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Home remedies, traditional remedies, quack medicine Answered

I've been noticing a growing number of home and traditional remedies appearing. I don't doubt that some of them might have some slight benefit. But on the other hand, some are utterly worthless and a waste of time and money.

I have a concern that less knowledgeable people may assume that because a remedy is listed here that it is, in fact, a reliable means of alleviating whatever ill they possess.

I would like to see a flag/banner for all such instructables noting that the medical claims made in the instructable are entirely anecdotal and have mostly likely never been examined by any medical researchers.

I'm not against the use of traditional remedies. I simply don't want someone to forego treatment by a physician on the basis of what they've just read here.



4 years ago

I know exactly where you are coming from, and, as a science teacher I strongly agree with the sentiment.

However, part of the joy of this site is that it is self-monitoring. If somebody makes a false claim, somebody will be there to point it out.

Legally, the use of any project here is the responsibility of the person following the instructions, not the person who wrote them, and one would like to assume that the vast majority of readers here are intelligent enough to realise that home remedies do not replace formal medical treatment.

Personally, if I see a home remedy project making wild or unsubstantiated claims, I at least call them up on it and ask so see the evidence. I have been known to flag such projects for removal if the author does not get back to any objects, especially if the images used in the project are stock images, rather than taken by the author.

On the whole, though, I recognise that many people are not fortunate enough to have access to free medical care like we do in the UK, and remedies that sooth symptoms may be all the reader can afford thanks to crippling health insurance costs.

TL:DR - if you think it's putting people directly or indirectly at risk, flag it.

Remember: Free medical advice from strangers on the internet is often worth less than you pay for it.


Reply 4 years ago

I do understand about medical expenses. But the presentation of a a traditional remedy that barely even has any palliative effect, let alone an ability to rectify the issue is troubling.

I am all for traditional remedies that work. I've worked in places where the only meds you got were what the locals could bring out of the jungle. Some worked, others (many) were dismal failures.

I've had a long standing interest in very old catalogs and paper advertisements (newspaper, broadsheets, handbills, posters, signs, etc.). Some of remedy instructables have that patent medicine/snake oil feel to them and as little science to back them up.

It's struck a chord with me. I've lost friends to illnesses that now have cures. I hate to see people darwinning themselves.


Reply 4 years ago

Oh, I get you, and I recently had a go at somebody who posted a vitamin E massage oil as a curative for hypermobility. As far as I can work out, the benefits are all down to the massage itself, plus a dose of placebo effect, but the author was determined that their oil, which only two people had used, worked.