Maybe it is related to the old asafetida bag that country folks used to tie around the neck of their kids to get rid of winter ailments.
We had a kid named Fred in my sixth grade class that occasionally had the honor of wearing one tucked down inside his heavy flannel shirts. He also had the honor of sitting right next to the steam radiators that old schools were equipped with. (showing my age, I guess!)
Now, those old radiators were somewhat slow to heat up, but when they finally got going, they put out some huge amounts of heat right next to them. Fred, being a hefty individual, would also heat up and and begin to sweat - emitting a fog of asafetida odor that the Vicks Vaporub manufacturer would have envied.
I never figured out whether Fred"s swift recoveries were from the home remedy or from the sincere prayers of 35 classmates pleading for his swift healing. Either way, he generally recovered within the week and we would allow him to rejoin our lunch table group that was situated far, far away from any radiators!