Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Vintage Cough Remedies

Because there are a number of sore throat and laryngitis infections circulating around here, and because I know many of you are heading into winter, this week's Kitchen Tip Tuesday tip is a list of vintage cough remedies.

This list comes from The New Hard Times Handbook, by Keith and Irene Smith, which is unfortunately out of print.

Please note that I cannot guarantee the effectiveness of any of these recipes!
  1. 1 T olive oil, juice of 1 lemon, 1T honey, white of 1 egg. Mix. Dose: 1 tsp every 2 hours.
  2. 1 medium onion chopped very finely, sprinkled heavily with brown sugar. Let sit for 3 hours. Give to patient (including children) to eat as much as they feel like.
  3. 50g garlic (approx. 2 large cloves). Boil garlic in 3 cups water until 1 1/2 cups remain. Strain, add 1 cup honey, 1 cup vinegar, let simmer for 5 minutes. Bottle.
  4. 1 tsp glycerine, 1 T pale brandy, 3 T boiling water. Mix. Will relieve ticklish cough when taken in teaspoons at 1/2 hour intervals.


My husband swears by hot tea with honey when he has a sore throat, while I like boiling water with honey and lemon. I have never tried any mixtures using garlic or onions.

Do you have any tried-and-true cough or cold remedies that you'd like to share?

22 comments:

Rose/CountryLife said...

My grandma swore by fixing a cup of hot tea and adding brandy, lemon juice and honey mixed together. I can't remember the quantities. We just pour some in a mug and taste test. This does work.

Sondra said...

I was all about the honey and lemon one until I saw egg white. Sounds slimy, oohh just can't stand the thought of that! LOL!
I bet it works tho.

tracy said...

At night, if you've got a nasty cough, my grandmother and great-grandmother would put Vicks or some form of mentholatum on the bottom of the feet and put on socks. It seems to work for my 2 year old. Nothing better than a toddler witha good nights sleep. :)

Kirstin said...

A friend just told me that if you have a cough, put vicks vapo rub (some type of mentholatum rub) generously on the bottoms of your feet. Cover with socks and supposedly it is supposed to stop coughing, becasue of soemthing that has to do with your feet, or whatever...I found the article online so here's the link. We're hardly ever sick so I'd be curious as to whether this works since there's nothing more annoying than the night time cough

http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/medical/a/vicks_for_cough.htm

Em said...

I like straight lemon juice and Manuka honey, mixed together and taken a teaspoon at a time when your throat feels irritated. It seems to help in winter when I get persistent coughs :)

The Tin House said...

Kate, I saw a copy of the book at the bookshop today if you're interested.

Suzanne said...

I'm with you, lemon and honey with some hot water seems to do the trick. I start having one every night at the beginning of winter and I usually don't a cold or flu.

BittersweetPunkin said...

Now that my kids aren't in public school I find we don't get sick! I have to say I like Robitussin...or Nyquil...LOL

I know I haven't popped over to visit you in forever,,I am trying to catch up now...sorry for not coming over sooner....I do enjoy your blog so much and I need to go read what I missed right now!
Blessings,
Robin

Kristen said...

My grandma makes a hot totty... I think that is how you spell it. It has like a cup of hot brandy, lemon, and honey in it. That will cure what ails ya'. :)

Nancy said...

Boy, I'm with you, just the honey and lemon would do for me, not the onion and garlic. Hope everyone is well soon.

Niki RuralWritings said...

my son in laws family places an open cut onion on the night table beside the bed over night. I haven't tried it, but they swear by it. Maybe it works? Must be the fumes.....

Rosehaven Cottage said...

Well, what a timely post as I am down for the count with a cold I picked up sometime over the holiday weekend (probably traveling on the train).

My favorite "remedy"? Hot Tang! Yup! It is great for soothing a sore throat AND I get Vitamin C too. My mom started giving it to me as a kid, and I still break it out everytime I get sick.

Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

Jill said...

I always find just drinking plenty of cold water helps, the coldness on the hot, dry, raspy throat feels wonderful!

Rose said...

For a cold or stuffy nose-I boil a pot of water-put a towel over my head and place my face over the boiling pot. That will clear up any chest congestion. For ear aches I put hot olive oil on a little piece of cotton and stick it in my ear. It kills the pain. Also never lay down straight on my back because that will cause pneumonia if you are feeling unwell. Try and walk and take deep breaths to clear your lungs. For children, I also boil water and add lemon and honey. I do what is called PT-i place them over my knees and cup my hand and pat their backs around 10 times until they get the phlegm out and start coughing. Also, garlic is wonderful rubbed on the feet. i also drink a lot of ginger ale if I have nausea. I always put a cutup onion next to my bed to clear up a stuffy nose. I will add more of my family's remedies later. Blessings, Rose

Rose said...

My daughter just reminded me about chicken soup! Julilla makes a great soup for me when I have a cough. She is into all these herbs and she adds them to her chicken soup.Blessings, Rose

Our Family of Five said...

oh I LOVE this, thanks so much for sharing!!

Our Red House said...

Thank you for all these great suggestions. I love the idea of folk wisdom that we pass down through our families, from one generation to the next.

Kate

LadiesoftheHouse said...

My husband is from Poland and the Polish people know everything about natural remedies because it's usually all they ever had. My mother in law chops onion into small bits and pours honey over it in a mug. She sets the whole thing on the mantle to get warm and then has you drink it. There is a healing substance in the onion that only comes out after you cut it and let it sit. The honey is naturally full of antibiotics and the heat eases the pain in your throat.

Also, the warm, wool socks were what my Grandma did for us. We are very fortunate here and haven't been ill, sick or even had the sniffles in 6 years. Thanks for the info--I love your blog Kate!

Rose said...

At the onset of a cold, I always add 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and ginger to 1 cup of scalded milk. Also, Ginger tea contains a dozen antiviral compounds: 1 teaspoon of grated ginger root to 1 cup of boiling water. Steep 10 minute's. If you use ginger powder-just add 1/2 teaspoon per cup. Sip slowly and swish around the mouth so that the enzymes mix in the saliva and gets the herbs into the blood stream. Stay healthy, Rose

Kimmie said...

Hi Kate;

Let's see 2 come to mind;

raw garlic...my Hungarian Papa swore by it and I shared it with my Hungarian adopted daughter (13) now she has taken the tradition upon herself...she is distributor of the raw clove to those with a sore throat or cough...I think just thinking about having her approach you with a "second" clove makes you get better almost instantly ;-) Yes, you chew it and swallow it all. (and yes, you smell but the natural antibiotic qualities of garlic work great!) *be brave!

The second one we started last year...equal parts of apple cider vinegar and honey...mix it and upon the first sign of a sore throat or cough take 2 tablespoons. You can take as much as you want, just always dip into the jar with a clean spoon- or you will contaminate the batch. Refrigerate the remainder portions, keeps for a season at least in our house.

Hope this helps someone ;-)

Kimmie
mama to 6
one homemade and 5 adopted

Anonymous said...

It was certainly interesting for me to read this post. Thank you for it. I like such themes and anything connected to them. BTW, why don't you change design :).

Our Red House said...

Hi Anonymous,

I assume you are asking why my blog has a summer theme midwinter. The reason is that I live in Australia and it is midsummer here.

Kate