Gargling with Salt Water Better Than Snake Oil

Cough SyrupI’ve been sick as a dog for the last four days fighting a nasty cold and fever. There doesn’t seem to be anything I can do to stop coughing, short of visiting the doctor and getting some antibiotics, which I don’t want to. I’ve been resting over these past few days, nursing back to health with over-the-counter meds and lozenges. It’s amazing when you read the packaging on these meds, you think you’ll rid of your cold in no time. Yeah right. After this latest bout with bacteria, I’m convinced many of these meds are a sham. And don’t get me started on lozenges. Fisherman’s Friends, Halls, and Chloraseptic – the “#1 doctor and pharmacist recommended”, did nothing to relieve my sore throat. In fact, they irritated it more. Come to think of it, lozenges only seem to work when I’m not sick… as a breath mint. And yet these products claim to relieve your throat. I’m not sure who’s throat, but it ain’t mine. Benylin and Robitussin may as well be snake oil. Neither did anything to stop or even slow down my coughing fits. The only over-the-counter product I found that provided some relief was DayQuil and NyQuil. Other than that, it was the usual home remedies of gargling with salt water, eating chicken noodle soup, and drinking orange juice. Maybe I should package and sell these three products together as a home remedy kit right next to the aisle full of useless tablets and liquids. I’ll market it as the “#1 sick person recommended”.


Filed under advertising, Branding, Health, marketing

3 responses to “Gargling with Salt Water Better Than Snake Oil

  1. I’m so sorry to hear about your sickness, but you are correct about OTC remedies. The only thing they can do is relieve symptoms. They don’t cure a cold or flu. It’s even worse when trusted products change formulas or remove symptom-relieving ingredients.

    In December, I came down with a nasty cold and had all the typical symptoms: stuffy head, cough, runny nose. All I wanted was relief so I could sleep through it.

    NyQuil has been my trusted “nighttime, sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy head, fever, so you can rest medicine” for over 15 years! A shot of two of the wonder tonic before bed…15 minutes you can breathe while sleeping…AMAZING!

    In the midst of my cold, I bought some NyQuil and drove home with excitement about the upcoming relief from my cold symptoms.

    After 15 minutes of taking the cherry-flavored shot, I was still stuffy. 20 minutes…30 minutes…I took another shot…45 minutes…still nothing…2 hours later I still couldn’t breathe and my head felt like it was going to explode.

    How could this be? Well in my stuffy head state, I went downstairs to watch some TV and hopefully use some gravity to drain my head. When all of a sudden the NyQuil commercial appears and I notice that “stuffy head” is no longer in their tagline. I quickly run to my newly purchased bottle and noticed that the psuedophedrine (aka the decongestant) was gone. I was stunned! The commercials and packaging look the same, but no decongestant.

    Within the same commerical break came an ad for Tylenol Cold & Flu. Their ad campaign was perfect! “Unlike other nightime cold and flu medicines we didn’t remove the decongestant from Tylenol Cold & Flu.”

  2. Boo

    Hope you’re over the cold now. I searched “gargling with salt water” and got your blog entry. I have to say I find the honey-lemon Chloraseptic lonzenges to be a real help, but the rest are disgusting and worthless. On the other hand, regarding the orange juice remedy – I’ve been told that vitamin C, though good for you, is not really helpful for colds.

  3. pcwork

    Cough is caused by a number of ailments.
    It can be treated by over the counter medicines
    or home remedies. More information available

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