Most families all have that one quirky home remedy they swear is a fix for whatever ails them.
For some it’s a particular type of chicken soup to soothe a cold, for others it can be as odd or unconventional as sleeping with onions tucked into your socks at night to draw out a nasty infection.
SBS has kicked this idea up a notch with their new series Medicine or Myth? A show which allows everyday Australian people the chance to pitch their diverse (and sometimes very divisive) health and home remedies to a panel of medical experts, all with the hope their idea will be selected for a real-world trial.
Making the judgement calls on pitches that include everything from maggot tea as a cure for acne, balsam leaves for ingrown toenails, and a Chinese herbal mix for endometriosis, are family and women’s health expert Dr Ginni Mansberg and Associate Professor in Immunology, Ashraful Haque with the panel being led by Australian neurosurgeon Dr Charlie Teo.
For Medicine or Myth? host Jan Fran, the allure of the series was the fact that it mixes elements of science and medicine with a very human angle, due to the fact that many of the people pitching their remedies have had them passed down through generations. Or turned to them when it appeared no other health option was available.
“The people on the show are everyday people who have these home remedies that have been passed down through their families,” Jan told Mamamia. “ A lot of people credit their mothers or their grandmothers for sharing these remedies through generations. It was something that they grew up with. And then you have people who have tried everything and then have stumbled across these natural remedies and now reckon they work.
“We have a team of experts on the show so the science elements are really covered, but not at all covered by me because I stopped doing science in Year Ten. If it’s good enough, then the home remedy goes to a clinical trial to see there’s any scientific basis to it.
“There are so many times when you think about things like lemon for flus and colds, as it being a bit of a remedy and what this show does is take that idea one step further.”
While no remedy or idea was deemed too unconventional to appear on the series, Jan said that she was a little floored by some of the out-of-the-box cures and fixes that made it onto camera.
"A lot of the pitches were a bit out there for me," the TV presenter and podcast host said. "There was a woman who had garlic in her vagina to get rid of thrush, I really had some questions about that one.