The People's Pharmacy Guide to Home and Herbal Remedies

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9780312981396: The People's Pharmacy Guide to Home and Herbal Remedies

*44% of adults take prescription medication.
*1 in 5 also take herbal supplements.
*15 million of these people are at risk for an adverse reaction.

Are you one of them?

Included in this powerful new book:
*An A-Z handbook of common symptoms and ailments
*Time-tested, Graedon-approved home and herbal remedies
*An overview of the most popular herbs in the US, Europe, and Australia.
*Over fifty monographs that detail the active ingredients, common uses, proper dosages, special precautions, adverse effects, and possible herb and drug interactions for each herb.
*Resource listings of herbal web pages and products

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About the Author:

Joe Graedon, a pharmacologist, and Teresa Graedon, PhD, a medical anthropologist, are America's most trusted health-care authorities. Their nine books, including the bestselling The People's Pharmacy, have combined sales of more than 3 million copies. Their thrice-weekly newspaper column appears in one hundred-plus newspapers. And their weekly radio talk show is heard on more than five hundred stations worldwide. They live in Durham, North Carolina.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

The People's Pharmacy Guide to Home and Herbal Remedies
JOE & TERRY'S FAVORITE HOME REMEDIESThis book is full of fascinating home remedies and herbal therapies people have shared with us, but we do have a few favorites. These are treatments we have either tried ourselves, with good results, or heard about repeatedly from readers over the years. In some cases, there is scientific research to back up the folk wisdom of Doctor Mom. Most of the time, however, it is practical experience and common sense that help relieve mild, everyday ailments. We offer these top twenty tips in the hope that you will also find them helpful.Gin-Soaked Raisins for ArthritisWe have received more mail about this "raisin remedy" than any other home remedy we have written about. We don't know how it got started or why it works, but many readers swear it relieves arthritis pain. Ingredients: golden raisins and gin. Empty the raisins into a bowl and pour in just enough gin to cover the raisins. Allow the gin to evaporate (about one week) and then place the moist raisins in a jar with a lid. Eat nine raisins a day. They go well on cereal! (See arthritis for more details and stories.)Black Pepper for CutsThanks to Nell Heard and Wendall Dean for this contribution. Wendall is a wood-carver and scroller. His carving buddies always keep a packet of black pepper on hand for times when they cut themselves on sharp tools.Nell, her sister, and brother-in-law Wendall were traveling through Yellowstone in an RV. One evening a mug fell out of a cupboard and gashed Wendall's head. The cut was long but not deep, and Wendall asked Nell to put pepper on it. The bleeding stopped almost instantly, and the cut healed with barely a scarYou may want to keep some black pepper handy in the kitchen and take a packet of pepper on your next camping trip. Not only does the bleeding stop quickly, the wound heals cleanly with little scarring.Archway Coconut Macaroon Cookies for DiarrheaThis is one of the tastiest and most unusual home remedies we have ever collected. Donald Agar had suffered from Crohn's disease for many years. Diarrhea was a constant problem. By accident he discovered that Archway Coconut Macaroon cookies helped control the diarrhea better than any medicine he had taken. Lots of people have written to tell us that eating coconut macaroons has stopped their diarrhea.This is the essence of home remedies. The discovery relied on serendipity, but Donald also paid attention to how his body responded. We cannot promise that these cookies will work for everyone with serious diarrhea, but for some people they seem to be amazingly helpful. And for mild diarrhea, there is no reason not to try.Vinegar for FungusThere are so many uses for vinegar it boggles the mind. An otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat specialist) recommended rinsing the ear with the following solution: one part vinegar to five parts tepid water. He suggested putting drops in the ear three times a day.Toenail fungus can be unsightly. Try soaking the infected nails for at least fifteen to thirty minutes daily. The recipe: one part vinegar to two parts warm water. Allow six weeks to see a cure. This one worked for Joe!Aspartame for ArthritisThis 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 the game he had consumed a six-pack of diet soda containing aspartame. Putting two and two together, he thought this artificial sweetner might have contributed to his relief. He organized aplacebo-controlled trial involving aspartame (aka Equal, NutraSweet) and confirmed that doses of 76 to 152 mg did indeed provide pain relief, roughly comparable to anti-inflammatory agents. This research was published in the very respectable scientific journal, Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.1Ginger Tea for ColdsWe love this remedy and use it whenever we feel a cold coming