105-year-old woman who beat the Spanish Flu and Covid shares her secret

105-year-old woman who beat the Spanish Flu and Covid shares her secret

For anyone still searching for the elixir of life in the 21st century, this advice from Lucia DeClerck might not be the worst place to start.

The 105-year-old has survived not just Covid-19, but also the Spanish flu epidemic a century prior.

According to The New York Times, DeClerck is quick to attribute her wellbeing and longevity to “prayer, prayer, prayer”, in addition to maxims such as “one day at a time” and “no junk food.”

But just as you might hope, DeClerck also has a lifelong ritual or two, which she continues to swear by.

Most notably, DeClerck makes sure to eat nine gin-soaked raisins every morning.

“Fill a jar,” she told the paper. “Nine raisins a day after it sits for nine days.”

In addition to booze-drenched dried grapes, DeClerck is also reportedly keen on drinking aloe vera juice and brushing her teeth with baking soda – and, according to relatives, was 99 years old before her first dental cavity.

“We would just think, ‘Grandma, what are you doing? You’re crazy,’” her 53-year-old granddaughter, Shawn Laws O’Neil, told The Times. “Now the laugh is on us. She has beaten everything that’s come her way.”

Gin-soaked, or “drunken” raisins, were first widely popularised as a home remedy for joint pain as far back as the 1950s by American broadcaster Paul Harvey, but there is not yet any strong scientific evidence showing their efficacy.

There has, however, been some promising research into the anti-inflammatory and healing benefits of aloe vera and the efficacy of baking soda in helping to maintain dental hygiene – but, to be clear, that’s not to say we’d recommend you ditch your toothpaste or start farming aloe vera just yet.

As well as these home remedies, it’s worth pointing out that DeClerck, who both celebrated her birthday and tested positive for coronavirus on 25 January, reportedly received her second dose of the Pfizer vaccine the day prior – with new data from the UK rollout showing significant reductions in cases and severe disease after just one dose.

But in terms of non-medical interventions, DeClerck’s relatives suggest the Hawaii-born resident of New Jersey’s “unwavering compassion” and dedication to community service may have also played a role in her remarkable fortitude.

Her son, Henty Laws III, told CBS News: “She’s just been open with everything in life and I think that has really helped her because she hasn’t hesitated to do whatever she’s wanted to do.”

Cheers to that! Ours is a gin and raisin.

More: What’s the greatest gift we can give during the pandemic?

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