Pwe-usog is the treatment commonly given to afflictions associated with flatulence (kabag). In the Visayas, it is referred to as "pwe-buyag." Although flatulence is the usual presenting complaint, it may manifest as sudden cold and clammy sweating, fever, nausea or vomiting. Although known to afflict people of all ages, it is a diagnosis more often made in children.
When the distress is obviously abdominal (flatulence, nausea, or vomiting, distention and tympany), or simply distressful crying and sudden in onset, the immediate suspicion is "na-usog," believed to be a reaction to a greeting or comment from someone who might or might not be known to cause a greeting-induced or comment-induced malady. The verbally-induced malady could be caused by a greeting or comment as benign as "How are you?" or "You look good today" or "Your child is so pretty!"
A counter-utterance as "Puwera usog!" may be adequate to prevent the illness. But if the signs or symptoms of "usog" are already estabished, the therapies and rituals to counter the malady are performed.
A variety of therapies may be tried. A parent, friend or companion may try to apply the pulp side of half a calamansi on the temple, the forehead, or the abdomen. Some chew uncooked rice grains which is spat on the abdomen or spat on the palm of the hand and applied by finger-crossing on the temple, forehead or abdomen.
Leaves of medicinal plants are also utilized, bayabas, litlit. or lubigan. The medico or albularyo chews the leaves then spits it on his hands to apply to the abdomen or other body parts or spits it on the abdomen directed while he emphatically utters: "Pwe-pwe! Puwera usog, umalis ka!" or "Pwe-pwe! Puwera buyag." The albularyo may include the use of a bulong or two (whispered prayers).
The resuilts are often claimed to be so dramatic, the symptoms and signs abating within a short time, usually accompanied by the passage of flatus.
|Bulong and Orasyon
|Other Anecdotal Therapies