Self-Medication: The Power Rankings

By Amanda Roland

Your medicine cabinet probably looks a lot like everyone else’s. A bottle of anti-inflammatories, a bag of lozenges (sell by date, 2011), and floss that you know you really should start using. We also all have our own customized medicine cabinets—the stuff that you can’t necessarily find at the pharmacy but can help you heal. What’s best? Who’s to say, really? I mean one person’s fix is another person’s fail. Let’s look at the official-to-me power rankings of do-it-yourself medicine.


Rankings are determined by 1) ability to make you feel better 2) how little risk, pain, or negative effects they involve and 3) whatever, for the love of all things gorgonzola, I damn well want.


This is not medical advice. You should get your regular medical advice—and actual medicine—from trained, licensed professionals, not someone who uses the phrase “all things gorgonzola.”


Best medicine? Phh. Hasn’t done squat to help my Achilles tendonitis.

#24 A CUP OF…

It loses points because it’s only a temporary jolt, yes. But the goodness you feel when you have a sip of your favorite whiskey beer wine coffee? Sure does help.


Ice is my go-to for every ache and pain. But to loosen everything up, I’ll take 10 hours/minutes in the hot tub. Want both? Take a hot shower, then ratchet to warm, then cool, then an Arctic-level finish.

#11 SOUP

Because soup.


Brain cleanser. Mood lifter. Heart pumper. Muscle popper. A round of exercise is the one medication you can prescribe yourself—with awesome effects.


Sometimes it hurts, sometimes you’re so relaxed it makes you drool, and sometimes you just need someone to jackhammer your seized-up back with a well-trained elbow.


Research shows that floating in the ocean or gulf increases overall health by 4,076,925%.


Research does show that social systems—family, friends, regularly connecting with others—may very well be one of our most powerful tools when it comes to self-care. That certainly gives you a reason to make time to connect over a cup whiskey beer wine coffee.