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8 Old Wives’ Remedies, Revisited


Eating skunk fat, stepping in warm cow dung-2 folk remedies that do not work. These slides explain 8 others that do.

To relieve chest congestion, remove the fat from a skunk and eat 2 or 3 spoonfuls to bring up the phlegm. For athlete’s foot, step in warm cow dung. For a headache, save hair clippings after a haircut and bury them under a rock. For a sick child, take some blood from the child’s arm, put it on a grain of corn, and feed it to a black hen.These folk remedies, however appealing, all have one thing in common: They clearly don’t work. We found 8 others that do, with science to back them up. Click through them, above.


Introduction: Old Home Remedies

1. Take Your Medicine, Billy!

2. Eh, What’s Up, Doc?

3. Starve a Fever, Feed a Cold

4. An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

5. Weight Loss as Simple as H2     

6. Honey Does More Than Attract Flies

7. Inject a Cough to Reduce Pain

8. A Hiccup in the Science

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