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If You're Sick, Don't Tell Your Friends

If you’re sick, don’t tell your friends. At least not the helpful ones.

It all started with a sore throat. “Try my sore throat remedy,” boasted our friend, one-armed Fred. His penchant for creating disasters hovered around him like an aura. He lost an arm while cutting trees and burned down a campground building while raking leaves.

Our friend's Sore Throat Gargle contained water, aspirin, iodine, salt, and baking soda. Add a little vinegar and it’s a recipe for blowing up your tonsils.

We knew people who had a cure for everything. Low energy? Slurp some of their nutritional supplement which suspiciously resembled wine. Feeling sick? Sleep with a scarf around your neck and gulp down cough medicine. Got appendicitis? Crawl down the steps on your stomach, bumping it on each step. I was waiting for them to tell me to stand on my head and spit out mothballs.

My grandpa used to apply tobacco juice to wasp stings. I prefer jumping up and down, screaming and kicking trees, since there usually is no one around who smokes or chews.

Health enthusiasts are perhaps the most difficult to fend off when one become sick.

During college days my roommate heard that undergoing an intestinal purge would be good for us. Following her advice, we drank Epson salts and lemon juice in hot water. For three mornings. Unfortunately, she didn't hear the part about drinking juices and water the rest of the day, to keep hydrated. Instead, we fasted until evening each of those days. Long story short: we lost a lot of weight. Do you know what Epsom salts DO to a person?!

History has handed down outrageous home remedies.

According to our ancestors, if you have acne, just apply urine to the spots. Kids, don’t try this. It doesn’t work and besides, the smell will drive away your friends.

Want to heal a sore throat? The old-timers applied salt herring to the soles of the feet. If they had an earache, they blew tobacco smoke into the sore ear. For shingles they hung a turpentine-soaked string around the neck. My father-in-law used to swallow kerosene to cure a cold. He may not have been cured but he glowed nicely around fires.

I repeat: if you’re sick, don’t tell your friends. Just quietly crawl to your room and get some rest. You’ll probably feel better in the morning.

How about you? Any unusual home remedies you've come across? Feel free to comment below.


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