Author’s Note: I am not a physician and cannot provide medical advice. If you have any specific concerns or questions about colds and viruses, please contact your physician.
The BEST At-Home Remedy for Sick Season: The Wet Sock Method
It’s not difficult to tell that cold and flu season is upon us. The sheer number of people I know who currently have or have recently had sick kids is countless. While there may be no way to avoid illness completely, there are things we can do to minimize the symptoms, and hopefully, reduce the number of days our kids are sick. Admittedly, I fall more into the holistic / homeopathic camp when it comes to treating illness. That’s not to say that I don’t believe in and use Western medicine … I just chose to use more holistic means when I am able.
I use a variety of “old wives’ tale” remedies like gargling salt water or drinking honey and lemon for an achy throat, homemade elderberry syrup as a preventative during cold and flu season, oil of Oregano when they have a virus, etc. But my favorite remedy and the most effective (I find) is the wet sock method. Yes, you heard me right … the wet sock method. It’s easily one of the most convenient, and as I mentioned most effective ways to help your kiddos when they are feeling ill.
All you need for this method are the following:
- One pair of thin, cotton socks
- One pair of thick, wool socks
- Ice cold water
- Warm bath or warm water for a foot soak
First, have your child take a warm bath, or soak their feet in a warm bath for 5-10 minutes. (This is important for the effectiveness of the treatment). Make sure to fully dry the feet once out of the bath. Next, wet the cotton socks with the ice water. Be sure to ring the socks out so that they are fully wet but not drenched and dripping. Then, apply the wet socks to the child’s feet and immediately place the wool socks over the wet socks. Go directly to bed, and do not remove the socks until they are warm and dry.
It may seem crazy, but it works! This method works by increasing blood flow to the feet to “warm” the cold, wet socks. The increased blood flow then stimulates the immune system to help the body fight off infection and has been known to decrease congestion of the upper respiratory system. It is even reported to have a sedative effect, which can help improve the quality of sleep during an illness. Ideally, you should apply this method at the onset of illness, and repeat for 3 consecutive evenings.
So, the next time your kiddos are fighting a cold or upper respiratory illness…give this method a try. Be sure to note that I am not a physician and cannot provide medical advice. If you have any specific concerns or questions about colds and viruses, please contact your physician. If you would like more detailed information about the wet sock method, please find that here.