A local gal's love and know-how for natural remedies

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Darrell Starling, Roberts' boyfriend, is a 28-year-old University of South Florida student and basketball player. Starling injured his lip while playing basketball one day and allowed Roberts to rub some ginger on his wound. "At first I was very skeptical," Starling said.  "I thought I was going to need stitches, but after a week and a half it healed and I had no scar."

Like any other young man, Starling does not like to visit the doctor nor does he like to take any medicine. He prefers to be nursed back to health by Roberts and her remedies. "I’m always calling her up and asking her what do I do for this, or what do I do for that," Starling said. "If she doesn’t have an answer she will either ask her family or look it up on the Internet."

[image-1]Roberts, on the other hand, is not an extremist, nor is she against seeing a doctor when sick. "My mother would take me to the doctor if I had either a really bad fever, or if it was time for my annual check up and vaccinations," Roberts recalled. "The only time she wouldn’t allow me to get a shot would be when there were too many negative side effects."

Roberts sees natural remedies as a way of life. She drinks cod liver oil, takes vitamin C and swallows garlic clove supplements to help prevent disease. According to Roberts, taking garlic cloves are not only good for the heart, but they also act as an antiviral. "Natural remedies are normally very effective in the long run," Roberts said. "It means taking care of yourself so you can avoid getting sick."

Chanell Anderson is Roberts’ long time friend since middle school. Anderson’s major is gerontology, the social study of aging. Roberts introduced Anderson to MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) and Vitamin C, which are two supplements that help produce strong, healthy nails, hair and skin. "I never really liked to take medicine, but I do take vitamins," Anderson said. "I thank Kristal for introducing me to MSM.  I find it helpful since I am studying gerontology."

Anderson takes Roberts' advice seriously when it comes to remedies for natural hygiene. "Kristal suggested one day to try coconut oil," Anderson said. "I love it! I use it for my skin, hair, and even for cooking. It smells like I just stepped out of a spa."

Roberts is happy to share her knowledge of natural remedies with friends and family. "I love discovering little remedies," Roberts said. "They are so helpful and important because if you can take care of yourself at home, then why not?"

Editor's Note: The views expressed in this post are not necessarily those of Creative Loafing. This piece is not suggesting that you stop seeing professional medical experts - it simply highlights the benefits of the using natural remedies as supplements for a healthy lifestyle. Obviously, check with your doctor before doing so.

Twenty-four year old Kristal Roberts is quite the health guru when it comes to ailments and natural remedies.

Born in New York and raised in Florida, Roberts was brought up by Jamaican parents who used natural remedies to cure simple illnesses.

Her mother, Gretel Roberts, was raised in "the bush" countryside of Jamaica. "She came from a place where access to doctors was very limited," Roberts said, "so my family improvised and made their own remedies."

Stories have been passed down from generation to generation within Roberts' family about miraculous cures from natural remedies. On one occasion Roberts’ uncle knocked over a kettle of wood, burning his face. Roberts' great grandmother quickly commanded someone to go to the beach and fetch a seashell, which was supposed to cure burns. Once she had the seashell, she ground it into a fine dust and brushed the powder on his wound. After a few days, the wound was gone, without the slightest hint of a scar.

These types of stories inspire Roberts to discover more natural remedies and to pass on her knowledge to close friends and loved ones.

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