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All you need to do is this:

We have all heard the perfect solution to a “home” problem. Be it stains, back ache, food poisoning, facials, nosebleed… but home many of these “remedies” are actually true, and how many of these are Brand related?

Many of these ideas come up soon after a product is introduced into the market, when it is popular and everybody is aware about it, and talking about it. Also, many of these remedies came about around the 50’s, due in part to the Tupperware parties and “housewife” chitchat. So I went to my favorite bookstore, and found the perfect book to give you some examples of what I am talking about: Amazing Kitchen Cures by Joey Green. A man who has decided to find out what it is that we can do with each possible product.

A few examples:
Fleas: Pour one tablespoon Dawn Dishwashing Liquid into a sixteen-ounce trigger-spray bottle full of water and spray everything (soap will dry up insects), after 15 minutes wipe off.

Flu: Rub BenGay on forehead, temples neck. Allow the heat to sooth your headaches away!

Dandruff: Cover your hair and head with Dannon Yoghurt and wrap with a towel for 20 minutes. Wash off.

Rash: Rub French’s Mustard on the rash, or soak in a bathtub for 15 minutes, in warm water and the contents of a bottle of French’s Mustard.

Wrinkles: By rubbing Castor Oil around your eyes every night, you can slow the progress of wrinkles.

Or you can see what one product in particular is capable of. For the purpose of this commentary, I have decided to research the abilities of: Heinz White Vinegar. I warn you, there are plenty!

Around the home:
1. Air Freshener. A foul odor prevails in the room… A bowl of HWV will do the trick.
2. Smelly clothing. Add one cup HWV to the water as the washing machine fills. Once it is full, stop the machine and let rinse for 1 hour. Restart.
3. Bathtub cleaner. Fill your bathtub with warm water, and pour 2 cups of HWV. Return 3 hours later and scrub clean.
4. Dentures. Soak overnight and brush clean. Bye-bye tartar!
5. Eyeglasses. One drop and you can see the world. (Do not try on plastic lenses.)
6. Cooking. To remove garlic or onion from your hands, rub with HWV and rinse.
7. Humidifier. Kill bacteria by adding two teaspoons of HWV.
8. Toilets. Pour one cup of HWV and let stand for 5 minutes. Flush.
9. Bed-trouble. When your kids have an overnight accident, deodorize sheets by washing them with a cup of HWV.
10. Pet-trouble. When the carpet has suffered an accident, use the same mix one cup HWV and one cup of water into a sixteen-ounce trigger-spray. Vinegar will take over the “offending odor” for a few days, but then they will both disappear.
11. Remember college? Long nights of alcohol consumption? With the powerful combo of two cups HWV and one of water you can get rid of those nasty stains your friends left on your living room.

To remedy:
1. Acne. 1:1 parts of HWV and water. Clean your face with a cotton ball to achieve a balanced pH.
2. Bruises. Soaking a cotton ball with HWV, and placing over a bruise will hasten its recovery and diminish its coloring.
3. Athlete’s Foot. Four times a day, for 10 minutes soak your feet in HWV.
4. Insect stings. Soak a cotton ball with HWV and apply to the sting, to neutralize the venom and relieve the pain.
5. Insect bites. Sooth mosquito bites with HWV straight from the bottle.
6. Jellyfish stings. HWV will relieve the burning pain.
7. Poison Ivy. Pour HWV on the affected area and lightly sprinkle with Morton Salt. Let dry, and brush clean. Repeat as necessary.
8. Burns. HWV will sooth the pain.
9. Sunburn. Lightly press a dampened cloth with HWV on the affected area, or add two cups to a cool bathtub soak.
10. Nosebleed. Plug a small amount of cotton dampened with HWV in each nostril, which will cauterize the wound.
11. Diaper rash. When washing cloth diapers, add a cup of HWV during the rinsing cycle to lower the pH level of the cloth to that of your baby.
12. Cold Sores. Apply to the affected area, and HWV will kill bacteria, and ease swelling and pain.
13. Windburn. To offset alkalinity from concrete and plaster, rub HWV on your hands after washing them. This helps prevent eczema.
14. Foot ache. Swab your soles to help cool and dry your feet.
15. Foot odor. Soak your feet in a large container with water and 1 cup of HWV for 15 minutes.
16. Dandruff. Wash your hair with HWV to kill bacteria and sooth your scalp.
17. Dry hair. Mix 14 oz. Of Carnation Condensed Milk, 1 teaspoon HWV and 1 teaspoon SueBee Honey. Apply to dry hair and rinse after 5 minutes.
18. Calluses. 1 teaspoon HWV and 2 tablespoons Star Olive Oil should be rubbed on calluses to soften and kill bacteria.
19. Corns. Ok. Soak a piece of Wonder Bread with HWV and let sit for half an hour. Place it over your corn and cover with a gauze and keep it on overnight. You might need to do this a few times.
20. Brittle/Yellow nails. Soak in ReaLemon Juice for 10 minutes, and then rinse with 1:1 parts HWV and warm water.
21. Cuticles. Soaking your hands in HWV will soften cuticles.
22. Nail polish. Nails that are soaked in HWV and let dry, will keep nail polish on for a longer period of time.
23. Flatulence. Soak beans overnight in water and 2 teaspoons HWV.
24. Lice. HWV is the final step to treating this problem. Usually you have already rubbed Crisco All-Vegetable Shortening into your hair, and HWV will help dissolve the fat and allow you to easily comb the nits.
25. Stop smoking. Remove all smoke odors, by placing a bowl with HWV in every room of your home.
26. Swimmers ear. A few drops of HWV in the affected ear, a few times a day will kill the bacteria and fungi.

