Culture

Saliva, good for what ails you part 2

 
Kevin can be quite the practical joker. First I thought I misunderstood him. Then from the look of the grin on his face I thought he was kidding around.Now maybe I misunderstood, but from what I remember, I was told that someone had brought evil spirits with them and those evil spirits were upsetting Mrs. Bongat’s stomach. The quack doctor next door (Quack doctor in the Philippines means something entirely different than what it means in the U.S.) said it was Kevin. But Kevin said it couldn’t be him that it must be me. Like I said Kevin is a big practical joker.

So to dispel the evil spirits I brought with me from the U.S. I had to wipe some saliva on Mrs. Bongat’s tummy. At this point I’m still not 100% convinced these people are serious. The social worker whispers to me that some people in the Philippines have superstitious beliefs and that I can totally ignore the request if I wanted. She theorized that the stress of Allyn’s illness and the excitement of my visit made her stressed enough to have a physical reaction in an upset stomach. So in a way I guess I was partly responsible. But the request is coming from my sponsored child’s sick mother. It felt more uncomfortable to say no than it did to share my bodily fluids. So with the guidance of the quack doctor I knelt down, Mrs. Bongat raised her shirt and feeling incredibly weird, I licked my finger and drew an arc across Mrs. Bongat’s tummy.

Later I would find out human saliva contains a host of nutrients. A report on biologynews.net “identifies a compound in human saliva that greatly speeds wound healing. This research may offer hope to people suffering from chronic wounds related to diabetes and other disorders, as well as traumatic injuries and burns. In addition, because the compounds can be mass produced, they have the potential to become as common as antibiotic creams and rubbing alcohol.” The article goes on to state the possibility of saliva being the source of new drugs.

I also remembered when I studied Chinese internal martial art exercises it was encouraged to swallow your saliva for nourishment. You swallow three times imagining the saliva going all the way down to your lower abdomen to what the Chinese call the “elixir field.”

Maybe the quack doctor was on to something.


–  Tashi

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