Japan Today

Feel better fast: Eight home remedies from the little old ladies of Japan

By Michelle Lynn Dinh

The only thing worse than catching a cold is feeling like you’re about to catch a cold. That achiness you can feel in your bones, followed by dread, worry and the thought, “I’m too busy to get sick now!” It’s enough to make you sick on the spot.

But fear not, the grandmothers of Japan have a plethora of home remedies that’ll get you feeling better in no time. Some may be little more than old wives’ tales, but when you’re feeling under the weather, why not drink hot onion water or smear ginger on your forehead. It actually might be good for what ails you.

The following foods are said to cure anything from a headache to a sore throat:

Umeboshi (pickled plums)

Heat two or three umeboshi on low heat, making sure they don’t burn and add them to a cup of hot tea. Drinking the tea causes you to sweat, which is said to lower your temperature and make you get better faster.

Grilled spring onion

Cut off a good portion of the white part of a few spring onions. Grill on low heat, making sure it doesn’t burn. Wrap in gauze and press the bundle together. Unwrap and enjoy. It’s said that spring onions are good for blood circulation and reduces inflammation and not only cures a sore throat, but is good for a stuffy nose, too.

Gingko nuts

Don’t just go finding the nearest gingko tree and stripping it of its nuts. The little fruits are incredibly smelly and cause some people to have an allergic reaction, so be sure to use gloves if harvesting them yourself. But if you have easy access to gingko nuts, eating five or six of them is said to ease a cough and reduce phlegm.

Honey & daikon radish juice

Cutting daikon radishes and soaking it in honey for two to three days creates a juice that can be used as an effective cough suppressant.

Lotus root

Drinking a broth of grated lotus root, soy sauce, ginger, arrowroot and hot water is said to get rid of a cold fast.

Hot onion water

Grate a quarter of an onion and a small amount of ginger. Add the two to a cup of hot water with one tablespoon of honey. The mixture is said to be good for a stuffy nose.

To finish off the list of home remedies from Japan, here are two that seem a little odd:

Sniff an onion

For a temporary fix for a stuffy nose, grandmas in Japan suggest taking a big whiff of an onion. Just hold a cut onion near your nose and sniff repeatedly. It’s said to clear your sinuses and give you temporary relief from a stuffy nose.

Smear ginger and sesame oil on your head

To relieve a headache, little old ladies in Japan say to apply a paste of grated ginger and sesame oil to your forehead and temples.

We can’t say if these home remedies actually work, but that cute little granny around the corner sure thinks they do. If you’re feeling a cold coming on, give some of them a try. Maybe the real magic to these medicines is in the love and care of a kindly relative and not the actual ingredients that go into them.

Source: Naver Matome

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This cute little granny thinks the best thing for a cold is a whisky mac - whisky (doesn't need to be the good stuff), lemon juice and honey in a glass topped up with hot water clears the sinuses, soothes the throat and takes away the aches in your joints.

Or a splash of brandy in your coffee doesn't hurt, either.

And they're both way more pleasant than umeboshi tea, smelly onions or daikonned honey!

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When I get that ticklish feeling that I know is the start of a cold I eat as many oranges as I can force down. It doesn't cure the cold, but it stamps down on the symptoms.

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Heat two or three umeboshi on low heat, making sure they don’t burn and add them to a cup of hot tea. Drinking the tea causes you to sweat, which is said to lower your temperature and make you get better faster.

Why heat the umeboshi if you're going to put them in hot tea? And why would you want to lower your temperature when a fever is caused by your body fighting off infection/disease?

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Cleo, can't argue with those remedies either. I...um...well...er...think I feel a cold coming on. Cheers(^-^; !

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We have almost the exact same remedy except for the whisky. We use gin instead. Give it a try next time you feel a cold coming on. We also put clove in it.

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