Living healthily seems to be a universal norm in every society; after all, we want to preserve life and so we come up with ways to ensure our mortal bodies. These “ways” look different depending on our individual understanding of what is healthy. For instance, in Kyrgyzstan people believe that cold is very harmful and so small children are bundled up late into the spring in snow pants, while their older siblings and adults have shed their jackets. In the same vein often drinks like juice or even colas are warmed in the microwave for the sake of the child’s health.
Needless to say, whenever I hear of interesting health practices my ears perk up. Being a nurse, I love to try to understand why we do what we do to stay healthy. This one really got my attention. Kyrgyz people believe that when you partially eat an apple, then let it sit until the apple oxidizes and turns slightly brown, this shows the presence of iron in the apple. Since the trees are drawing iron out of the soil to produce all these iron-rich apples, it is then necessary to increase the iron level in the soil. In order to accomplish this, the good gardener will embed iron nails in the soil surrounding the tree.
As a curious observer of culture, I recognize that there are some aspects that are worth engaging in discussion, and some that just show how colorful society is. Every society.
This practice of “taking iron” made me smile.