Ah, but basically anything bacteria related can be remedied with Vinegar, no matter the brand, no matter the presentation or who said it. Right? Of course, but still, in our 21st Century culture we all have remedies to share, and counsel to give. And, yes, we all (or most of us) use a brand, as integral part of our suggestion.

Should we say that all the multi-million dollar advertising has paid of? Or is it a matter of brand association?

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ARCHIVE ID 2120 FILED UNDER Miscellaneous
PUBLISHED ON Oct.25.2004 BY bryony
WITH COMMENTS
Comments
Armin’s comment is:

> Flu: Rub BenGay on forehead, temples neck. Allow the heat to sooth your headaches away!

I know this is more than anyone wants to know and more than I want to divulge but…

A long time ago, I was having a really bad tummy ache, it was 2 am or something. I didn't know where the tummy medicine was, but I had a tube of BenGay in my room. I rubbed BenGay on my stomach, it got really nice and warm and my ache went away.

On Oct.25.2004 at 04:43 PM
graham’s comment is:

a lot ot these remedies are centuries old (vinegar). that a brand should be part of the suggestion is relatively recent (there are exceptions, like coca cola and christmas or something like that or the other way round or something) and, of course, an indication of the savoir faire (or lack of) possessed by the would-be advisor.

i have an ulcer. i have tried putting salt on it. it seems to help.

i see you have a nasty scrape. perhaps an application of ointment would soothe.

see-no need for a brand name.

conversely, imagine what brouhaha could ensue:

my goitre is acting up like mad. this hot mars bar unguent seems to be have no discernable effect.

or

i can't seem to stop these dry heaves. the suggested use of the ipod as suppository has so far only contributed to my discomfort.

castor is not a brand.

On Oct.25.2004 at 04:59 PM
szkat’s comment is:

vinigar in your hair, on open cuts, smeared on bruises, dropped in your ear, pressed onto sunburns, and massaged in to calluses sounds like a whole lot of stinging and smelliness.

i think i prefer my brand names, my neosporin for cuts, aloe vera for sunburn, and after-itch for the mosqitoes...

but speaking of one thing with many uses, did you know that peppermint is good for "anxiety, bloating, common cold, cough, depression, diarrhea, flatulence, headache..." etc.

On Oct.25.2004 at 05:12 PM
graham’s comment is:

aloe vera is not a brand.

if this happens again you'll all start scaring me . . .

On Oct.25.2004 at 05:15 PM
Bryony’s comment is:

but speaking of one thing with many uses, did you know that peppermint is good for "anxiety, bloating, common cold, cough, depression, diarrhea, flatulence, headache..." etc.

I debated between listing vinegar, peppermint or baking soda...

On Oct.25.2004 at 05:16 PM
Michael H.’s comment is:

I had never thought of BenGay being used for such reasons... either of them. Good to know.

I was just having a conversation with my wife over the weekend about brands. Mind you, she's not a designer but half Filino and spent about 10 years growing up in the Philipines.

