Home remedies have made a big comeback in the last few years. Finding ways to take care of illnesses with less medication and fewer medical bills sounds great. The trick is knowing what home remedies to try and which ones to stay away from.
Since not all natural treatments are equal, you need to do your homework before trying many of the remedies that are passed around. Some remedies don't work, but some are actually dangerous. Check out these 5 remedies you should never try.
1. Butter the burn. Putting butter on a burn to help ease the pain and help it heal is an old wives' tale that needs to remain in the past. When you get a burn, the best thing to do is quickly cool the area. The Mayo Clinic shares that butter will actually slow the cooling process, causing even more damage than the original burn. It may also increase your chances of infecting the wound. This is a definite home remedy to avoid!
2. Whiskey for a toothache. If you're suffering from a toothache or have a baby that's teething and is cranky, don't grab the whiskey. Some proponents of this remedy recommend swishing the whiskey in your mouth like a mouthwash for 30 seconds to help numb the area and deaden the pain. Matthew Messina, D.D.S. tells the New York Times that there is very little anesthetic value to whiskey and it won't clear any kind of mouth infection. The real danger in using it is that it often causes people to delay seeking real help for whatever is actually causing the problem. This remedy gets a failing grade.
3. Petroleum jelly as a lubricant. Rather than spending a lot of money on lubricants, some recommend grabbing a jar of petroleum jelly. It's cheap and it lubricates just fine. The problem is, according to the Cleveland Clinic, that petroleum jelly causes yeast infections in the vagina. Also, condoms can be weakened by the jelly to the point of causing them to break and making them ineffective. Sometimes a cheap solution isn't really a solution at all.
4. Candling earwax. Candling to remove earwax has gained a lot of popularity lately. In order to remove wax buildup, people insert a beeswax cone candle into the ear and light the candle. WebMD explains how dangerous this practice is. Jennifer Smullen, MD says that she has had to treat burns on patients' eardrums and ear canals because of this practice gone awry. Loss of hearing can be the ultimate consequence. If earwax is a problem, see the doctor for help removing the buildup. This candle is one that should never be used.
5. Colloidal silver. Colloidal silver is tiny particles of silver suspended in a liquid that people take orally. It is supposed to treat various infections, lung disorders, cancer and the flu. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that the FDA has determined that colloidal silver is not only ineffective in treating all of the above; it's actually dangerous. This product can cause a permanent bluish-gray discoloration of the skin and can interfere with your body's ability to absorb important medications. This is definitely a remedy to avoid.
There are definitely some tried-but-true home remedies that have stood the test of time, and science backs up their effectiveness. There are others that should be avoided at all costs. Be wise and stay informed.