Here are some of the strangest Freshers’ Flu remedies that you need to try

Whether you’re ready or not, Freshers’ Flu is coming… it always does

Freshers’ Week should be a distant memory by now but there’s one thing in first year that seems to haunt us all at some point: Freshers’ Flu. Perhaps you kissed someone questionable at Guy’s Bar or your poor immune system just got caught off guard by the strong cocktail of germs that inhabits the King’s population. Regardless, it happens to the best of us! And as a survivor myself of three bouts of tonsillitis in the first semester alone, I feel it is my duty to pass on some wisdom in lieu of defeating the infamous disease.

By now you may have turned to Google for a remedy, but the simple answers of cold medicine and staying hydrated just aren’t quite cutting it. You’re missing lectures because you’re bed bound, the work is starting to pile up, and you’re desperately searching for a miracle cure. Well here’s the good news – you need look no further. Here are some unorthodox methods that you can try to banish your illness for good:

Snuggle up with a spud for the night

As the old wives’ tale suggests, sleeping with half a potato under your foot, secured by a sock, gets rid of a cold. Though the old wives’ tale admittedly fails to mention Freshers’ Flu, I’m sure it would have the same effect.

Just don’t let your flatmates catch you running off to your room with half a Maris Piper to put in your sock because, let’s face it, it wouldn’t leave the best impression.

A nice refreshing cup of garlic tea!

You might not expect it, but garlic has a very strong antibacterial quality thanks to the enzyme allinase. So why not try adding six cloves of garlic peeled, crushed, and infused into cold water to make a delicious home brew. It may go a long way in warding off your pesky ill health.

Just ensure that you thoroughly brush your teeth after drinking to avoid making some bad first impressions – you don’t want to be labelled in any of your seminars, for instance, as “the-one-with-garlic-breath.”

Take the Russian route with Gogul Mogul

Though it’s certainly no comparison to a double vodka lemonade with your friends in Dover Castle, this Russian cold-curing delicacy might just do the trick! Mix together an egg yolk, honey and unsalted butter in a cup of warm milk, then say a silent prayer that it cures your illness (as opposed to worsening it via induced vomiting), and drink up.

There’s even an option to add rum or cognac for the perfect drink for pres!

Flush those sinuses

Perhaps the more appropriate adjective to describe this remedy for relieving congestion is uncomfortable, as opposed to strange.

By now we’ve surely all seen at least one weirdly satisfying sinus rinsing video on TikTok (No? Just my FYP?), and although this is definitely a more medically advised method than some of the others on this list, it unfortunately doesn’t make the prospect of forcing water through one’s sinuses to flush out all the snot they’re storing any less strange and off-putting.

Still, this one is likely to be more immediately effective than putting a potato in your sock, so treat yourself to a proper sinus rinsing bottle and go for it.

Soldier on

You could, of course, ignore all of this wisdom, crack a Lemsip, and carry on with the freshers’ lifestyle. This certainly isn’t advisable, and you will definitely feel worse in the morning, but a few drinks in you might gain a brief moment of respite and forget how ill you truly are. 


Those of us who have lived through Freshers’ Flu know that this lethal cocktail of illness, hangovers, and sleep deprivation can put even the strongest students among us on our deathbeds year after year. And so, whether you adhere to any of the above advice or not, crucially, please try not to be deterred by widespread reports in student lore that such a return to good health never actually happens, and that we all, in fact, just develop a new baseline level of wellness – it isn’t good for your recovery…

Always seek professional medical advice from your GP.

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