Alice, one of the “quilting ladies” I’ve previously mentioned, told me about an accident that occurred during one of Liberia’s civil wars. She had no food for her family, so she asked her sons to cut some coconut hearts. They were using a cutlass and one accidentally cut the other’s hand, nearly severing three of his fingers. Going to a doctor was out of the question, so Alice went into the bush and picked some Christmas Bush leaves. She heated the leaves to draw out the sap. After washing her boy’s hand in salt water, she rubbed the sap into the wound and wrapped it. She changed the dressing daily, and within a week, the cut was hardly evident!
Immediately following the war, nutritious food was still unavailable and access to western medicine was limited, at best. Alice tended to some children who were extremely malnourished from their inadequate war diet. They had swollen bellies and their hair was falling out. She dehydrated some bananas and ground them into a fine powder. She mixed the powder with milk and fed this compound to the children. Within a month, they were all much better.
Even now, certain medicines are a costly luxury. Malaria preventative is one such drug. Alice makes a tea that includes lemongrass and catnip that keeps away the mosquitoes.
Alice had no medicine cabinet, but with God’s help and her loving care, she has restored many people to good health with herbal medicine.