Thursday, January 3, 2008

TT - Strange Cold Remedies


Since I shared Lea's not at all strange and very effective cold remedy with you all yesterday, I figured why not riff off that theme for this week's TT. I give you 13 home cold remedies. The ingredients for Lia's tea are all listed here, but some of the others are a bit more, shall we say, esoteric. Yes, somebody, somewhere, is actually doing this. The "cures" are all taken off the internet, snarky comments are emphasis is mine.

1. Wet socks for sniffles
To clear congestion when you have a cold, first warm your feet in hot water, then soak a thin pair of socks in cold water, wring them out and put them on. Put a pair of thick, dry socks over the wet ones and go to bed. According to 1,001 Home Remedies (Reader's Digest), the wet socks help draw blood to your feet, thereby boosting circulation, which helps clear congestion. Yeah, thanks, but no.

2. Chocolate for coughs
If a tickly cough is bugging you, treat yourself to a bar of chocolate. Theobromine, found in cocoa, suppresses sensory nerves, which will help soothe your throat. Now this is one I can support!

"The lady at the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) shop explained that the lizards are best in a soup, and set out collecting all the bits and pieces to make the soup with. The soup ingredients (herbs) are yam, chinese dates, ginseng, medlar, and something called tragacanth. About 10 grams of each.... You cook these herbs with some pork bones and the lizards. The TCM shopkeeper told me I could eat the lizards (snap off the head and limbs and toss them out) and that the tails are the best, as in beneficial, parts to eat. They're reported to be good for asthma, colds, lungs and heart." Umm, no thanks. I don't care how well it works, no way no how am I eating a lizard!

Kam Wo Tea is great for the first stage of colds and flus, especially with a sore throat. Take at the first tickle in the throat. Excellent for singers. Ok, this one sounds a bit more palatable.

(Numbers 5-11 are taken from here)
5. Cayenne(Capsicum sp): Chilies, especially Jalapeno, are proven antiviral and most effective against cold. However, your stomach needs to tolerate the chilies to treat your virus infection! So, get into the habit of eating more chilies to develop better tolerance. Good to know, since I've been loading up Lea's homebrew with a very hefty pinch of cayenne pepper.

6. Echinacea: This is the best herb to take during the early stages of cold. Although, it's not an antibiotic and doesn't kill germs, it stimulates the production of white blood cells, which fight off the virus. In all honesty I've never found echinacea to help me all that much. I used to give it to the kids in the winter as a preventative, but it didn't seem all that effective.

7. Elderberry (Sambucus nigra): Elderberry has been used for centuries as a (natural remedy for cold and flu). It deactivates cold and flu viruses by preventing them from replicating. It’s best taken at the first signs of a cold. Sambucus nigra? Is this what sambuca is made from? I could do that...

8. Garlic (Allium sativum): This truly natural antibiotic destroys foreign bacteria with the help of a substance called allicin. Garlic is best when fresh. This one's in the tea too, and RivkA (the one with the capital A) recently recommended eating fresh garlic on toast every day as a way to stave off colds, twice a day when you're actually sick.

9. Ginger (Zingiber officinalis): Ginger, either freshly grated or powdered, taken as a tea induces sweating and elimination. It boosts the immune system and respiration. It provides relief for virtually all cold symptoms, like fever, sinus congestion, sore throat, stomachache and nausea. I'm going to try adding this one to the tea as well next time. I love freshly-grated ginger, and we always have it in the house.

10. Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis): Hyssop has some properties that make it valuable in treating colds. Hyssop is a main ingredient in za'atar, a popular spice mix here in the Middle East. We put it on salads, breads and all kinds of things. I've never heard of it being called a cure for the common cold though.

11. Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis): Lemon Balm is often found in cold formulas for feverish conditions. It’s an excellent remedy to take in the wake of a cold to nurture the nervous system and to expel feelings of lethargy. It’s best used when fresh. Melissa, as it's called in Israel, is a common herb in minty-type herbal teas. Again, I've never heard of it being particularly good for colds though.

