ADDICTION TO FOLK MEDICINE IS PSYCHOLOGICALLY UNDERSTANDING : a person has the feeling that he is doing something useful, especially when there are no official medicines (such as for the treatment of colds ). Self-medication is often explained as a habit (“my grandmother did it, and I do it all my life”), and sometimes it really makes you feel better – the placebo effect or coincidence may work. At the same time, the argument “even if it doesn’t help, it won’t make it worse” is not very good. Traditional medicine in many cases is not only ineffective but also unsafe; we tell you how it can harm and how it is better to replace the recommendations of elderly relatives.
Instilling corrosive liquids into the nose
Pharmaceutical preparations for the common cold is really not recommended to be used often, and for children they are not registered at all in many countries: undesirable effects vary from the development of addiction in adults to severe intoxication in children. Perhaps it is the lack of suitable drugs that makes parents experiment with home remedies – to instill in the nose juices of aloe, garlic, onions, or, for example, breast milk. But for those who consider them a safe natural alternative to “chemical” drops from the pharmacy, it’s time to reconsider their views.
Breast milk, when put into the nose, will not harm – but it will not do any good either. Recommendations are usually based on the fact that it contains immunoglobulins, protein molecules that help the body fight off foreign elements, including those that cause infection. This is true, but in this case there will be no sense : there are much more of these protective components in the secretions of the nasal mucosa, that is, snot. Burning plant juices are even worse – they are dangerous, because they can burn the mucous membrane.
Rubbing with alcohol at a temperature
Probably due to the notorious notion that the normal temperature is exclusively 36.6, attempts to reduce it often become fanatical, and horse doses of antipyretic or rubbing with vodka are used. In fact, normal body temperature varies quite widely: when measured in the armpit, it can be approximately 35.5 to 37.2 degrees. Without any disturbing symptoms (for example, in healthy children), it is not worth measuring at all. Reducing the temperature, which is not too high (up to 38–38.5), is also completely unnecessary, if it did not affect the state of health. And it is definitely not necessary to try by hook or by crook to achieve a tenth of a degree.
If, nevertheless, the temperature is high and you need to lower it, first of all you need to undress and take a cool shower, that is, physically cool the body. The child can also be doused with a shower or wiped with a damp towel – but it’s better to forget about alcohol-containing products. Firstly, because of their rapid evaporation, they really cool the skin, which is quite painful. Secondly, alcohol is very quickly absorbed through the skin, and alcohol intoxication can occur, which is extremely dangerous when it comes to a small child. In general, rubbing with vodka or alcohol is an ideal way to combine the unpleasant with the useless.
“Inhalation” over potatoes
Dry air causes a lot of inconvenience in case of colds, even more irritating the mucous membranes of the nose and throat, which is why the recommendation to breathe steam is so often heard. However, the real benefit in the treatment of couples does not bring , but can really relieve the irritation associated with dryness. At the same time, there is no need to bring the idea to the point of absurdity – it is enough to use a humidifier or stay in the bathroom for a while, having previously turned on a hot water tap for a few minutes. Sitting with a hot pot under a blanket can result in a burn to the respiratory tract; besides, as many of us remember from childhood, this is a rare test of boredom.
It is also unsafe to breathe in essential oils – they can cause severe allergic reactions. In addition, any products with a pungent odor can provoke a spasm of the larynx or bronchi, especially in children. Considering that for inhalation these oils are poured into a bowl or cup of boiling water, the situation becomes even more dangerous: one careless movement – and you can get a serious burn .
Banks on the back
During the 2016 Summer Olympics, spectators all over the world looked in amazement at the round spots on the backs of athletes – and only our compatriots recognized the traces of cans familiar to everyone. The ancient Chinese method of treatment is indeed gaining popularity among medical practitioners again, and researchers are taking the time to study it. There is evidence of its effectiveness for pain in muscles, shoulders and neck; however, in other reviews the results are inconsistent , and the quality of the studies can often be questioned.
Be that as it may, the effect of cans is superficial, and the effect in a healthy person can be compared with the effect of massage – which, of course, is not bad for professional athletes overloaded with training. The procedure itself has become much safer: now soft rubber cans are used, for which it is enough to squeeze them to suck (glass had to be burned from the inside). But it is completely useless to treat a cold or bronchitis with banks – if they work, it is practically on the surface of the body.
Hot baths and mustard plasters
Firstly, if you soar your feet in hot water at a temperature, there is every chance this temperature is not only not reduced, but also increased further. Secondly, there is no scientific basis for these painful methods, so it’s better to just forget about them. Again, a basin of hot water, especially if you pour it not from a tap, but from a kettle, is a risk of thermal burns, and mustard (as part of mustard plasters or by itself) can cause irritation or an allergic reaction.
