar with why honey and it’s benefits are so popular ecspecially in such remedies.
But one some may not be entirley familiar with is that of the black radish! Well it’s basically one of those roots that has a long history of being prized in lore and remedies by many peoples and for good reason! The black radish is rich in Vitamin C (for one.) Also, having antimicrobial and antibacterial properties along with being rich in antioxidants the black radish is without a doubt a boon for many reasons.
Along with being useful in such cold and flu remedies (as one can guess) it’s also a food with many nutritious benefits. As well even has benefits for topical uses such as for hair and skin care.
Since the black radish is antimicrobial and antibacterial it can be very useful for helping to treat blemish prone skin. Along with being rich in antioxidants and Vitamin C which is nourishing and beneficial for all skin-types.
Plus it has been used in many tonics to help the liver as well. In-fact it has a long history of this.
The vegetable was orginally thought to be native to South Asia. However, there is still much speculation about this and it’s origins. However, none the less this root vegetable has been used throughout history and in various cultures for both medicine and food. Everywhere from Asia, the Mediterranean, and even Egypt where it is depicted in tomb illustrations from 2000 B.C.
And of course in the past centuries it made it’s way into Europe where it then became a popular and most prized food and medicine among many. And still is to this very day with the Alpine people!
So so next time you recall an old tale, remedy or even story that you heard? Remember! Look into it! Study it! Maybe after all…. There really was something to it. Remember your ancestors were no more or less capable than you. The only thing that really sets you a part from them is modern advancement.
Other than that? Not only are you “no different” but some (including myself) may argue: “You ARE them.”