12. The ever-popular chicken soup, otherwise known as "Jewish pennicillin". As a good Jewish mom myself I didn't need the internet for this one.
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13. "My grandma fried onions and plastered them on your chest, gave you an enema and then you could only wish you could die. The cold didn't seem too bad after that. (I should think not!) The cure was much worse than the illness. My grandfather preferred bitters for a cold. Just the name made me cringe. It was black and kept in the fridge in a gallon jar. God only knows what was really in it." Note: this same site also mentions several people who used to EAT Vicks Vapor Rub!



47 comments:

The Gal Herself said...

Echinacea and garlic I've heard of. But wet socks? Ick! I'm going to take a closer look at the chocolate remedy. (Thanks for visiting my TT)

Malcolm said...

Unless someone is allergic to it, I think we all can go along with chocolate as a cold remedy. Reading #13 made me gag. Vick's Vapor Rub looked kinda gross so I can only imagine what it tasted like.

Lori said...

Wow, what great info. Im going to give my son chocolate right now for his cough. Happy TT and thanks for stopping by.

Wani said...

I might have to remember a few of these since I've been feeling a cold coming on myself lately! Thanks for sharing!

Greatfullivin said...

I will go for the garlic and chicken soup but I'm with you, No lizards for me.(But it was awful funny)Thanks!

Kathy said...

I'm still giggling about the lizard.....aarrggh. Chocolate seems good however. My husband swears by the garlic on toast...ick! Great list though.

Kelly Mahoney said...

Wow, those are some interesting remedies. I hope I don't get sick, but if I do, I'll report back on which ones work!

Linda R. Moore said...

I still like the mulled wine with brandy and lemon/honey myself. ;)

Glad you're feeling a bit better.

they call New Year Sylvester in Germany, too.

Just one TT this week, at my new blog.

Linda

Phyllis Sommer said...

you are, as usual, impressive! your last post sounded yucky but perhaps better than some of these other ones:-)

susiej.com said...

I love these, and use MANY of them. The best remedy for a cold is apple cider vinegar. Never fails.

Gattina said...

These old grandma remedies are much better then all these chemical medications !

Yuriko said...

Mmm Chocolate! :) I like that remedy!

Shesawriter said...

My grandmom used to do a lot of these. :-)

Happy TT!
My Thursday Thirteen #6

damozel said...

Love the wet socks one---I do a similar process, sans the dry socks, to keep myself cool in the Florida summers (Is that a TMI?)

I've recently let a lot more ginger into my life---but I never made the connection between it and the reduction of my allergy symptoms. Thanks for this interesting post!

13 Unresolved Issues from 2007

sandierpastures said...

I don't eat chocolate when I have cough. It makes my throat itchy and I would not stop coughing. Not a good idea, me thinks.

Strange I know but I DO lick Vicks when I have cough, sometimes. Just a little. :-)

-Grace-

Lara Angelina said...

I really didn't get much past that chocolate bar remedy even though I'm sitting here with an awful cold and sinus infection!
Happy TT and happy 2008!

Michelle said...

Hello, followed you here from "turning the pages of life" and have to say - this so made me laugh.
Here in Mexico it is common knowledge that any time you get something wet/cold or the combination of hot/cold you'll get a cold. So that first remidy would not fly here what-so-ever!!!

Not Afraid to Use It said...

Very interesting list! I would think you could just have someone rub your feet to draw the blood down rather than the whole wet sock thing. LOL

Tink said...

I take Echinacea from september until spring, sure helps!
Thanks for visiting my attainable resolutions TT!

cajunvegan said...

Being from Lousyanna, I can tell you that Cayenne pepper is a cure-all for a lot of ailments.

Happy TT! Thanks for stopping by my Freaks and Geeks from I Read Banned Books edition.

Yen said...

These are some very nice lists! My little boy got a cough now so I'll go look on what to give from here:)Thanks for sharing:)
My Thursday 13 is up as well! Happy New Year!

Kelley said...

Chocolate actually works. But it has to be good (read expensive) stuff and you can't have a stuffed up nose.

Gaffaw at the others...

Joyismygoal said...

The timing on this one is perfect since I have a cold, I have heard of most all of these and tried the majority I swear bt lemon to cut through the mucus

Head Gaggler said...

