Q. Is it true that snail slime is found in many facial creams? If so, what are the benefits of snail slime?
A. We are constantly amazed at the ingenuity of skin-care manufacturers. Snail slime does indeed appear to be the latest exotic ingredient promoted for its healing and anti-aging properties.
Creams and lotions containing mucus derived from snails are said to be popular in Africa, Korea and South America. Such skin-care products are crawling into the American marketplace.
We could find no well-controlled studies supporting the benefits of snail slime for human skin, though of course it is essential for snails. The secretions contain hyaluronic acid and proteoglycans, popular ingredients you might find even in products that don’t derive their allure from Helix aspersa, the common garden snail.
Q. I have been suffering with unbearable hip and knee joint pain. For the past several years, I have taken to using a cane. I finally went to the doctor after my sister-in-law mentioned that I walked like a person who needed a hip replacement. After reviewing X-rays, the orthopedic surgeon said I am a good candidate for both hip and knee replacements.
When I visited a friend in Florida recently, she pulled out a People’s Pharmacy article about gin-soaked raisins and told me to try them. She had a batch made up already because she has started to get the same type of pain.
I began by taking nine raisins that night before going to bed. The next morning, I was shocked. I had no snap, crackle or pop! I could almost jump out of bed. That day I did not need a cane. I was surprised by my ability to walk up stairs and move around with little or no effort.
I don’t know how it works, but I take nine raisins every night knowing that when I get up in the morning, I’ll be able to move pain-free. It may not last forever, but for now it is great.
A. Your story is dramatic because you got such quick relief. Many readers report that it takes a month or even two before they notice the benefits of gin-soaked raisins. We do not know why they work either, but we include the recipe for this and many other remedies to alleviate joint pain in our Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis.
Q. I recently had a hysterectomy. My ovaries were left, but I have suffered from severe vaginal dryness.
I have tried almost every over-the-counter remedy available, including Sylk. What worked for me? After a shower, I apply coconut oil. It immediately melts into the tissues. Then I add aloe vera gel. Before bedtime, I go through the same routine.
I can’t tell you what a relief it has been. No itching or sticky gels. It feels completely natural, not to mention it is a whole lot less expensive than commercial lubes.
A. Many other women have found that coconut oil works well as a personal lubricant. It is solid at room temperature, but melts readily at body temperature. We caution that some people may be allergic to aloe vera gel.
In their column, 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.
2013 King Features Syndicate, Inc.