Q: I feel like crying for joy, when yesterday I was just ready to cry. After battling lice for weeks, I was almost ready to take a razor to the long, brown locks that have taken me three years to grow.
Thank goodness I found the Listerine-and-vinegar treatment for lice. It really worked.
I soaked my hair in Listerine and covered it with a shower cap for more than an hour. After washing it out, I rinsed with vinegar and had no trouble combing out the nits. I will be treating my hair at least once a month for the rest of my life just to keep these creepy crawlers away.
A: The alcohol and the herbal oils in Listerine are probably responsible for killing the lice. Vinegar loosens the glue that holds nits (louse eggs) to the hair shaft.
Q: My doctor would like to know how you apply blackstrap molasses to hemorrhoids. Does it come in a capsule form, or is it an ointment? What strengths or milligrams does the molasses come in?
A: Do not apply blackstrap molasses to hemorrhoids. We shudder to think how messy that would be.
We first heard about swallowing a teaspoon of blackstrap molasses for hemorrhoids three years ago. Since then, dozens of readers have reported success with this improbable supermarket remedy. We have no idea how or even if it actually works, but here is a compelling story:
"I was bleeding like crazy from my hemorrhoids. My hemoglobin was 6.4 (minimum is 12 for women), and my iron level was 5 (minimum healthy level is 45). They had been banded twice (a medical treatment for hemorrhoids), which hurt a lot and didn't last. I had had a blood transfusion, and surgery was the next step.
"I read in the People's Pharmacy column about blackstrap molasses. A bottle of molasses cost about $2 at the grocery store, so I figured I had nothing to lose.
"I took a teaspoon twice a day, and much to my amazement, the bleeding stopped completely and immediately! My hemoglobin was 9 when it was checked a month later.
"Blackstrap molasses tastes awful, so I drink warm water after taking it. I only take it now when I start bleeding again. Usually one teaspoon stops the bleeding within 12 hours.
"I have no idea how this stuff works, but I am so glad I tried it! This remedy saved me from surgery."
Q: I used to play golf twice a week and tennis three times a week, but now arthritis is slowing me down. My knees and hips complain bitterly after a round of golf or a tennis match.
I used to take anti-inflammatory drugs, but they raised my blood pressure and gave me ulcers. I have read about home remedies in your column.
A: We have mentioned many remedies for joint pain and arthritis in our column. They include boswellia, cayenne, cherries, fish oil, gin and raisins, honey and vinegar, pineapple juice, pectin and grape juice, turmeric and vitamin D.
Q: I'm a roofer. One day I thought I'd broken my toe, but the doctor said I was in the gout club. I've tried everything, and only one thing works: celery-seed extract (three tablets a day) and plenty of water (2 to 3 liters a day). No more gout!
A. You are not the only one to find celery-seed extract helpful in treating the excruciating pain of gout.
In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Send questions to them via peoplespharmacy.com.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times