on. It came to us from a radio listener in the hills of West Virginia but originated with her grandmother in India. Grind about half an inch of fresh ginger root into a paste and place in a mug. Add boiling water and "steep" for several minutes. Strain the clear liquid into another mug, sweeten, and sip. Our symptoms start to subside within about twenty minutes. We drink this in the morning and evening, and our cold usually gets better by the second day.Hot Water for ItchesWe discovered this technique in the book Dermatology: Diagnosis and Treatment and have been using it ever since we wrote it up in the first edition of The People's Pharmacy.2 Moderate itching (the sort of thing you get from a mosquito bite or mild case of poison ivy without blisters) often responds to a hot water application. The water needs to be hot enough to be slightly uncomfortable but not so hot that it burns (120-130° Fahrenheit). If you let the hotwater tap run for a few minutes this should be about right. A few seconds' exposure is all you need to produce several hours of relief.Aromatherapy for Hair LossWhen 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 to treat alopecia [baldness] for more than 100 years."3 They actually studied a less common condition called alopecia areata, a patchy kind of baldness thought to be related to an autoimmune disorderPatients were enrolled in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. One group received the following recipe: "Thyme vulgaris (2 drops, 88 mg), Lavandula angustifolia (3 drops, 108 mg), Rosmarinus officinalis (3 drops, 114 mg), and Cedrus atlantica (2 drops, 94 mg). These oils were mixed in a carrier oil, which was a combination of jojoba, 3 ml, and grapeseed, 20 ml, oils ... . The oils were massaged into the scalp for a minimum of 2 minutes. A warm towel was then wrapped around the head to aid absorption of the oils. Patients were advised to use this technique every night."4 The results were impressive. Of those who applied aromatherapeutic oils, 44 percent had improvement after seven months, compared to 15 percent in the control group.Purple Pectin for PainThis home remedy for arthritis pain has generated almost as much mail as the gin and raisins. One newspaper column reader related that her grandmother had been using it as long ago as 1945. Purchase Certo in the canning section of your local grocery. It is a thickening agent used to make jams and jellies. Certo contains pectin, a natural ingredient found in the cell walls of plants. There are two recipes: Take 2 teaspoons of Certo in 3 ounces of grape juice three times a day. As the pain disappears, this can be reduced to 1 teaspoon in juice twice a day. An alternate approach is to use 1 tablespoon of Certo in 8 ounces of grape juice once daily.Fennel for FlatulenceWe have received numerous solutions for flatulence, but this one seems the most popular A physician's wife wrote to tell us that her husband's serious gas problem was solved whenhe followed this advice from a Hungarian masseuse: 1 tablespoon of flaxseed powder in a glass of juice twice a day, together with two capsules of fennel seed two or three times a day. Others have reported good results following a cup of fennel seed tea two or three times daily. To make fennel seed tea, slightly crush a teaspoon of fennel seeds and pour boiling water over them.Wart Plaster for SplintersHere is another doctor-recommended home remedy. Russell Copelan, M.D., wrote about this one in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.5 He suggests adhering a tiny piece of salicylic acid plaster (the kind used to treat warts) over a small splinter for twelve hours. Within a few days the splinter should have worked its way out or moved close enough to the surface for you to easily remove it.Corn Huskers for Slippery SexVaginal dryness is a common problem after menopause or certain cancer treatments. Finding an acceptable sexual lubricant can be a challenge. We heard from one couple who used an old-fashioned moisturizing hand lotion called Corn Huskers for twenty-five years. They said it is slippery but not greasy and stays where you put it. Corn Huskers contains guar gum and algin as well as glycerine, an ingredient also found in personal lubricants such as Replens, Astroglide, Maxilube, or K-Y Jelly.Saliva for Athlete's FootWe roared with laughter when we read the letter from a woman who told us that her uncle's little terrier had cured his long-standing case of athlete's foot. Every evening when he got home, he would take off his shoes and socks, put his feet up, and read the newspaper The dog would run to him and lick his feet all over in affectionate greeting. In a few months, he realized that the athlete's foot that had plagued him was no longer a problem.Dog saliva does have some antimicrobial properties. Dutch researchers have identified compounds in human saliva called histatins that have antifungal activity Canine saliva may also have similar properties. Do not try this remedy if the skin is broken, however, since dogs can carry bacteria in their mouths.Coffee for AsthmaAsthma can be a serious disease that requires medical management, not home remedies. But we men...

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