Over there, she says that everyone refers to objects of their leading brand name. They don't wear jeans, they wear Levi's.They don't use toothpaste, they use Colgate. They don't write with magic markers, they write with Pentapal's (sp?).

And of course here in the south, the majority of us don't drink sodas or soda-pops, we drink cokes. Even if it's Pepsi or Dr. Pepper.

So I think yes, the mutli-million advertising has paid off.

> Should we say that all the multi-million dollar advertising has paid of? Or is it a matter of brand association?

But I don't get the difference you are trying to establish with your questions Bryony... isn't brand association a result of the multi-million dollar advertising?

On Oct.25.2004 at 05:20 PM
Bryony’s comment is:

like coca cola…

which is good to treat asthma, constipation, diarrhea, dry hair, flatulence, food poisoning, indigestion, jellyfish stings, nausea, sore throat, vomiting; and is good for cleaning bathtubs, bloodstains, eyeglasses, milk stains, toilets, and skunk spray odor. Intriguing how many of these are also “fixed” with vinegar…

On Oct.25.2004 at 05:22 PM
graham’s comment is:

from Michael H. "But I don't get the difference you are trying to establish with your questions Bryony... isn't brand association a result of the multi-million dollar advertising?"

i'd go further (using those two little 'slip-ups' -castor oil and aloe vera-as examples)-isn't the pervasiveness of "things-as-brands" (not just association, but as a method to explain and define emotions, phenomena, objects, functions, actions etc.) a result of the social experiment-albeit a slipshod, haphazard, rather abitrary one-of branding?

On Oct.25.2004 at 05:32 PM
Bryony’s comment is:

But I don't get the difference you are trying to establish with your questions Bryony... isn't brand association a result of the multi-million dollar advertising?

Should we say that all the multi-million dollar advertising has paid of? Or is it a matter of brand association?

Sorry if I was not clear. By brand association I refer to being linked to the “coke” group, or the “pepsi” group. I am sure they both remedy the same ailments, due to the similarity in ingredients, but you might say “use coke to…” while I might say “you need to get your self a can of pepsi and…” Both of them have multi-million dollar adverting behind them. And yet, another might refer to the local brand (that nobody outside of his town recognizes).

Another example would be the use of Tupperware. This product has a very different meaning for my mother than it does for me, due to the advertising created for each generation, and yet, when I think about containers, only one name comes up: Tupperware.

"things-as-brands"

A while back we had a great discussion about how this has come to affect/influence the world we live in, and how indeed as societies we have integrated many brands into our vocabulary — starting by (Google, Googled, Googling, Googleth…)

(using those two little 'slip-ups' -castor oil and aloe vera-as examples)

Sorry. I was going by this book, and did not realize Castor Oil (as he was using it) was not a brand. My bad.

On Oct.25.2004 at 05:47 PM
szkat’s comment is:

that was entirely my bad about aloe vera.

it won't happen again :)

to Byrony's point - kleenex is another example of a brand that emcompasses a product. i've never asked for a facial tissue in my entire life.

(graham, does that make up for my mistake?)

there have also been many articles about the most recent version of Webster's Dictionary, and how much slang has permeated our culture and vocabulary - exactly the "google" example just given, i.e., there was a sex in the city episode about Carrie "googling" her boyfriend. i don't have time now but if i can find some stuff about that later i'll post it.

On Oct.25.2004 at 06:00 PM
Armin’s comment is:

> Castor Oil (as he was using it) was not a brand.

It does sound like Castrol.

On Oct.25.2004 at 06:19 PM
marian’s comment is:

this hot mars bar unguent seems to be have no discernable effect.

the suggested use of the ipod as suppository has so far only contributed to my discomfort.

My sides hurt from laughing—do you think a paste of Junior Mints applied with a Wacom Stylus might help?

Oh where is the poster competition when you need it?

