Talk show host Dr. Mehmet Oz has become famed for his "miracle" solutions for everything from losing weight to reducing anxiety. And this cardiac surgeon deserves credit for interweaving holistic health principles, such as the use of Ayurveda and herbs, with mainstream medicine. However, now one of Dr. Oz's not-so-loyal viewers claims that by following one of Dr. Oz's recommendations for insomnia, he suffered third degree burns. The result: A lawsuit, reported in the Associated Press March 19 and disseminated in headlines nation-wide.
What happened: The viewer used Dr. Oz's "knap-sack heated rice footsie" for insomnia. Promoted on the show by Dr. Oz, this solution involves filling a pair of socks with uncooked rice and warming them up in a microwave oven, then leaving them on for 20 minutes to help with sleep problems. Dr. Oz did warn to avoid getting the socks too hot. The show's representatives said they are reviewing the lawsuit and have no comment at this time. Here's the reality of this holistic insomnia remedy:
- Using uncooked rice in a sock, then microwaving it, can help with arthritis, muscle aches and neck pain. However, I always recommend testing it carefully on the inside of your wrist prior to placing it on your body. I also suggest heating it in 30-second intervals to avoid over-heating. And here's a key: I emphasize avoiding in any situation where you might fall asleep, to avoid burns. It may be that Dr. Oz failed to emphasize proper guidelines.
- Moist heat, as provided by the rice remedy, can ease aches.Commercial versions, which include full details on guidelines for use, are available and often come with a cover designed specifically to avoid burning. Highly recommended: Duro-Med Arthritis Natural Pain Relief Microwavable Therabead Moist Heat Standard Pack with Cover (click here for ordering details) and the Carex Bed Buddy Hot/Cold Pack (click here to get now).