Warming Socks: A natural cold and flu remedy!

Cold and flu season has arrived! 

'Tis the season of coughs, runny noses, fever and body aches. As much as we attempt to use preventative techniques such as hand washing, eating lots of fruits and veggies, and getting enough sleep - sometimes it seems inevitable that we will pick up a virus from someone at work, school, or at home.

I can write pages and pages on the numerous options naturopathic medicine has to offer when it comes to treating colds and boosting the immune system. But instead I am going to introduce you to one simple and easy hydrotherapy technique known as warming socks (otherwise referred to as "cold, wet socks"). I already know what you're thinking - it sounds gross and uncomfortable and I must be crazy to think this would help with your cold symptoms. But trust me! I used to be the Queen of colds, and I can assure you this works if done properly.

And so, it is exactly what its name describes....cold, wet socks, on your feet....and you will sleep like that overnight. But don't be fooled - remember, our bodies are miraculous machines and as uncomfortable as it may seem to fall asleep with wet cotton socks on your feet, they will actually warm up and dry in no time. When our brain senses a temperature change in a certain area of the body, it will send a signal to either constrict or dilate our blood vessels in order to maintain homeostasis and a normal body temperature. In this case, our body sends a rush of blood to our cold feet to warm the area. This signal increases circulation and stimulation of the lymphatic system, which functions to filter out foreign particles or bacteria in the body. So you can expect your fever to drop, congestion to decrease and an overall good nights sleep!


Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Make sure your feet are warm to start! (use a hot water bath or heating pad)

  2. Run COLD water over a pair of thin cotton socks and ring them out.

  3. Place the cotton socks on your feet - this will feel uncomfortable for about 20-30 seconds - PUSH THROUGH!

  4. Immediately throw a pair of thick, wool socks on top of the cold wet socks.

  5. Cozy up under some blankets and leave them on till morning - or at least a few hours.

*To further increase circulation and immunity, you can rub lavender or eucalyptus essential oil on your feet before putting on the cotton socks

NOTE: If there is discomfort after 10 minutes, try warming your feet and re-starting the process. The key is circulation!!