Since the earliest days of medicine, fearless and curious folks have tried numerous and hazardous ways to ease pain and cure ailments, sometimes based on superstitious beliefs.
Home remedies are passed down from generation to generation, and you’d be surprised to hear some Japanese people still give credit to traditional medicine.
Grandma in your pocket
Published July last year, 昔ながらの家事コツと裏ワザ750選 or 750 Old-Fashioned Housework Secrets and Tricks, provides advice for cleaning, beauty, cooking and health.
The book is built on the belief that traditional wisdom is still valuable in the modern era and brings eco-friendly, cheap solutions to everyday problems. Japanese readers commented that having the book is like having a grandmother’s knowledge in your pocket.
While we can’t guarantee the validity of the book’s tips and tricks, it certainly looks like an entertaining read judging from the pages shared on Twitter.
Will cabbage fix a fever?
“My wife was laughing out loud.”
Twitter user @neuro_gucci shared two very traditional folk remedies that you can use with ingredients you’ll find in your kitchen. According to the book, using freshly washed cabbage on a child’s head helps relieve a fever. Another tidbit suggests sticking a green onion up your nose if you’re congested.
Keep in mind that folks that came up with these home-made remedies were not bound by the old Hippocratic Oath. You might not want to try this at home.
How to use Japanese conditional form たら
We briefly talk about the たら form in a previous Tweet of the Week, but let’s refresh your memory. The たら form is built on the casual-past tense of verbs, nouns and adjectives, to which you add ら.
- Verb: 行った → 行ったら (to go)
- Noun: 旅行だった → 旅行だったら (trip)
- い adjective: 新しかった → 新しかったら (new)
- な adjective: 安心だった → 安心だったら (safe)
- Verb: 行かなかった → 行かなかったら
- Noun: 旅行でわなかった → 旅行でわなかったら
- い adjective: 新しくなかった → 新しくなかったら
- な adjective: 安心でわなかった → 安心でわなかったら
The conditional たら expresses a causal relationship between what comes before and after. Depending on the sentence context, たら can be translated as “if,” “when” or “after.” If you’re talking about a condition that will be fulfilled for the next action or event to take place, you’ll translate it to “when” or “after.”
However, if the condition is more of a hypothesis from the speaker, then it’ll likely be translated as “if” (the もし is often a good clue).
(If your kid runs a fever, give first aid with a cabbage.)
- 鼻が詰まったら、鼻の穴にねぎを入れる (If you have a congested nose, put green onion in your nostrils.)
Depending on the sentence context, たら can be translated as “if.”
たら is also a good Japanese expression to politely make a suggestion or give advice in passing without insisting too much. For instance:
- – 疲れた・・・(I’m tired)
- – 今日、早めに寝たら? (What if you go to bed early today?)
|昔ながら||mukashi nagara||traditional, old-fashioned|
|発熱する||hatsunetsusuru||run a fever|
|鼻の穴||hana no ana||nostrils|