Usog is similar to
"bales" in its presentation as abdominal distress, usually
as flatulence or abdominal distention, sometimes accompanied by severe nausea
Sometimes, usog is attributed to the inhaling of "alimuom," the sulfuric odorous heat vapors that come from the surface of the earth, especially after a rain preceded by a long period of dry weather.
Some give attribution to a "bad or evil wind or air" (masamang hangin) that emanates from someone who is supernaturally endowed with such an ability to cause ill health through verbal utterances.
Home remedies, usually done by the parents, abound. One consists of applying warmed poultice of mamin leaves, mixed with a little coconut oil, to the abdomen. Sometimes, coconut oil alone, anointed on the abdomen or forehead will suffice. Some may try a bulong or an orasyon, from a personal treasury of collected prayers or through consulations with a local healer or someone knowledgeable or more accessible in the immediate neighborhood.
Another remedy is the burning of a clump of wet earth, preferably taken from the "punso" (a mound of earth believed to be habited by thenuno, actually a termite mound) and placed on a half of a coconut shell, which is placed on a fire and heated to the point of embers. The embered earth is then doused with water to create the cloud of smoke which is made to engulf the patient. The use of the smoke is similar to that in "suob."
Failure of the verbal antidote and
home therapies will warrant a visit to the albularyo. The healer will
often suggest a whole body application of "nga-nga" (a chewable
mixture of bunga [betel nut], apog, lilit leaves, and tabakong intsik)
or pinning of an "unton" (A small pouch, usually about an inch square and
red, filled with any of a variety of materials, like: tree bark, sili
leaves, seeds, grain, Chinese tobacco, carabao horn, etc. that is pinned
on the shirt). (See: Bales)
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