Q: Turmeric is magical! I tried duct tape on my plantar wart, but I got another one next to the first one. I tried OTC salicylic acid, but the wart just spread.
Freezing didn't work. The podiatrist "beetle-juiced" me four times. I got big blisters and more warts. She prescribed 26 percent salicylic acid, and the wart grew to the size of a quarter.
Then I read about turmeric on your website. After two weeks of applying bandages over a mix of olive oil from the cupboard and turmeric from the local grocery store spice aisle, using a pumice stone every few days, my wart is gone!
A: Readers have reported success with either powdered or fresh turmeric root on plantar warts. It is important to keep the turmeric covered with a bandage, because otherwise it can stain socks or sheets a bright yellow.
Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound that has anti-viral activity (Recent Patents on Anti-Infective Drug Discovery, August 2012). Perhaps that is why it works against warts, which are caused by a virus.
Q: I've had underarm odor for four years, and it's been the most embarrassing thing. I'm 16 and in high school. I wore sweatshirts and tried not to get close to people because I was so embarrassed. I wouldn't even hug my boyfriend.
My armpits would start to smell five minutes after I took a shower, and deodorant made it even worse. I got so frustrated about it that I thought I couldn't take it any longer.
I read that vinegar might work, and so might baking soda. I patted on some vinegar with a towel and let it sit for about five minutes. Then I patted it dry and put on some baking soda. To my surprise, I didn't smell five minutes later or even five hours later. I woke up the next morning and STILL didn't smell! I am thrilled.
A: We are delighted that vinegar is working for you. Many others also have had success with applying vinegar under their arms.
Some readers, however, have been disappointed: "Vinegar left me smelling like sauerkraut and really didn't work. I tried milk of magnesia, and it works like a miracle."
Q: My husband has had several gout attacks during the past few years. The last one caused terrible pain in his knee and immobilized him for days. I am pretty sure his blood pressure medications have caused this. Is there a more natural way to control blood pressure so he doesn't have to go through this hell again?
A: Many blood pressure drugs contain diuretics such as hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ). These can contribute to high uric acid levels that trigger gout attacks. There are a number of natural approaches to controlling hypertension, including foods rich in magnesium and potassium, the DASH diet, beet juice and pomegranate juice.
Several readers recommend celery seed as an extract or tea. Here's one story: "I've used celery seed tablets for more than two years. This works well to prevent gout flare-ups."
In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Send questions to them via peoplespharmacy.com.