A bite, from a mosquito or ant.
Not a big deal.
Then the spot turned red, redder and beet red.
It morphed into something that I did not like.
With a line of red and blotchy bruises to boot.
Then it was something to care about.
(But lacking the exhibitionist gene, I’m keeping shots of the mark to myself!)
Like many expats in Bali do, I went the natural remedy route.
First I applied tea tree oil.
Then I went for coconut oil.
Still nothing. What next?
I went for an overnight dab of minyak bokashi – oil that’s done lots of good before.
Day after day (ok, not so many days), I watched and waited.
Time to call in the troops.
Which, in my case, meant my German-born naturopath.
I email PM at her clinic ‘down south.’
I attach a photo. (nope, still no photo for you folks 😉
What is this and what should I do?
I’m grateful for her vote of confidence in nature’s bounty.
In this instance, like many others, I hold off on going to a doctor.
That’s because I live in Bali – and I prefer to go the herbal route whenever possible.
I send a message to Ayu: I need turmeric and papaya leaves. Where can I find them?
There is a lot of turmeric under the stove.
Later that evening, she meets me in front of the Bali Buda food-mart.
From my neighbor’s garden, Ayu says.
I head home. Or, in this case, my lab.
While boiling the leaves, I chop turmeric root.
I blend everything (with a little water) until it turns to paste.
I make enough to last at least a few days.
My hands are yellow. The blender’s turned yellow, along with the knife, the cutting board and a bowl.
Ayu, what to do??!!
Lying in bed, I’m surrounded by a towel, tissues, plastic bags, rubber bands – and the smelly paste that I cake onto the strawberry red spot.
I barely move all night long. The following nights too.
Then, one morning, I awake and peel off the cakey smelly pasty mess.
The bruises are gone.
The thin red line is gone.
My skin is smooth and untarnished once again.
I attribute much of my body’s healing to the papaya leaves and turmeric.
But I knew enough to add a secret ingredient to the mix, one that doesn’t grow in Bali’s bountiful gardens, forests and jungles.
The power of belief.