Playing Doctor: Consumerist Readers Explain How To Cure Anything With Just About Everything

Earlier this week we turned to you, our wise and experienced Consumerist readers, to tell us which home remedies you’ve had success with in treating various bodily ailments. Or maybe the treatment wasn’t so successful but you learned an important life lesson on the process. We’ve combed through your highly entertaining and definitely useful comments and have compiled a few of the most common and well, interesting ones here (ahem, earwax?).

It should be worth stating that we’re not doctors, although some of you may be, so take each of these with a grain of salt — non-doctor’s orders. And also, there were a ton of really great ideas that aren’t listed in this post, so peruse the comments in the original post to get your fill. Feel free to submit even more this time around as well — toothpaste or Visine to treat zits, anyone?

There were a lot of common ingredients suggested in varying treatments, so we’ll start with those.

Honey, you sure are useful: The sweet stuff showed up in recipes for a plethora of complaints — sore throats, coughing, treating sunburns and as a topical antibiotic for treating things like pink eye, said commenter LuzloFantazmic. Another interesting suggestion? Local honey used to treat allergies.

Mr. Spy:

I used to have crippling allergies for 6 months out of the year. I started putting local honey into my coffee (for about 2 years now) and they have shrunk down to a mild annoyance.
Could be imaginary, but I say it works.

White vinegar is nature’s do-it-all: We all know you can clean with vinegar, but how about using it for cooling down sunburns or other minor burns, getting rid of warts treating mosquito bites or keeping wasps and bees away? Another use — easing pain wherever you’re hurting, says Libertas1:

My friend’s dad introduced me to using standard white vinegar to help with various body pains.

Take some white vinegar and put it in a bowl with an equal amount of water. Heat it in the microwave as hot as you can stand it, and soak a towel in it. Apply it to where you are hurting.

Definitely helped me out pre-ACL surgery.

Who knew Vick’s VapoRub and other mentholated rubs were useful for things other than congestion (on that note, try cream of tartar for stuffy lungs as well): Suggestions for the stuff include easing up earaches, clearing sinuses and perhapsreducing hemorrhoids.

Now let’s move on to some common ailments, shall we?

Nausea/hangovers: “Stay drunk” — the hangover cure that can’t go on forever (right?) suggests commenter with quite the long name, Back to waiting, but I did get a cute dragon ear cuff, as well as other hangover treatments and or/nausea alleviators ranging from pickle juice to peppermint to ginger.

Mamudoon explains:

Put me down as another one who swears by peppermint for nausea. I’ve been given every pharmaceutical anti-emetic known to man – including stuff they give to chemo patients. The peppermint works better than any of them. If you don’t care for tea, you can get peppermint oil capsules at health food stores.

And if you’ve got a hangover, well, you might need ecuador’s diarrhea remedy:

For diarrhea: get a spoon full of ground coffee, squeeze a lemon on top of it and swallow the “muddy” result. Has helped me twice!

It’s summer, the citronella candles haven’t cut it, and you’ve got bug bites all over the darn place. How about trying one of the bajillion methods you all swear by: aluminum-based antiperspirant rubbed on bites, hot woter, coop water, Windex (as a fellow commenter noted, someone must’ve been watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding), a paste of meat tenderizer, a paste of aspirin, or this, from suezahn, if you’ve got long enough nails:

Or just take thumbnail and press a deep “X” over the bite. No topical burn necessary.

We’ve all heard many a way to cure hiccups, but here are some more: Peanut butter, chewing antacids, sugar or, if you’re at the bar and maybe had a few too many, advises Superflippy:

Hiccup cure: Put a pinch of sugar and a dash of bitters on top of a slice of lime. Put the lime on your tongue and shut your mouth. Works every time!

Then there are the concoctions! Oh, the concoctions. Overman calls this one Rasputin’s cure for pain:

Two years ago I tore my hamstring trying to water ski. By day three the pain was crippling and a large bruise developed from my ankle to my ass. I asked the tubes for a cure to reduce bruising and found Rasputin’s recipe. Hyssop, parsley, plantain, and comfrey. Made a mush out of what I found in my backyard and applied it to the bruise. 48 hours later the bruise was gone. I’ve never been much for hippy cures, but damn, they had to stab Rasputin like 30 times, so he must have been doing something right.

Fellow commenters pointed out that maybe the bruise just naturally went away in 48 hours, or perhaps it was the massaging action. But now I just want to prescribe Rasputin’s Recipe to someone and see their reaction.

Commenter Syntania was chockfull of remedies, but one of our favorites:

Long grain rice in a tube sock – Stick it in the microwave for a minute and it makes a wonderful heating pad that’s form-fitting, and it smells tasty too!

Then there are the, well, somewhat odd methods that we’re going to have to try very hard o believe. Although we’re not sure we’d want to eat poison ivy in order to become immune to it, bravejango. Instead, we’ll go with exit322′s idea:

I’m not an expert or anything, but wouldn’t “avoiding poison ivy” work for this one?

Got dry hair? Dangermike suggests bacon grease as conditioner — “Just cool it down a bit first.” And on the plus side, notes ChuckECheese, your hair will smell terrific.

One method for curing cold sores we’ll have to take your word on from commenter Chizu:

Ear wax for cold sores on the lips. I personally have dry ear wax so I’m not entirely sure if it really works or not. But apparently ear wax contains certain amino acid (?) that helps getting rid of the cold sores.

Again, we enjoyed reading all of your suggestions and welcome additional wines. Now, off to prepare tomorrow’s morning dose of pickle juice and ginger.

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