Trivia Teaser

Someone who 'took silk' became a member of which profession?




By Christine Lovatt

You can’t cure a cold or ’flu’ but everyone has their own method for relieving the symptoms. In fact, ask fifty people and you’ll get fifty different answers.
When our family came down with colds recently, we were given all sorts of advice regarding home remedies, but we find the old family favourite always works – honey, lemon juice and vinegar with hot water and a few cloves. Both vinegar and cloves have anti-bacterial properties, lemon juice has Vitamin C and honey also contains vitamins and natural enzymes as well as making it taste better - guaranteed to soothe the throat and clear the head.
Incidentally, the word lemon comes from the Arabic limunhoney from the German honig and vinegar from the Old French vyn egre, from Latin vinum‘wine’ + acer ‘sour’. 
I’m sure you readers have your own cold and ’flu’ remedy, there are many variations - maybe adding ginger, garlic, brandy or even cayenne pepper. Chicken soup, hot tea, gargling with salt, breathing in steam with eucalyptus oil or even a mustard footbath are all popular ways to relieve the congestion or sore throat.
Less popular remedies are eating snakeskin, once used in ancient China. My aunt had an old-fashioned remedy for a sore throat – tie a sock (preferably unwashed) around your throat. I’ve since discovered this method was used by British soldiers. Perhaps they should have used it on their enemies instead. 
Every family has their own comfort foods and when I was growing up in London, during the 50s and 60s, our favourite treat was goody, which my mother made by pouring boiling milk and spices onto brown bread. I wonder if we were the only ones who enjoyed this dessert?
Write and tell me your favourite comfort foods.
Happy puzzling!

NOTE FROM JESSIE: Congratulations to combatwombat, the winner of our St. Valentine's Day Trivia Tournament. A $250 cash prize will soon be on its way! 

14 Responses to


February 15, 2011 at 2:48 PM

In the early 1970's, after my husband, children and I had one bout after another of flu and colds, my next door neighbour told me to buy high dose vitamin c tablets, and give the family about 500 to 100ml daily, as a cold and flu prevention. As we were desperate by then, I bought the vitamins, and we have been taking them daily since. After my husband died at the end of 2001, I somehow forgot to replenish my vitamin C tbs. After I had had several months of colds my daughter came to me one day, threw down a container of vitamin C and said "now take them!" I have been taking them since without one single cold. I definitely recommend 500 mg to 1000 mg daily as a preventative.

February 16, 2011 at 8:45 AM

Hmm, I currently need a remedy for a sore throat, as I have an unwelcome cold today also. I might try the sock around the throat approach - it's sure to keep people out of my office today, if anything...

February 16, 2011 at 2:27 PM

A good way to avoid colds is to wash your hands after being in public places, as the viruses can live on surfaces such as tables, escalator rails, door handles, etc for days. In a family situation, the "cold-y" should try to avoid handling items the others use, after blowing their nose, etc. until after washing or wiping their hands. It's a very effective preventative.

123mumma said:
February 16, 2011 at 5:01 PM

Ginger and Lemongrass Tea always a good one to clear the sinus and sooth a sore throat. Cold water helps a sore throat too i found

February 16, 2011 at 8:46 PM

Good ol' vicks vapour rub rubbed on chest & throat. A good saline nasal spray helps to clear the sinuses too.

zacharry said:
February 17, 2011 at 3:53 PM

I've been faithfully taking a kiwifruit every day for seven years and not had a single cold or sore throat since, and that was after a life time of a dozen colds a year. I found the kiwifruit has more vitamin C than almost anything else and is full of potassium too. Tasty stuff with no tablets needed!

February 17, 2011 at 10:35 PM

I totally agree about Vitamin C. No matter how you wish to take it, Vitamin C is an essential part to maintaining a healthy and strong immune system which gives us resistance to all the bugs out there. Vitamin C may also aid in recovery from colds/flus as well.

relle said:
February 17, 2011 at 11:08 PM

An apple a day keeps the doctor away! And as for comfort food, who could say NO to my Grandma's Apple pie!

shazzam said:
February 18, 2011 at 10:50 PM

I just received an e-mail regarding flu remedies rather than taking (drugs)like Cough syrup and antibiotics etc, Put vicks on the soles of your feet and cover with socks and then into bed, I mentioned this to a friend of mine and she has been doing this for years and it works.

Trivie said:
February 21, 2011 at 8:43 PM

Have heard of Vicks on the sole of your foot stops night time coughing but didn't know about the treatment of a cold...must remember that one :-) Also believe that it is impossible to catch the exact same cold twice since the common cold is a virus and our immune system remembers all viruses it encounters and protects against it. So... the older you get the less number of colds you catch ???

February 22, 2011 at 12:25 PM

No, Trivie, unfortunately .....the more the viruses mutate.

Muffy said:
February 22, 2011 at 9:28 PM

If I can catch the symptoms early enough, somewhere in the prodrome, I have actually knocked out a cold with antihistamines. However, once the cold gets going, antihistamines are useless! My husband and I are users of megadoses of Vitamin C when our colds start...on the order of ...oh, lets just say LOTS higher than 1gm/day. I know it could be placebo effect, but this does seem to shorten the duration and lessen the symptoms; and usually seems to keep the cold confined to only one of us. We are also fond of taking a dram of very old single malt whisky at bedtime when battling cold virii. It might not help, but who cares?!

spoggy said:
February 26, 2011 at 4:31 PM

heaps of water ,, a couple of paracetamol , and a 'toddy ' then to bed !!!



March 10, 2011 at 11:47 AM

Thanks everyone, for your cold remedies - it seems that Vitamin C is the answer, along with Vicks, ginger and lemongrass tea, apples and paracetamol! I've started having a Kiwifruit a day, and so far I'm as healthy as a badger. Now for that little drop of whisky!