When autumn began, so did the season of sore throats and sniffles.  Thus, I shall start this Blog with some family remedies. Today I start with a small but effective compress.

Sore Throat & Swollen Glances

You need:

1 wash cloth (or a small cotton or linen scarf)

1 small towel

1 wool scarf

Take the wash cloth and rinse it thoroughly with cold water. Wring it semi-dry and apply around the neck. Then put the towel and the wool scarf over it. Leave around the neck for a couple of hours and repeat several times. It creates a sauna effect around your neck.

The cold water cloth is really uncomfortable and feels counter-intuitive but as soon as the wool scarf is over it, it becomes comfortable.

A not proven remedy: put an old dirty wool sock around your neck and then a scarf over it apparently works wonders against a sore throat. … I have to say though, my granddad had always a mischievous twinkle in his eyes when he, straight-faced as a billboard, recommended this particular treatment.

Now there is a coincidence I just started reading The Red Church or The Art of Pennsylvania German Braucherei by C.R.Bilardi (2009, Pendraig Publishing, L.A.) and found out that a herb called asafetida was used against colds and sore throats. To treat sore throat it was placed in a woolen sock and then applied around the neck. Over time, so Bilardi, the usage of the herb slipped out of the lore and left was the sock.

For more information about this plant check out Gernot Katzer’s Spice Pages.

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