July 23, 2012 by JOYCE DEL ROSARIO
Pseudo Science vs. Natural Remedy: What Are The Myths You Follow That Keep On Making You Sick
Have you ever reached for an over the counter medication, only to put it down and pick up a natural remedy instead? Nature offers people numerous ways to ease injuries and illnesses. Yet some pseudo-science medical myths can actually confuse the benefits of natural remedies and turn you feeling worse rather than better in no time.
Here are some of the top natural remedy myths that can make you sick, rather than better:
- Rubbing Butter on Burns -- This claim is said to help ease the pain of a stinging hot burn with the cooling sensation of a natural lubricant. However, as the cool butter is rubbed onto the wound it melts quickly and actually creates a way for the burn to continue cooking instead of making it heal faster. Instead of using butter, to cool a burn cold water should be gently run over the wounded area. This will not only help clean the open cut but will also drop the temperature quickly.
- Stop Nosebleeds with Head Tilted Backward -- Old wives tales suggest that tilting a person’s head backward when a nosebleed occurs can stop the bleeding faster. While this is an effective method for stopping the nose from continuing it bleed, what happens instead is the blood is sent back the sinus cavity and into the throat. Instead, a person should do the opposite. The person should lean forward, pinch the nose and allow the blood to be released from the body.
- Stare Straight Ahead to Relieve Motion Sickness Symptoms -- Motion sickness is caused when a person travels forward or backward. When this happens, old wives tales suggest that staring at a static point ahead, such as a mountain range can ease the nausea caused by this movement. This is sometimes the case on water, but is rarely effective on land when traveling by car. Instead, a person who gets motion sickness frequently should arm themselves with natural ginger to chew on. This remedy has proven to be proven to reduce the nausea caused by the sensation of moving forward.
- Feed a Cold, Starve the Flu -- This tale likely comes from the natural feeling of losing your appetite when you have the flu. However, to recover the flu requires proper hydration and nutrition to boost your health. In a study conducted in 2008 using rats who were given the flu, scientists found those who ate throughout the illness recovered faster than those who starved themselves.
- Wet Heads and Thin Clothing Makes you Sick -- Many people believe that because they are cold, either by being wet outside, or not wearing a thick enough jacket, they are more likely to get sick. While it is very likely that you will feel a chill as you step outside in these conditions, it is not what causes colds to form. Instead, a cold is formed by a virus. So next time you are late for work do not worry about skipping the blow dryer and step out in the cold with confidence.
- Daily Rinsing of your Sinus Cavity -- This has long been hailed as a remedy by people who study holistic medicine. While its efficacy has proven valid, daily rinsing can actually end up depleting the nasal cavity from mucus necessary to keep harmful viruses and contaminants out of the body. Skip this daily deed and instead only rinse when you are symptomatic for the best results.
- Remove the Venom from a Snake Bite -- If you have been bit by a snake, one of the first things you may have been told to do is suck the venom out on your own. This, however, can actually speed the venom moving in your body making you sicker in the long run. For this, it is important to seek medical attention and leave the bite alone until paramedics arrive. Performing any home remedies in these situations can make the bite worse before it makes it better.
Natural remedies can be extremely effective, although there are some methods that have become more of old wives tales rather than actual remedies. Next time you reach for one of these natural cures, think twice about its efficacy.
Joyce Del Rosario is part of the team behind Open Colleges, one of Australia’s leading providers of health and fitness courses and Natural Therapy Courses. When not working, Joyce blogs about health and fitness.