15 Weird and Wacky Folk Remedies You Shouldn’t Try

Odd fixes for common problems.


Infant diarrhea helper

Though we absolutely don’t recommend this treatment for treating an infant’s diarrhea, we do find it fascinating and would love to know what inspired its creation. We offer it up strictly in the interest of history: Cut the lining from a chicken gizzard and let it dry. Then put it in boiling water to make a tea. Give 1 teaspoonful to your baby every half hour.

Earache cures we can do without
These cures should be labeled “weird, wacky and disgusting.” The first, mentioned in several compilations of old home remedies, calls for putting drops of urine in the affected ear. It’s even been written that Elvis Presley’s mother relied on this creepy remedy whenever The King had a childhood earache.

Another gross-sounding trick was to stuff the painful ear with a moist wad of chewing tobacco — or even to blow tobacco smoke into the ear. Thanks, but we’ll pass on all of these. There’s no known science to support any of them.

Boost your memory?
An old, traditional memory-booster calls for dipping garlic cloves in chocolate and eating one to three of them a day. In theory, we think this makes tons of sense — the garlic and the chocolate are loaded to the gills with the kind of antioxidants that protect brain cells. But seriously, in practice? No thanks — we’ll have the chocolate-covered cherries instead, please.