The sort of tip below tends not to be very reliable; it's often downright dangerous. If you stumble over any, it's very much worth your while to check them out at Quackwatch or another site you can trust. However, these tips at least won't harm you.
let the black duck check a suspicious site for quackery
(proud to say we passed}
Bleeding wounds Burns Choking Coffee grounds Common Colds Condoms Crabs Cramp Disinfect Double vision First Aid Heat Honey Inflamed infections Insect stings Leeches Pain in heart Stop sneezing Toothaches and cloves Ticks Warts Bleeding wounds
If you don't have anything else handy, bleeding from small wounds can be stopped by ground coffee. Cloth drenched in vinegar is a stronger measure; they used to use spider webs for this too, but I don't know - sounds a bit unclean. To disinfect, use aloe juice—if you have it. Or try honey. Or buy something at the drugstore! (Band-Aids®?)
Burns literally works like a charm
Cut off a leaf of aloe (Aloe vera) and have the juice drip on the burn. There's nothing like it. Also works for older burns. Disinfects wounds as well. If it's a large or severe burn, see a doctor anyway. You may have some slight trouble finding the aloe, though - it will not grow where there are frosts. But I have to warn you - that stuff really smells and soils your clothes. Is why I won't touch those (expensive) drinks, supposed to be very good to combat thirst; doesn't it even work for burns? (or so they seem to figure). Besides, just like with agave used for tequila, they mostly just harvest the aloe and don't bother to replant. Funny how those nature freaks generally can be relied on to go for exactly that kind of thing. Choking Someone has been searching for this, so here. But I do hope it wasn't an emergency...
This is known as the Heimlich Maneuver: Wrap your arms around the chokee from behind and lift him to a horizontal position. Place your fist between navel and rib cage, and hug sharply. A foreign object will so be dislodged from the windpipe. Symptoms: Cannot speak or breathe—turns blue—collapses Many Americans are such sloppy eaters, and gluttons, too, that on the wall of every New York restaurant or deli there's a notice (supplied by the Board of Health) on the wall giving these instructions. Woody Allen makes fun of this in A Giant Step for Mankind (Side Effects). Actually, that is where I took the instructions from. But I checked. You bet. Not for Drowning Heimlich's manoever should not be used to remove water from lungs, contrary to statements to this effect. Also, please be advised Heimlich is no angel:
Henry Heimlich, M.D., who is best known for the Heimlich maneuver for rescuing people who are choking, has been criticized by several recent reports. Questions have been raised about (a) whether Heimlich actually originated the maneuver that bears his name, (b) whether he helped another doctor fake credentials on a licensure application, and (c) the extent to which he was involved in unethical experiments in which people with AIDS and Lyme disease were infected with malaria as a form of treatment.
[Francis F. Dr. Henry Heimlich's latest maneuver-a controversial AIDS cure-has many medical ethicists gagging. RADAR Online, Nov 10, 2005]
Heimlich's claim that his maneuver can help save drowning victims has also been challenged. In a recent position statement, the American Heart Association stated: Attempts to remove water from the breathing passages by any means other than suction (e.g., abdominal thrusts or the Heimlich maneuver) are unnecessary and potentially dangerous.
The routine use of abdominal thrusts or the Heimlich maneuver for drowning victims is not recommended. In November, 2006 the American Heart Association no longer recommended it as a first-line defense against choking, and experts concluded that the other proposed uses are ineffective and potentially dangerous.
Condoms from an aid in birth control to the birth of AIDS control Save money: Buy a box of surgical gloves, cut the fingers off and use those. (This may work better for dwarves.) My dentist tipped me off on this. He paid 10 cents for a pair of gloves against (at least) 10 times that for one condom. Warning - this is better than using nothing, but in tests almost 1 of 3 latex condoms leaked. Plastic condoms are even less reliable.
Crabs you might as well try this - I never had a chance to, but suspect it works
"The most useful and generally unknown information in the modern world: Have your girls soak their heads, armpits and their private parts in vinegar. It kills the crabs and kills the eggs, and the itchings stop almost immediately."
- John D. MacDonald, A Tan and Sandy Silence, p. 230. There's no reason why it should work on girls, only. And yes, there may be more useful info around. But they do itch!
But the Endlösung to the crab problem may be the Brazilian Wax Treatment: the dirty little bastards need that public hair to fool around in. Hey! that's good news in more than one way!
When you get bitten in the leg by a charlie horse, stand with your back against the wall, bend that cramped leg and push your foot as hard as you can against that wall. Too bad if you're swimming and no wall within easy reach! But take heart - it seems to be nonsense you will get cramps when swimming after a heavy meal. Heart pain This is really serious!
As soon as you feel pain in your heart, go see a doctor - now. If anybody around you complains about this, likewise take her to a doctor, if necessary, by force; even it's a mere him!
Heat It's such a well-known trick that I'd completely forgotten about it. Sore muscles just love warm cloth wrappings - even helps for toothaches. Also works for insect stings. Here's some reasoning behind it.
Leeches and Ticks
Never try to take a leech or tick off your hide! The head will remain burrowed in your skin and will start a nasty infection.
(Ugh; you can believe this already.)
