Q. Your readers did it again!
I’ve been drinking oolong tea for more than a month now, and the patches of psoriasis have disappeared, along with the flaking.
I still have a couple of areas that need some ointment now and then, but overall I can wear shorts now without being embarrassed about my skin. (My skinny legs are another matter.) Thanks.
A. A study long ago in Japan found that oolong tea was effective in easing treatment-resistant eczema (Archives of Dermatology, January 2001), but we have found no studies of oolong tea for psoriasis.
Several visitors to our website have reported that drinking oolong tea eased their psoriasis. Others have noted that turmeric or cilantro also can be helpful.
Q. My husband has suffered with polyneuropathy for three years. After his doctors said there was no cure, we located a cure at our vitamin store and want to share it with others.
He takes 600 mg of alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) daily. We are elated with the results. We have a neighbor who also began taking it, and he, too, is much-improved.
A. A randomized, placebo-controlled study in Russia and Israel showed that 600 mg of ALA daily can greatly ease the symptoms of neuropathy such as stabbing or burning pain, numbness and “pins and needles” (Diabetes Care, November 2006).
Another nonprescription approach to this problem is benfotiamine, a synthetic form of the B vitamin thiamine. We learned about it from Charles Beauchamp, M.D., Ph.D., several years ago, and recently heard this from a reader: “I appreciate the suggestion of benfotiamine for my foot pain. Within a month it has totally cleared up, and I am ready to move to a maintenance regimen.”
Q. Thank you for a wonderful birthday pre-sent.
I started your raisin-and-gin remedy a week and a half ago, and I have never moved better. My joints have stopped hurting, my legs feel great, and I could dance all over town. I will be 71 tomorrow, and you have made my day.
A. Happy birthday! Such good news makes our day, too.
Many readers find gin-soaked raisins are very helpful for joint pain and arthritis. Those who would like more details or are interested in other natural remedies for sore joints may want to read “The People’s Pharmacy Quick and Handy Home Remedies” from National Geographic (available online at www.PeoplesPharmacy.com).
Q. My daughter had head lice several times when she was very young and her hair was long. The lice shampoos did not work at all.
A. Many readers report that smothering lice with mayonnaise, coconut oil, Listerine or petroleum jelly works better than lice shampoo.
Adding vinegar to the rinse can help loosen nits.
All such treatments require persistence.
Getting petroleum jelly out of hair, however, is a challenge.
In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Write to them in care of this newspaper or email them via their website: www.PeoplesPharmacy.com. Their newest book is “Top Screwups Doctors Make and How to Avoid Them.”
2013 King Features Syndicate, Inc.