“I don’t think they should have her here selling these things to people,” my friend told me a few months ago as we were walking around the university campus.
My friend was referring to the woman standing behind a booth under the name of “Herbal Rememdies” (in Arabic) during “Palestine Week.” We didn’t stop to see what she was selling exactly, but she had jars of creams and lotions spread about the table. She was carrying one in her hand and very hurriedly explaining the remedy to a group of college girls.
Yesterday, in a food fair-like deal in town, the woman was there. She was wearing a scarf like the one she wore months ago. Her booth displayed the remedies she made, and behind her was a sign that said, “Um Al-ameen: Herbal remedy expert.”
The first time I passed by her booth to make my way towards another, she was holding a cream for hair and explaining how it would make “your hair grow thicker” and one must put it “three times a week.” The second time I passed by, she was showing off a remedy that would get you “thinner” and the results are “quick.”
I thought back to the comment my friend made months ago. We both are in the nutrition program, and what we learn in almost every class is that herbal remedies shouldn’t be recommended to pregnant woman, children, elderly, even youth and adults, because there isn’t enough scientific evidence to back up the claims.
However, in the Middle East, herbal remedies have been used. Sometimes, they even seem to actually work.
For example, when my brother was six, he sprained his foot during our father’s cousin’s wedding. My uncle took him to our great, great aunt who spread olive oil over his foot. The next day, he was feeling better than ever.
Even an old pharmacist we love going to has a hair remedy that’s guaranteed to give results in two weeks.
At the gym, even moreso, the people coming and going have their “drink water and lemon” and a “tablespoon of honey” to get abs.
It’s not that people are lazy – although I wouldn’t put this past many. As a nutrition major in a world of high expectations and the need for fast results, I see why people wave off the “eat healthy and excerise will give you results over time.” Nobody wants over time. Most people, if not all, want “now.” Today.
This doesn’t just apply to herbal remedies, growing healthy hair, and losing weight. It applies to most aspects of our lives. We want quick results when we write a book or dissertation. We want quick results
when we send out a message. We want the the person we’re calling to pick up before we even call. We want a job when we graduate high school and college.
We want to see our futures before they even come.