All Hail Garlic, and Other at Home Remedies

The worst thing that could ever happen to me is happening right now. I’m sick, and I want to cry and scream and flail but it hurts too much. Paper cuts? Whatever. Dislocated knee? Eh. Falling backwards off a trampoline? Mom, I’m fine. Geez.

Sore throat, headache, stuffy nose, cold sweats, nausea? I am down for the count. I am 25 going on 5. I want my mommy and cuddles and pity. Pet my head and tuck me in. I am worse than a man when it comes to sickness. I literally wish for a broken arm instead. Plus, it makes it so, even though I want to, I can’t possible find the energy to do…well, anything. But post most of all. All those words and the typing and reading and the editing. Ugh.

I’ve been whiny and flushed and pitiful for two straight days, and now I’m at least coherent. Hello, world. I didn’t die, even though it felt like it. I’m still gross and coughy, but now I can breathe through one and a half sides of my nose.

Since I’m sure everyone else out there loves being sick just as much as me, I decided I’d help us both out. I combined my wanderlust and my blurry head- sorry hold on, brb.

You know the worst thing about nausea? There’s nothing you can do about it. You want to throw up and just get it over with, but NOPE! Your body just sits there churning and dying. Anyway-

Point is, I looked up home remedies from around the world, and you won’t believe what I found out. Currency, time zones, language. So many things keep the good people of the world separate, but the one thing that we all agree on? Garlic!

Literally every place I looked up said garlic was the end all be all for sick. Here’s how they do it.

My dream homeland, Ireland, is pretty famous for it’s sickness remedy: a hot toddy. Now, this one I know. It’s a southern tradition, but we don’t put the famed ginger in it. Now I know why we’ll never be better. In An Irish Home, says this is the way it’s done. “Ginger Hot Tea and Irish Hot Whiskey are both part of the “Toddy” family. A toddy is typically a mixed drink made of alcohol, water, sugar, and spice. In Ireland, especially, it’s considered a traditional “cure” for colds and the flu.”


3″ piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

1,000ml/4 cups water

2-3 tablespoons honey (preferably Manuka Honey)



1. Bring the water to the boil and pour into a teapot. Add the ginger.

2. Stir in the honey and let steep for 3-5 minutes.

3. Add a squeeze of lemon and stir again. Just before serving, taste and add more honey and/or lemon if desired.

4. To serve, strain the tea through a tea strainer into four cups. Serve immediately.

It probably doesn’t surprise you that Russia is a fan of the powerful ingredient as well. Pimsleur Speaks praises, “Garlic, with its powerful antibacterial and immune system-boosting effects, is widely used for homeopathic purposes in Russia, helping with everything from colds to toothaches to open wounds.” But Russia isn’t a country that does anything half-assed. Garlic not hitting the spot? Why not try…mustard plasters? “Made of a mixture of dry mustard, flour, and water, then spread on a cloth and applied over the chest or back, these help draw out all the gunk in your system, and reinvigorate your circulation.”

Next, Chile’s naturally got a little spice to it, so garlic would fit right in, but garlic isn’t nearly enough for those south of the border. You should also note a running theme in every place in the world, including here in the states; alcohol is a cure all. If not for your cold, then for your broken heart. Stubbed your toe? Drink up. Headache? Take a shot. Lung cancer? I’ll leave the bottle for you…

Too much?

Luckily Chilean’s just want you to sip a brew. “To get over your cold a little quicker,” advises Sarah from the Pittsburgh Center for Complementary Health and Healing, “mix the following: 1 Pilsner beer, juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 pinch of salt. Enjoy!” That’s just one of her Chilean cures. Another I found interesting: for a fever or headache, “slice a potato into coins. Place slices all around eyes and on forehead.” What?! That’s got to be either genius or complete bullshit. We’ll find out as soon as I’m done writing this.

Finally, all the way down at the tip of the world, garlic is still hailing as queen. In South Africa, it’s been passed down for generations as a “natural antibiotic…for upper respiratory infections and illness.” Nilanie Moodley, who’s South African grandmother seemed to be the cold-doctor of the family would “grind fresh garlic and add [it] to soups to create a cold tonic.”

All this medical advice is making my head hurt. I’m going to go curl up under my blanket with a potato. I’ll see y’all in twelve hours.





I just talked to my mom and, like all good mommas, she imparted her own garlic wisdom! Did you know that you’re supposed to put it on the bottom of your feet, in shoes, in socks, just stand on it- idk- and it’s meant to extract the sickness through your feet. Wow, thanks, Mom!






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