Is Bacon a Cure-All for Nosebleeds?

An old home remedy is making a comeback

Jack Frost sure knows how to mess up a woman's sexy game. In addition to the alligator skin, chapped lips and hat hair, winter weather makes the nasal region extra ugly, causing sniffles, sneezing and snot galore. Uncontrollable, hotter-than-July indoor heating and lack of humidity doesn't help either, drying out all those sensitive, irritated nasal membranes. So much blowing and honking could easily lead to a nosebleed. If tissue after tissue doesn't stop the bleeding, try this: Head to the fridge and grab a wad of bacon. Why, you ask? It seems the cure for nosebleeds might lie in a slice of cured pork.

While it may not sound (or be) kosher, an article in The Guardian reported that a trio of Detroit doctors cured a young girl of "extreme epistaxis" (the medical term for nosebleed) by creating, get this, a "nasal tampon" made from strips of cured pork.

Now, nose-packing is standard ER procedure, but usually, the main ingredient is gauze. And salt (sodium chloride) in and of itself, is already a tried-and-true remedy to reduce swelling, as it staves off bacteria and constricts the blood vessels. Packing a strip of salty cured meat up a patient's nose is kind of a stretch, but these doctors smelled salty success. But apparently, these doctors weren't pork pioneers. Bacon nasal tampons were used in the 40s and 50s as a rudimentary homeopathic method for nosebleeds, but fell out of favor due to possible bacteria spreading by shoving raw cured bacon strips up your schnozz. (But a far less expensive remedy than, say, putting a steak on a black eye.)

To some cured-pork purists, it might seem an abomination to shove bacon up your nose instead of in your mouth. According to the rib-tickling website Bacon Today, the Top 10 reasons bacon is actually healthy for you doesn't include preventing nosebleeds -- I'd think any health benefit that the Bacon folks can add to the Win column would be a good thing.

Maybe next time my nose is stuffed up, I'll fry up a slab of thick-cut, maple-cured bacon and inhale that smoky, crackling goodness in like a humidifier... a delicious but dangerous humidifier. (Watch out for that sizzling hot grease!) On second thought, I'll just use some saline spray and make myself a BLT.

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