Commentary – Any old wives’ cures out there?

Chris Clegg

As of this writing, I am in the midst of feeling very, very sorry for myself. I am fighting the very type of cold I hate the worst.

I have all the symptoms of a doozy: scratchy throat, headaches, terrible chills, and constant coughing.

Lucky thing I got that flu shot or it would be a lot worse!

What I hate the worst about colds other than stuff shooting out of every end of you, is a scratchy throat. My throat feels like it’s been scrubbed with sandpaper.

Vicks tend to work well but I can’t stand the taste. The other option I like. Pickled garlic relieves the discomfort – I am hesitant to call it pain. No vampire let alone a woman will get near me the next few days! No biting from the vampire or smooching from the woman!

Drug companies spend billions of dollars in advertising each year, hoping to lure a victim into buying their product. While some products do relieve the symptoms, many of them are comparable to the wares peddled by a snake oil salesman. We know how fast they left town after a “sure-fire” cure was sold.

I am not a big fan of chicken soup but I’ve had two big bowls the last 24 hours. Apparently, the ingredients in the broth help while the intake of liquids keeps one hydrated. A good cure for everyone but the chicken!

I browed the Internet because I was curious. In Russia, they drink gogol mogul, a concoction made from whisking together an egg yolk and a teaspoon of honey or sugar. Pour the mixture into a half-cup of milk that’s been heated with a tablespoon of unsalted butter. Sounds not too bad!

In China, people burn Ai Ye, or wormwood. Burning the dried leaves of this plant is said to have an antiseptic effect. It’s believed to prevent cold or flu germs from spreading and to defend against further infection.

Too late! Already suffering!

And how about this? One remedy calls for greasing your throat with lard or chicken fat and then placing dirty socks around it.

Really? Not even clean socks?

The treatment may have induced sweating, which was believed to help rid the body of germs. The socks also likely labeled people with serious throat ailments.

Ah, yes, I can see the mayor afflicted with a cold wearing dirty socks at the next meeting Sheesh!

Another cure: turnips! They pack a wallop of vitamin C and are also full of vitamins A and B. In Iran, people with colds often eat a plate of cooked, mashed turnips. Besides delivering plenty of vitamin C, the root vegetable is believed to act as an expectorant. This means it may help loosen mucus and quiet a stubborn cough.

Ah, no thanks. As far as I’m concerned, even pigs push turnips to the edge of the trough and eat them last and if only necessary! Yuck!

Any well-meaning doctor will tell you once you have a cold you just have to ride it out. You can treat the symptoms but the best cure is for the good old body to eventually take care of it.

Meanwhile, there’s always more research being done on how to best fight off or prevent colds. I doubt a cure will even be found.

In the meantime, people like me will just have to suck it up and quit whining!

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