This Alpine remedy, familiar to most Austrian children, provides a natural way to lower fever* (and an alternative use for an abundance of Christmas socks)
500ml cool water
1-2 tbsp vinegar
1 pair of long, woolly socks one or two towels
1 The ill person should be in bed resting. Fill a bowl with cool water and add vinegar, which stimulates blood flow.
2 Soak the socks in this solution, wring them out slightly, keeping them nice and wet, and slide them over the feet and calves. Put a dry towel around the socks to prevent the bed from getting wet. After 45 minutes, if the patient’s temperature hasn’t gone down, replace them with freshly-soaked socks.
3 Remove the socks if your patient’s feet or hands are cold or if the patient starts shivering.
From Vinegar Socks, Traditional Home Remedies for Modern Living by Karin Berndl and Nici Hofer (Hardie Grant Books)
* If the person is shivering this recipe is not appropriate, and you should seek medical advice.