LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- All of us have a trick or two when it comes to common ailments like a sore throat or a bee sting. Home remedies often make us feel better, but do they really work? We took a look at common pains and illnesses and asked a doctor if the home remedies used to treat them are legitimate or if they're just old wives' tales.
Like any mom, Margaux Glancy would do just about anything for her children, 4-year-old Beckett and 15-month-old Hampton, especially when they're sick.
"Some warm water with honey and lemon kinda helps soothe their throats, I feel like," said Glancy.
Honey, lemon and even vapor rub on their feet when they have a cold are tricks Glancy swears by. In this case, so does Arkansas Children's Hospital pediatrician Dr. Bryan Burke.
"Home remedies are fascinating," said Dr. Burke. "Fascinating because some do work, because a lot of them are voodoo, but whatever they are, they end up being a lot of fun."
When it comes to honey, lemon, and vapor rub, Dr. Burke said there is no voodoo involved, and these remedies do work, but there are many that he considers ridiculous.
"I had a mother one time who believed her child did not get ear infections as long as she put earmuffs on her child's ears," recalled Dr. Burke, but he isn't the only person who's heard the absurd.
"One of my friends told me you can use breast milk for diaper rash, but I've never used that, so I don't know," laughed Ali Dennington, mom to 3-year-old Holland.
Although Dennington has never tried that one, she's not opposed to trying another home remedy for bee stings.
"Well, when I was a kid, my grandmother used to use tobacco and water on a bee sting," she explained. "So, I might try that if we were in the woods or something."
Turns out, tobacco isn't the only home remedy touted as a solution for stings, but Dr. Burke said most don't work.
"As far as a bee sting, or mosquito bite, or anything like that," expained Dr. Burke, "various things you hear - baking soda, meat tenderizer - they're not harmful but just not effective."
Is anyone curious about curing a jellyfish sting by urinating on it? Dr. Burke said he's completely against that remedy.
"Urine on jellyfish doesn't work! I think it was popularized by an episode of 'Friends,'" said Dr. Burke. "It not only doesn't work, it actually makes things worse because the urine dissolves the toxin and makes the burning a little worse."
If urine on a jellyfish sting doesn't work, then how about trying nail polish or hairspray on mosquito or chigger bites? Dr. Burke said nail polish and hairspray will provide minor relief.
Another home treatment that most moms have heard is alcohol on the gums of a teething infant, but Burke said alcohol for a baby could cause harm.
For moms Ali Dennington and Margaux Glancy, they'd do just about anything for their babies' comfort and relief, as long as it's not harmful.
"It's kind of nice to know you might have the ingredients you need to fix a certain ailment right at home," said Glancy.
"The hardest thing in the world for a doctor or parent to do is admit they don't know what to do for something," said Dr. Burke. "There are so many times it gives you a sense of control--that if you do something you feel like you're helping your child."
He does have an opinion on Campho Phenique and over-the-counter cough medicines for children. He believes there is no good use for Campho Phenique, and he said over-the-counter cough medicines do more harm than good.
There are literally thousands of home treatments. Dr. Burke explained that the bottom line is that as long as it's not harmful and you feel it works, then go for it.