You have to apply a lighted match to Their Nastinesses, so they give up and crawl off on their own. Is what they say. But, even though I never tried it on myself, I doubt it. First, I just rip ticks out of my dog's hair without a second thought (except to promise myself to wash my hands) and no infested infection results. Then, I stumbled over a remark on this in Brazilian Adventure by Peter Fleming, on an expedition to the Brazilian interior. Those guys were bugged by leeches and just ripped 'em off'n their skins. No infections. Try it... you may like it.
It even seems leeches are getting back in favor with the medical world because leeches are very subtle in stopping bleeding; and maggots are now even being applied to clean up infected wounds!
Double vision It's a convention in strips and movies that drunks see double; can't say I ever noticed myself (but I was intoxicated at the time). But if you have double vision, run, don't walk, to a medical emergency station: You may have food poisoning, aka botulism; a real killer. Even in these days of ubiquitous refrigeration, the danger is still very much there.
Honey more legends abound about honey than you could believe if you tried
Honey will disinfect small wounds. You may find it easier to buy H2O2 in the drugstore - or still another disinfectant. This works; honey contains a bit of hydrogen peroxide. Nature freaks are disappointed when you tell them this; they prefer magic. Still, fair's fair: there may be more to this. Honeybees work extremely complicated tricks on their favorite junk-sweet food, which may even be able to fight penicillin-resistant drugs. When you have a cold, this is a great recipe: Take 1 part honey, mix with juice of ½ lemon or (better) 1 lime, add 3 parts of water and, the clincher, 1 part rum. Mix & drink. In spite of all that vitamin C, it does nothing for your cold but it will make you feel much better! Stop that sneeze Another of those conventions: A guy gets in trouble because he sneezes at the wrong time. But this is the only case I know of where acu-pinch-ure is really worth it: When you feel a sneeze coming on, pinch your upper lip firmly. It worked every time I tried it. I'm not much of a spy myself, but when you're driving, a sneeze at the wrong moment can kill you - and yours.
Toothaches and cloves Don't know if the dentists still use it, but they used to plug holes in molars with cloves to stop them from hurting. If you can't get an appointment, or are waiting for one, just put a clove next to the hurting tooth. Works very well indeed.
Inflamed infections Take a clean (!) cloth, wet it thoroughly with water, and apply it to the spot. Keep it wet by covering it with a plastic sheet - a supermarket bag works fine. Renew every so often. Tip from Dr. Spock. Great for those week-ends or hiking trips. If it doesn't seem to work overnight, see a doctor. Warts and All You take a coin, rub it over the wart, spit on it and wrap it up in a colored piece of paper. Then put it down somewhere where somebody is sure to find it. If anyone picks it up, then unwraps it and takes it along, the wart will leave you and go along with that person. If you believe this, you have no business here. Please go away.
quacks need watching
Christian Science versus Rational Thinking If you are a believer in Christian Science, I'm afraid you're beyond help. Now that is what Wodehouse called a mortal error. But if you're not so sure about that and other medicinal alternatives, there still is hope. Try Mark Twain's recipe and you'll take a fresh look at all those quacks: Christian Science—Mark Twain I gave [the practitioner] an imaginary check, and now she is suing me for substantial dollars. It looks inconsistent. One of the most hilarious stories in the book tells about the painting, not of founding Mother Mary Baker Eddy (because that would be sacrilegious!) but of her favorite chair.
Don't trust them, either?
There are many stories around about doctors' strikes accompanied by lower death rates, like in Israel 1973 and 1990, Los Angeles and Bogotá (Colombia) 1976. They are true enough—just don't jump to conclusions; there may be more to the problem than us poor suckers with no statistical knowledge can imagine—here is a convoluted explanation. Remember Semmelweiss!
And also, mind and reflect on how doctorsbred penicillin-resistant syphilis by preventively giving the antibiotic to prostitutes. Ask doctors and nurses to clean their hands before touching you. If you are worried about being too aggressive, just remember, your life is at stake. And don't skip the next item!
Superbugs Mind the antibiotics resistant Superbugs grown in hospitals. Not that you can do much about them... According to the NYTimes 20% of all patients in US hospitals are infected with one type of these, resulting in long stays and more operations to cut out infected body parts. This is just because of sloppy hygiene. Microscopes crawl with these microbes; and stethoscopes, transferred from one person's skin to another's without any cleaning, also teem with them. The problem is expected to increase rapidly. And it does, or it was even worse then already: Hospital infections are the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States. These infections kill as many people each year in [the USA] as AIDS, breast cancer and auto accidents combined. Hospital Infections Kill Tens of Thousands Every Year
Richard Gordon A book by a doctor on treatments we're glad we didn't receive
Doctors pour drugs of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less, into human beings of which they know nothing. — Voltaire
He that has sinneth before his Maker, let him fall into the hand of the physician — Ecclesiasticus 38:15
how they used to feel about
Walk, don't run - I had seen that expression scores of times but only really understood it after I had taken a ride on the Coney Island Cyclone roller coaster and saw it posted there at the Exit. My friend Ira exclaimed What! You went in that thing? NEVER! But, like Ukridge, I rather enjoyed it!