馬齒莧中國草藥故事(十二)

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1992 / 10月

文‧洪義男 圖‧洪義男



1.有一個老婆婆,生了三個兒子。大兒子和二兒子都各自成家,只有小兒子年紀還輕,未娶太太。

2.於是老婆婆為小兒子買了一個「童養媳」,準備將來送作堆。

3.十四年後,童養媳已長成亭亭玉立的姑娘。

4.可是,老婆婆對小媳婦很兇,讓她穿破衣吃剩菜,一點小事不順心就又打又罵。

5.大媳婦心腸壞,老是挑撥是非,說小媳婦的壞話。

6.二媳婦心地善良,每當小媳婦挨打,都會出來說好話。

7.有一年夏天,村子裡流行赤痢,死了很多人。小媳婦也開始拉肚子。

8.那丫頭已經不能工作,把她趕出去算了!

9.她是花錢買的,趕出去實在可惜。先觀察一陣子,要是病好了,還可以差遣。

10.小媳婦終於被趕到菜園裡的小茅屋。

11.婆婆不把我當人看,丈夫又年輕不懂事,不能保護我。這樣活下去有什麼意思,不如死了,免得活受罪。

12.你還年輕,將來日子還很長,不要做這種傻事。我給你帶了一鍋稀飯,拿去吃吧!放心,我會叫你二哥請醫生替你看病。

13.這些話使小媳婦改變心意,不想再尋短見。

14.隔天,二嫂沒來,第三天也沒來,鍋裡的稀飯全吃完了,小媳婦餓得眼冒金星。

15.小媳婦餓得受不了,只好摘田埂的野草吃,暫時填填肚子。

16.吃了幾天野草後,很意外地身體元氣恢復了,她動身回家。

17.回到家門,竟看到未婚夫穿著孝服。

18.發生了什麼事?

19.你還活著?母親和兄嫂都得赤痢死了,二嫂也病在床上……

20.二嫂也…對了!那種野草可以止下痢……

21.小媳婦立刻到園裡摘回許多野草,煮給二嫂吃。結果,二媳婦的病真的好了。

22.這種野草是一種莧菜,可治赤痢,因為形狀像「馬」的「牙齒」,所以被叫做「馬齒莧」。

馬齒莧(植物名)

形態:春季生苗,平臥地上,分歧成長,莖圓。葉莖多汁,開黃色五瓣花,結實,中藏黑色種籽。

性味:味酸,性寒,無毒。

功效:主散血、解毒、殺蟲治疤痢、毒蟲、毒蛇之刺傷等,種籽可明目除醫。

(須經中醫處方指示使用)

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EN

Purslane

Hung I-nang /photos courtesy of Hung I-nang /tr. by Peter Eberly


1. There was once an old woman who had three sons. The first two were married, but the third was still too young.

2. She adopted a little girl to be his future bride.

3. Fourteen years later, the girl had grown into a lovely young woman.

4. The old woman was very strict with her. She made the girl wear old clothes and eat leftovers, and she beat and scolded her on the slightest pretext.

5. The wife of her eldest son was wicked. She was always stirring up trouble and bearing malicious tales about the girl to the old woman.

6. The wife of the second son was kindhearted and spoke up for the girl whenever she was beaten.

7. Dysentery was rampant in the village one summer and many people died. The child bride also contracted it.

8. "since she can't work any more, let's get rid of her and be done with her!" the eldest son's wife said.

9. "We paid good money for her," the old woman thought, "so it would be a pity to get rid of her. Let's watch her for a while, and if she get s better we can still get some use out of her."

10. The girl was driven out into a little hut in the fields.

11. "The Missus treats me like an animal, and my husband is too young and ingenuous to protect me," she thought. "There's no point in going on like this. I'd rather be dead than suffer this living hell."

12. "Don't do anything rash," her second sister-in-law urged. "You're st ill young, with a long life ahead of you. Here's a bowl of rice porridge I've brought for you to eat. Don't worry. I'll tell my husband to call a doctor to have a look at you."

13. Her words caused the girl to buck up and take heart.

14. But her sister-in-law didn't come back the next day, nor the day aft er that. The porridge was all gone, and the girl was faint with hunger.

15. She was so famished she tried to still her hunger with weeds from th e field.

16. Much to her surprise, several days later she recovered and set out f or home.

17. When she arrived, she saw her husband in mourning clothes.

18. "What happened?" she asked.

19. "Are you still alive?" he cried. "Mother and number one sister-in-la w are dead, and second sister-in-law is sick in bed. . . ."

20. "Second sister-in-law . . . That's it! Those weeds will cure her. . ." she thought.

21. The girl returned to the field at once and picked many of the plants, which she boiled into a concoction and gave her sister-in-law to take. Soon enough she got well, too.

22. Purslane cures dysentery. Its leaves are said to resemble a horse's teeth, whence its Chinese name, ma-chih-hsien or "horse-tooth amaranth."

Purslane

Appearance: Sprouts in the spring. Lies low to the ground and divides into numerous branches.

Round stems. Leaves and stems are juicy. Flowers are yellow and five-petaled. Bears fruit with black seeds.

Properties: Acrid to the taste, cold in nature, nontoxic.

Efficacy: Relieves internal heat. Cures dysentery and bites from venemous insects and snakes. Seeds are good for the eyesight.

(To be used by prescription only.)

 

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