How Hungarians fight the cold – folk remedies / Magyar népi gyógymódok megfázás ellen

How Hungarians fight the cold – folk remedies / Magyar népi gyógymódok megfázás ellen

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Minden országnak megvannak a maga hagyományai és szokásai szinte minden problémára és betegségre. Nézzük milyen népi gyógymódokra esküsznek a magyarok, ha a megfázásról van szó!  

Hungarians rely on their folk remedies when it comes to fighting a nasty cold or simply strengthening our immune system during the coldest time of the year. Hungarians often associate winter with sickness. There are less Vitamin D and fresh vegetables during winter, and our immune system needs an extra boost to keep the bacteria out.

Here are 4 + 1 folk remedies Hungarians believe in when the temperature drops below 10 degrees Celsius.

Healing foods

The simplest way to strengthen your immune system is proper nutrition. If you are too late and already have a cold or sore throat, do not worry. Hungarians eat a wide variety of foods because they believe in their healing power.

Traditional Hungarian húsleves a.k.a. chicken soup

Húsleves is a cherished, traditional starter for any family celebration, wedding, or a typical Sunday lunch. However, it is also the dish Hungarians go for when they are feeling under the weather. It is basically a hug in a bowl; it is rich, warm, and full of vegetables and vitamins. It is actually similar to chicken noodle soup, which is a well-known remedy in the United States. However, the Hungarian version is different.

First, we do not put wide noodles in it. Some Hungarian families actually prefer the soup without any kind of pasta, but the most commonly used type is called cérnametélt, which is an extremely thin pasta. The stars of the soup are definitely the vegetables and the cooked chicken. This clear golden liquid is cooked very slowly, usually for 3-4 hours, and it is forbidden to stir it. You must add the vegetables and spices very gently to the mix.

Garlic (and other types of onions)

Garlic is one of Hungarians’ all-time favourite ingredients (next to paprika). But we eat it not only because it makes everything spicy and delicious but also because of its many health benefits. Garlic is not only antibacterial, but it also has mucus-relieving effects. It can help cleanse our body. Hungarians believe that garlic is one of the most effective vegetables to eat to fight respiratory illnesses. Put it on your toast in the morning, and you are good to go.

Fun fact: Hungarians often mix garlic and honey, the two wonder cures, and have that on their toast.


Hungarians practically bath in honey when they have a cold. Honey has a disinfecting effect and serves as an inflammation relief. It is highly recommended to eat more honey during the cold seasons when people are more likely to catch a cold. You are advised to have a nice cup of tea with a teaspoon of honey just to stay healthy. Apart from the medical benefits, Hungarian honey has a unique and delicious flavour you cannot find anywhere else in the world. Honey-making actually has an ancient history in Hungary. There are traces that there were beekeepers already in medieval Hungary, who were mostly teachers or monks. Hungarian acacia honey has been officially registered as a Hungaricum since 2014.

Steam inhalation

Stuffy nose? Grandmothers always have their home remedies ready: Go to the bathroom, and inhale saltwater steam with a towel on your head. Breathing in moist, warm steam helps with irritation and swollen blood vessels in the nasal passages. It can also help thin the mucus in your sinuses, which allows them to empty more easily and you can breathe normally again.

+1 Pálinka

You did not think we would leave this off the list, did you? A shot of palinka a day keeps the doctor away. Obviously, do not drink palinka every day, but if you are feeling under the weather or have a nasty cold, it can actually work miracles. The theory that pálinka helps fight off a cold has been debunked by professionals, but we can honestly say that it has helped us several times. Placebo or not, what works, works.

source: Daily News Hungary


to rely on

valamiben bízni, valamire támaszkodni


gyógyír, gyógymód

to strengthen


to associate with

valamivel összefüggésbe hozni



to boost


proper nutrition

megfelelő táplálozás

sore throat


healing power

gyógyító erő

a.k.a  (also know as)

úgy is ismert, mint/valamiként ismert


itt: becsben tartott

to feel under the weather

rosszul/betegnek érzi magát






gazdag (ételre is mondják)

similar to

hasonló valamihez


jól ismert



to be forbidden

tilos, meg van tiltva

to stir

keverni, megkeverni

health benefit

jótékony egészségügyi hatás

mucus-relieving effect

duzzadt nyálkahártya feloldó hatás

to cleanse

kitisztítani, megtisztítani

respiratory illness

légúti betegség

disinfecting effect

fertőtleítő hatás

inflammation relief

gyulladáscsökkentő hatás

to be (highly) recommended

(nagyon) ajánlott

to catch a cold

elkapni a megfázást

to be advised to

ajánlott, hogy …

apart from …

…-tól eltekintve

medical benefits

gyógyászati hatás




ősi, ókori









acacia honey


to inhale

belélegezni, inhalálni







blood vessel

ér, véredény

nasal passage






a shot of palinka

egy kupica pálinka

to work miracles

csodákra képes

to fight off something

leküzdeni valamit

to be debunked

valamiről le van rántva a lepel

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