Home remedies have become very popular in the last few years. Everyone likes the idea of finding a way to avoid medication when it’s possible. Having less doctor and medication bills is also nice. But we should always do our homework before trying a home treatment. Some simply don’t really work, while others could actually be harmful.
We at Bright Side care about our readers and that’s why we prepared this list of popular home remedies that you may need to be careful about.
1. Kitchen cures for burns
Putting butter or oil on burns may prove to do more harm than good. When you get a burn, even if the source of the burn didn’t contact your skin, the damage still progresses for a little while until the skin cools down. That’s the reason why specialists advise putting the area under cold water. Using butter or oil will actually slow down the cooling.
2. Toothpaste to treat acne and cold sores
It sort of make sense because the baking soda in toothpaste dries out your pimple or cold sore. The problem is in the other ingredients of the toothpaste, which may seriously irritate your skin, especially your lips. The common toothpaste ingredients are alcohol, menthol, and hydrogen peroxide —all of them can irritate the skin more than they can help it.
3. Gargling with mouthwash
Gargling with mouthwash as a treatment for a cold really doesn’t sound very effective. Doctors often say that the best thing you can do is get plenty of rest. When you have a sore throat, it’s inflamed in the first place and mouthwash will irritate it even more. Drink lots of warm liquids and get lots of rest. There’s nothing else you can do.
4. Colloidal silver
Colloidal silver is a suspension, in which tiny silver particles are distributed in a cream. A few years back there was a massive campaign about its magical curing properties. Since then specialists have warned many times that colloidal silver is not just ineffective in treating most illnesses, but it’s actually dangerous. It can build up in your system over time and long-term use might leave you intoxicated or with a bluish skin discoloration, making you look like a Smurf.
5. Wart cutting
Some people use scissors, knives, or other sharp tools to cut off their warts. You should never do that since this is a very easy way to get an infection. There are other safe home remedies for warts that are effective too, but wart cutting is a highly dangerous cure.
6. Whiskey for a toothache
Although using whiskey as a toothache treatment may excite some people, the experts say that whiskey has very little anesthetic properties. Although taking it for pain won’t do any direct damage, the harm is in not getting the right treatment on time.
7. Other dental remedies
Suggestions to rub different substances, like headache powder, onto the gum area to ease the toothache can be quite harmful — gums can get chemical burns from things like this. Problem teeth don’t fix themselves. The earlier you can get yourself to a dentist, the easier it’s going to be.
8. Castor oil for speedy labor
It’s been reported that pregnant women have been taking castor oil to induce labor. Well, the reality is that castor oil does have some effect on our body, but it’s not really related to pregnancy. It will help if you suffer from constipation. But do you really want to get a speedy bowel movement during your last weeks of pregnancy? Perhaps letting nature or doctors take care of your very special time would be much safer for both of you.
9. Candling earwax
The suggestion of candling to get rid of earwax has become viral lately. However, it’s been reported that a number of people have had to seek treatment for damaged eardrums and ear canals when this natural home remedy got out of control.
10. Dangerous cures for head lice
The Internet has many home remedies for getting rid of head lice. People rub kerosene, petrol, concentrated pesticides, you name it, on their heads. Needless to say, that all of it is highly toxic and should never be used on skin. Other treatments are exactly the opposite, Vaseline, olive oil, water — perfectly safe and … perfectly useless. Centuries ago people had no choice but to use whatever they could find, but nowadays we have no excuse. Get a prescription from your family doctor and follow the instructions precisely.
Do you know some other popular home remedies that can do more harm than good? Tell us about it in the comments and don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family. Stay healthy.
Illustrated by Yekaterina Ragozina for Bright Side