29-5-2012: handige tips: spierkrampen ,zweertjes in de mond etc

Graedons' Pharmacy Doctor rejects remedy, then adopts it

By JOE AND TERESA GRAEDON | Special to the Herald

Posted: 12:00am on May 29, 2012



Q. My husband is a physician. When I told him about the "mustard cure" for leg cramps, he laughed it off as just another old wives' tale.

Then when he had leg cramps during the night, I insisted on giving him a teaspoon of yellow mustard. Guess what? He is now a believer and has a small container of mustard on his nightstand!

A. Physicians should be skeptical. They are trained to seek scientific evidence. But experience also is worthwhile. If leg cramps disappear within seconds of swallowing a spoonful of yellow mustard, we think that is information worth sharing. Lots more low-cost, low-risk remedies can be found at PeoplesPharmacy.com.

Q. I wanted to report the success of one of your canker-sore preventatives. Twenty years ago, I started accidentally biting my lower lip, both while eating and in my sleep. Sometimes it happened while I was just thinking of upsetting things. Two days later, I would develop a canker sore that would last at least a week.

Dissolving a zinc tablet on the area helped but was very painful. Frequently I would just let the nature take its course, however slowly.

Then I heard a caller on your radio show tell of green beans as a canker-sore preventative. Recently I tried it, eating green beans at my next lunch or dinner after biting myself. Three straight bites have failed to result in a canker sore. Many thanks.

A. Several readers report success curing canker sores with canned green beans. They eat the beans and swish the juice around in their mouths. Others have told us that strained green beans (baby food) do the job as well. Why green beans would work for canker sores mystifies us, but they are clearly safe. Sauerkraut juice is equally mysterious, although many also report that swishing and swallowing it is effective.

Q. I got my hot flashes under control by using cold-milled ground golden flaxseed. I started with as much as 4 tablespoons per day, adding the ground flaxseed to cereal in the morning and yogurt later in the day.

I later reduced my intake to 2 tablespoons daily. After about five weeks of using flaxseed, the hot flashes went away completely.

I decided to give soy milk a try because I have osteoporosis and I had read that soy is good for bones as well as menopausal symptoms like hot flashes. Three weeks later, my hot flashes are back. What a disappointment!

I'm going to cut out the soy and see if that helps. I'm pretty sure it's the culprit.

A. Soy certainly has had a reputation for helping hot flashes, but it may be undeserved. A recent review of alternative treatments for menopausal hot flashes found that soy and red clover are no more effective than placebo (Climacteric, April 2012). A study last year demonstrated that women taking soy actually experienced more hot flashes than those on placebo (Archives of Internal Medicine, Aug. 8/22, 2011).

We are sending you our Guide to Menopause, in which we discuss the pros and cons of estrogen therapy as well as many nonhormonal alternatives. Anyone who would like a copy, please send $3 in check or money order with a long (No. 10), stamped (65 cents), self-addressed envelope to: Graedons' People's Pharmacy, No. W-50, P.O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027. It also can be downloaded for $2 from our website: www.peoplespharmacy.com.

Joe and Teresa Graedon, authors of "Favorite Home Remedies From The People's Pharmacy," answer questions from readers. E-mail them via their Web site: www.PeoplesPharmacy.com.