Approximately 43.3 million foreign-born people live in the United States, making it a melting pot for all sorts of unique and cultural foods, flavors, and experiences. But one country, in particular, has made a rather large impact on the holistic and herbal remedies available in America: Ireland. Ireland is the third biggest island in the European continent, and regardless of whether or not you’ve been there, you can experience some Emerald Isle-inspired remedies in your own backyard that can treat a cold as well as other common ailments. Without further ado, here are just a few Emerald Isle-inspired remedies to get you through your next illness or ailment.
Honey seems to be popular almost everywhere as both a sweet treat and a healing remedy, but in Ireland, it’s known for treating other ailments.
“While many places argue for the benefits of honey when it comes to throat discomfort, in parts of Ireland it is used as an ancient cure for mouth ulcers, sometimes in combination with granular salt. There are also stories of honey being applied to boils and, in combination with buttermilk, to treat eczema in children,” writes James Hendicott on The Culture Trip.
Yes, you heard right — everyone’s favorite lemon-lime soda can also be used as a treatment for stomach aches. But the key is to let the soda sit out for a few hours so that it gets flat — if the carbonation is still there, it may just make you bloated. Of course, you’ll also have to keep your dental health in mind by brushing your teeth afterward: after all, tooth decay is 20 times more common than diabetes. But overall, many say this method does work to relieve mild stomach aches and pains. Who knew?
Whiskey is used in Ireland to treat a number of ailments, but you’ll have to consume it in a specific way to get its healing effects. It’s most often used to treat symptoms of the winter flu. Typically, one or two shots are poured into the bottom of a glass, and it’s topped with lemon, cloves, and hot water. The likelihood that allergic rhinitis or asthma will spontaneously go away is approximately 1% per year, and this ancient remedy is known to clear your sinuses up in no time at all. And though it may not seem like it, most people enjoy the taste of this warm, soothing drink.
Onion or Garlic Feet
How surprising that the most unusual and downright weird remedy on this list may actually have the most merit — so much so, that a paper has been published on how to best execute it. Because unlike the other items on this list, these onions and garlic cloves aren’t for eating — they’re for putting around your feet! That’s right — take it from the Irish Examiner.
“Place two strips of cling film on the floor, about 50cm in length each. In the center of each, place a layer of sliced onions, long enough to go from the top of your foot to the bottom. Place one foot on top of the onions and now wrap your foot up like a breakfast roll and carefully put on a thick sock; repeat the process with the other foot. Hobble off to bed and have a great sleep,” writes Valerie O’Connor.
Remove the onion in the morning and you should be feeling much better.
These methods may not be cure-alls, but they do provide some cultural insight into the world of Irish holistic healing.