Popular Health Myths and Beliefs - Debunked
Scientific research takes on common wisdom. Guess which one wins (again).
By Corrie Pikul
Original Content | February 27, 2012
You're so busy admiring your perfectly golden muffins that you fumble the tin and—ouch!—burn your hand. While stumbling toward the sink, you notice the butter on the counter. It's smooth, it's creamy, it's cold, and it reminds you of the moisturizing lotion you smoothed on your legs just this morning. But drop that stick. Butter is one of the worst things you can put on a wound—the CDC specifically warns against using it as an ointment. While butter's consistency has earned it a misleading reputation as a salve, it retains heat and irritates the injury, turning it into a breeding ground for bacteria, says O'Connor, author of the compilation of myth-busters, Always Follow the Elephants.
Better than butter: To treat minor burns, O'Connor advises reaching for another kitchen staple: honey. Studies have found that honey has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, fights bacteria and may get extra healing power from a high concentration of microbial agents called inhibines.