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10 Home Remedies to Avoid at All Costs

Ear Candling

This practice involves taking a candle-shaped beeswax cone, placing it in the ear, and lighting it. After the wick burns down, you remove the cone, which also removes ear wax and other impurities from your ear. However, lighting a flame that close to your ear can be very dangerous and even cause you to lose your hearing in some cases.

Additionally, earwax is a very beneficial substance for the health of your ear—it is a natural lubricant, it waterproofs your ear, and it helps prevent infections. If you have a buildup of earwax that causes itching and impaired hearing, before you put anything in your ear, talk with your doctor first about the safest way to remove excess earwax. 

Whiskey for Teething Babies

There is an old wives’ tale that says when a baby is teething, giving them a bit of whiskey will stop the crying and put them straight to sleep. However, reaching for the liquor cabinet is not a very good solution for helping your teething child. Aside from the fact that children should not be consuming alcohol, whiskey actually has no numbing effect on the gums at all. Instead, try giving your child a teething toy that has chilled in the freezer. This will have a cooling effect on the gums that will soothe and numb the pain. 

Butter for a Burn

Even though butter might have a slight cooling effect on a burn, it will quickly melt due to your body heat, and it might even cause infection, since butter is not sterile. For mild to moderate first and second degree burns, try applying an over-the-counter antibiotic burn ointment. You can also take ibuprofen or acetaminophen to reduce swelling and alleviate pain. 

Colloidal Silver

There is a common belief that colloidal silver is capable of treating fungal infections, TB, HIV, herpes, and even cancer. However, the true effects of colloidal silver are toxic, cumulative, and irreversible. Not only can it turn your skin a grayish shade of blue, but it can also cause cell damage and even death in your kidneys, stomach, brain, and nervous system, which can eventually lead to organ failure. So ignore the sworn supporters of silver and instead talk to your doctor about verified ways to treat diseases and infections. 

Colon Cleansing

There are many claims about the colon being filled with toxic waste that is harmful to your health. These claims have led to many home-cleansing products that claim to flush out the colon with herbs, probiotics, special diets, enemas, or laxatives. However, cleansing your colon can actually do more harm than good. It can disrupt your body’s electrolyte balance, which can lead to salt depletion and dehydration. If you use these products to clean your colon frequently, it could eventually lead to anemia, malnutrition, and even heart failure. 

Yogurt for Yeast Infections

Some people believe that putting yogurt inside your vagina will help treat a yeast infection. The rationale behind this is that the live cultures found in the yogurt will help get rid of the bad bacteria that causes the uncomfortable symptoms of a yeast infection. However, there is actually no evidence about whether or not these live cultures are able to flourish in the vagina. Regardless, you should never use the yogurt that is sitting in your fridge, as sugar in or around your vagina can just lead to even more infections. 

Petroleum Jelly for Vaginal Dryness

Many women use petroleum jelly as a replacement for traditional lubricant. However, this is big don’t, as this will mess with the natural pH levels in your vagina. Using this home remedy will increase your risk for developing bacterial vaginosis, an infection caused by abnormal pH levels, by 22%. 

Toothpaste for Acne

Because baking soda is found in toothpaste, there is a common belief that applying toothpaste to zits will dry out the blemish and make it go away faster. However, even though the baking soda itself may work this way, the added chemicals in most toothpastes will actually irritate your skin more. Many toothpastes contain alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and menthol—all of which will do more harm than good. 

Head Lice Home Remedies

There are many home remedies for getting rid of head lice. However, many of these remedies are not safe for your child at all and should be avoided at all costs. Some include rubbing petrol or kerosene on the scalp, using pesticides, coating the head with Vaseline, or applying olive oil and salt water. Not only are these remedies ineffective, but they can also be harmful for your child. Instead, talk with your doctor to get a recommendation for medications that are safe and effective.

At-Home Enemas

An enema is a procedure that traditionally involves pouring water up your anus to alleviate constipation. And though this is something that can be effective when performed by a trained professional, it should never be attempted at home. At-home enemas run the risk of perforating your rectum and can even sometimes lead to death. Try over-the-counter medications first, and then talk with your doctor if you are still feeling backed up.