Posts Tagged ‘influenza’

8 ways to fight a cold the German way

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Have you been catching too many colds lately? Were you able to stop that developing sore throat in its tracks? What about bringing down that nasty fever? If you haven’t been successful, why not add some new approaches to your repertoire? Here are eight ways the Germans fight these minor calamities. Maybe some of their approaches will work for you, too.

  1. Germans fight the common cold by drinking boiled beer. They believe that the antiviral properties in hops knock down a cold. That sounds like a good reason to have a beer, doesn’t it?


  1. Germans fight a fever by wrapping a damp, lukewarm cloth around their calves. They swear it reduces the body temperature faster than a damp cloth on the forehead. Sounds logical, doesn’t it? Why not try it?


  1. Germans fight a sore throat by wearing a warm scarf around the neck. However, scarfs, worn by women as well as men, also happen to be the current haute couture. That makes it a little tricky to tell a sick person from a fashion-conscious one.


  1. Germans try to stave off colds, influenza and a sore neck by avoiding drafts. Drafts are a big deal. I remember my mother yelling almost on a daily basis, “close the door, the window is open!” Outdoor gusts are healthy. A draft is a killer. You figure.


  1. Germans fight the queasiness that follows diarrhea or vomiting by eating pretzel sticks or twice-baked biscuits, called “Zwieback.” They are filling and tasty. Give them a try.


  1. Germans fight congestion by taking a hot water bath, laced with salts of chamomile. A hot bath in any way, shape or form sounds always good to me.


  1. Germans soothe a cough by drinking a cup of warm milk with honey.


  1. Germans fight viral infections by drinking the juice of boiled onions. That one I could probably do without.


To find out whether these approaches are based on hard science or anecdotal folk medicine, check out Conor Dillon


For a sneak peek at the first 20+ pages of my memoir, Walled-In: A West Berlin Girl’s Journey to Freedom, click “Download a free excerpt” on the home page of Walled-In is a story of growing up in Berlin during the Cold War.