Put Some Windex On It and Other Urban Cures

People are always looking for cures to common ailments. Acne, blackheads, aches, pains, you name it and a search on the internet will provide a “cure” for it. Some of the cures for these problems will be licensed medicines that have been tested and approved by the FDA for being marketed and sold to the public. On the other hand, many other cures will be quote unquote “natural cures” or rather: cures which use objects that household or other common items in order to solve a problem one ails from. Many people often go for the latter: whether this is because they cannot afford medicine or simply prefer natural cures varying from case to case.

For example, I and many others in my age group suffer from acne. Usually, I use acne medicine that has been prescribed or recommended to me by my doctor/ primary care provider. My mother, one day, told me that instead of using this medicine, I should try a trick she had seen on Facebook of all places: putting honey on the blemish before I went to bed. Figuring I had nothing to lose I decided to give it a try. I woke up the next morning with a sticky dry spot where I had applied the substance but no visible difference to the zit I’d been trying to get rid of.

There are many others in this vein with people claiming they work. One of the most famous examples of this is the “Put some Windex on it” quote from My Big Fat Greek Wedding. In this movie the Father of the Bride claims the glass cleaner is a cure-all for everything, “from psoriasis to poison ivy”. It has no real basis in reality, but the effect the media (in all its various forms) has on certain aspects of how we view medicine and natural cures is astounding?

Should we put a stop to potential scams under the guise of “natural cures” by rejecting everything that isn’t approved by the FDA? I’m not sure, but I do know that to this day every time I hit my head on something my parents tell me to, “put some Windex on it”.


One thought on “Put Some Windex On It and Other Urban Cures”

  1. You bring up some really interesting questions, especially about whether or not we should promote or at the very least acknowledge these “unofficial” cures. I think it really depends on the illness that is trying to be cured: for example, if it is a very harmful illness then I believe we should be encouraging patients to try cures that are scientifically proven to be effective. In other cases, however, I don’t think there is much harm in letting people use their own remedies. I say this in light of our recent class conversation about placebos and how they can actually be quite effective when compared to scientifically produced medicines. Personally, my mom always tells me to eat saltine crackers and drink Ginger Ale when I feel like I have a cold because she says it will make me feel better. Despite the fact that I don’t think there is any scientific reason why consuming these things should make me feel better, sometimes I think that it actually does. The placebo effect is undoubtedly a powerful force where cures are concerned, and therefore I think that in certain more harmless and simple circumstances there is little reason for discouraging them from being used.


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