We all know that one member of the family; they’re usually older, probably lived through the Great Depression and when somebody gets sick they’ve got that old, cobbled together book of some of cures that have been passed down from generation to generation. Chances are that you should run away… but there is an outside shot that your ancestors were on to something when it comes to some of the bizarre remedies for common colds and afflictions.
First of all, the strange ideas. These come out of Texas, so that might explain why they’re strange. Painting cow manure on your bare chest in the sign of the crucifix is supposed to cure the common cold. Rubbing your soles with tallow and turpentine and resting them against a warm wood stove or wearing the skin of a white weasel around your neck is supposed to cure cold as well. Another cure suggestion is to make a powder of dried frog skins, mix them with fruit juice and drink them. Strange, huh?
Some other cures are more common, but they don’t sound like they should work. The hot toddy for instance is a cure that many people swear by, but it sounds like a horrible idea. A hot toddy is made with whiskey, citrus and hot water. The citrus is good for your system (but better if you take it before your cold manifests), and the hot water will help open up your air ways and loosen your congestion. The whiskey also has an anti-inflammatory effect on your system, which can help you throw off your sickness a little sooner.
There are a variety of foods that people swear by that if you listen to them also sound like old wives’ tales. For instance, chicken soup actually will help you heal faster. The heat of the liquid, and the nutrients in the broth, aid your body in fighting off a cold. It’s even more effective if you put a lot of garlic in the soup, because garlic has allicin in it, which has been scientifically shown to be a decongestant. Ginger is also a good decongestant when it’s powdered and taken as tea. Even chili peppers, which sound like they’d be unhealthy given that they can make your stomach react, have been shown to contain anti-viral properties. Cayenne, jalapeno and other chili peppers all fit into this category, and you can spice up a little bit of your food by putting some of the powdered pepper in them.
“Strange Cold Remedies,” by Robin at Around the Island
“Grandpa Pencil Finds Some Really Weird Home Remedies,” by Grandpa Pencil at Grandpa Pencil
“Old Fashioned Cold Remedies,” by Steve Edwards at How to Be Fit