Wet sock treatment

I did something weird last night: I slept in cold, wet socks. Why on earth would I do that? Well, I had never heard of such a thing until the past week. In the class I’m taking, we were discussing methods of hydrotherapy (mineral baths, neti pots, etc.), and the topic of the wet sock therapy came up. I was intrigued and decided to do a bit more research.


This holistic and naturopathic treatment is intended to boost the immune system and fight off the onset of flu or colds and other infections. By putting icy cold, wet socks on your feet, your body reacts by increasing circulation to warm your feet, which stimulates the immune system and can help relieve congestion in the upper respiratory system. It also has a sedating affect and helps you to sleep, believe it or not! If you start to feel sick, worn out, or you can’t seem to get a good night’s sleep, this treatment might be worth trying. I’m pretty anti-medicine and like to treat myself holistically whenever possible, so I thought I’d give it a go. I’ve been feeling a bit worn out lately, and thought a little immune system boost couldn’t hurt. šŸ™‚

Here’s the protocol I followed:

1) I took a hot bath with Epsom salts and eucalyptus herbal bath oil from Kneipp (so soothing!).

2) After drying off, I soaked a pair of thin cotton socks in ice water and wrung them out until they were just damp.

3) I put them on my warm feet. Eeek!

4) I covered my feet with thick wool socks. Ahh, that felt better.

5) I immediately went to bed.

The results? Well, first off, I slept like a baby. I’m a pretty good sleeper, but last night was pretty epic. I turned in early, so I got a full 8 hours of sleep. But more than that, I had a deeply restful, rejuvenating, crazy-dream-inducing sleep. I normally hate sleeping with socks on, but for some reason, I felt extra cozy and warm last night. My feet weren’t cold at all. The amazing thing is, when I woke up, my feet and the socks were bone dry. How could that be?

I don’t have a cold, so I can’t say whether this reduced congestion, but I’d certainly try it again. It’s so easy and harmless, and I have to say, I feel pretty fantastic today.


I am not a physician, and this is only my account of trying a natural remedy. If this is something you want to try, do your own research and consult with your physician if necessary. Certain people may not want to try this treatment, such as those with circulatory disorders, diabetes, or those with certain types of cancer or HIV.

Reader feedback: What are your favorite home remedies?

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4 Responses to Wet sock treatment

  1. Woah – never heard of this before! Definitely going to keep this in mind to try next time I’m feeling congested (which I have a feeling will be soon!)

  2. Joann says:

    Love this and I’ll try it….holidays are certainly a time for immune system failures because of over-doing…. love it!

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