I recently visited my family doctor with a sore throat that turned out to be a nasty case of strep. Along with the suspected prescription for antibiotics, my doctor gave me some sage advice from the past—“gargle with salt water to reduce the swelling,” she said. Both delighted and surprised, I was inspired to do a little digging to see what tidbits of nostalgic medical advice are still being doled out by modern medical practitioners today.
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From soothing constipation to easing migraines—here are eight old timey medical cures that are still prescribed today…
1. Ice Packs
We already know that ice packs (or cold packs) can work miracles to reduce pain and bring down the swelling and inflammation of an injury or chronic pain condition (i.e., arthritis). However, it turns out that doctors are also inclined to prescribe an age old therapy from 19th century Greece, which applied ice packs to soothe migraines. In fact, a 1984 study by Diamond and Freitag discovered that patients experienced at 65-percent success rate when they applied ice packs or ice gel packs to the carotid arteries or neck for 15-minutes at the onset of a migraine. The success is linked to the coldness and its ability to constrict and then cause blood vessel dilation with obviously no medical risks or contraindications.