With cold and flu season upon us, it seems that illness is absolutely everywhere. Although winter has become synonymous with poor health, many people turn to home remedies as an easy and inexpensive method to counter sickness. The fact that a bracing cup of tea flavored with honey and lemon can help combat cold symptoms is common knowledge, but here’s a few home remedies you might not have heard of before!

Battling Back Pain? Old timers from North Carolina would likely tell you to find a comfy spot to lay down outside, preferably near the woods. Lay on your back, making sure not to budge until you hear the sound of a whippoorwill. Once you hear the bird’s call, roll over three times, and your back pain will vanish. 

Aggravated with Acne? If you find yourself fighting to keep a clear complexion, one common home remedy claims that coating problem areas with toothpaste is a sure way to get rid of pesky pimples. However, if toothpaste doesn’t do the trick, another folk remedy suggests applying a bit of spit to pimples to clean up your complexion in no time! 

Earsplitting Earaches? There’s a few folksy options for people suffering from an earache. Perhaps the most bizarre remedy was pioneered in the Ozark Mountains. According to mountain lore, the “‘blood'” of a Betsy bug (AKA Rhino beetle) cures earaches when poured into the affected person’s ear. Some practitioners recommend piercing the insect’s exoskeleton with a needle and draining its internal contents into the patient’s ear canal, while others advocate completely removing the beetle’s head for a much swifter application. Another remedy for earaches, specifically swimmer’s ear, relies on vinegar. Because vinegar can kill the bacteria responsible for causing a case of swimmer’s ear, a few drops of diluted vinegar a day can cut a case of swimmer’s ear short. 

Need to Clear Up a Cold? Perhaps one of the most obscure home remedies for a cold, this method instructs cold sufferers to take a warm bath while simultaneously soaking a pair of socks in ice water. After drying off from the bath, put on the wet socks, then pull on a pair of dry wool socks over the icy cold pair. Get a good night’s rest while wearing the socks. The coolness from the damp socks will cause blood vessels to constrict, focusing nutrients on the upper half of the body to help calm your cold. 

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