What is an example of how different cultures use objects or substances to maintain, protect or restore health?

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stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

For many who have grown up in the Indo-European traditions based on wisdom and traditions that go back to Jewish roots, the stereotype of the worried Jewish grandmother telling someone who is ill to have some chicken soup as a cure for the illness is a prime example of a natural curative.

While family members have given each other chicken soup to cure head colds and other ills for generations, only in the relatively recent past has medical science been able to explain the actual medical benefits of chicken soup for those suffering from a cold. Chicken soup helps to slow the inflammation that may accompany a cold by "inhibiting the movement of neutrophils — immune system cells that participate in the body's inflammatory response." Chicken soup (and its steam) also can speed up the discharge of mucus, leading to an easing of congestion and moving viruses out of the nasal passages more quickly.