What are some home remedies that do not work?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Some home remedies that don’t work include:

Headband to Cure a Headache

Method: Pour rubbing alcohol into a bowl, wet the bandana in the alcohol and then tie it tightly around your head.

Verdict: It doesn't work. Although there might be some comfort in cooling your forehead, the fumes of the alcohol can actually worsen your headache. Additionally, high levels of alcohol absorbed through the skin and may cause nausea. Instead, soak the bandana in water that's been mixed with a little bit of rosemary or lavender.

Milk and Cabbage Gel for Back Pain

Method: Chop up 5-6 large leaves of cabbage into halves or quarters. Add them to 2 cups of milk. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and heat for around 20-35 minutes until it boils and starts to look and feel sticky. Spread the mixture onto your back and leave on for around 20 minutes.

Verdict: It does not work! Although the heat may help to loosen the muscles and bring relief, there is no science behind milk or cabbage being useful for back pain.

Apple Cider Vinegar for Heartburn

Method: Swallow a few teaspoons of apple cider vinegar rather than popping antacids to soothe heartburn.

Verdict: It does not work! Apple cider vinegar works for a lot things (like killing germs, weight loss, and hair health) but unfortunately, there's no evidence that supports it can help heartburn. And if it tastes bad, skip it altogether.

White Rum with Lemon Juice and Water as a Fever Reducer

Method: Mix together rum, lemon juice, and water, and then use a washrag to apply to your arms, back, and forehead.

Verdict: It does not work! Alcohol works to cool the skin so quickly that you begin to shiver, which works to raise your core body temperature. A 5-10 minute sponge bath with lukewarm water is far more effective. This treatment prevents a sharp decline in temperature by bringing it down gradually.

Mayonnaise for a Burn

Method: Apply mayonnaise to a burn immediately after it occurs and leave on for 10 minutes.

Verdict: It does not work! Applying mayonnaise or other types of food can actually breed bacteria and complicate the healing process. After a burn occurs, the most important thing is to cool it down. Direct ice can hurt the skin, but cold running water will work. Aloe is proven to help, and you should cover with sterile gauze to protect the wound.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.