Q. I read with interest and sympathy a letter about problems with constipation. I wanted to share something that has helped me.
After hearing some people complain that sugar-free jellybeans gave them diarrhea if eaten in quantity, I decided to try them to see if they would help my frequent constipation. I have found that if I eat 30 sugar-free jellybeans with a glass of water half an hour before bedtime, I stay regular. I hope this idea might help others with the same problem.
A. Thank you for the tip. Many people find that the sweeteners in sugar-free candy can cause diarrhea. How clever of you to turn that side effect your advantage! Each person will have to experiment to find the right “dose.”
Q. I’m a 47-year-old male who has been married, and faithfully monogamous, for 22 years. I have a healthy sex drive and depend to a great extent on physical touch (including sex) for my sense of being loved and for expressing my love.
However, for the last 15 years my wife has had little or no desire for any sexual contact. We have seen therapists and read various books on the subject, but always at my urging. She seems to have little motivation to address the issue, especially as she ages. I respect her right to make decisions about her body.
I love her and intend to remain in the marriage but the lack of any physical contact, especially sex, is creating pervasive unhappiness for me. Are there herbal remedies, supplements or medications that can reduce sexual desire with a minimum of side effects?
A. You shouldn’t have to give up physical intimacy to save your marriage. Your wife may benefit from hormonal analysis. If she is low in testosterone this might explain her lack of desire.
We are sending you our Guides to Female Sexuality and Treating Sexual Dysfunction with more information on testosterone and other ways to enhance libido. 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. PZ-9, P. O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027.
If all else fails and you feel your last recourse is to suppress your sexual desire, the only herb we know that has such a reputation is chaste tree berry (Vitex agnus-castus). The Greeks believed it encouraged chastity and monks in the middle ages used it to control sexual urges. Side effects are uncommon but may include an allergic rash, nausea or headache.
Q. Years ago my daughter had eight plantar warts on the bottoms of her feet. She could hardly walk and I tried everything to no avail.
A friend of mine suggested squeezing fresh lemon juice on them three or four times a day. We had nothing to lose so we tried it. Those warts turned black and fell off so fast she was completely healed within four weeks. I hope this will help others.
A. Thanks for the fascinating suggestion. Here’s another story: “We dealt with plantar warts in every way possible–surgery and freezing-plus the terrible pain that goes along with these treatments.
“My husband’s golf partner gave us the best information that I had ever heard: IODINE. I painted my grandson’s plantar wart with iodine morning and night for six weeks. It went away, no pain, just patience. The cost was less than $2.00 compared to hundreds I spent on my other children.”

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