Great minds think alike - I have a cold and wrote about it too! I need to try some of these remedies we all feel miserable.

Shannon said...

That last one cracked me up! I wonder if that was grandma's plan - to make the remedy worse than the illness. Hmmmm....

I just have to say that it amazes me that you can come up with 13 somethings to blog about every week!

Danielle said...

Some of those, if they cure the cold, I'm afraid would cause more severe complications LOL

Yuck! I think I'll still with tylenol cold ;-)

Harlekwin said...

I can definitely get behind the chocolate and chicken soup, the onion plaster and eating Vick's Vaporub, no way!

Maybe lizard soup is the Chinese equivalent of chicken soup.

Happy New Year!!

Christine@AreWeThereYetMom said...

Very interesting recommendations!

When I drink tea for a sore throat, I like to use lemon juice and then I press the juice from ginger root, it's really good.

I've heard of sticking green onions in your socks to bring down a fever, but I've never heard of Wet socks.

Marie said...

As far as the echinacea... antibiotics wouldn't do anything for a cold anyway, they're only effective against bacterial infections, not viruses. It's never done anything for me either.

Zenmomma said...

IMO chocolate cures everything!

mom huebert said...

Wet socks? I would think warm DRY socks would be better....

Janet said...

I think #1 would make me pee my pants in the middle of the night.

#13 gave me a GOOD laugh!!!

Thanks for visiting!

Sarah said...

This brings back memories of my mom making us chew raw garlic when the sniffles started. As much of a garlic lover as I am now, raw garlic is still one of the grossest things I have ever encountered. By the way, I think I'll try the wet socks remedy on dh before it comes anywhere near me, lol.

~Virginia~ said...

Oooh! I support any remedy that has chocolate in it! :)

Lea said...

Jumping lizards and wet socks, Robin!!! These are wild!!! Whatever was in that black jar in the fridge... ewwwwwwww!!!

I am so glad "mom's" cold tea worked for you! It's pouring rain here (you wouldn't believe the typo I almost made...), so maybe I'd better make myself a cup!

I'm going to save this page for future reference, but no lizard soup, thank you very much!

xakara said...

I think I'll be going the chocolate route. It sounds more my speed. ;)

~X

pussreboots said...

#12 is our usual go-to remedy. Happy TT.

Darla said...

Oh, these are fun! My husband's got a cold--I'm going to show him this, and see how much better he feels immediately!

bernie said...

Thanks for visiting my TT - I Linked your post from 13 Political Reasons the Chicken Crossed the Road

infinitygoods said...

That's some really nice natural remedies. Here's to a Happy and Healthy New Year 2008!!

Lis Garrett said...

I'll take the bowl of chicken soup followed by a chocolate bar!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I've had rattlesnake pierogies; what's wrong with lizard soup after that?

Okay, it's gross. But so is the idea of rattlesnake pierogies!

edj said...

The lizard soup reminded me of Mauritanian traditional remedies. They believe that lizard meat is good for diabetes. My favorite though? Lion's urine as a treatment for asthma. You're supposed to drink it. But how would you develop enough of a taste for it to know you weren't being cheated? ;)
And I LOVE LOVE LOVE za'atar but never seem to live in places where I can find it. I bet I could find it somewhere in Ptld now. Globalization is my friend.

Shelly Kneupper Tucker said...

I love the chocolate for coughs. It's also great for just about anything else. Lizard soup...I'd just rather die thank you. I didn't know that chicken soup was called "Jewish penicillin!" My Mamaw was Southern Baptist, and it was her remedy, too (lol).
Um...I remember tasting Vics Vaporub when I was a kid. I swear by it as a cold remedy, but don't recommend eating it.
Susie J says recommended apple cider vinegar, and I hate to admit it works!
Good list!
Shelly
This Eclectic Life

Nicholas said...

I always enjoy chicken soup, whether I'm healthy or ill. Bring it on!

Fourier Analyst said...

Uhh, I think I'll stick with chicken soup and Lea's remedy!!

Anonymous said...

Don't stop posting such stories. I love to read blogs like that. BTW add more pics :)