Doctors Share The Weirdest 'Cure' Patients Have Tried For Their Illnesses
Image by Darko Stojanovic from Pixabay

Being ill is a very frightening thing, for those afflicted and for the people who love them. So of course we want to find a cure to any ailment as soon as possible. And people will go to great extremes for a cure. Often the "cures" people come up with are a bit on the odd side and not the scientific, medical side. First.... stay off the internet for home remedies. Second.... do not watch 'Grey's Anatomy!' and try and unleash your inner Meredith Grey.

Redditor u/Trillian_42_ wanted some doctors out there to let us know that there is no miracle cure by asking.... Doctors of Reddit, what is the weirdest "cure" your patients have tried to use for their illnesses?

Narrator Says:


Was asked to see a patient that had obvious advanced breast cancer. Instead of seeing regular doctors, they saw a naturopathic doctor. They convinced the patient to have garlic wrapped in a banana leaf placed into their leg to see if that would help.

Narrator: it didn't. Nysoz

Pain in the Eyes. 

I saw someone in the Emergency Department about a month ago who had pain in both eyes after welding without eye protection - this is known as photokeratitis. It doesn't usually last very long and the treatment is predominantly symptom based - artificial tears, anti-inflammatory eye drops, cold compresses, dark room etc...

The man had googled home treatments and found that layering smashed bananas over his eyelids helped.

I guess it's not too dissimilar to a cold compress.

I told him I'd add it to my repertoire. jwms

Urine Therapy?

I'm not a doctor, but I know someone who got really into urine therapy. Meaning she would drink her own urine everyday. She claimed it made her more alert and cured her migraines. MomsSpaghetti589

Yeah, this pee thing was a thing in the village I grew up in, at least back in the days, hopefully.

One of the stories I have is that an aunt of mine put her pee in her sick brother's tea and brought it at the hospital. He drank it. Claimed to have worked because it was "from a virgin girl." dollyish

More than Rubbing....

This is more sad than weird. A women came in with an early stage treatable breast cancer. After talking to a random women in the hospital's waiting room, she decided to refuse medical treatment and instead use essential oils. The women convinced her that by rubbing her breast with essential oils the tumor will disappear and that any form of chemo or surgery will disfigure her while essential oils won't. Fast forward a couple of years, she came in with a stage 4 cancer. It got everywhere it could possibly get without killing her. She got a couple of weeks of palliative care before leaving her teenage children orphans.

Another one is this bee guy. He was basically an alternative medicine healer (he called himself a ''doctor'' while not having any M.D or PhD). This guy uses bee stings as a cure for cancer (all and every kind of cancer). He had different ''protocols'' for every type of cancer : number of sessions, number of stings per session, the areas of the stings ...etc. While at least he didn't encourage his patients to quit treatment, he did expose them to harm. During chemotherapy the immune system will go down.

The bee stings would get infected most of the time and we had a couple of close calls. This dude had convinced all his patients that the brush with death that they had was because of the ''cancer toxins'' leaving their bodies. The cherry on top is that his treatment was not anywhere close to cheap. He was making in a day more than any doctor I know would make in a month.

Edit: added the bee guy's story. NeedToLearnToListen

Oil People.


My MIL is a huge essential oil fan. I was having an asthma flair up, couldn't find my inhaler, she insisted that if she rubbed this oil on my chest it would go away, I wasn't having it, I had my inhaler somewhere there. She finally yelled at me to stop and try it. I did, I sat there for 10 minutes, wheezing, while she applied it and told me to relax. My wife then found my inhaler and brought it to me, I used it, instantly felt better, and her mom was like, "see!" sixesand7s

Rush to the Hospital. 

Not a doctor but had a friend tried to heal a cut on his foot by keeping it moist in saline, wrapping it in bandages, with a sock and shoe squeezed on, under the heater. For days. He ended up getting so sick he had to be rushed to hospital, but literally could have died. definitelymy1account

Fool Proof. 

Not a doctor, but 19 year old me decided to try and combat a cold by drinking a bunch of vodka to kill the virus. My plan was pretty fool proof. Jummatron

Raid Bug Spray on his crotch.


Not a doctor, but back in college I was in a medical class.

The teacher explained that she was a nurse for 20 something years and told us a few funny stories about people who had these weird cures. She then asked us if we ever heard of these cures.

One of the students claimed that a friend of hers had gotten an STD (herpes or something idk), and he tried to cure it by spraying Raid Bug Spray on his crotch.

The teacher burst out laughing while everyone else was disgusted and shocked. KarmaticFox

Below the Skin. 

