A Permanent but Unexpected Cure

August 19, 2015

Personal Growth

A boil is a painful, pus-filled lump under the skin that begins in a hair follicle or oil gland. At about age eight I began to experience a series of these, each of which was treated with hot compresses and sometimes by lancing the lesion if it became large and painful enough. I found the boils—which recurred in various locations for weeks—and the treatment to be most annoying.

One night my father told me about a treatment he’d heard from my maternal grandmother’s brother, Uncle Clarence. Many years before, Clarence had suffered from persistent and recurrent boils for more than a year, but then he met some old man in the local post office, who described a “sure-fire” cure. Despite the dubious source, Clarence tried the cure and experienced almost immediate relief, without a recurrence for the rest of his life.

My father told me that all Clarence had done was to drink two tablespoons of rosin mixed in a glass of water. Rosin is the dried and powdered form of resin—which is a viscous secretion usually obtained from pine trees—and is used to coat violin bows, the hands of baseball pitchers, and the shoes of ballet dancers. The powder is very light and hydrophobic, so when Dad put the rosin in the glass, it bobbed on the surface like a cork and didn’t dissolve into the water at all. I was not about to drink anything that looked so bizarre. No way.

So Dad said he’d drink some first, a gesture of kindness to demonstrate that it wasn’t dangerous or nasty. He swirled the powder with a spoon as fast as he could, which barely caused some of it to move halfway down into the water, after which it immediately bobbed to the surface again. Hmmm, what now? He swirled again, this time drinking the whole glass as fast as he could, leaving powder all over the glass and his lips. But I figured that it didn’t kill him, so I probably wouldn’t die either, and I was willing to do almost anything to get rid of those painful boils.

We both went to bed, but about an hour later, I awoke, itching from head to toe with an intensity I had never before experienced—think poison ivy or mosquito bites over every inch of your skin. I didn’t know what to do, so I went to the kitchen, looking for relief in I-didn’t-know-what. There was my father, scratching himself all over. We both burst into laughter, realizing that we had the same problem, which could only have come from drinking the rosin.

In those days they didn’t have over-the-counter medication for everything, nor did you go to the emergency room unless you were nearly dead, so Dad got into a tub of hot water for a few minutes—then considered a cure for most ailments—after which I did the same. In the first sixty seconds of immersion, the itching—which I thought couldn’t possibly get worse—increased at least four-fold, but then it subsided almost entirely and stayed away for about thirty minutes after getting out of the tub. Dad and I alternated this treatment of agony followed by relief almost all night, until finally the itching subsided completely.

Within two days, my boils disappeared, and I’ve never had another in the many decades since. My medical training has no explanation for this cure, although I have since found reference to it in some old medical books. Although I don’t understand how rosin could cure boils, I would nonetheless prescribe it without hesitation to anyone in the future who complained of recurrent boils unresponsive to other treatments. Why? Because the rosin WORKED. The side effects were unpleasant for a bit, but they were worth it for the benefits obtained.

Real Love often seems like a fantasy to people who haven’t experienced it, and certainly they can’t imagine how it could bring happiness into their lives when nothing else has ever worked long-term. But the fact remains that Real Love is simply effective, as proven by every person who diligently studies and lives it. Sure, sometimes the initial side effects—unfamiliarity, disorientation, sense of withdrawal—can be uncomfortable, but the results are well worth anything we have to sacrifice to obtain them.

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