Q I am searching for a way to remove underarm odor from clothes. I tried diluted vinegar, but it did not work at all. Is there anything else?
A Several years ago, we heard from a person who used to work for the wardrobe department in a theater. Some costumes that cannot be tossed in the washing machine can get pretty smelly.
Q My fingernails have always been weak. I took Knox Gelatine years ago, and most recently I have taken biotin and gelatin capsules. My nails improved a little, but then I used nail polish for a month to show them off.
The nails have started splitting and peeling again. I'd be grateful for any suggestions.
A Nail polish or remover often contains solvents that can weaken nails. Sometimes avoiding polish is an important step to stronger nails.
Moisturizing nails with Epilyt or almond oil can be helpful. Many readers have reported that taking the dietary supplement MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) strengthens nails.
Q I have high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol levels. My doctor is encouraging me to take medications, but I would rather try natural approaches first. Is there anything that might work?
I also have high fasting glucose but have not yet been diagnosed with diabetes. Will cinnamon really help keep blood sugar under control?
A Natural approaches may be worth considering as long as you and your physician monitor your progress. If such approaches fail, you will need medicine.
Some possibilities include almonds, apple-cider vinegar, beets, chocolate, fish oil, green tea, oatmeal, pomegranate and turmeric. One reader reported that a handful of walnuts and a glass of pomegranate juice daily lowered his cholesterol from 254 to 184.
Studies are contradictory when it comes to cinnamon and blood sugar. Some people have had success with a water-based cinnamon extract.
Q I know that when my burning headaches go all day, it's because the weather has gone from too hot to too cold at the snap of my fingers, or rain is on the way within the next day or two. But after popping pain pills all day with no relief, why does eating spoonfuls of chocolate peanut butter ice cream take the pain right away?
A We have no idea why chocolate peanut butter ice cream helps your headaches, but we can't think of a tastier treatment.
Some people actually develop something called ice-cream headaches if they eat very cold food too fast. Also known as "brain freeze," doctors call this pain sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia. It means that nerves in the roof of the mouth have been overwhelmed by the cold.
Q I have horrible hand cramps, even when I am not gripping anything. Is there a home remedy I can try?
A Many readers have found that soap is helpful against muscle cramps. Some keep a bar under the bottom sheet for leg cramps. One person wrote us: "A few days ago the fingers in both hands cramped up. I thought of the soap and held it in my hands. The cramps went away like magic."
In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Send questions to them via peoplespharmacy.com.
Removing underarm odor from clothes
Also: Nail polish, remover can weaken nails; and natural approaches to curb cholesterol, blood pressure
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