Medicine is a touchy subject. And casually diagnosing a vulnerable stranger with a home remedy online is foolish and dangerous.
What may work for you, may not necessarily be as effective for someone else. And it can have fatal consequences.
A Reddit thread titled: "In-Law is going for Surgery soon, and Alternative Medicine tries to rear its Hideous Head," is going viral after a user named PastyDeath went off when someone suggested a ridiculous cure for a tumor.
An alternative medicine advocate suggested drinking a mixture of apple cider vinegar, lemon and olive oil would "get rid" of the tumor growing inside a gallbladder.
Not only is the claim false, it's potentially dangerous.
"I am not a medical expert in any sense," PastyDeath told Bored Panda.
"I'm also not terribly proud of using Livestrong as a source. There is, however, a balance to be struck between countering blatantly wrong and potentially harmful medical advice and writing my own dissertation on the subject. I chose to split the difference, erring on the side that wasn't a dissertation."
Below is the post in which the user claimed the concoction would promote health based on their personal experience.
"they wanted to take my gallbladder three years ago. I took a shot of apple cider vinegar; with the mother in it, or no good ) shot of fresh lemon and a shot of extra virgin olive oil (cold pressed) twice a day. I am doing great. try it! *hugs"
A concerned user asked for verification of the elixir's effectiveness for the tumor in her gallbladder.
"I have a tumor growing inside my gallbladder will that get rid of that too...so much pain...etc."
Redditor PastyDeath responded back, saying, "I don't normally jump in on convos like this, but you are suggesting 100% unproven alternatives to real medicine carried out by doctors and surgeons who probably spent 8-12 years AFTER highschool training in their profession before even being allowed to call themselves that.
"If you take 30 seconds and look up "apple cider vinegar lemon extra virgin oilive oil gallbladder", 2 things become clear: "
"1) This is a suggestion to help with gallstones (NOT TUMORS)"
"2 'there is no scientific or medical basis for the claims that ingesting apple cider vinegar or drinking olive oil will dissolve or help you to expel gallstones' - that is a quote from the first site in the list (LiveStrong), and also one of the only sites in the list that don't look like someone pushing 'cures' that would have probably been at home in medieval Europe - somewhere between many, many leeches and trepanning"
The user also pointed out the ridiculousness of the ingredients to combat tumors.
"3) If you remove the word "gallbladder" from that list, the results are downright hilarious - the three things you recommend her taking make SALAD DRESSING."
People were understandably upset over the irrational "cure all" suggestion.
"actually this sounds like the most sour salad dressing ever. definitely would add some honey. maybe even some dijon mustard and hit it with the salt and pepper. now you got a delicious salad dressing. i wonder what other tumors you could remove with the added ingredients?" - sheenvs
"I keep wondering how someone comes up with this stuff. I have to imagine it's something like "What do you need a cure for? Cancer? Alright let me see what I have in my cupboard. I can offer you 2 tablespoons of tabasco, a healthy dollop of mayonaise and 6 teaspoons of ketchup that is 3 days past its expiration date." It honestly sounds like children playing doctor." - GandalfTheGay_69
Some shared the remedies suggested by their families and friends.
"I have type 1 diabetes and my mother is also convinced cinnamon can cure it. Also that insulin is bad for me." - urisk2
"I have epilepsy. My MIL is fucking convinced that I need to ingest cinnamon and flax seed oil. Bitch if that were the cure, my house would fucking smell like a Cinnabon stfu." - QueenAnneBoleynTudor
"I had epilepsy as a child/early teenager and I swear I've heard/seen it all. The worst is coming to with someone trying to jam their fingers in your mouth so you don't "swallow your tongue" which
Try swallowing your tongue (spoiler alert: you can't it's connected to you, not just floating around your mouth like a wad of chewing gum)
Sticking your fingers in a seizing persons mouth is a great way to lose your fingers." - EveryRedditUser
This user had an unfortunate experience actually taking bad advice.
"I was told I should take St John's Wort to help my liver. Anyone who knows anything about plants knows that St John's Wort is hepatotoxic as hell and will wreck your liver."
"Got a transplant and now am doing well. No amount of fancy oil could've fixed my cirrhotic blob of a liver. Only a chunk of nice pre owned one, luckily from my aunt! 😊" - greffedufois
Another user lost a member of the family due to alternative medicine.
"He had herpes (edit: sorry this has caused confusion, I'm talking about zoster herpes here, but it might have also been some other virus with similar symptoms or a very bad case of zoster herpes that got worse by being left untreated; it kept reappearing all the time all over his body; In Greek, we call both genital and zoster herpes as just herpes) on his back and refused to go to a doctor to get some ointment for it. Instead went on a "special holistic diet" for years, which made him really thin and weak. His herpes kept spreading and started threatening his spine and eyesight. At that point people convinced him to go see a doctor."
Then a year later, he gets cancer inside his back muscles. The herpes was the direct cause of that. He still refuses to go to a doctor. Tries all sorts of special diets, waters, meditation, ointments, oils, etc etc. Of course nothing works. Cancer spreads everywhere pretty fast. Him being so weak from the previous herpes 'treatments' made things so much worse. He eventually died soon after.
All of this could have been avoided with a simple visit to a doctor." - Ornlu_Wolfjarl
This user then thanked PastyDeath for addressing the issue, saying:
"You did the absolute right thing here. Don't let idiots spread bullshit and end up inadvertently killing your friends and family. It's better that someone is kept alive by hurting their feelings, than 'respecting their wishes' and letting them die unnecessarily."
However, the apple cider vinegar cure-all did fulfill one purpose.
"This is very handy. I was actually in the process of looking for a cure for my bland salad. I checked all the medical journals, nothing in them about salad. - SuperGayLesbianGirl
One thing is clear: salad dressing doesn't cure cancer or kill tumors. But it sure can give life to your bland greens.