3. North America
A Crow medicine woman recounts this Native American natural remedy for the common cold to medical anthropologist John Heinerman in his book, Folk Remedies from Around the World: Add two tablespoons of chickweed herb and mullein leaves to a quart of boiling water. Stir, and steep for 30 minutes. Drink warm, one cup every three hours. Rest the entire day, and you’ll feel better the next.
Graeme Dunn, who grew up by the sea in Prestwick, Ayshire, says, “Hot Rum and Pep-rum and peppermint-are a seaman’s cure for colds. My grandfather was a Royal Marine and that’s what they were given on the ships.” Other Scottish cold cures include drinking nettle tea and going for a walk to get sea air.. “Not mountain air, not any kind of air. Has to be sea air. If I was congested, I’d be unblocked right away. Maybe it has something to do with the salt in the spray,” he suggests.
Ivana Miletic, whose family is from Belgrade, Serbia, says her mom makes a caramel drink to relieve cough and bronchitis by “slowly melting three tablespoons of sugar. Once melted and the colour of caramel add a cup of milk; keep on low heat, stirring continuously until it becomes a smooth drink. Drink it as hot as you can handle,” she describes. Miletic’s says her mom also recommends Serbian tea to treat the common cold and chills. “Slowly melt two to three teaspoons of sugar; add a few drops of water, a cup of plum brandy; once melted drink it hot,” she says.