Onions on Your Feet? Si Señora! These Are The Latino Natural Remedies You Never Knew You Needed
If you grew up in a Latino family, Vicks Vaporub was probably a staple in your household medicine cabinet. Our moms and abuelas certainly hold a firm belief in the power of Vicks. They believe it is a remedy that heals everything from colds to scrapes and every other ailment in between.
As convenient as it would be to rely solely on Vicks as a cure for every illness, there are times when stubborn colds require other remedies. However, there is some truth behind why “vaporu” is so effective during the cold season. This is due to the key ingredients like eucalyptus oil, camphor, and menthol, which help to ease coughs and clear up congestion.
Thankfully, many home remedies have been passed down and are known to be beneficial in treating the cold and flu. But as with any medicine, these natural solutions should be treated with caution and moderation. It’s always best to consult a physician if you are unsure of certain herbs and ingredients, especially when used around young children.
When used appropriately and with a little faith like our abuelas had, these remedies will surely bring some comfort cuando tienes gripe.
An odd onion remedy
This remedy is certainly strange but has worked miracles for colds accompanied by fever and discomfort. Onions are one of the most common ingredients used in cooking. They have many health benefits, such as being full of antioxidants and vitamin C, and are known to be antibacterial.
This remedy calls for a slice of onion to be placed on the sole of the foot and wrapped with a sock at bedtime. The person will sleep with the onion on their foot. It is believed that the onion helps to absorb the bacteria or infection within the body, thus bringing down a fever.
In Latino culture, some families even add a bit of ground coffee and a few drops of rubbing alcohol to the onion for a more potent cure. While there is no scientific evidence of this remedy actually working, onions do have a reputation for being a superfood. So, it’s probably a good idea to keep a few fresh ones in your kitchen this season.
The power of honey
Cough drops aren’t the most pleasant to take, and many have that overbearing menthol taste. As an alternative, eating a bit of honey can help to ease a persistent cough and raw throat. This can be especially useful to children who hate taking cough medicine, though you should never give it to babies under a year old.
Honey has natural antimicrobial qualities. Our ancestors often used it for healing wounds and burns before modern medicinal practices. So, eating a spoonful of honey can work wonders when dealing with a sore or swollen throat.
We often use several kinds of teas whenever the household has come down with the common cold. Two of the most popular herbs are echinacea and ginger (although there is a debate on whether ginger is considered an herb or spice).
Echinacea tea comes from the leaves and roots of the purple, daisy-like flower and is believed to boost your immune system. The best time to drink this tea is when early signs of a cold start to show. It may relieve symptoms as well as over-the-counter medicines and may make the length of the cold shorter.
Ginger is another powerful herb that has anti-inflammatory properties to soothe sore throats. It’s also antimicrobial, so it is effective in teas to help fight infections like the flu. While some teas include ginger as an ingredient, buying fresh ginger root to boil in water is always best. Adding lemon and honey to this concoction will enhance the cold-fighting abilities and taste pretty good as well.
Getting extra Vitamin C
Vitamin C is probably one of the best-known ways to prevent a cold or shorten the length of a cold. It’s a powerful antioxidant that strengthens the immune system and can help your body recover from a cold faster than without it.
You can get extra vitamin C by taking daily supplements or simply from fresh citric fruit like lemons and oranges. Other great sources of vitamin C include strawberries, bell peppers, and pineapples, so if you already have a well-balanced and colorful diet, you are probably getting a good amount of Vitamin C.
Good old caldo de pollo
When all else fails, sometimes we just have to let a cold run its course. For many Latino families, caldo de pollo is the recipe of choice during the cold season. Actually, even the hottest summer days won’t stop a Latina mom from making a fresh pot of caldo de pollo.
But cold and flu season definitely calls for a steaming bowl of caldo as it’s rich in nutrients and packed with vegetables that will help replenish your body and make you feel better. Truthfully, there is nothing like having a hearty meal like caldo de pollo, especially when a loved one taking care of you makes it.
Even though we can’t prevent all illnesses, these natural remedies are good to keep in mind when we need that extra help overcoming a cold. Getting plenty of rest and fluids is essential for healing our bodies. But just like our mothers and abuelas would tell us over and over again, a dab of Vicks and not walking around barefoot can’t hurt either.