Eleven multicultural dishes to cure sickness

We can’t say we know what you’re going through, because Washington and Lee University students have such a plethora of backgrounds that it’s hard to really comprehend how this affects everyone.

But even the most obnoxious of situations have opportunities for growth. And while we can’t know exactly, there’s a good chance that everyone has that one elderly relative sliding a dish of something hot and claiming that it will cure that heartache/cold/sniffles/allergies/etc.

So…please read below to learn about foods from 10 different cultures used to fight sickness.

1. Acai: Brazil is the main exporter of this purple-pulped berry, which – frozen, mashed, and coated with nut butters and various fruits – has recently become a very common health food in the United States.

2. Doogh: This Iranian fizzy oil drink is named after the Persian word “Dooshidan,” meaning “milking,” and consists of yogurt or sour milk, mint, arguably salt, and fizzy water. It helps treat upset stomaches.

3. Haldi doodh: You know that “golden milk” popping up everywhere? That’s this! This drink consists of turmeric and sweetener boiled with (traditionally cow’s) milk and originated in India centuries ago.

4. Hoosh: This thick Antarctic stew of Pemmican (concentrated mixture of fat and protein originating with North American indigenous peoples), crushed bisuits and melted ice gets a bad rep for not being entirely flavorful; yet it sustained decades of shivering expeditioners requiring more calories in the frigid climate.

5. Jaulo: In Nepal we eat ‘jaulo’ when we are sick. It’s usually made by mixing rice, lentils, and sometimes vegetables and turmeric but no other spices. It’s also a very common baby food (like apple sauce here) because it’s high in nutrients.

6. Light soup: This tomato and pepper chicken soup serves as a childhood cure-all in Ghana.

7. Matza ball soup: This traditionally Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jewish soup is fairly common in the US and consists of chicken broth, carrots, sometimes celery but that’s hotly contested, and these weird fluffy-cracker-egg-ball things made of crushed-up Passover matza called, creatively, matza balls.

8. Rasam: This South Indian soup is primarily made with tamarind, tomato, pepper, cumin, and lots of spices and is often served with rice or as a side to a meal. It’s full of nutrients, so it’s the perfect sick day food. I always make it when I’m sick!

9. Salmon sinigang: Lovingly boil salmon, water, coconut oil, onion, garlic, ginger, veggies, and spices to you get this tangy Filipino fish soup ready to warm you up when you’re under the weather. Serve with rice for a heartier dish.

10. Soap de video: This Mexican tomato soup is made with veggies, chicken but sometimes also ham, noodles (preferably fideos) and tomato sauce, and (depending on the family) enough spice to clear out the sinuses.

11. Stinging Nettle: This plant grows worldwide but is especially common in Europe, North America, North Africa and parts of Asia. Sometimes the young leaves are boiled and eaten (as in Irish stinging nettle soup), and others the leaves are dried and used in folk medicine, for hay fever/diabetes/gout/arthritis, and in topical creams for joint pain and skin dryness.

May you and your families remain safe and good health! We wish the greatest kindness.

MSA board consists of president Allie Lefkowitz, ‘20, vice president Melissa Yorio, ‘21, treasurer Natash Gengler, ‘22, secretary Prakriti Panthi, ‘20, social media and graphic artist Virginia Laurie, ‘22, and freshman liaison Sujana Basnet, ‘23.