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Doctor Warns: Don’t Take Heating Pad to Bed!

Doctor Warns: Don’t Take Heating Pad to Bed!

Q. You wrote about a home remedy for a nighttime cough that called for putting a heating pad under the butt. As a doctor, I must say: Don’t do this! Nasty burns can result.

A. Thank you for the reminder. Many other readers also warned about going to bed with a heating pad. Some pointed out that newer heating pads turn themselves off after half an hour.

There are certainly other remedies for nighttime coughs. Some of them, such as smearing Vicks VapoRub on the soles of the feet, might not meet medical approval, but they should not be harmful. Others, such as sipping thyme tea before retiring for the night, are quite tasty and frequently helpful.

Readers who would like more simple home remedies for nighttime coughs will find some in our Guide to Colds, Coughs & the Flu.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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