How to get rid of a cold: Potato hack to soothe symptoms

People are claiming putting raw potatoes on their feet is soothing colds and flu symptoms. They suggest the root veg can “draw out” the many sniffles going around during the winter months from the body.

The hack involves placing a thin slice of potato against your foot at night using a sock to hold it in place. According to converts, the potato will change colour demonstrating it has drawn out the cold from the body.

Mum-of-five and TikTok users Laura Kathleen tried the hack herself. She wrote: “So one of the things that TikTok has taught me is to put potatoes on the bottom of your feet then you’re starting to feel sick. I tested it out the last two nights.”

She compared a slice of potato from her healthy foot with a slice she put on her poorly little girl’s foot. The two looked drastically different, with the potato from her daughter’s foot being a dark black colour. 

READ MORE: How to block cold air coming down your chimney, stay warm and save £125

Some TikTok users said in the comment that they use the hack too, and swear by it. One said: “We do it in the Balkans for the last 100 years, it helps somehow.”

Estefany Martinez said: “My mom puts onion on the baby’s feet when they are sick and it totally works.”

“Balkan people do this since forever,” one said, “Rakia helps as well.”

Raika is a fruit spirit popular in the Balkans, with an ABV of 40 percent. Therefore it’s not recommended for sick children.

Some tried to scientifically explain the phenomena away. One said: “Probably because sick people have higher body temperatures.”

another said: “She probably has or had a fever. Sweat and chills. Will change color.”

Another said: “Heat is my guess…more heat less water speed up decomp.”

There is no medical evidence this hack works, however. There are more reliable ways to help with cold symptoms.

How to ease and get rid of a cold

  • Rest and sleep lots
  • Drinks lots of fluids
  • Gargle salt water for a sore throat
  • Take paracetamol or ibuprofen
  • Relieve a blocked nose with a decongestant spray or tablet

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