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Croatian Grandma Pearls of Wisdom

By Iva Ralica

Today Google is the go-to to answer all the curious questions but if you had a childhood with a Croatian Grandma then that was your source.

Not matter what the issue or problem, Baba, or Baka had a solution or remedy.

Her kitchen was always the best place to start or end a day, her cooking and her advice could make everything better. She is the one to turn to in times of trouble. Not all of the secret cooking ingredients will emerge, but some of the other gems can be shared.

Here are some pearls of wisdom.

Always remember not to walk barefoot. Anywhere. Never, ever and especially not inside the house. Slippers never go out of style.

Never leave the house with wet hair or else… You´ll catch a cold.

Make sure the hair is bone dry before going out

Make sure the hair is bone dry before going out

Beware of propuh (draft) created by leaving windows open. This ‘deadly’ draft can cause anything from neck or shoulder pain to the flu and sore throat.

Beware of the deadly draft

Beware of the deadly draft

Also, wear an undershirt (singlet) when it´s cold outside. Never leave the house without an undershirt. The consequences will be… Well, let´s just say there will be.

If you are female never sit on cold concrete surfaces (for health reasons).

A big no-no

A big no-no

You need to eat soup, no matter how hot it is, it is good for you and will keep you healthy. And if you do get sick a plate of soup will fix you.



Nothing can go wrong on a full stomach so not matter how much you have eaten, you still need to eat more.

Rakija (fruit brandy) can fix all. From a sore tooth to a cut.

Magic rakija

Magic rakija

Baking soda is also the best medicine for, more or less, everything. To treat a rash one should drink a half of a glass of water mixed with one spoon of baking soda. And it all goes away.

To get rid of a cough, caramelize sugar and add milk to it. This warm beverage can ease the pain in throat. The alternative is onion tea – cook the onion and after it is cooked, add some honey to the broth and drink it up.

To stop hiccups drink a glass of water or eat a sweet-sour combination of food.

Baking soda

Baking soda

To reduce swelling place a cabbage leaf or a broadleaf on the affected area, and it will take the colour away and you will feel better. Not only that, sour cabbage is the best dish for cold winter days because it´s rich in vitamins.

To remove a pimple, put some toothpaste on it – it really does help.

If you get a burn put toothpaste on it again – it really does help – or soap.

Put a raspberry leaf or a broadleaf plant on small open wounds and it will cure in no time. Even soda helps.

Use baking soda to clean pipes: mix soda, boiling water, and vinegar and then pour it in down the drain.



Use baking soda when washing whites clothes to help remove stains.

Use only cold water when removing blood stains from clothes.

The early bird catches the worm. Go to bed early, get a good night’s sleep and seize the next day.

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