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Before modern medicine, parents and grandparents relied on unusual home remedies to treat all kinds of childhood ailments. Handed down through generations, these unorthodox cures ranged from odd to downright bizarre. While some may have had origins in natural remedies, others were just old wives’ tales. From whiskey for teething pain to raw eggs for sore throats, here are 16 of the weirdest DIY “cures” our parents swore by when we were sick as kids.
Potato Poultice for Chest Congestion
Some would place warm mashed potatoes on the chest, covered with a cloth, believing it helped clear congestion.
Vicks VapoRub for Everything
From colds to headaches, some parents seemed convinced Vicks could cure just about any ailment.
Rubbing Alcohol for a Fever
Some parents believed that rubbing alcohol on the skin could help reduce a fever. However, this method is not recommended due to potential risks.
Honey and Onion Syrup for Coughs
Some parents would mix honey and onions, letting them sit overnight to create a syrup for coughs.
Warm Salt in a Sock for Earaches
Heating salt, placing it in a sock, and then putting it over the ear was a common remedy for earaches.
Bread Poultice for Splinters
Bread soaked in milk or water was placed over a splinter to supposedly draw it out.
Tobacco for Bee Stings
Some believed that moistened tobacco could draw out the venom from a bee sting.
Butter on Burns
While it might provide temporary relief, butter can trap heat and make a burn worse.
Cow Manure for Sprains
In some rural areas, warm cow manure was applied to sprains as a form of heat therapy.
Sugar for Hiccups
Swallowing a spoonful of sugar was a popular remedy to stop hiccups.
Coke Syrup for Upset Stomachs
Drinking the syrup from Coca-Cola was believed to help soothe an upset stomach.
Raw Egg for a Sore Throat
Swallowing a raw egg was thought to coat the throat and provide relief from soreness.
Tying a String Around a Wart
The idea was that the string would cut off the blood supply to the wart, causing it to fall off.
Whiskey for Teething
Rubbing whiskey on a baby’s gums was an old remedy for teething pain, though it’s not recommended today.
Spider Webs for Cuts
Some believed that spider webs could act as a natural bandage and help stop bleeding.
Sleeping with Onions in Socks
Placing sliced onions in socks and wearing them overnight was thought to detoxify the body and fight illness.
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Michelle Harler is the founder of Guide2Free, a website dedicated to finding and sharing freebies, product testing opportunities, and other ways to save money. With over a decade of experience in the industry, her expertise in finding quality offers makes Guide2Free an invaluable resource for anyone looking to try new products and save money.