Chicken Soup for the 90’s Soul

To City,

Flu season is upon us! I wanted to point that out, just in case you haven’t noticed the people in your life being extra grumpy and wiping their nose every thirty seconds, or the repeat advertisements promoting flu vaccinations on the local radio stations, or the people in white coats looking bored, sitting near the entrance of the grocery store with a sign that reads: “Get your flu shot here!”

I don’t normally get a flu shot, but then again I’m a healthy 20-something. Instead, I, usually, treat my symptoms with binge watching my favorite shows on Netflix or taking some Nyquil and having lots of naps.

But the other day, while talking to my flu-ridden friend, we got on the topic of how our parents (in the 1990’s) would use home remedies to try and make us feel better. Here’s what we came up with:

Sean Davis
Photo Credit: Sean Davis

1) Ginger ale and a puke bucket beside your bed. Now that I’m an adult, I can easily make it to the bathroom, but as a kid, this was IMPOSSIBLE. A bucket beside my bed was a necessity. The ginger ale was there to soothe our angry stomachs.

2) Chicken noodle soup and grilled cheese for lunch. Even when I am not sick, I still find this meal comforting. It’s delicious, sort of nutritious, and easy to make.

Rachel Griffith
Photo Credit: Rachel Griffith

3) Putting a cold cloth on your forehead when you have a fever. It never seemed to stay cold all that long since your face would warm it up. The cloth would also fall off with the slightest movement requiring you to reposition it constantly.

4) Wrapping yourself in a thousand blankets. This would, usually, lead to sweating your buns off and feeling uncomfortable under all the weight.

5) Steaming your plugged up nose. Using a pot of boiling water, we would put a towel over our head and lean over the pot to breathe in the steam. It was pretty hot under that towel, but the steam would make you feel good for maybe three minutes, then you were back to being plugged up.

6) A teaspoon of honey to soothe a sore throat. The honey coats your throat and will give you some temporary relief.

Mark H. Anbinder
Photo Credit: Mark H. Anbinder

7) Castor oil and orange juice. This is my grandma’s trick. Orange juice has lots of vitamin C. As for castor oil… well this is supposed to help with bathroom issues. I’m not really sure why she thought it helped with flu symptoms. If anything, it could possibly help you to throw up because castor oil is absolutely disgusting.

8) Some entertainment. In the 90’s, this meant crappy daytime TV and lots of VHS movies.

9) Last but not least, staying in your pajamas all day long. Who am I kidding? I still do this pretty much every weekend, sick or not.

Love, Country

P.S. What home remedies do you use to fight cold and flu symptoms?



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