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Health and Sickness in Questa

Our first health clinic came here in the early 1940s.

We didn’t have doctors.

If you sprained a foot or arm you would put Denver Mud on it and tie it and you would get well soon. “Te de Serra” was good for a lot of illnesses.

For headaches, you put a little sticker from an El Duque tobacco sack on your forehead.

Our first health clinic came here in the early 1940s. The first clinic was set up at the Compton’s home on top of the hill where the senior citizen’s building is. Drs. De Veaux, Lamott, and Onstine came three times a week. The midwife was Cleofas Romero.

There were no birth certificates in Questa until around 1940. At that time birth certificates were registered so my Mom at first was paid 25 cents to fill out birth certificates and death certificates. Later they paid 50 cents each, then the State took over. My Mom was very smart in those things. She was a board member of the first clinic that came to Questa. Mrs. Archuleta from Cerro was another member.

In the mid-1950s the Compton property was donated to the community. Later the health center was moved to the present Questa Health Center. The Senior Citizens’ building was built on the Compton property and the Head Start adjoins that building.

Here are some of the remedies people in Questa used:

Alfalfa—the seeds are boiled in water and taken as a tea for stomach aches. The leaves and tops are drunk as spring tonic and blood thinner.

Altamisa—for cold or flu

Amole—a shampoo for hair. The root is boiled until soapy. Used to wash wool or delicate things. Tea from root is drunk for arthritis and sore joints.

Anis—used for colic in small children or infants

Añil—the fresh or dried leaves are made into a strong tea and added to the bath water to help arthritic pain.

Azafron—for breaking fevers

Sahina (juniper)—the leaves and berries are used for bladder and urinary infections. Also used to settle the stomach.

Conela—to settle the stomach

Copulin bark—made into a tea for diabetes

Chamiso pardo—for flu; made as a tea. It has been said it contains sulfa drugs. That’s what helped people in the big influenza epidemic.

Chan—a stomach remedy fresh or as a tea. Clavo—dipped in olive oil and placed in a cavity Cantra yerba—for sore throats
Cota—for the kidneys and to purify the blood

Enano—the roots and leaves are boiled, strained, and used to wash sores Estofiate—a stomach medicine and for cancer
Lantén—crushed leaves for insect bits

Malva—a tea for sore throat and to wash infants for diaper rash Oregano—for cough and sore throat
Oshá—for cough; wash the roots really good; dry them, boil and strain and make into a tea

Pagué—for colic in infants Plmajillo—for chills and to break fever Polío—for headaches and dizziness
Rosa de Costilla—for fever blisters, to bring down temperature

Ruda—for strokes; it can be smoked, put under the tongue, mashed real fine and mixed with baby oil and rubbed on temples and side of face.

Weed of Santo Domingo—found in the foothills; mix with turpentine to treat sores.