In the early part of the 20th century when “modern medicine” was beginning to get into full swing the availability of doctors was still out of reach for many rural folks and they did the best they could with the old home remedies passed down from generation to generation. The common cold was still as big a problem as it still seems to be today in the 21st century. Here are many of the old remedies that were used to treat the common cold, and many are still in use today.
One remedy was to make a tea from the leaves of the boneset plant. One had to drink it cold because drinking this tea hot will upset your stomach and possibly cause vomiting. Another remedy was to take powdered ginger root or freshly grated ginger root and add to hot water, but do not boil. Then one added honey and a little bit of whiskey. (Whiskey, particularly moonshine whiskey, was a common ingredient in many old-time remedies.)
Boiling pine needles to make a strong tea was another particular favorite remedy for colds, as was taking a hot pepper, such as cayenne, and making a tea of the pepper and adding honey and moonshine to it. Eating an onion roasted in ashes was a favored way to treat a child with a cold.
As one can see, the methods were many, and there are far more than this article states. As with all self-treatments, be cautious and always consult a trained physician in serious health matters.
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