September 2005

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Q. We hear so much about the dangers of cigarette smoking but you never hear about snuff. My husband and his mother live on the stuff and I cannot stand it. Does the nicotine in snuff have an effect on... (Read More)
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Q. From my first pregnancy until about ten years ago, I had two or three very painful attacks of hemorrhoids a year. I would have to go to bed for up to a week at a time. I haven't had... (Read More)
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After years of wrangling, Congress finally passed a prescription drug benefit for senior citizens. The Medicare program will launch in January of 2006, but over the next several weeks, people who are eligible for Medicare will be bombarded with competing... (Read More)

#557 Counterfeit Drugs

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Americans are told that that they have the safest drugs in the world. Many people assume that the FDA is protecting them from sub-standard and counterfeit medications. In reality, though, the FDA is virtually helpless against an onslaught of pricey... (Read More)

Favorite Home Remedies

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This book is a must for anyone taking over-the-counter or prescription medications. Your physician or pharmacist may not know what other drugs can interact with your prescription. Protect yourself and your family by doing your own homework. * Information on... (Read More)
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Q. I heard that garlic could keep fleas from biting, so I put some in my dog's food for about a week. He became lethargic and couldn't even climb the lowest stairs. I thought this might be a reaction to... (Read More)
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Are you a hazard on the highways? Do you drive impaired? Most people would answer no, but they might be deluding themselves. Far too many people drink and drive. Even a few glasses of wine can slow reaction time and... (Read More)
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Q. I have fibromyalgia and it disturbs my sleep. I take Lunesta for sleep every night (in addition to practicing healthy sleep habits). What is your opinion of the new medication Rozerem? A. Lunesta (eszopiclone) was hailed as the first... (Read More)

#559 Open Lines

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Although pomegranates are mentioned in Greek myths and the Bible, researchers are rediscovering the healing power of this ancient fruit. New research suggests that something in pomegranates may improve circulation and ease joint pain. Vioxx, Bextra and other COX-2 pain... (Read More)
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Q. I have fibromyalgia and it disturbs my sleep. I take Lunesta for sleep every night (in addition to practicing healthy sleep habits). What is your opinion of the new medication Rozerem? A. Lunesta (eszopiclone) was hailed as the first... (Read More)
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Q. Years ago, I was overweight and had high blood pressure. So my doctor put me on a diet. When I reached a plateau, the doctor told me to cut out bread. It worked. I lost the desired amount and... (Read More)
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The FDA is in hot water. Not long ago the agency was under scrutiny for its handling of the Vioxx problem. Critics charged that the Food and Drug Administration was more concerned about the health of the pharmaceutical industry than... (Read More)
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Q. Have you ever heard of this remedy for high blood pressure? Wash but don't peel a medium eggplant. Dice it into 1-inch cubes. Place the cubes in a glass gallon jug and cover the eggplant with distilled water. Put... (Read More)
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Q. My 10-year-old granddaughter has ADHD. She has been prescribed Concerta and Ritalin and takes both pills every morning. At a birthday party for her cousin recently, my wife and I noticed that our granddaughter's pants looked three sizes too... (Read More)
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Pity anyone with pain that lasts more than 10 days. That's how long the FDA says you can safely take an over-the-counter analgesic such as Advil, Aleve or Tylenol on your own. The trouble is that one in three adults... (Read More)

Black Cohosh

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This plant, native to North American forests, has a number of popular names: bugbane, black snakeroot, rattleroot, and squaw root. It sends up graceful tall spires of white flowers; the black in its common name refers to the root or... (Read More)

Bilberry

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"Bilberry" sounds a lot like "blueberry," and for good reason. The bilberry is a European blueberry. American blueberries are Vaccinium corymbosum. Huckleberries and whortleberries are also closely related. Although blueberries in the United States are noted primarily for their excellent... (Read More)

Arnica

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Arnica montana is a perennial flowering plant native to southern Russia and other mountainous areas in Europe. In Germany, A. montana is a protected species, so the pharmacopoeia there includes the very similar species A. chamissonis. (French and Swiss pharmacopoeias... (Read More)

Aspartame for Arthritis

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This is one of the most bizarre discoveries we have ever heard about. A scientist noticed that when he got up out of his chair after watching a football game, his arthritis pain was greatly diminished. During the course of... (Read More)
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When we read about this treatment for alopecia areata in the Archives of Dermatology (November 1998) we were astounded. The Scottish dermatologists stated that "Cedarwood, lavender, thyme, and rosemary oils have hair growth-promoting properties. These oils have been anecdotally used... (Read More)

#557 Open Lines

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The beverage of choice for hundreds of millions of people is coffee. We've been told that it causes insomnia, raises blood pressure and may even increase the risk of heart disease. But new research also shows that it has more... (Read More)