5 Home Remedy No-No's
From ear candling to colon cleansing, here are 5 home remedies that may do more harm than good.
Home Remedy No-No Number 2: Whiskey for a Teething Baby
When a baby starts to teethe, he or she
usually starts to cry, which means parents might try anything to get junior to
stop, including whiskey. While the old wives' tale might offer a glimmer of
hope after three nonstop hours of screaming, think again; the liquor cabinet
should not be your next stop.
"First of all, children shouldn't be consuming alcohol," says
Stanley Alexander, DMD, chairman of the department of pediatric dentistry at
Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. "Second, whiskey has no real
numbing effect on the gums as the teeth are coming up."
So put the whiskey bottle away, and instead, reach for the freezer.
"The best thing you can possibly do is to chill a teething toy in the freezer and
give it to the child," says Alexander. "The cooling effect on the gum
will both soothe and numb it."
Or, if the child is old enough, use a sugarless ice pop, with adult
"For centuries, teething has been a concern to parents," says
Alexander. It can cause salivation, irritability, and problems with sleep. If symptoms are severe,
then see a doctor.
And the same rule applies for adults: If you have a toothache or tenderness
in the gum, whiskey won't help. Instead, a cavity deep in the tooth or a gum
infection could be causing the pain, making it time to see a
Home Remedy No-No Number 3: Butter for a Burn
While you might be of the opinion that butter makes everything better, it's
important to remember that this rule applies to food, not burns.
"Butter might offer modest value for a burn by having a slight cooling
effect, but it tends to melt due to body heat and there is a risk of infection
because it's not sterile," says Robert Sheridan, MD, a surgeon in the burn
units of Massachusetts General Hospital and Shriner's Hospital for
For mild to moderate first-degree burns and second-degree burns limited to
an area no larger than 3 inches in diameter, Sheridan recommends an
over-the-counter antibiotic burn ointment. Gently apply it to the burned skin, and keep it covered for
cleanliness. You can also try ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help alleviate