Of course, a certain effect with such procedures is quite possible – and theoretically it is logically explained by an irritating or reflexological effect. But in practice, all these funds are ineffective and, moreover, rather risky, and in the acute period of a cold or when treating young children, they are frankly dangerous.
Stimulation of labor with castor oil
In the last weeks of pregnancy, it seems that it will never end: the stomach already interferes with normal sleep, many have swollen legs, and they want to meet with the baby as soon as possible. Pregnancy is considered full-term, starting at the full 37 weeks, that is, after that the baby can be born at any time. When waiting is already completely boring and there is no strength, it is tempting to use natural methods of stimulating labor – from exercise and sex to champagne and castor oil. In fact, none of these methods have been proven to be effective, and options where contractions still began immediately after sex, jogging or tea with raspberries are most likely coincidences – after all, the more time passes, the less there is to wait.
But if some methods are harmless and help to distract from the wait and relax, then such as taking castor oil or dried fruit in large quantities can be harmful. In fact, these are laxatives that cause a violent bowel reaction; According to studies , the stimulation safe delivery method, but it is not effective. True, some gynecologists believe that the use of laxatives in general can result in excessive excitation of the muscles of the uterus and placental abruption. Even if it doesn’t, diarrhea is hardly a comfortable condition.
Self-administration of “herbs”
When the doctor asks what medications or nutritional supplements you are taking , you need to talk about everything, including herbal teas or decoctions. Although herbal remedies often appear to be safe, they are much less studied than conventional medicines, which means that their effects can be unpredictable. And if an allergy or other direct reaction to a plant is easy enough to identify, then the body’s behavior in response to a combination of herbs with medications can be quite unexpected.
For example, common St. John’s wort can reduce the concentration in the blood (and therefore the effectiveness) of oral contraceptives, enhance all the effects of some antidepressants, including toxic ones, or increase sensitivity to the sun and the risk of sunburn. When introducing toxic drugs, such as chemotherapy, it is extremely important not to allow any self-medication, including “herbs” – it can negate the effectiveness of therapy or enhance its effect, harming the body.
Treatment with stuffiness and mud
Refusing to ventilate an apartment in which someone has a cold is the best way to make everyone else sick. We will not tire of repeating that the causes of ARVI and influenza are viruses, to which bacteria can attach in case of complications, but these diseases are in no way connected with a draft or a walk without a hat . Moreover, it is in a stuffy room that the chances of catching the virus are much greater – and it is precisely because of the refusal to open windows that we often get sick in winter.
The same applies to the myth about the dangers of water treatments for colds: wet hair does not lead to meningitis, and a cool shower at high temperatures not only does not harm, but also helps to reduce it. The stuffiness and dirt will not help you recover faster, but your health noticeably worsens.
“Cleansing” the liver and other detox
Mythical toxins and toxins haunt many, and mono-diets with superfoods and more brutal methods like coffee enemas are used to “cleanse” the body. Often, those who are faced with the need for an operation try to seriously interfere with the work of the body: they do not want to go to the surgical table, and now a person is looking in Google for how to “independently remove stones from the gallbladder.” We have already said that such a “purge” can end in disaster – and the risks will be much greater than during the original planned operation.
Attempts to fight parasites , which, as one sometimes hears, “everyone has”, are also at best pointless – the miraculous anthelmintic drugs sold for prevention , like folk remedies, are ineffective in this matter. If we are talking about real pharmaceutical agents against parasitic invasions, then for their use an appropriate diagnosis must first be made – “just in case” these toxic agents should not be taken.
Swaddling after childbirth
Striving for maximum naturalness in all processes associated with pregnancy and childbirth is dangerous in itself – it leads, for example, to refusal to take medications or dental treatment during pregnancy, or even to the decision to give birth at home . For the purpose of physical and psychological recovery after the birth of a child, the so-called swaddling is sometimes practiced. It is a mother’s wrap ritual that doulas and midwives say can do a variety of things, from putting the pelvic bones back in place to preventing postpartum depression and expressing self-gratitude.
Perhaps such a procedure really works for someone as psychotherapy, and also helps to relax or distract from the first child’s worries. Scientists are inclined to believe that such rituals are psychologically important primarily for those who grew up in a traditional environment, but as a result of migration ended up far from it. Nevertheless, in publications describing rituals (for example, Turkish , Vietnamese or African ) there is a definition of “potentially dangerous”. At a time when the body is just recovering after drastic changes, it is better to avoid serious influences like a bath and manual therapy – instead, you should take a walk and go for a pedicure.