The subject—heart attacks—is not funny, but U.S. Patent No. 6,457,474, issued October 1, 2002, and described as a method of alleviating chest pain, especially from angina pectoris, is amusing or at least interesting. What’s the amazing heart-attack fighting invention? Drinking lime juice.
But, wait, maybe I’m not being fair. Maybe I’m oversimplifying it. Let’s check out the official patent abstract and see:
A method of alleviating chest pain that stems from the heart, which method comprises: (a) noticing a pain in the chest; and shortly thereafter (b) taking an effective amount of lime juice into the body to alleviate the chest pain.
Nope. Guess not. It really is a patent on drinking lime juice. Here’s how the invention works:
In accordance with this invention, a person takes in lime juice after noticing the onset of the chest pain.
Don’t worry if you don’t understand it. It’s a very complex scientific procedure. But let’s at least clear up one other confusing point. What exactly is this secret ingredient? The patent explains:
“[L]ime juice” means lime juice or limeade or any combination that includes the juice of a lime ….
Pucker up because the inventor recommends “drinking at least a glass daily [of lime juice] in non-concentrate form” as a preventative measure.
Sound inconvenient? It’s not. In fact, one of the primary advantages of lime juice as a remedy for angina pectoris over nitroglycerin is that:
Since the juice is regularly stored in the refrigerator or freezer, it can be quickly located by the patient, particularly at nighttime where the refrigerator light plays a helpful role.
— U.S. Patent No. 6,457,474, Oct. 1, 2002. Thanks to David Barman.