Q. I started taking Gingko biloba a few months ago for leg pain due to poor circulation. I got moderate relief from the leg pains, but I also began having great orgasms!
I didn’t ascribe it to the herb at first, because it took a couple of months of usage before this effect appeared. As a 69-year old man, I am surprised to have such great pleasure and relief, just as I did 30 years ago.
I have been taking blood pressure pills for about a decade. That might have some impact on the less intense orgasms I experienced before starting ginkgo. This herb may not help all men on high blood pressure medication, but some may be helped as I was.
A. Research on Ginkgo biloba suggests that it can improve circulation in hands, feet, arms and legs. Presumably, the enhanced circulation could also benefit sexual function.
Some anti-hypertensive drugs may interfere with libido, erections or orgasms. We don’t know whether ginkgo would reverse this problem for other men.
For those interested in learning more, we offer our Guides to Ginkgo, Drugs that Affect Sexuality and Treating Sexual Dysfunction. Anyone who would like copies may send $3 in check or money order with a long (no. 10) stamped (60 cents), self-addressed envelope: Graedons’ People’s Pharmacy, No. YPV-927, P. O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027.
Ginkgo may interact with some blood pressure pills. Please discuss this with your doctor.
Q. I am currently suffering with about 40 chigger bites on my legs and am in agony! The over-the-counter medicines only offer temporary relief from the intense itching. Do you have any recommendations for a home remedy?
A. For chigger bites, prevention is the first approach. Spraying socks and shoes with a DEET preparation in advance of exposure can help. For those who prefer not to use DEET, flowers of sulfur is supposed to discourage chiggers as well. The sulfur powder is sprinkled on socks and shoes in advance of exposure.
A second or two under hot tap water (hot enough to hurt but not hot enough to burn) can alleviate many kinds of minor itches for hours. It can help against mosquito bites and non-blistered poison ivy as well as chiggers.
Some people are allergic to chigger bites. They become red, intensely itchy and inflamed. A strong prescription steroid cream or gel can ease suffering, especially if applied at the first sign of a bite.
Q. I chuckle every time I read one of your strange Vicks VapoRub remedies. Here’s one I bet you never heard of!
Wildlife rescuers in Canada are using Vicks VapoRub on orphaned polar bear cubs. This apparently covers their natural scent and makes it easier for a mother bear to adopt them. Otherwise they would be rejected because they don’t smell like part of the family.
A. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of veterinary uses for Vicks. Horse trainers sometimes use Vicks VapoRub under a stallion’s nose to keep him from being distracted by the odor of nearby mares.
Q. I read about fennel tea for flatulence. I made the tea and noticed a licorice smell. Does fennel have licorice in it?
I know licorice is bad for high blood pressure. I will hold off on making any more fennel tea till I hear from you.
A. Although tea made with fennel seeds has an aroma reminiscent of licorice, fennel is quite different and should not affect blood pressure.

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