Dave Duncan

"Eat Well, Stay Fit, Die Anyway"

Ol’ Timey Cures for What Ails Ya

I’ve still got some aches and pains in my old bones and I’m still a bit dizzy, but I’m in much better shape than most people I’ve talked to who have had this same cold and I owe it all to an old timey cure that has been in a hit in my family since the old timey times where just ‘times’.

One of the worst parts about a severe cold like this is the chest congestion that locks up your breathing and all that mucus that just sits there waiting until you can build up strong enough coughs to… well, you know.  As you lie back hearing your breath gurgle, you daydream of building a fire in your lungs to burn it all out so you can breathe again.  Well my friends, here’s the fire you desire; it’s called a Mustard Plaster.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • One tablespoon of dry mustard
  • Three tablespoons of flour
  • About a cup of boiling water
  • Either a paper bag or a cotton rag
  • A thin towel
  • A couple of heavy sweaters

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Mix the mustard and flour in a bowl in a bowl.
  2. Add the boiling water until you have a gooey paste.
  3. Spread the paste on the paper bag or rag until it’s roughly the same surface area as a DVD box.
  4. Wrap the bag or rag in a towel and lay it flat on your bare chest, centered over your sternum (right over your lungs).
  5. It might take a few minutes before you start feeling the heat, but it’ll come.  Be patient.  Once it does, leave the plaster on for 20-30 minutes AFTER it gets hot.
  6. As soon as you take the plaster off, it’s VERY important you keep your chest bundled up and warm, so put on a couple of heavy sweaters and curl up under a blanket.

Note that a mustard plaster doesn’t work with a dry, hacking cough situation as it effectively loosens chest congestion and helps detach the mucus that’s clogging up your lungs.   Depending on the severity of your chest cold, you might have to repeat it once a day for a few days until you burn all the evil out of your system.

If you’re suffering with this particularly nasty seasonal cold, I wish you Godspeed and good luck in getting better, and if you haven’t got it yet, count yourself lucky.

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