How to Cure Your Cough, 1558

old man warming feet by fire with tiny dogs BnF, MS Lat. 9471 (15th c.)

A most beautiful and pleasant secret for curing a cough by greasing the soles of the feet. An extremely true thing, and very easy.

Take two or three heads of garlic and peel them, and crush them very well, and then add pork fat, and crush it together well again. Then, in the evening when you want to go to bed, take your socks off and put the soles of your feet toward the fire, and grease the soles with the mixture of garlic and fat. And keeping the feet always to the fire so that it almost burns you, or as hot as you can endure, let the ointment stay on for a while. Then put on warm socks and go to bed, and in bed have your back massaged a little with the ointment. And after three evenings you will be miraculously cured from any cough.

De’ segreti del reverendo donno Alessio Piemontese

It’s cold season and all you really want is a miraculous cure for your cough, succulent feet, and the odor of roasted garlic and bacon wherever you go. Is that too much to ask?