My sick secret is…a hot bath. Yep, that’s it. It’s something our parents and grandparents used to prescribe all the time, but no one my age ever seems to believe in or practice this theory! When you start to get those aches that mean a fever is coming on, you need to draw the hottest bath you can stand, and sit in it until you’ve broken a sweat—at least 10 minutes, but longer is even better. Wrap yourself up, head to bed immediately, and 90% of the time, all the illness will have left your body by the time you wake up (via…steam? sweat? germ-ridden exhalations? unclear). Easy peasy, and doesn’t even require a miserable trip to CVS. —Kristin Nabers, Atlanta, Ga.
My go-to cure is: oysters. A dozen or more at the first hint of a cold and the zinc loading (plus the benefits of all that horseradish in the cocktail sauce) will banish all symptoms of your nascent cold/flu. Also, oysters are delicious and if you can hit up a bar at happy hour, can be found inexpensively on the half shell. I’m not one for cooked or fried oysters, so I can’t say those work as well as raw. I would think, however, that raw is the way to go, much like how cooking vegetables lowers their nutritional value. I’m doing the oyster cure this week and so far, so good. And, so delicious. —Emily, Washington, DC
THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE. THIS IS NOT EVEN FINANCIAL ADVICE. NO ONE HERE IS A DOCTOR. But: Do you have a secret about how to prevent getting sick or get better quickly if you are sick or any other kind of healthcare hack? SEND ME YOUR SICK SECRETS. firstname.lastname@example.org
“I’m not, however, a heavy eater—take only 2 meals per day, since my digestion raises hell if I try to eat oftener than once in 7 hours. In winter, when it’s too cold for me to go out much, I subsist largely on canned stuff. I always get my own breakfasts, anyway—doughnuts and cheese. I have financial economy in eating worked out to a fine art, and know the self-service lunch rooms where I can get the best bargains. I never spend more than $3.00 per week on food, and often not even nearly that.” —H.P. Lovecraft to Robert E. Howard, 7 November 1932