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Eight Traditional Remedies of Wise Greek Yiayias that Work Wonders

yiayias remedies
A Greek yiayia. Credit: Natascha /CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Greek grandmothers, or “yiayias” in all their accumulated wisdom and vast experience have been known to use homemade remedies for various illnesses ranging from a simple cold to burns and nausea for millennia.

eight traditional remedies from Greek yiayias to cure what ails you

Some of the following remedies have been known to have been used for hundreds of years, especially by Greek yiayias, who are experts on traditional solutions for all modern problems.

Scientists now say that many of those traditional remedies that yiayia advocated for have a significantly positive impact on our health.


According to a study published in the journal Chest, grandma’s chicken soup may indeed contain a number of substances with mild anti-inflammatory properties which could help reduce the symptoms of colds. In addition, the soup’s heat can help reduce congestion by loosening mucus.

Sore throats

Grandma was right: Salt water can relieve sore throats, according to the Mayo Clinic. Also, a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that gargling salt water can even help prevent upper respiratory tract infections.


Grandma always had fresh milk in her kitchen to help treat burns. “Milk proteins have anti-inflammatory action,” says Arielle Kauvar, director of the New York Laser & Skin Care company and a clinical dermatology professor at the New York University School of Medicine. She advises burn patients to “Soak a towel in a bowl with a mixture of equal amount of milk and water. Touch the compresses in the area for 10-15 minutes.”

yiayias remedies
tea with ginger and honey. Credit: Jacqueline/CC-BY-NC 2.0


Make a soothing tea by slicing fresh ginger in boiling water. According to acupuncturist Jeff Gould, all you have to do to avoid this horrendous sensation is “Add some brown sugar and drink it to relieve nausea.”

Insect Bites

While insect bites can be especially annoying, they have one of the simplest remedies. Simply rub an ice cube repeatedly over the affected area to reduce itching and swelling. So simple, so effective!


“Fever is not the enemy, as long as it doesn’t reach an extreme degree. It indicates that your body is trying to kill the virus or the bacteria,” say doctors. To make one feel better, many suggest what a yiayia would suggest: A lukewarm bath and cool compresses on the forehead.

Credit: Greek Reporter


Clinical studies have shown that taking one teaspoonful of honey 30 minutes before bedtime can reduce coughing, but should only be givin to children who are older than two years. Greek yiayias use honey for many ailments!

Eczema and dry skin

Oats are not just for your breakfast! Research published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology has confirmed that oatmeal does have moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties which indeed do help with pruritus. So fill up your bath, throw in some oats, soak in it for twenty minutes and get out with the most moisturized skin you’ve ever had.

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