WAYS TO TELL WHETHER A HOME REMEDY WORKS OR NOT

Home remedy preparation
Because a lot of people use a home cure does not necessarily mean it works well or is safe. It is often hard to know which remedies are helpful and which may be harmful. Careful study is needed to be sure. Here are four rules to help tell which remedies are least likely to work, or are dangerous.

THE MORE REMEDIES THERE ARE FOR ANYONE ILLNESS, THE LESS LIKELY IT IS THAT ANY OF THEM WORKS. There are many home remedies for goiter, none of which does any real good. Here are some of them:
  1. To tie a crab on the goiter
  2. To rub the goiter with the hand of a dead child
  3. To smear the brains of a vulture on the goiter
  4. To smear human feces on the goiter

Not one of these many remedies works. If it did, the others would not be needed. When a sickness has just one popular cure, it is more likely to be a good one. For prevention and treatment of goiter use iodized salt.

FOUL OR DISGUSTING REMEDIES ARE NOT LIKELY TO HELP— AND ARE OFTEN HARMFUL. For example:
  1. The idea that leprosy can be cured by a drink made of rotting snakes
  2. The idea that syphilis can be cured by eating a vulture

These two remedies do not help at all. The first one can cause dangerous infections. Belief in remedies like these sometimes causes a delay in getting proper medical care.

REMEDIES THAT USE ANIMAL OR HUMAN WASTE DO NO GOOD AND CAN CAUSE DANGEROUS INFECTIONS. NEVER USE THEM. Examples:
Putting human feces around the eye does not cure blurred vision and can cause infections.
Smearing cow dung on the head to fight ringworm can cause tetanus and other dangerous infections.
Also, the droppings of rabbits or other animals do not help heal burns. To use them is very dangerous. Cow dung, held in the hand, cannot help control seizures. Teas made from human, pig or any other animal feces do not cure anything. They can make people sicker. Never put feces on the navel of a newborn baby. This can cause tetanus.

THE MORE A REMEDY RESEMBLES THE SICKNESS IT IS SAID TO CURE, THE MORE LIKELY ITS BENEFITS COME ONLY FROM THE POWER OF BELIEF. The association between each of the following illnesses and its remedy is clear in these examples from Mexico:
  1. For a nosebleed, using yesca (a bright red mushroom) 
  2. For deafness, putting powdered rattlesnake’s rattle in the ear
  3. For dog bite, drink tea made from the dog’s tail
  4. For scorpion sting, tying a scorpion against the stung finger
  5. To prevent diarrhea when a child is teething, putting a necklace of snake’s fangs around the baby’s neck
  6. To ‘bring out’ the rash of measles, making tea from kapok bark
These remedies and many other similar ones have no curative value in themselves. They may be of some benefit if people believe in them. But for serious problems, be sure their use does not delay more effective treatment.
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