Q. My great-aunt kept a diary of old remedies for various afflictions. She advocated distilled white vinegar for wart removal.
I decided to try her remedy when I discovered an odd wart on my elbow. I attacked it by soaking my elbow in a pan of vinegar. Like most Americans, I desired a quick fix. My skin seemed pickled and I worried that the surrounding tissue would be eaten away altogether.
I was about to bail out when I realized that the skin around the wart was merely wrinkled yet undamaged. Only the wart itself was truly affected.
After two weeks, the wart was destroyed. The virus can’t stand acidity.
A. Readers often tell us about the healing power of vinegar-from fighting dandruff and nail fungus to chasing away athlete’s foot and warts. Unadulterated white vinegar may be too strong, though. Diluting it with twice as much water as vinegar makes a good soaking solution.
We are sending you our Guide to Home Remedies with more tips on uses for vinegar and other approaches for warts.
Anyone who would like a copy, please send $2 in check or money order with a long (no. 10) stamped (60 cents), self-addressed envelope: Graedons’ People’s Pharmacy, No. R-1, P. O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027.
Q. I started having acid reflux in my late 50s. (I am now 64.) For a while, I took over-the-counter acid-controlling drugs with moderate success.
After reading in your column about the benefits of ginger tea, I tried a tea I found in the health food store. Tazo Chai organic spiced black tea contains ginger root, cinnamon bark, black pepper, cardamom seed, cloves and star anise seed.
I drink one or two cups a day, and the results are phenomenal. I have not had an episode of gastritis or acid reflux in two months.
In addition, I eliminated alcohol from my diet except for an occasional beer. I also watch what I eat. Your column set the wheels in motion for me.
A. We’re glad you were inspired to make effective lifestyle changes. Eliminating alcohol and foods high in fat or culprits like tomatoes or onions can help control heartburn.
Ginger is a traditional Chinese remedy against nausea and indigestion. The other spices you mention are commonly used to flavor food. So long as you stick to one or two cups a day, they should not cause you any trouble.
People taking blood thinners like Coumadin (warfarin) should be cautious about adding any herbs to their regimen. Ginger may increase the risk of bleeding.
Q. I just had to let you know the success I’ve had with your suggestion to use Noxema for eczema. My 3-year-old son has suffered with this skin condition on his legs and feet for two years.
We treated it successfully with the prescription drug Elidel, but after learning of safety concerns, we checked with his doctor and stopped using it.
I tried many moisturizing creams to soothe his skin, but he cried and said they hurt. I started using Noxema the day I read your article, and there were no tears.
His skin responded quickly and after three weeks almost all traces of eczema are gone. This advice has changed my young son’s life.
A. We are certainly pleased to learn of your success. Lore has it that the name “Noxema” was given after the product helped an early customer “knock” her eczema.

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