Tag Archives: cold remedies

Cold Remedies – Whiskey & Honey Milk

--Informant Info--
Nationality: French American
Age: 54
Occupation: Relocation Consultant
Residence: Pasadena, CA
Date of Performance/Collection:
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s):

Context: 

This piece is collected in a casual interview setting around a cup of coffee. My informant (BA) was born in Lille, France, and moved to California in 2002 with her husband for their jobs at Caltech. She has a Master in Human Resources and Detection of High Potentials, is a mother of two teenage girls, loves to garden and go on hikes, and is overall a very energetic and happy woman. 

Main Piece:

The following is transcribed from a conversation between the informant (BA) and interviewer.

Interviewer: How do you treat a sore throat?

BA: So, there are two ways. There’s the version a little more aggressive.  You take a chug of whiskey, you gurgle it around, you remove all the bacteria, and its supposed to leave [the bacteria and sore throat]. And the grandma remedy, which I love, and can’t do any har, is that you take a, a, a bowl of hot milk, actually more warm, you put two teaspoons of honey, you turn, you mix, and you drink it. That’ll take care of your sore throat.

Interviewer: Where did you learn these remedies? 

BA: My grandmother would make me drink the milk and my dad, who used the more aggressive method, made me drink whiskey. I liked the grandma version better *laughs* but I made my girls try both when they were little! 

Thoughts:

Growing up, the whiskey method was not my favorite either, but my parents and neighbors, who we are very close to, insisted I try it if medicine or hot milk and honey didn’t do the trick. The hot milk and honey is a remedy I use all the time, but I also use it to destress when I’m feeling anxious, not only for sore throats. Although I don’t think it cures a cold, it does help with the symptoms. 

Ear Infection Garlic Drops cure

--Informant Info--
Nationality: American
Age: 53
Occupation: Company President
Residence: Los Angeles, CA
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/22/18
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s):

I asked what I should do if my ear is starting to hurt and I have a slight cold:

Response: “You don’t want to get sick and get an ear infection…especially if your ears are already starting to hurt. You need to go grab the garlic drops we have…they will prevent you from getting an ear infection, but won’t be any good if you already have one. Go grab the bottle and then run the dropper under hot water so it warms up then grab a paper towel and set it down on the table and lay your head down on one side so the drops don’t get on anything else. Just put a couple drops in and let it sit for a second. And make sure it really feels like it gets in there. And then do the other side, you’ll be good.”

 

 

Background: He is 53 years old and raised in Los Gatos, CA. He attended Santa Clara University and now lives with his wife in Los Angeles. He is a father of two.

Context: He shared this home remedy with me in our kitchen when I was beginning to feel sick.

Analysis: In my opinion, believing in home remedies is entirely dependent on how you were raised and the home remedies that your parents practice. My dad told me this remedy, which immediately gives it validity in my worldview. Remedies are such a cool thing that gets passed down through familial lines, and I think is an interesting thing to analyze family to family. You never think about where, when, and from whom you first heard a home remedy once it becomes part of your personal belief system. One home remedy could sound completely ridiculous to someone whose own family holds different beliefs. Who it is that shares with you their home remedy is extremely relevant to whether or not you will try it or accept it as your own folk belief as well.

Hot Toddy

--Informant Info--
Nationality: African American
Age: 56
Occupation: Warehouse Supervisor
Residence: Rialto, California
Date of Performance/Collection:
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s):

Richard L Cuthbert was born in Savannah, Georgia.  His father was in the United States Air Force and Richard ending being raised by his paternal grandmother.  He moved to Compton, California with his relatives from his father’s side of the family.  It is here where he met his high school sweetheart, Twesa Cuthbert.  They had two children together.  Richard (now widowed) currently lives in Rialto, California with his daughter, Keesha Cuthbert.

“For a cold it is always best to sweat it out with a hot toddy.  So you half fill a small sauce pan with water and place it on the stove.  Take a lemon and roll it so that you get the juices flowing.  Cut it in half and squeeze the juice in the pot and then slice those lemons and throw them in there too.  Let all of that come to a boil.  When it does take it off the heat and pour a good amount of dark liquor into the pot, something like Brandy.  Pour this in your mug and add some honey.  Drink all of this and then go wrap up in a blanket.  You are gonna fall asleep and while you are sleeping you are gonna sweat a lot.  By the time that you wake up you will have sweated the whole cold out.  This is something that my grandma had been using on us since we were kids and it always works.”

___

As a child my dad has used this on me many, many times and it has always worked.  I am not sure why or the chemical significance of this combination of ingredients has, but I do know that it always works.