Worked as a medical scribe in the ER. Patient comes in complaining of a skin abscess. Lifts her shirt and taped to her stomach is a piece of white bread. As the nurse pulls it off, out slips what's left of a raw egg. The doctor was speechless and after what felt like an eternity, the patient explains that she read on the internet that eggs have antibacterial properties and that they can cure skin infections. Never really got to how the bread got involved... Doc was nice enough to sympathize and move on quickly it I damn near dropped my laptop. Id_rather_be_eating

Watch the Doc. 

Oh, I'm not a doctor...

...but I have an ex who claimed to have health problems. She made me watch this documentary about some guy who would acquire meat and then let it rot for weeks or months, and then eat it raw. Supposedly it cured his health problems. My ex wanted to do the same thing as a treatment for her health problems... which were actually caused by the abuse of narcotics, alcohol, and OTC drugs. dottmatrix

Chickenwire Bob.


Old guy lived by himself out in the bush. Developed a large chronic ulcer on his shin so wrapped chicken wire around it to protect it from trauma and keep his clothes clean. Unfortunately the granulation tissue from the ulcer base grew over the chicken wire. He just cut around it and added another layer of wire. He came to hospital when it became infected. Needed surgery to debride the ulcer and remove the mesh wire which was completely covered by tissue. We affectionately called him Chickenwire Bob. chilli_colon13

"that snake guy said y"....

I'm a doctor now but this was before, when I was in med school. A woman tried to cure her cancer by starving it... By starving herself. This does not work. Cancer just steals all your energy and nutrients. By the time she accepted medical help she was skin and bones and her tumor just grew right out through her skin, it was awful.

Edit: to anyone saying "my oncologist said x": I'm a family doctor, not an oncologist, and I don't know you or your body. Please listen to your oncologist over me.

To anyone saying: "that snake guy said y": that doesn't sound like a very trustworthy source.


Er doc.

Burns. OMG. Every home remedy. Mayonnaise, toothpaste, honey, syrup. Bee stings are another interesting bunch.

Woman used a baby wipe as a tampon. It remained there for 3 weeks.

I had a gentleman come in because of generalized fatigue. He had his legs wrapped with duct taped to prevent peripheral edema and fluid seeping from his legs. His hemoglobin was 3 and he had a perforated gastric ulcer.

I had a woman with a rash on her groin (clarification: on her labia majora!!!). She attempted to treat with leather tanning solution. There was something else crazy but I cant recall. Too many crazy things at this point. Vibriobactin


My coworkers patient with breast cancer made a 3 inch gash in her thigh and stuffed it with garbanzo beans because she read that it "triggers" the body to fight the cancer. She was actively receiving chemotherapy at the time. She didn't even disclose this to him, he just noticed as he was doing the exam. wolfpack1986

Honey Nut or Plain?


I had a patient who tried to cure her anemia by eating Cheerios. It didn't work. cooziethegrouch


One of my patients (grown adult) swallowed a thumb tack as a dare but immediately afterward started having chest pain, probably from mucosal damage in his esophagus. So his idea was to try to take a self made stack of maybe 7or 8 penny size magnets which he stuck down his throat to try to pull the thumbtack back out and ended up accidentally swallowing that too. I consulted a gastroenterologist and I could hear his facepalm on the other end of the phone. LamarcusAldridge24

It's NOT a popsicle. 

Not a doctor but EMS. For a while heroin got really big in my city and people were dropping like flies. Some How, some way, a rumor got passed around that inserting popsicles in peoples rectums would bring them out of an overdose. They had gotten this down to a science s/ they'd use red white and boom pops to match the skin color with the depth. I.e. if the person was blue, they'd insert it up to the blue part of the popsicle. For a solid 2-3 months we'd find people out cold, pants around there ankles and popsicle sticks sticking out of their bums. AmongstTheExpanse

Stop Blogging! 

Not a doctor obviously, but a two time cancer patient.

The amount of people who tried to convince me that changing my bodies pH by either ingesting large amounts of baking soda (base) or lemon juice/cider vinegar (acid) was abnormally high.

Everyone had a blog to share claiming this huge secret "my doctor wouldn't want me to know" allegedly. Interestingly they couldn't even get it straight which way the pH needed to go. scott60561

Oh the Herbals....

I shouldn't even have been told about this, but my friend's dad is a GP. He once had a family come in complaining that they all shared the same symptoms, even their newborn child.

It turned out that the mother had chlamydia, which she passed to her child during birth, and the rest of the family ate her placenta and everyone contracted it.

He told them this and recommended a treatment, to which they responded, "No, thank you. We wanted to know what was wrong, but we've got herbal remedies for this…" _cosmicomics_

In the Waiting Room...


Not to me but in the waiting room of the clinic.

This guy walks out into the waiting room and recognizes my dad (they are distant cousins but I didn't know him) and he tells my dad that while jumping off rocks into the local river, he busted his shin open on another rock underwater.

So his remedy. Pour alcohol on it and throw a match on the gash to cauterize it. RegularBrick80


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