Do old wives’ remedies REALLY work? | News.com.au
IS there any truth in grandma’s cure-all remedies? Let’s find out.
* Holding a spoon to the back of your neck stops a nosebleed
False: “This is one of the most common beliefs, yet it doesn’t work at all,” says Dr Ronald McCoy, an adjunct lecturer at the University of Sydney and spokesman for the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. Others hold their head back or pinch the bridge of the nose to stop a bleed, neither of which work.
What to do: “Nosebleeds can have a lot of causes, most usually from a cold or hay fever,” McCoy says. “If your nose has started bleeding, sit forward, otherwise the blood will go down the back of the throat. Squeeze the nostrils together gently. Do this for 10 minutes, as it takes this long for the blood to clot.”
Don’t forget to breathe gently through your mouth to calm you down. “Don’t sniff or blow your nose for 15 minutes afterwards,” McCoy says. If it persists, go to a GP or an emergency room.
* Coughing during a needle injection lessens the pain
Truth: “This one works,” McCoy says. “Anaesthetists have known this trick for a long time, as it helps distract the patient from the injection and any associated anxiety.” In a study reported in the British Medical Journal, it was found that by coughing you cause a rise in blood pressure, which may help to minimise the pain you feel.
What to do: “Cough just before the needle is injected, without moving the injection site,” he says. “For children, distraction is key. Give them an activity like blowing bubbles or touch them on a part of the body which isn’t being injected.”