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Home Remedy Q&A: January 2011

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Q. Ten years ago, I lost much of my cognitive ability. An MRI showed that my brain had shrunk radically, and I couldn't answer most of the questions my family doctor and a neurologist asked me. I was diagnosed with... (Read More)
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Q. A year ago my doctor said my cholesterol was way too high and wanted me to take simvastatin to lower it. Instead I made some changes. I ate oatmeal every morning and quit taking the glucosamine and chondroitin I... (Read More)
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Q. I had frequent nosebleeds for about 15 years. Then I started taking lutein and bilberry for my eyes. I've had no nosebleeds since. I believe bilberry keeps the capillary walls strong and flexible. A. Although there is no human... (Read More)
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Q. I read in your column about getting skunk smell off a dog. I had a dog that got skunked several times and the best natural remedy was plain tomato juice. I soaked him in it for about ten minutes... (Read More)
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Q. Do you have any home remedies for athlete's foot? I have been using over-the-counter antifungal creams with marginal success. If I wear nylons, I have an outbreak almost immediately. A. Home remedies are rarely tested in a head-to-head manner... (Read More)
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Q. What is a safe home remedy for severe night sweats and hot flashes? I'm burning up and sleepless in Bellville, TX. A. There is some research to suggest that herbal remedies such as Pycnogenol (French pine bark extract), black... (Read More)
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Q. I am intrigued by the report that washing with an Epsom salt solution (magnesium sulfate) could ease rosacea. I have suffered from this skin condition all my adult life. I took antibiotics and Accutane, but neither of them cured... (Read More)
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Q. I found that using crystallized ginger is a quick and tasty way to make a cup of ginger tea. I keep it on hand and simply put a piece or two in a cup of hot water and let... (Read More)
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Q. My son has Raynaud's phenomenon, which is very painful when it is cold. I heard that eating more bananas and potatoes could help because of the magnesium in them. The mineral is supposed to relax constricted blood vessels. Is... (Read More)
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Q. Could you please send me the recipe for the persimmon-ginger tea I read about in your column? I suffer from heartburn and I am looking for a natural remedy instead of an acid-suppressing drug. I have recently been diagnosed... (Read More)
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Q. My daughter has a cold and cough that is keeping us all awake at night. She hates the taste of cough syrup. We've tried cherry, grape and honey flavors but she can't stand any of them. Are there any... (Read More)
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Q. My dog had major surgery, and my veterinarian is applying granulated sugar on the incision. I'm very impressed with the results. A. This is a very old-fashioned approach to wound healing. It is inexpensive and may be surprisingly effective... (Read More)
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Q. A couple nights ago I accidentally grabbed the metal handle of a pot right out of the oven. The pain of the burn was intense. I immediately grabbed the soy sauce and poured some over the burn, with not... (Read More)
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Q. In a recent column, a reader wanted to avoid medication and you mentioned red yeast rice to lower cholesterol. I was surprised to read this, since red yeast rice has the same active ingredient as prescription statins, but is... (Read More)
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Q. I am a preschool teacher so I can't grease up my hands. My lessons are individualized and I am handling materials for them all day. I am suffering! Cracks near my fingernails appear out of nowhere. I wash my... (Read More)
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Q. You've had questions on how to get rid of cockroaches. A simple way to get rid of them and other insects is to place a few fabric softener sheets around your home in the corners, on the floors and... (Read More)
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Q. Stopping omeprazole (Prilosec) is really hard. When I tried, my heartburn came back worse than ever. I heard a report on public radio last year that when people stop this kind of medicine they experience rebound acidity that leads... (Read More)
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Q. I am a fan of your column and keep many clippings. It is very difficult, however, to go back and check on one of your answers. There are just too many clippings in the box where I keep them.... (Read More)