Q. I am writing to you from Freiburg, Germany, because I cannot find any information about chaste tree berry here. Your Web site states that this herb may have antiandrogenic effects that could help reduce an overactive libido.
What dose would help reduce sex drive? I’m very unhappy with my strong libido because I feel aroused very often during the day in the wrong moments.
A. Vitex agnus-castus (chaste tree berry) is prescribed in Germany to relieve symptoms of PMS and menstrual problems. The English name “chaste tree” implies that herbalists noticed an impact on sexual desire. The berries were also called “monk’s pepper” because they were said to help monks maintain celibacy.
There is no clinical data to verify that this herb will decrease sexual desire. The doses that women use to treat menstrual irregularities range from 20 mg to 100 mg daily, depending upon the formulation.
Q. I enjoy your column very much, especially the various remedies. You have written about cinnamon to help lower cholesterol and help control blood sugar. I’ve been eating cinnamon toast for several months and am very curious to see if it helps me.
There have been many times that I would like to share your articles with family and friends but for the love of me I can never find them once the paper is discarded. Do you have a Web site that list your articles? That way I can forward your articles or copy and paste them to pass along to friends.
A. You can search our Web site for past columns at www.peoplespharmacy.com. We have also collected many of our favorite remedies and recommendations in a brand new book, Best Choices From The People’s Pharmacy (Rodale Books), which makes it easier to share with friends.
Q. My son-in-law and grandson have the worst smelly feet. They can clear a room in a manner of minutes. Actually, all the men in his family suffer from this. Help!
A. Soaking the feet in a baking soda or Epsom salt solution may be helpful. Some people report that chlorophyll tablets or zinc can banish the odor. Your relatives should be cautious about zinc, though. Too much can interfere with the body’s balance of some other minerals.
We are sending you our Guides to Smelly Feet and Home Remedies with lots of other solutions for common complaints. Anyone who would like copies, please send $2 in check or money order with a long (no. 10) stamped (63 cents), self-addressed envelope: Graedons’ People’s Pharmacy, No. RF-2, P. O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027.
Q. Having read a few of your articles on the benefits of curry, I’d like to add that it helps irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). After having suffered with pain for several years, I looked into natural remedies and found that naturopaths recommend curry for certain intestinal problems.
Since using curry in my food once a day, I have been pain-free. The bloating is still there, but it doesn’t hurt. If I don’t sprinkle curry powder on my food for a few days, the pain returns.
A. Curry powder contains turmeric, a yellow Asian spice that has anti-inflammatory properties. Others have told us that it eases their arthritis pain and psoriasis symptoms. We have never heard before that it might be helpful against IBS.

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    My husband has been prescribe diovan and hctz for his blood pressure 3 months ago and it has started affecting his sex drive and neither he nor I is happy about it. What can we do naturally about it? He doesn’t want to stop taking his meds but we need an alternative.
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: PLEASE TALK WITH HIS DOCTOR. IT MAY BE THAT ANOTHER MEDICINE BESIDES HCTZ WOULD NOT CAUSE THIS PROBLEM, BUT HE MUST BE UNDER MEDICAL SUPERVISION FOR ANY CHANGES.

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