Esther O'Loughlin 1 Nov 2018 05:13pm

Six alternative ways to cure a cold

The days are shortening, the temperature is dropping and colleagues are dropping like flies with the lurgy

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Caption: There are a surprising number of sock-related remedies

While wrapping up and staying hydrated are sensible steps to avoiding or shifting a cold, here are some of the more unconventional methods (that may or may not work), involving a surprising number of socks

Grease up

This historical way of combatting a cold is not for the faint hearted, or indeed anyone, really. It suggests greasing your throat with chicken fat and covering the area in dirty socks, this, the thinking goes, helps you sweat out the virus. Meanwhile, sheep fat wrapped in a flannel with herbs was also placed on the chest to draw out a cough.

Kogel mogel

A traditional Polish remedy, this sweet drink is made by mixing raw egg yolks, and honey or sugar into warm milk. It’s also found in Russia (under the name Gogul Mogul) where it can contain vodka or whiskey. Originally thought to be an affordable cure for sore throats and laryngitis, it is now served as a popular dessert.

A sock full of onions

In addition to vampires, carrying a clove of garlic in your pocket was also thought to ward off colds (and anyone who doesn’t like the smell of garlic, presumably). Better to go one step further, however, and place a slice of onion on the soles of your feet, putting on socks and leaving them as you sleep. This is because of science - it is believed that onions absorb toxins.

Boiled flaxseeds

While a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down, a spoonful of flaxseeds is believed to make the medicine. When boiled, the seeds emit a jelly that’s thought to be a strong antibiotic. A tablespoonful boiled in half a cup of water will thicken it, but once strained will require sugar or honey to make it palatable.

Lemon and honey

Not exactly “alternative” but one of the most popular homemade remedies. Lemon juice and honey dissolved in a cup of hot water is believed to soothe a sore throat, while the steam is thought to help open the sinuses. Adding freshly ground ginger apparently helps fight infection.

Chicken soup

Food for the soul. It’s loaded with vitamins and minerals thought to help break down congestion, reduce inflammation and settle nausea. Also, it’s very delicious. In some Asian countries, dried lizard soup with dates and yams is thought to be an even more effective recipe.