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Home Remedies for Colds: Magic Socks

With cold season in full swing I wanted to give a little shout out to perhaps a less common style of treatment - hydrotherapy.

Hydrotherapy is an age old practice of using water (hydro being derived from the Greek word for water) as a healing tool.

It involves using applications of hot, cold, and sometimes tepid water to stimulate the body’s innate healing mechanisms. Most commonly it is used with alternating hot and cold water. Hot water helps open up the blood and lymphatic vessels and cold water helps them constrict, which creates a pulsing motion that increases the rate of blood and lymph flow through the body.

In short, it gets things flowing.

Magic socks, also known as warming socks, takes this principle and applies to the feet. When you have a head cold or stuffy nose, promoting blood and lymph to flow throughout your entire body can help get that congestion moving and drain out. This is achieved by soaking cotton socks in cold water (wringing them out) putting them on and then putting on dry woolen socks and going to bed. It can be effective at reducing the length and sometimes severity of a cold.

I know, I know I can hear you thinking -

"Hold up. You want me to put cold, wet socks on my feet? Yeah no thanks."

I get that a lot.

Hear me out.

Yes it’s a little..strange. Some might even say uncomfortable, as you walk from the tub to the bed. But if done right it can help you have a better night of sleep and shake that cold a bit faster.

The idea is that if you apply cold to your feet, your body will exert extra energy to warm them up. This in turn pushes more blood flow through your body and gets those lymphatic fluids moving throughout. It increases circulation of all that congestion happening in your throat, sinuses, head etc. moving it down and out. Putting warm wool socks over the cold ones, helps keep all of that warmth you are generating with increased blood flow in your body, instead of escaping out your feet.

That being said it is VERY important to WARM your feet up first, or it will not work as well and you will be much more uncomfortable. (speaking from experience)

So keep this handy little trick in your back pocket of home remedies. All you need are cotton socks, wool socks, water and warm blankets. The other best part? Safe to use with kids!

How To Use Magic Socks

  1. Get warm and cozy and ready for bed.

  2. Run cotton socks under cold water and wring them out.

  3. Warm your feet up either by soaking in warm water for 10 minutes or running under hot water. I usually stick mine under hot water from the tub for 10-15 seconds. You want them to be nice and toasty.

  4. Dry your feet off and put on the cotton socks.

  5. Quickly put on the dry wool socks.

  6. Head straight to bed and get warm under the covers. Get a good nights sleep.

  7. When you wake up, your socks should be dry. Magic!


This content is for educational and informational purposes only, and is not medical advice.


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