Health

New research reveals the UK’s bizarre health remedies – but do they actually work?

PharmacyOutlet.co.uk has surveyed more than 2,000 UK adults to reveal the common, obscure and downright strange health remedies people put their faith in.
  • 56% of UK adults – 29 million people – have gargled salty water to get rid of a sore throat, and 68% of those believe it works
  • The other most common health tricks people rely on are: sweating out a cold (47%); having a nightcap to help them sleep (44%); and “hair of the dog” (36%)
  • A third of people (32% or 16.6 million) admit to eating carrots to improve their eyesight, but just 25% of those actually think it helps
  • Some of the more bizarre health remedies people try include: applying butter to burnt skin (19%); sleeping in socks filled with onions to shake off a cold (8%); and rubbing turmeric on their scalp to combat baldness (7% of men)
When it comes to fighting off the common cold or getting rid of annoying aches and pains, the UK public is willing to indulge in some strange household health remedies, the research has revealed.
The online pharmacist and EPS specialist commissioned an independent, nationally representative survey among more than 2,000 UK adults. Listing a range of both common and odd health remedies, the survey uncovered how many people had tried each method and, moreover, how many of those individuals believe that they actually work.
Hitesh Dodhia, Superintendent Pharmacist at PharmacyOutlet.co.uk, said: “While some of the common health remedies uncovered in today’s research have no scientific evidence to prove they work, many of them are relatively harmless. What’s more, it’s quite normal that the placebo effect associated with these methods can make people feel as though they’re improving their health.
“However, there are more serious consequences of relying on fictional cures. Firstly, using unproven household remedies should never supersede advice given by a medical professional, nor should using these methods deter people from seeking the help of a pharmacist, GP or doctor.
“Moreover, some of these health remedies can actually do more harm than good – for example, a nightcap may help you fall asleep but can worsen the quality of your sleep, while ‘hair of the dog’ may ease the struggles of hangover in the short-term but will worsen the effects later on. Of course, both also will place Extra strain on your liver. Additionally, it’s important to be very careful when putting olive oil in your ear or washing cuts in seawater; both remedies carry risk of infection, which is why I would advise against such methods.”

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