21 Responses to “My Mother’s Cold-Busting Secrets: Giving You a HUG”


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  1. Lissa

    My mother eats garlic. As in, she smushes it up, puts in on crackers, and tells herself very firmly that it is cream cheese until she’s swallowed and it’s too late to back out of it.

  2. Christy

    I’ve been using the same brand of cold medicine you have pictured every time my daughter gets a cold and I can absolutely tell you that it works. It shortens her colds to about 3 days and makes them way less severe for the 3 days that she’s sniffling. The best part is that it tastes good cause there’s no alcohol or anything weird like mainstream medicine. It also makes me feel comfortable giving it to my 2 year old since it’s all natural.

    My mom used to do the hydrogen peroxide thing with me when I was a kid, I actually forgot about it till I saw it here. She didn’t use the food grade kind though, just the regular stuff of the shelf at Wal-Mart, so I can only imagine how much better it would work with better quality hydrogen peroxide.

  3. Wow, this DOES feel like a hug to me! Thanks for such a great list. I’ve taken Umcka in the past, but I honestly didn’t really know what it was for and so I forgot about it. I’ve never heard of the garlic tea foot bath, but it makes sense and I like that you don’t have to EAT 15 cloves of garlic :) I will definitely keep this in mind next time I get sick because with four little kids I just HATE getting sick. There is never any laying on the couch and resting for me. Great tips.

    Your blog is one of my favorites and I always look forward to seeing it in my inbox. Keep up the great work!

  4. Lucy

    This couldn’t have come at a better time! I am fighting off a killer cold right now. My current plan of action has involved elderberry and vitamin c, but I will be trying all of these remedies today! Xoxo

  5. Thank you Crunchy Mom for the HUG! Now I’ll be ready for the next cold I get. I’ve never even heard of food-grade hydrogen peroxide… I learn so much here!

    My question: After the garlic soak, do we wash the garlicky goodness off or just dry our feet as they come out of the “scented” bath?

  6. Tajmari

    You’ve no idea how awesome this post is. Once I get sick, I’m out for two weeks. Its horrible.

    Have you heard of using hydrogen peroxide for whitening teeth? I bet it would be useful especially if you use the “food grade” kind.

    As Stephanie said, she hadn’t heard of the food grade hydrogen peroxide. Me either. What’s the difference between “normal” and “food grade”?

    You freakin’ rock. Tell your mom thanks, and give her a hug from me!

  7. Ali

    last time i got sick, one of the indian girls in my grad program told me to gargle warm salt water for my very sore throat. it worked!! she said that in india they sell all kinds of powdered things to gargle with, but salt works just fine. it’s kind of gross while you do it (if not, add more salt!) but provides instant and lasting relief. just don’t forget to rinse out the sink to prevent salty buildup. :)

  8. Lisa

    I’ve tried all sorts of coughing syrups, believe me, but none of them helps. Even though Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa http://www.geocities.jp/ninjiom_hong_kong/index_e.htm does not eliminates the cough I like to stick to this chinese syrup I’ve been taking since I was a kid: Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa. My grandfather is chinese, so I guess my mom got the advice from him. I was really surprised when I found that chinese market selling it here in Belgium. It does have a refreshing, soothing, sweetening effect…as long as it lasts…then back to coughing mode.

  9. Mayde

    One of the best cold cures you’ll ever find is vinegar. Basically, our white blood cells contain enzymes, and they’re necessary for the cells to function properly and fight yuckies in our body. enzymes are very heat and acidity sensitive, so if they aren’t in the right temperature range or are in a whack pH they stop functioning. Usually, when somebody has a cold, their body has a pH imbalance – if you’re sick and you put a piece of litmus paper in your mouth it’ll usually indicate that you’re basic. so the best way to fix your body’s pH and get those enzymes up and running again is to take some vinegar because it’s an acid. i have yet to decide whether it’s better to take it in (painfully strong) shots or draw out the process by putting it in a glass of water (either way it tastes terrible). but it’s worked very well for me, if i just take a bunch of vinegar when i feel cold symptoms coming on. usually it takes effect pretty quickly and is a cheap cold cure.

  10. Shelby

    So I read this the other day and tonight my roommates are out so I decided to do the garlic sock thing. Except I remembered it wrong and I thought you were supposed to put the crushed cloves of garlic in the socks and wear them around the house. Well, nobody is around to smell my garlic-ey feet so I’m going to stick with it. I’ll update you on the results once I get tired of walking around on garlic (not likely any time soon, this is surprisingly fun).

  11. RebeccaEllsworth

    I love the idea of a garlic foot bath! When I’m sick I cut up a few cloves of garlic and swallow them like pills each night (so I don’t have to chew them raw – blech), and it definitely helps. I think the foot bath will be a great addition or alternative. And I’m for sure going to try the other tips as well – thanks to you and your mom!

  12. I realize I’m late to the conversation, but a cough/sore throat/sleep aid that I swear by when I have a cold is to heat up a cup of milk, 1/2 a tablespoon of butter, and a couple of pressed garlic cloves to just before the boiling point. Add a tablespoon or two of honey, stir to dissolve, and drink it as soon as it has cooled to a temperature that you can handle. I grew up being told to avoid dairy products when sick because it thickens the mucous, but this beverage actually helps clear the gunk out and believe it or not tastes delicious! I will most definitely be trying the HUG next time I start to come down with something.

  13. jo

    Thank you, Betty and Betty’s Mom! I felt that all-too-familiar headache that starts at your neck and creeps up your scalp until your entire head hurts and then you start sniffling and realize you’re in trouble. I was in for one heck of a cold — the exact cold my coworkers had been battling with little success.

    So I did the H and G steps (couldn’t find Umcka), turned in at 8 pm, and woke up feeling fine. *Every*single*friend*and*coworker*of*mine* had this cold and it lasted for a week. Thank you!!! 

  14. Julie

    I am trying all three of these today! i just got sick and I am in theatre with a show opening in 9 days! I can NOT be sick!!! Hopefully these kick this sickness right out of me!

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