Saturday, November 5, 2011

Malaria poses a conundrum. We have both had it enough times to leave us with a strong preference not to have it again. There are several drugs that one can take in order to prevent it, but to my way of thinking, they are worse than malaria. (For example there is Larium, which tends to make people psychotic, and doxycycline, which to my great regret we and our daughters took for many years, before a study came out linking long-term antibiotic use with cancer.) This time I am going the natural route with papaya leaf tea. We have several papaya trees in our yard, so it's pretty convenient. Every Saturday morning I go out and pick an old leaf that has turned yellow-bordering-on-brown. (They are less bitter than the green ones.) I wash it and put it in a pot, cover it with water, bring it to a boil and let it steep for awhile. Eventually I drain off the water, chill it for an hour or two, add lemon juice and chug it down. Done. Friends of ours have been using this method for several years now, with great results. I have become a papaya leaf pusher, exhorting Coneilia and other Cameroonian friends to drink it and give it to their children, even if they have to add sugar to get it down. (It's bitter, but nothing that a macho missionary should refuse to drink – especially with a little lemon juice, over ice.)

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