Have a sore throat? Would you ever try drinking a mixture of moonshine, honey and chili paste to avoid seeing a doctor?
When it comes down to it, going to the doctor can cost money whether you have insurance or not. In 2010, 10.9 percent of non-institutionalized Americans avoided or delayed seeing a doctor because they couldn’t afford the fee, according to a survey from the Center for Disease Control.
As seen in the graph below, the uninsured are most likely to avoid seeing the doctor or getting prescription drugs, though people with Medicaid and private insurance have also skipped out of treatment because of the cost.
WhichWayNC asked our readers what home remedies they have used to avoid going to the doctor.
To find out what health care professionals thought about these home fixes, I turned to the person who I get most of my medical advice from – my dad Dr. Pedro Rodriguez, and contacted Dr. Gary Asher, who teaches in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Department of Family Medicine. Below are some of the weirdest remedies we received and the doctors’ opinions on how they could help or harm.
Ailments and remedies
- Put garlic cloves in your ears – “The old saying about ears is ‘Don’t put anything smaller than your elbow into your ear,’ and I think it still holds true here,” Asher said. “Some folks will make a garlic and mullein infused oil that they drop into their ears, but never whole or crushed solid cloves or other herbs. Because the tympanic membrane is easily punctured, it is best to have a professional look into an achy ear before anything is dropped in.”
- Have someone blow cigarette smoke into your ear – Rodriguez doubts that this remedy would help, but one cause of ear aches could be a wax build up in the ear. There’s a chance that the warmth of the smoke could melt the earwax and help soothe some of the pain.
- Tie kerosene-soaked rags on them around their heads – Both doctors agree, this is bad idea. The fumes in Kerosene are toxic and could cause breathing problems.
- Take a couple tablespoons of moonshine, honey and hot sauce or chili paste – Rodriguez said each of these individual substances has the potential to help a sore throat, so together they could work. The spiciness of the hot sauce and moonshine would numb your throat, while the honey would help soothe it.
- Eat plain yogurt – “High quality yogurt contains many helpful bacteria, particularly lactobacilli, that can help prevent yeast infections,” Asher said. While helpful bacteria is in these yogurts, Asher said using yogurt as your only treatment does not give you enough bacteria to cure a yeast infection.
- Put baking soda on the bite – Rodriguez said more people use vinegar to help soothe the itch, but baking soda probably works too. WebMD agrees.