Lately, I’ve been getting lessons in how Czechs treat a cold as my husband is currently sick with a very bad cold. It is so funny and interesting how people treat illnesses in different parts of the world. The Czechs have some very interesting ways of going about relieving and curing a cold!!!
My husband is suffering from a sore throat with this cold, and I offered to get him some ice cream or sorbet. It is common, in the US, to use cold things to help soothe a sore throat and make it a bit numb. But here, in the Czech Republic, cold is anathema! The Czechs believe that cold is very bad...cold of every sort and for anything only makes the problem or illness worse and/or a person sicker. Czechs also hate air conditioning, for the most part, too, except when temps reach about 90 F and higher. Then, they will turn on an air conditioner, but they will also put a sweater on and make sure to stay out of the cold air! They will only use something hot for a sore throat—like hot tea with lemon, hot soup, or even a hot, damp cloth tied around the throat.
One of the most recommended treatments for a respiratory illness, here, is garlic soup! Even my doctor has recommend garlic soup when I’ve had a sinus infection…he also recommended eating raw garlic! Anyway, garlic soup can take different forms…sometimes, people just have some broth with garlic in it, and other times there are other vegetables plus the garlic. Any form that garlic soup takes it has one thing in common…and that is the garlic must be fresh and VERY strong! We were at my mother-in-laws home this past weekend, and she made Jiří some garlic soup. The garlic was so strong-smelling that we had to open a window…it was really making me sick! I like garlic, but not to the point where the smell is worse than week-old socks!!!! Even so, I do know that garlic has many qualities that make it a very healthy food. It is a natural antibiotic, antifungal…well actually, it’s just about an anti-everything!!! It surely keeps everyone away…thus, maybe one of the effects is to keep everyone far enough away from the sick person to keep from getting sick themselves!
Another cure that has been recommended to me is to put my elbows in hot water to help relieve the congestion from a sinus infection! That was something I’ve never heard before in my life! I asked my family and friends back home if they had ever heard of this…no…no one had ever heard that this would help with sinus congestion! I’m not really sure about why or how putting your *elbows in water would help, except that the steam from the water would certainly help to ease the congestion. So, why don’t they just do like we do at home, and put their heads over a bowl of steaming water? I don’t really know!!!!!
It is so interesting how cures and treatments can vary from country to country, and from culture to culture. We all have different ideas about what works…and we need to follow what works for us, as well as doctor’s orders! My husband and I definitely have different ideas about how to treat a cold, but we respect one another and follow what’s right for each one of us…and eventually we get over our colds…one way or another!
That’s all for today…I hope you are all healthy and happy and that you have a great week!
*It has been suggested that putting your elbows in water would help to relieve a sinus infection in this way: the hot/warm water would expand the veins in the hands which would help to relieve pressure in the sinuses.
© 2008 by czechoffthebeatenpath