In Hungarian folk medicine, there was a prevailing belief that a few drops of homemade pálinka can cure everything but death. There were only two possible outcomes anyway, either the patient recovers or the village can drink the remaining pálinka at his funeral. The iconic Hungarian fruit spirit had been widely used for all sorts of ailments and nuisances. These traditional health practices still live among locals as part of Hungarian culture. We have rounded up the best natural remedies that give relief to anything from toothache to baby tantrums. Just don’t go overboard if you decide to try them at home!
Natural Cure for Sore Throat
Do you feel itchiness and irritation in your throat? Forget throat pastilles that come with limited flavors!
Flush that pain down the drain by irrigating with 60% pure traditional fruit brandy!
Alcohol has been known for centuries for its antibacterial properties; therefore, gargling with pálinka can be a legit home remedy even today.
In order to get maximum results, you have to keep a gulp of brandy in your mouth for at least one minute and then spit it out. Oh, wait! It would be a shame to let that precious nectar go to waste! Pálinka also acts as an excellent painkiller if you consume it internally!
Best Practises for Common Cold
As the Brits have their rum-flavored tea, Hungarians add pálinka to their cuppa, especially if they are coming down with a cold. You get the best of two worlds: the soothing warm sensation of the tea as well as the antibacterial effect of the strong spirit. The merry combination of these two drinks would warm up anyone on cold winter days. You can also inhale the hot steam lingering over the cup. Your stuffy nose will thank you.
Even if this cold-fighting recipe only provides temporary relief, it’s still better tasting than most popular cough medicine. Plus, it’s guaranteed to put you in a better spirit, unlike those nasty syrups.
Easing an Upset Stomach
Whenever you get invited to someone’s home, you barely cross the threshold and you already find a shot of pálinka in your hand given by the host. It was no different in the old times either.
Pálinka was said to prepare your stomach for a meal as well as to kickstart your digestion after eating.
Herb women commonly made tinctures to treat tummy issues by distilling a portion of camomile extract with five units of palinka. The mixture had to sit for 8 days before use. Once ready, 20 drops of the tincture had to be added into a glass of lukewarm water. The patient was advised to go under the duvet and slowly sip the mixture. Then came the turning exercise. The person had to rest for five minutes lying on his face down, each side, and back in order to allow the tincture to reach every angle of the gastrointestinal wall.
Warning: We haven’t found any chronicles that reported on the survivors of this unorthodox healing technique..
How to Calm a Crying Baby
Ok, we agree that it might come as a bit of a shock but adding pálinka to home remedies used to be perfectly acceptable even in the case of children. If you want to take a walk on the wild side, just come to Eastern Europe!
Hungarian mothers would soak a piece of bread in pálinka or mix it with milk to soothe their crying babies. Of course, they didn’t go to extremes as they already knew back then that alcohol is not good for the child’s development.
Nevertheless, this practice worked as a miracle formula for young parents who were finally able to get some much-needed shuteye.
Home Remedies for Toothache
If you have ever dealt with an aching tooth, you have one concern – getting relief fast! Hungarian grandmothers in the countryside would often suggest rubbing some pálinka onto the hurting area. It’s actually the favorite remedy among hardened elderly relatives.
Another tip is to swill a small amount of pálinka around the affected tooth. We warn you though that this practice is not for the faint-hearted.
Alcohol doesn’t only disinfect but also numbs the pain so it can be an effective method to get rid of toothache overnight.
In case the pain returns the next day you already know what to do. Just repeat the treatment until you forget all your worries!