while doing military service in a tropical paradise for two years, I contracted a fungal foot and nail infection. (My feet were always wet.) No medication was effective.
When I returned to the States, my grandmother learned of my problem and told me she could recommend one of two possible solutions: 1. Amputate my feet, or 2. Soak them in vinegar and Epsom salts.
After a few seconds of consideration, I agreed to try Nana’s solution No. 2. it requires a pan in which both feet will fit, enough water in the pan to cover the feet, 2 cups of white vinegar and 1 cup of Epsom salts. put the feet into the bath and watch TV or read a good book while they soak. Repeat this every few days until the fungus clears. (It took almost a month.) I still use this treatment if my feet start feeling itchy.
The only side effect was that I became addicted to watching “Jeopardy!” while soaking my feet. Alas, I have learned there is no 12-step program for me.
A. Many readers mix old-fashioned amber Listerine with white vinegar to make a foot soak to treat nail fungus. Others have used an Epsom salt solution to rid themselves of athlete’s foot. This is the first time we’ve heard of mixing vinegar with Epsom salts for a foot soak. Thanks for sharing your Nana’s recipe.
Q. I’m an avid reader of your column, but I am skeptical about some of the suggested remedies such as a bar of soap for leg cramps. I see no rhyme or reason for it.
One article intrigued me, though: using blackstrap molasses for hemorrhoids. The current popular treatment didn’t work for me, especially since they took out the shark liver oil. Other products I’ve tried gave no more than temporary relief.
I began taking 1 tablespoon of blackstrap molasses daily two months ago. I have no more pain or itching! This is just short of a miracle.
A. You are by no means the only reader to find that swallowing a spoonful of blackstrap (unsulphured) molasses daily can banish hemorrhoids. we wish we knew why. This would not be good for anyone with diabetes, because molasses is high in sugar.
Q. I have just been told I have high cholesterol and that I need to treat it with diet and exercise. The problem is, I already exercise and eat a healthy diet.
I have read that taking vinegar every day will lower cholesterol. is this true? if so, how much does it take? should it be mixed with anything?
A. Research in rats suggests that apple-cider vinegar can help control triglycerides and cholesterol (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, June 22, 2011). we suspect that this may also be true for humans, as many readers testify. unfortunately, we do not know the effective dose.
We are sending you our Guide to Cholesterol and Heart Health, with many other natural approaches to controlling triglycerides and other bad blood fats. Anyone who would like a copy, please send $3 in check or money order with a long (No. 10), stamped (64 cents), self-addressed envelope to: Graedons’ People’s Pharmacy, No. C-8, P.O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027. it also can be downloaded for $2 from our website: www.peoplespharmacy.com. You may find pomegranate, red grapefruit, dark chocolate and cinnamon would make tasty cholesterol-lowering additions to your healthful diet.
Joe and Teresa Graedon, answer letters from readers. Write to them in care of this newspaper or email them via their Web site: www.PeoplesPharmacy.com. their newest book is “The People’s Pharmacy quick and Handy Home Remedies.”