A hundred years ago herbs were not only used in cooking, but were the basic ingredient in most health remedies used to treat common aliments. The herbs were planted in the spring and dried in the fall, to be handy for the up coming year.

Perhaps using home remedies was found to be the more prudent way to treat illness than a costly trip to the doctor. Home remedies were used to treat illnesses such as colds, stomach aches, muscle pain, and more.

Most home remedies included medicinal herbs. The herbs were combined into concoctions, and by trail and error, remedies were developed. The tried and true remedies were used and shared with family, and friends. Many of these old remedies have survived, and are still used today.

The common cold was one such illness that was frequently treated with a variety of old home remedies.

Below are some old tried and true remedies to aid with comforting the common cold.

1. To help sooth a sore throat: Sage mixed with a bit of Alum

1/2 tea dried Sage, a pinch of Alum mixed in a warm 6 oz glass of water. Gargle several times every few hours.

2. Mix 2 tab. Molasses into a cup of chamomile tea. This drink can be given at night to sooth one off to sleep with a sweet tea. The chamomile is also soothing on the stomach, and aids to promote sleep.

3. Sassafras tea is also great it aid in diminishing fever, and soothing one’s throat.

4. Cold Eeze Lozenges. These are an all natural lozenges that are made with Zinc. Studies show the zinc will help reduce the length and severity of a cold. These wonderful lozenges can be purchased at most drug stores or health food stores.

5. Homemade chicken soup. Helps with congestion, and is thought to be an all around good cold remedy.

6. The wonderful Hot Toddy. Mix piping hot water to a cup, 1/2 shot of whiskey, and 1 tea spoon lemon juice, 1 tea spoon honey, mix well. The Alcohol has an anti-inflammatory effect on mucous membranes. Also said to reduce fever, and relieve muscle aches.

7. Garlic and warm milk. 1 good size glove of garlic crushed and mixed in 1 cup of warm milk. This concoction is said to shorten the duration of a cold. An active compound in garlic, allicin, is known to be a good decongestant. Garlic is also known to have potent antioxidant properties, so it couldn’t hurt.

8. Vitamin C. Eat foods that are high in vitamin C. Studies show taking vitamin C will shorten the length of a cold.

9. Echinacea, the Chinese have been using Echinacea for centuries for its strong antibiotic properties. World Health Organization also supports use of Echinacea for use to shorten the common cold.

10. Cough syrup can be made very easily in your own kitchen. Slowly boil a lemon with its skin on for about 8 minutes. Cut the lemon in two parts and squeeze the juice with the use of a squeezer. Add the lemon juice to a glass. Mix in two tablespoonfuls of glycerin, (purchase glycerin at your local drug store or health food store.). Stir lemon juice and glycerin together. Add 1 tablespoonful of honey. This cough syrup will really ease a sore throat.

11. Feed a cold; starve a fever. There is a theory that eating less during a cold may shorten the duration of the cold. However, nutritionists strongly disagree with this theory, because the body that is stricken with a cold needs more nutrients, to aid in fighting off illness.

12. Breathe steam. Steam does help liquefy and loosens mucus. This mucus helps clear airways, and can decrease nasal congestion.

13. The Old fashioned mustard plaster helps relieve chest congestion. To prepare 1 tablespoon dry mustard, 1/4 cup flour lukewarm water. Sift together mustard and flour in a bowl. Slowly add just enough water to make a paste. Spread the plaster on a piece of muslin that is big enough to cover the chest. Cover with another piece of muslin. Like a sandwich, put over chest. Check chest in 5 minutes for any signs of allergic reaction. Remove if skin is showing hives or deep redness. Skin will be a little pink. Leave on 1/2 hour; remove plaster with tepid water.

By Sharon Stajda. For more information about common cold remedies, visit Cold Remedies – Home Care Treatment.