15 Weird and Wacky Folk Remedies You Shouldn’t Try

Odd fixes for common problems.

Shingles repeller
We dug this shingles prevention strategy up from a tome on old healing folklore, but naturally, we don’t give it much credence: As legend has it, hanging a turpentine-soaked string around your neck will keep shingles attacks at bay.

Putting dirty socks to good use
From Merry Olde England spring some mighty strange sore throat remedies. One–which was actually used widely until the 20th century–called for wrapping your own dirty socks around your throat. Our guess? Since sore throats are so contagious, and in the olden days a signal of potentially lethal diseases, the dirty socks were used to keep loved ones as far away as possible from the patient. But that’s just a guess. Another English treatment involved wrapping bacon around the throat before bedtime. Finally, we couldn’t resist passing along this Irish gem: To heal a sore throat, simply apply salt herring to the soles of the feet.

Things that do work
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