“I remember older women in the Philippines extract juice from mint leaves by pounding them in mortal and pestle,” I was telling Masood this morning, “just a tablespoon of the juice might do; there’s no harm in trying that.” He coughed – placing a hand on his chest, as it hurt each time his congested lungs tried to expel the foreign particles – and said, “But I’m not a Filipino and there’s no old woman here.” I knew he was making excuses, hence I replied, “But we all have the same lungs.”
“Your grandmother used to dissolve salt in warm water and have us drink that,” his Mom suggested. Masood also rejected that idea, saying, “Salty water is for gargling, not drinking.”
“Mix a teaspoonful of honey in a glass of warm water and add a few drops of honey. I used to make you all drink that when you were little,” said my Mom. Masood agreed to this sweet remedy, as opposed to the bitter and salty ones suggested earlier.
You see, Masood has been having dry cough for the past 3 days and has been febrile all day yesterday. Personally, I don’t believe in giving cough medicines right away, primarily because coughing clears our airways. We should allow our body to work on its own. There are exceptions, of course, for which you should go see your doctor.
Speaking of doctors, I noticed that most physicians here prescribe the antibiotic, Augmentin, for a lot of illnesses: common respiratory tract infections, toothache, minor ear pain, joint pains, diarrhea, and even fever! Antibiotics will cure ONLY the infections caused by bacteria.
Anyway, so Masood is drinking the honey-water and taking steam inhalations, which has helped loosen up the thick mucus. And I also gave him Panadol, my favorite antipyretic drug. He feels much better now, alhumdulillah.
Writing this post also reminded me of Sumaiya, Masood’s 10-year-old cousin in Mumbai. She once offered to apply some cream for a mosquito bite on my arm. Before she smeared the cream on my arm, she whispered, “Allah shifa de.” (May Allah heal).
Her sweet gesture made me think on how we often forget that Allah is the Healer. We sometimes put a little too much faith in our doctors and their prescribed medications, momentarily forgetting to seek His help to cure our illnesses. So before we pop in that pill into our mouth, let us seek His blessings to heal us.
Narrated Abu Huraira: Prophet Mohammed (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “There is no disease that Allah has created, except that He also has created its treatment.” [Sahi Bukhari: Volume 7, Book 72, Number 582]