The Strangest Cold and Flu Remedies You’ve Never Heard Of

Having the cold or flu can be a huge inconvenience. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but it’s annoying nonetheless. All over the world, every culture has its own unique and weird way of combating this illness. Forget Vicks VapoRub or cough syrup, why not have some lizard soup or some gogol-mogol. Who knows, it just might work better than whatever you normally do. So why don’t you take a look at the strangest cold and flu remedies you’ve never heard of.

1. Lizard Soup

Lizard soup to the Chinese is like chicken soup to Americans. Instead of chicken breast, you’ll add just one dehydrated lizard to your broth of yams and dates. You’ll know it’s done when the yams are cooked to perfection. Then you gobble it down while it’s still hot. It is said that lizard soup helps with coughing and other common cold symptoms. And like chicken soup, this reptilian broth will aid in replacing the lost fluids from sweating and blowing your nose.

2. Gogol-Mogol

“Just what is gogol-mogol?” you ask. It’s a kind of medicinal hot drink commonly made in Russia and Ukraine. All you need is to beat one egg yolk with a teaspoon of sweetener, sugar or honey, into a half a cup of hot milk. Finally, you mix in one tablespoon of unsalted butter until it’s dissolved. Strange, right? The logic behind this is that egg yolk soothes the throat while the L-tryptophan in the milk helps you sleep better. For the adults reading this, you can always add a little rum or cognac.

3. Onions and Lard

There’s this old English remedy where you stuff sliced raw onion inside a pair of socks before placing it on your feet. This one is quite effective due to the allicin present in onions which is an antioxidant that is proven to reduce inflammation in the body. Another one is greasing your neck with chick fat or lard then wrapping a pair of dirty socks around it. This is said to induce sweating which reduces a fever. Also, some people claim that rubbing the bottom of your feet with Vicks VapoRub before wearing socks reduces congestion and coughing.

4. Wet Socks

While we’re still talking about socks, here’s another unusual method involving them: wet socks. Well, it’s more of a wet sock-dry sock combination. You start off with a pair of cotton or wool socks and soak them in ice cold water. Then you pull them over your bare feet. Shivers. Next, you follow up with a pair of dry socks of the same material and head off to dreamland. When you wake up the wet sock should be nice and dry. Apparently, this little routine increases your body’s natural immunity by increasing the blood flow to the feet while simultaneously relieving the congestion in your head. It’s also supposed to help to clear the waste from the body.

5. Cupping and Scraping

In case you didn’t know what cupping is, it’s an ancient Chinese healing remedy where you place cups on the skin, which create a suction in that area when it is heated or pumped naturally. The goal of this strange practice is to trigger your body’s energy, which in turn helps it heal and recover faster. And then there’s scraping; it’s done by running a gua sha tool along the lymphatic, meridian points, myofascial lines and muscle fibers of the body. This opens up the skin’s pores and releases any inflammation that may be present during a cold.


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