On Oct.25.2004 at 06:59 PM
ian’s comment is:

to Byrony’s point - kleenex is another example of a brand that encompasses a product. i’ve never asked for a facial tissue in my entire life.

i, myself, love a game of flying disc...

people give me the weirdest of looks for saying this, but my mom used to have me take a great big huge spoonful or two of yukon jack and honey when i had a bad cough. it worked like a charm, i’d sleep the whole night. i’ve never asked her why she always used yukon jack. was it due to some effort by yukon jack? ”kids got the cough, give ´┐Żem a shot” i’ve always assumed it was what grandma did, etc. etc. i’ll get back to you on that one.

these “remedies” have existed in other cultures for thousands of years. look at herbal medicine. not the take-some-st.-johns-wort-for-a-good-day kind of recent, but the true practice of herbal medicine. that was built on the idea that x herb combined with y herb helps with z ailment [okay, so that is very over simplified]. but my point is that the practice was not based on a companies herbs, but the ingredients itself. i’m sure there is something like an age cut off, but i knew well over half of those uses for vinegar. and who else are you going to buy white vinegar from but hienz...i got nothing, kroger maybe? i have absolutely no idea if branding has infiltrated and influenced the practice of herbal medicine, but i can’t imagine that it hasn’t. actually i know it has: the take-some-st.-johns-wort-for-a-good-day kind. duh!

sorry just an interesting tangent for me...but it raises some questions:

which comes first? the brand remedy such as coke or heinz white vinegar, or the actual remedy independent of a brand. do the companies create the remedies as part of the brand or do they take advantage of existing remedies to further the exposure of their product? when is it a brand remedy vs an ingredient remedy? and how about negative brand remedies like a coke will strip chrome and tarnish off metal (just make sure you save some of that miracle metal cleaner for a refreshing drink afterwards). how do these come into play?

design maven? or anyone else that has the answers. at this point i just assume...

the new nov issue of weird has an interesting article on the death of brands as the lack of consumer loyalty. will this mean a move back to ingredient based remedies due to the lack of brand loyalty and the search for the best value? does kroger white vinegar sanitize as well as heinz?

it also comes with a cd of 16 virtually copyright free songs by some prominent (beastie boys, david byrne [talking heads for the un-enlightened] chuck d) and some not so prominent artists (which i will not name to avoid embarrassment of naming someone prominent but unknown to me) articles about the new copyright license is very interesting in it’s own right.

there’s my brand plug...long live wired.

i’m done now,

really.

On Oct.26.2004 at 01:57 AM
Zoelle’s comment is:

All this talk of how so many well known brands can be used as health remedies makes me wonder what the brand owners think of all this. Is this yet another reason why seemingly silly legal disclaimers appear on packaging? Does the book come with it’s own legal disclaimer?

I can see the excitement (as a brand owner) in having a brand name replace an object’s common name, but to associate a brand name with an unconventional use which could lead to a negative brand experience would trouble me.

Halloween tip: Crisco removes stubborn face paint.*

(*if redness or burning occurs, discontinue use.)

On Oct.26.2004 at 12:30 PM
Armin’s comment is:

Has anybody seen Chris Rock's routine on Robitussin, from Bigger & Blacker? I found a couple of lines on Google:

"Scrape your knee? Rub some Robitussin in there. Sprain your ankle? Soak a towel in some 'tussin and wrap it around your ankle..."

It's funnier when you see it.

On Oct.26.2004 at 01:26 PM
jo’s comment is:

< "things-as-brands"

Like Band-Aids. Ever since I was little, even if it was some random brand name, it was always "Band-Aid" for my boo-boos. "Band-Aid" is so close to "bandage" in the way it sounds-a very shrewd brand name.

On Oct.26.2004 at 01:47 PM
Jeff Gill’s comment is:

I can see the excitement (as a brand owner) in having a brand name replace an object’s common name

Actually, this is a double-edged sword. When the brand name replaces the generic name for a product the brand name loses a lot of its meaning & power.

For example, here in the UK anything that vaguely resembles a Jeep Cherokee is called a jeep. Newpaper classifieds are full of Suzuki Vitara jeeps for sale. So when Chrysler says, "There's only one Jeep," it doesn't have so much resonance.

Also, people here don't vacuum the floor; they hoover it, probably with a Dyson.

In the long term this can lead to the loss of the ability to protect your brand name. (I think Xerox went to court over this once, but I'm too lazy to look it up.)

This is why companies do things like this: A few months ago I read on one of my son's Lego instruction books that the product should not be referred to as Legos, but rather as "Lego brand building bricks"

On the one hand Google has to love Googling on Sex in the City. On the other, they are dreading the day when someone says, "I was googling on Yahoo this morning..."

Perhaps when Ms Millman is done carousing with Marian & Tan, she will have more to say on the subject.

On Oct.26.2004 at 05:59 PM