The Nose Knows! A Surprising Thing Bacon’s Good For

Bacon lust has led to bacon-flavored lollypops, ice cream, chocolate, doughnuts, air fresheners, breath mints, and even sexual lubricants.   Bacon-look Band-Aids fix owies, swim suits sizzle, and a “Mr. Bacon vs. Monsieur Tofu” game lets us watch the Greasy Punk take down the Soy Boy for “lots of fun wherever fun is needed!”

What else can bacon do?  The “white bacon” known as salt pork can stop nosebleeds.  Or as the authors of an article in the Annals of Otology, Rhinology and Larynology put it, strips of “cured salted pork crafted as a nasal tampon and packed within the nasal vaults” stopped the life-threatening nosebleeds of a 4 year old girl with Glanzmann thrombasthenia,” a rare genetic disorder that causes chronic nosebleeds.

Similarly, Archives of Otolaryngology published a letter from Jan J. Weisberg, MD,  in 1976 documenting his treatment of a patient with salt pork “for epistaxis secondary to  Rendu-Osler-Weber disease,” an inherited problem in which blood vessels develop abnormally, leading to frequent nosebleeds.

Apparently, this cure for nosebleeds is traditional, though mostly forgotten.   In 1953, Henry Beinfield, MD of  Brooklyn, New York, published tips on managing postnasal hemorrhage and explained, “Salt pork placed in the nose and allowed to remain there for about five days has been used, but the method is rather old-fashioned.”

In 1940, A.J. Cone, MD,  wrote, “it has not been uncommon in the St. Louis Children’s Hospital service to have a child request that salt pork be inserted in his nose with the first sign of a nosebleed  . . . Wedges of salt pork have saved a great deal of time and energy when used in controlling nasal haemorrhage, as seen in cases of leukemia, haemophilia . . . hypertension . . . measles or typhoid fever and during the third stage of labour.”

So why have we not heard this before?  Most likely because doctors turn up their noses at the practice because of worries about bacteria and parasites.   Or maybe just the fear that something that smells so delicious must be dangerous!

References

Abrahams, Marc.  Pork, the surprise remedy for a nosebleed.   London Guardian.  January 23, 2012.

Humphreys I, Saralya S et al.   Nasal packing with strips of cured pork as treatment for uncontrollable epistaxis in a patient with Glanzmann thrombasthenia   Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol, 2011; 120 (11); 732-6

Weisberg JJ.  Letter:  Rendu-Osler-Weber disease– is embolization beneficial.  Arch Otolaryngol.  1976.  102 (6): 385.

Beinfield HH.   General principles in treatment of nasal hemorrhage: Emphasis on management of postnasal hemorrhage.  Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg, 1953.  57 (1): 51-59.

Cone, AJ.  Use of salt pork in cases of hemorrhage.  Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1940.  32 (5): 941-46.

Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN, is The Naughty NutritionistTM because of her ability to outrageously and humorously debunk nutritional myths. A popular guest on radio and television, she has appeared on The Dr. Oz Show, ABC's View from the Bay, NPR's People's Pharmacy and numerous other shows. Her own radio show, "Naughty Nutrition with Dr. Kaayla Daniel," launches April 2011 on World of Women Radio. Dr. Daniel is the author of The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America's Favorite Health Food, a popular speaker at Wise Traditions and other conferences, and recipient of its 2005 Integrity in Science Award. Her website is www.naughtynutritionist.com and she can be reached at Kaayla@DrKaaylaDaniel.com.

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