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Why Rub Alcohol On Belly For Cold?

There is really no cure for a cold. But there are certain home remedies and tips that can help manage the condition and provide some relief from the constant sniffling and irritation. There are so many ways, such as drinking hot beverages, getting proper rest, staying hydrated, chewing on a piece of ginger and so on [1].

Among the number of remedies and measures to manage the symptoms and control the cold, the current article will give you details about a type of home remedy which makes use of alcohol.

Alcoholic beverages have been linked with dehydration and lowering immunity during fever and cold when consumed, however, this trick does not require you to consume alcohol but apply it externally on your body.


What Is The Remedy Mix?

Take 2 tablespoons of alcohol and mix it with 1 tablespoon water and dip a small cotton ball in it. Place that cotton on your navel or belly button. Relax for a while and remove the cotton after 10-20 minutes.

You can use rubbing alcohol (also called isopropyl alcohol) for this, which are ethanol-based liquids and cannot be consumed due to the bitterants added [2].

Note: If you have cuts or blisters around the navel, don't use alcohol as it may cause a burning sensation.


What Does The Remedy Treat?

It may sound unlikely but placing the alcohol-dipped cotton ball on your navel can ease tension and reduce the effects of colds and the flu on your body [2].

According to a recent study, it was reported that this alcohol remedy for cold is especially common among low-income and minority communities, where it is passed down through generations and in some cases recommended by doctors [3].

Apart from easing the symptoms of cold, this remedy is also beneficial for managing menstrual cramps, motion sickness, coughs and dry lips [4][5].


How Does The Remedy Work?

When alcohol is rubbed on the skin, it soothes your skin and helps reduce the body temperature. By stimulating your navel and applying a little amount of alcohol on your navel, you will be able to bring down the high temperatures as well as a runny nose [6].

When we rub isopropyl alcohol on our skin, we feel a refreshing sensation which could potentially help lower our body temperature [7][8].


Are There Any Side Effects?

Although the trick can bring down your temperature, using isopropyl alcohol to cool a fever can have certain health consequences [9]. Not only does our skin absorb rubbing alcohol very rapidly, but when applied in large quantities, the vapours we inhale can cause alcohol poisoning along with other health problems.

If your skin is sensitive or if you are allergic to the smell of alcohol, then avoid trying this remedy.


Can I Use This Remedy For My Child?

The answer is NO. Using isopropyl alcohol to cool a fever can have very serious health consequences in children. There have been various studies and reports which point out that using this remedy of alcohol in navel or belly button has caused the children to slip into comas [10].

Frequent use of this remedy has also been linked with the onset of cardiac and neurological problems in adults [11][12].


On A Final Note…

When used in moderation, this remedy can be a quick relief from fever and cold. However, constant use can have serious side effects on your overall health. Therefore, it is advisable to discuss with your doctor before trying this measure.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is it bad to rub alcohol on your body?

A. Wiping or rubbing the skin with small amounts of isopropyl alcohol is safe. Prolonged soaking in large amounts increases the risk of absorption and toxic effects.

Q.What is the difference between isopropyl alcohol and rubbing alcohol?

A. Rubbing alcohol is an antiseptic, which contains not less than 68% and not more than 72% of isopropyl alcohol. The difference between rubbing alcohol and more pure forms of isopropyl alcohol is that rubbing alcohol contains denaturants which make the solution unpalatable for human consumption.

Q. What is rubbing alcohol good for?

A. They are liquids used primarily as a topical antiseptic. They also have multiple industrial and household uses. The term "rubbing alcohol" has become a general non-specific term for either isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol) or ethyl alcohol (ethanol) rubbing-alcohol products.

Q.Is rubbing alcohol good for acne?

A. Yes. However, rubbing alcohol is just one potential acne-fighting ingredient.

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