Your Questions Answered - April 2010
Q1: I've had a wart on the inside of my right thumb for years. I've tried everything to get rid of it. The doctor has used heat treatments, cold treatments, chemicals - but it's all been a waste of time. Within a few weeks it's all grown back again and it's a real nuisance. It catches in my tights, it's uncomfortable when I hold a pen, a knife or spoon, and I'm embarrassed to even shake hands with people because of the hard scaly lump.
A1: In days gone by the old fashioned chemist shop used to keep a wart book where you could sign away your wart by writing your name in the book, the wart would then go to somebody else. I think this is a bit antisocial and it probably didn't work very well.
But here's a wart cure that works. If you've got a fig tree growing in the garden or a pot plant indoors, you can squeeze a milky latex-like substance out of a broken leaf or stem and paint it onto your wart. Cover surrounding skin with Vaseline first, to avoid irritation and wear rubber gloves to squeeze out the latex.
Within a few hours a slightly inflamed ring of skin will appear round the wart which should gradually shrivel and drop off. Repeat again after a few days if required.
I don't want to see hoards of you creeping round Garden Centres or local botanical gardens with their secateurs!
Q2: During the last year I've been plagued by styes. They're always in the same eye and within a week or two of getting better another one starts to develop. What can I do?
A2. These small boils develop in the hair follicles of eyelashes. Prevent them by keeping eyelids and lashes absolutely clean. Forget eye make-up for at least three months including powder or foundation near your eyes.
Night and morning clean your eyelids with quarter of a teaspoon of salt in a half pint of warm water. Use cotton wool balls dipped in the solution but don't put a used ball back in the water or use the same swab for both eyes. If a sty develops increase the salt to a half teaspoon and use a gauze pad soaked in the water as a compress left on the eye for 15 minutes and repeated every couple of hours.
The antioxidant vitamins A, C and E are your best protection, so eat broccoli, carrots, Swedes, sweet potatoes, for A. Citrus fruits, peppers, kiwis and currants for C, and olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds for E.
For extra protection take one capsule a day of MorDHA, my favourite Omega 3 product, for 3 months. See www.morDHA.com and use drops of the herb Eyebright (Euphrasia) to soothe irritation.
Q3: After two years of trying for a baby, we've finally discovered that I'm okay but my husband has a low sperm count. Is there anything natural we can do to improve our chances?
A3: Don't let your husband wear tight jeans or Y-fronts - baggy trousers and boxer shorts are best. Hot baths are out, especially just before bedtime. Even small amounts of alcohol damage sperm, so he's better off without any for four months. Give him lots of foods rich in zinc and vitamin E - pumpkin seeds, avocadoes, olive oil, seafood and oily fish. A daily dose of zinc and vitamin E should be added too.
American scientists found that a surprisingly high number - around 20% - of men with low sperm counts had suffered an injury to their testicles. Most of them happened when playing contact sports during adolescence so maybe the rugby scrum is not the safest place for would-be fathers.
The old wives tale says not to do it too often, but the good news is that a regular sex life encourages the generation of more sperm. Anyway, practice makes perfect!
Q4: After weeks of pain in my big toe the doctor has told me I've got gout. I don't drink, and I'm only 48, so is it possible?
A4: Gout is a type of arthritis caused by deposits of uric acid crystals in the joints. It's three times more common than doctors thought, affecting one in a hundred people, more men than women, and rare before the menopause.
Foods containing purines aggravate gout, so changing your diet is vital. Avoid offal, yeast, yeast and meat extracts. Oily fish which are so good for other forms of arthritis must be forbidden foods, as are fish roe and taramasalata. Cross game off your shopping list too and keep red meat to a minimum.
All alcohol increases the amount of uric acid in your bloodstream and can trigger attacks. Go easy on the tea and coffee since caffeine is one of the purine chemicals, but drink four pints of water a day to reduce the risk of kidney stones.
Eliminate uric acid by eating globe artichokes, strawberries, raspberries and cherries and drink a cup of nettle tea each day - 2 teaspoons of chopped leaves (1 of dried) to half a pint of boiling water.
The African herb Devil's Claw is an effective natural anti-inflammatory which will soothe the pain. Take one tablet, twice daily of FlexiHerb, the only MHRA registered UK product containing Devil's Claw. More info from www.flexiherb.co.uk
Some of my books...
- Superfoods, Superjuices, Superhealth
- Eat Well Live Longer
- Superfood Pocketbook
(100 Top Foods for Health)
- The Omega 3 Cookbook
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MigraHerb® Feverfew capsules.
MigraHerb® is a traditional herbal medicinal product used for the prevention of migraine headaches exclusively based upon long-standing use as a traditional remedy. Always read the label.
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For people who have a doctor's diagnosis for this condition
MigraHerb® 30 one-a-day capsules.
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Vitano® Rhodiola rosea tablets.
Vitano® is a traditional herbal medicinal product used for the temporary relief of symptoms associated with stress, such as fatigue, exhaustion and mild anxiety, based on traditional use only. Always read the label.
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Vitano® 30 tablets normally £13.27
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Multi-buy deal also available.
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NiteHerb® Valerian tablets.
NiteHerb® is a traditional herbal medicinal product used for the temporary relief of sleep disturbances due to symptoms of mild anxiety exclusively based on long-standing use as a traditional remedy. Always read the label.
A natural solution to a good night's sleep
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NiteHerb® 30 tablets normally £6.12
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Multi-buy deal also available.
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