What to do about menstrual cramps? Advertising in the media offers us magic solutions. Pills that relieve pain "in those days", to pretend that nothing happens and follow a productive routine.
But these drugs, created so that women can continue working when they need to respect their cycle, many times, or do not end the pain or cause disease. Faced with this situation, many women look for a natural solution and cannot find it. But there is: it is only about sharing knowledge. That is what the women of the producing families of the Union of Land Workers got together to do and one of them shared that she fought menstrual pain with the shepherd's bag, a weed that grows like grass and has heart-shaped leaves . And that even grows in the city. They say that it is anti-haemorrhagic and that it works a lot when there is heavy bleeding. Everyone who tried it is fascinated and is sharing the recipe with a multiplier effect.
Plants heal and prevent diseases. And they relieve pain. Women have known this for thousands of years. However, in recent times the need for instant cures, the growth of the pharmaceutical industry and incessant publicity try to make us believe that treating health with medicinal plants is synonymous with backwardness. Faced with this situation, the women producers of the UTT began to hold meetings to recover and share the old knowledge: which plants and which weeds of those that are in the fifths or on the farms or even in the city can combat pain and disease. The companions come from different parts of Latin America: from Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru or from the north of Argentina and therefore they have a lot of knowledge to recover and put in value.
The women of the UTT have already held three meetings. The last took place this Tuesday in a fifth of Olmos, within the framework of a week where the UTT workers will be participating in activities prior to the strike and the March 8 march: “From the UTT Gender Secretariat, we began to working among the companions, the knowledge that women have about the little plants that we always knew for generations how they cured us. We also reflected on how what we practiced on a daily basis was being systematically erased from the hegemonic way of understanding health that this system has; how we were changing the yuyo tea for ibuprofen ”, highlights Rosalía, Secretary of Gender of the UTT.
In the meetings, knowledge is shared. Flaxseed and melon juices are brought. Soda is not necessary. They help each other, tell their problems, laugh, spend a pleasant moment, regain the use of free time and propose the liberation of women farmers. They share a lunch made with vegetables from the fifths. They argue that this is what popular feminism is all about: sharing.
In the first encounters they learned to make mother tinctures and to marinate in alcohol. They took the weeds from their homes and counted their ailments. To know how to treat them and have natural medicine more at hand. A colleague said that she was cured of an ulcer problem with a special aloe vera juice. As the subject interested many women, in this third meeting a moment was organized for her to explain how to prepare the juice. In addition to the meeting, Josep Pàmies, a Spanish farmer who, in adolescence, marveled at the technological package of multinationals and then had to make the road to recover his land. And he is a specialist in medicinal plants: he maintains that, for example, Kalanchoe is much more effective for cancer than chemotherapy.
“We work alongside the men, lifting drawers and the wheelbarrow, then we get home and continue working, and that work is devalued. It is women who suffer and detect the impact of pesticides earlier: our children get sick and our pregnancies are lost. All because of the poisons that are used in the farm ”, Rosalía tells the problem and raises the alternative: food sovereignty. “We are not taken into account when deciding how to produce. The model that we propose, that of food sovereignty, is the model of those plants that are free, that nature gives us, we are recovering them to cure ourselves of diseases, it is knowledge, it is not superstition. Women want to regain healthy eating, we want to change Coca-Cola and ultra-processed foods, we want to eat what we produce, ”said Rosalía.