Readers Digest Interview
“Debunking trusted home remedies that actually harm instead of help”
1. Are all natural health remedies safe?
Generally speaking, most home remedies are pretty harmless. Whether they are actually effective is another matter. However, you can't assume that ALL natural health remedies are safe. People still equate the word “natural” with safe and that's not always the case.
2. Are there any people who shouldn't use a home remedy (i.e children, elderly, sickly etc)? If so, then why not?
Absolutely. Those with compromised immune symptoms should seek immediate attention when illness sets in vs. attempting a home remedy first. With a compromised immune system they may have less reaction time than a healthier patient. Pregnant ladies should never use a medication or home remedy without discussing it first with their doctor, for the obvious reason of having a baby on board. And certainly patients with several co-morbidities should avoid home remedies. When a list of medications gets beyond 3-4 meds, even vitamins and over-the-counter supplements can render diabetic, hypertension, cholesterol or thyroids meds less efficacious. This “stacking” can cause interactions of their own.
3. Can you give an example of a possible complication from using a home or natural remedy
Often we see complications arise when people suddenly or radically change their diet to loose weight or improve memory. Eliminating entire food groups or eating only one thing for days or weeks at a time can do more harm than good. Complications can range from headaches to dizziness or constipation
4. What are three home remedies that you believe are more harmful than helpful
Trying to clean ear wax out of your ear with cotton swabs. A small amount of ear wax is normal and helpful to the ear, but sticking cotton swabs into the ear canal just pushes and compacts wax deeper into the ear, which can lead to diminished hearing. I can't tell you how many ear lavages I've performed to remove the cotton tip that unexpectedly came off the cardboard stick once shoved far enough into an ear canal
Certainly you should never take a medication/supplement on the advice of someone other than your doctor or pharmacist. Important and well intentioned people in your life like you’re your hairstylist, gym trainer or massage therapist mean well but again they may not be familiar with your medical diagnosis and current medication list.
I've seen people put bleach on their skin in attempt to stop a rash or insect bite. Harsh chemicals can actually produce burns on the skin, penetrating several layers deep. I'm short, Don't do that.
Some home remedies patients swear by, that I can't endorse or refute:
A teaspoon of vinegar for acid indigestion
Putting a bar of soap at the foot of the bed to stop leg cramps
Using the warm air of a hair dryer to stop an ear ache
Rubbing butter on a burn
Urinating on a jelly fish sting
I could go on, but that's another story :-)