Got a Cold? Smell a Skunk!

18 10 2010

There’s no cure for the common cold, so the best we can do is find a way to feel better until the virus is gone.

Do you have home remedies that soothe the sick and unstuff the stuffy?  Send them in and we’ll post them!

In the meantime, there are the tricks we all know, like getting lots of rest and putting an extra pillow beneath our head if we’re congested, drinking fluids, and gargling with honey and lemon or warm salt water.

And, there’s every mom’s favorite—chicken soupDr. Stephen Rennard  of the University of Nebraska Medical Center took the in-laws’ chicken soup recipe into his lab and found it actually slowed cold symptoms!

After the tried-and-true tricks, there’s the tried-and-blech, which we may not be so quick to attempt.

A couple of gems gathered by Nurse Peggy Fisher from Glasgow, West Virginia are:

  • Tie a big red onion to the bedpost and it keeps the ones in the bed from having colds.
  • A dirty sock worn around your neck when you go to bed will cure a sore throat. (Peggy says: My grandmother had a dog that had tonsillitis, and she did the above and the dog got well.)

UCLA’s Online Archive of American Folk Medicine is a repository of their years of research spent gathering and recording  folk lore and medicine, providing us with more than 1,000 recipes to ease, prevent or “cure” the common cold, such as:

  • For colds, put mutton suet or tallow on the bottom of the feet, place the feet toward the fire and bake.
  • For colds and other respiratory troubles, use spirits of turpentine; or rub tallow on chest or plaster it on chest.
  • A flannel cloth moistened or soaked in melted beeswax, a small amount of lard, and two or three drops of turpentine will relieve the soreness in a child’s throat and chest caused by coughing.
  • A favorite “bitters” of the Botanics was bruised lobelia and red pepper pods covered with good whiskey, good for cholera infantum, “yaller janders,” phthisic, croup, whooping cough, colds, coughs, and catarrh.
  • Breathing the odor of skunk is effective against colds.
  • Sip turpentine and sugar for colds.
  • In Sussex, the most petted cat is turned at once out of doors if she sneezes, for should she stay and sneeze three times in the house everybody within its walls will have colds and coughs.
  • For colds: boil and inhale vinegar, burn sulphur in the house, ginger tea, peppermint tea, mustard plasters, turpentine on a sugar lump.

So there you have it. Keep this handy in case you get sick and, need we say? Check with your provider before trying any medicine, folk or otherwise, for your cold!