Time Out – Health Freaks

Series one, episode one
Dr Pixie McKenna and two GP colleagues – Ellie Cannon and Ayan Panja – are putting home cures and remedies that challenge medical wisdom under the microscope, with a view to conducting clinical trials testing their efficacy. First up, a group of builders who use WD40 as a cure for arthritis and chest pain. They are just a small number of the thousands of people who use the product for pain relief, but refuse to accept the GPs’ verdict that it’s all psychological.

Less popular, we suspect, is Geoff’s cure for DVT – leeches up the anal passage. Let’s not go there. Lower down the ‘eeeww!’ scale, duct tape as a cure for verrucas seems to work for someone who’s tried all the conventional therapies, and an amber necklace as a mild analgesic seems to do the trick for a teething baby.

The sofa docs are good at explaining the origins of such age-old, so-called cures and debunking myths, but we feel they’ve missed a trick by not balancing these with home remedies that do work; for example, we’ve long wanted to know if peeing on a jellyfish sting stops it hurting, but are simply unwilling to undertake the necessary research.