When the dirt-poor, half-literate and dazed Italian immigrants arrived at the ports of entry of Montevideo and Buenos Aires in the beginning of the Twentieth Century they found two very prosperous (due to their commodities’ export bonanza) yet sparsely populated countries that needed their arms to work in the fields, storage silos, meatpacking plants, leather factories and even in their offices and homes. But the native population was not really interested in their social welfare and health. So these savvy survivors decided to band together in “mutual associations” that provided some basic social services, primary health care facilities, temporary lodging for new arrivals, labour placement, legal advice and even funeral services for the long-term residents.
My dear grandfather Morizio arrived as a child with his whole family from Piemonte and prospered as a winemaker in Uruguay; but he never made it back to his “piccolo paese” in Ricaldone. Neither did the parents from my dear grandmother Yolanda who aldo arrived with their whole families from Salerno in Campania. Their humungous sacrifice enabled their descendants to live, work and study in the host countries.
The peasants from the Mezzogiorno (despectively nicknamed “terrones” by the more wealthy Italians up North) had “fame di terra” and ventured en masse to the hinterlands where they toiled in the fertile plains, the grain storage facilities, the meatpacking and fish processing plants, the cargo facilities in the ports of Rosario and Bahia Blanca. The city of Mar del Plata is located in the Atlantic coastline in the state of Buenos Aires, close to the agricultural centers and with a good harbor to host a fishing fleet. They worked tirelessly for long hours and started large families in that blessed city. But initially they did not have spare money to seek medical care for their families, let alone medication.
The “Farmacia Homeopatica Italiana” was founded in 1914 by concerned professionals that had studied the herbal medicine and natural products that the nascent Homeopathy was promoting at the time. Even with the present worldwide controversies swirling around that healing school, the natural products of this pharmacy have continued to sell very well as their customers value them. When you enter their cozy, downtown location , you are immediately transported into another more genteel age as you gawk at the shelves filled with glass flasks containing natural products and potions. We have been a loyal customer for many years and at present we are using three of their products.
In the mornings we take a solution of “Magnesium Chloride” mixed with some orange juice, before leaving for work we rub either the cream or liquid form of “Arnica” on the knees, and if we happen to eat too much meat or a hearty meal, we take a lemon tea with a few drops of the “Liver Drainer.” This is not a commercial or professional endorsement of their products but the honest testimony of a satisfied customer that values their work.
In our next blogging season we will discuss some of these marvelous natural products plus some others from the milennary Chinese and Ayurvedic Medicine as well; we will take advantage of the upcoming summer break to study in earnest before writing. If you happen to be in Mar del Plata, please do not forget to visit this place and chat with the informed pharmacists who are always ready to discuss the indications for their products.
Farmacia Homeopatica Italiana
20 de Setiembre 1678, Mar del Plata
Tel.: (0223) 473-0178, 473-4845, 473-8354
What do you think? Please tell us.
Don’t leave me alone.