Piles and piles of remedies

I’d like to believe that I enthusiastically accept the advice of those who know better than I do. So, if someone offers me a remedy for an ailment, who am I to turn it down? I may be rejecting the very thing that will put me, and even my dog, Buddy, back on the road to recovery.

A friend recently sent me a lengthy list of remedies that are guaranteed to work.

First, my dog’s complaints…

How to eliminate mites in Buddy’s ears? All it takes are a few drops of corn oil. Massage it in, then clean the ear with a cotton ball. Repeat daily for three days. The oil soothes his skin, smothers the mites and accelerates healing.

How to kill fleas? Dishwashing liquid does the trick. Add a few drops to Buddy’s bath and shampoo him thoroughly. Rinse well to avoid skin irritations. Au revoir, fleas.

How to dry him off after he comes in out of the rain? Simply wipe him down with Bounce or any clothes dryer sheet. Buddy will smell springtime fresh.

Now, my personal complaints…

How to cure headaches? Drinking two glasses of Gatorade can relieve it almost immediately, without the unpleasant side effects caused by traditional pain relievers.

How to quell the pain caused by burns? Toothpaste makes an excellent salve.

How to clear a stuffed nose? Before heading to a drugstore to buy a high-priced inhaler, filled with mysterious chemicals, chew on two peppermints.

How to relieve achy muscle pain from a bout of the flu? Mix one tablespoon of horseradish in one cup of olive oil. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes, then apply it as a massage oil. Voila.

Sore throat? Mix a quarter cup each of vinegar and honey, then take one tablespoon six times daily. The vinegar kills the bacteria. However, this cure doesn’t care for the screwed-up face caused by the vinegar.

Urinary tract infections? Dissolve two tablets of Alka-Seltzer in a glass of water and drink it. Instant relief. Oops, pardon the burp.

Unsightly toenail fungus? I personally haven’t had this ailment in a while. The remedy is mouthwash therapy. Soak the toes in a powerful mouthwash antiseptic. Healthy looking toenails will result. But don’t gargle the mouthwash once it has been applied to the toenail.

Undoubtedly all good remedies, but none of them take care of piles and piles of other complaints.

family-heraldSpeaking of piles, I’m reminded of a magazine my parents used to receive when I was a child, Family Herald. I have in my possession a copy from 1968, when I was 11. I feel like singing the gospel song “Precious Memories” as I peruse it, especially the pages of classified ads at the back.

One of the first ads that leaps out at me makes this promise: Piles eased in minutes.

“Don’t let sore, itching, burning piles make you miserable another day or night.”

How do you spell “relief”? Readers are encouraged to try the Chinaroid test: “Feel it help heal and shrink sore, swollen tissues. Feel welcome comfort while you sleep, walk, ride or work…. Feel relief in minutes. See how much better you feel tomorrow.”

How can I curb bowel cramping and gas pains? Hmmm, let me think about this one for a moment. Sherry and I used to tell our children to use the word “fluff,” but they picked up the word “fart” all on their own, without any encouragement from us.

Anyway, nobody wants to “suffer from dull cramping aches or burning pains in the side, gas, acidity, heartburn, biliousness, bad breath.” Not to mention sleep deprivation caused by gas pains.

A special medication like Kolade powders which, the ad emphasizes, “is not a laxative,” does all the following and more: relieves cramping intestine muscles, soothes sore mucus membranes, and checks acidity. It swiftly deals with colon and stomach discomfort. You gotta like it.

As I said at the beginning of this article, I’d like to believe that I enthusiastically accept the advice of those who know better than I do. My approach is strictly utilitarian, though: if it works, I’m willing to try it.

However, it’s easy to be taken in by quacks, those who knowingly sell worthless, unproved, and even dangerous remedies.

Thankfully, a few simple steps can protect us from being ripped off by quacks.

First, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Refuse to believe everything you see and hear in ads.

Watch out for such common ploys as promises of a quick or painless cure, claims of a “special” or “secret” formula only available by mail from one source only, and testimonials from satisfied patients.

Finally, question ads stating that a product works for a wide variety of ailments or cures a disease that isn’t even understood by medical science.

Caveat emptor. Let the buyer beware.

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