The Everyday Lore Project

10 February 2020 – Dizzy

10 February 2020 – Dizzy

Today, as the vertigo has not gone, I’ve been up for trying folklore remedies for dizziness to see if I can’t speed up the process. For those of you who don’t do dizzy, vertigo isn’t just that sensation you sometimes get by standing up too quickly, an episode can feel anywhere between a cheeky midmorning Babysham on an empty stomach, to a full on tumble dry. While yesterday was unrelentingly the latter, today’s mostly been like sitting in a crow’s nest during a gale. 

Seeing as dizziness and I are old friends, I already rely on several passed along folklore hacks to help me through, such as wearing acupressure bands to alleviate nausea, drinking fresh ginger tea, drinking lots of water, taking rehydration salts, and sleeping upright with pillows stuffed either side of my head so I can’t turn, so they were all out. And given that walking with vertigo can be particularly interesting, think pinballing into walls, benches, bus stops, bins, and other people, I wasn’t about to go to the shops either, so any remedy I was to try had to already be in my cupboards. Which meant the following, luckily, were also all excluded:

  • Cupping using a sheep or cow’s horn
  • Sniffing dew
  • Eating large ground-up snails
  • Drinking the blood of a black cat, with wine
  • Hemlock
  • A louse hidden in my bread
  • Eating the brain of a mountain goat

I would have happily tried carrying salt around in my pocket but seeing as I’m a woman, my pyjamas don’t have any pockets. 

So this left me with three options I felt I could manage – almonds, honey and apple cider vinegar, and kelp soup. 

Mid-morning – my vertigo is like Elaine Stritch singing Here’s To The Ladies Who Lunch, so I peck at a small handful of almonds as food really isn’t top of my list of things to do. Admittedly when next time I get up, I feel like eating lunch but that could have also been due to a nap.

Mid-afternoon – my vertigo is like trying to sneak upstairs in a strange house in the dark after your boyfriend’s parents have gone to bed and you’ve sunk one too many snakebite and blacks. Occasionally steadying myself against the counter, I mix honey and apple cider vinegar in a mug, 2:1 teaspoons respectively. It is not unpleasant, but it does make me feel very sick for about three minutes afterwards. 

Early evening – my vertigo is like walking across a rope bridge in a stiff breeze. I abandon the idea of making a kelp soup in favour of eating sheets of nori smeared with miso and hummus. Very tasty. In fact, I may have some more. 

To be fair, I do feel so much better than when I woke up this morning, I just don’t know if that’s due to the folklore, resting or natural progression. The good news is I can now move my head without wanting to fall over and/or vomit. So whichever it is, it’s a win win, I reckon. 


Hatfield, G. (2003) Encyclopedia of Folk Medicine: Old World and New World Traditions, Santa Barbara, ABC-CLIO, LLC

Published by Liza Frank

Author of My Celebrity Boyfriend. Obsessed with hula hooping, sons of preachermen and fresh dates, sometimes all at the same time. Curator of Folklore Agony and The Everyday Lore Project.

2 comments on “10 February 2020 – Dizzy”

  1. Glorious Barbara says:

    It’s okay – you can admit to the mountain goat thing. We won’t judge…

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