The latest trend sweeping across the internet is perhaps a poor idea. Now the trend is complete with a celebrity backer, who says a “teaspoon of turpentine will not kill you.”
Tiffany Haddish, the comedian and actress of Girls Trip and Keanu, has recently suggested that she drinks turpentine; the stuff you buy in a hardware store to clean your paint brushes. “A teaspoon of turpentine will not kill you,” Haddish said in a new interview with GQ magazine. “The government doesn’t want you to know that if you have a cold, just take some turpentine with some sugar or castor oil or honey and it’ll go away the next day.”
Haddish said that she learned about the benefits of turpentine on Youtube and bought some on Amazon a few months ago. She also explained that slaves in the US drank turpentine as a medicinal elixir in the absence of any other healthcare. There is some evidence that suggests turpentine was used as a “miracle” cure in 19th-century rural America, typically to rid people of intestinal parasites, or it was rubbed on the chest with lard to alleviate colds, but this certainly does not mean it is a good idea and that there aren’t better options out there – even non medical options.
While Haddish is right that a few drops are not likely to kill you, ingesting it can cause severe damage to your kidneys and can easily be lethal, as numerous scientific studies have shown. Oddly, Haddish isn’t the only person touting the health benefits of turpentine.
One of the most passionate advocates is Jennifer Daniels, a former doctor who once ran a drug-free medical practice. She has reportedly been stripped of her medical license, but can still be found on “alternative medicine” blogs spouting the health benefits of drinking paint thinner. In one radio interview, Daniels even claimed she ate a few sugar cubes soaked in turpentine and it felt like “her IQ went up like 50 points.” –IFL Science
At the end of the day, you probably should do some research before ingesting anything not specifically for human consumption. The government lies about pretty much everything, and the following is what WebMD has to say about turpentine:
Turpentine oil is made from the resin of certain pine trees. It is used as medicine. Don’t confuse turpentine oil with gum turpentine, which is the resin. Turpentine oil is applied to the skin for joint pain, muscle pain, nerve pain, and toothaches.
People sometimes breathe in (inhale) the vapors of turpentine oil to reduce the chest congestion that goes along with some lung diseases. In foods and beverages, distilled turpentine oil is used as a flavoring.
In manufacturing, turpentine oil is used in soap and cosmetics and also as a paint solvent.
Turpentine oil, when inhaled, may help reduce congestion. When used on the skin, turpentine oil may cause warmth and redness that can help relieve pain in the tissue underneath. –WebMD
That doesn’t mean you should drink or inhale turpentine. You should, however, look into the risks, as with any medicine or anything claiming to be medicine before using it in any way.
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