Finding a variety of uses for Preparation H

THE BALTIMORE SUN

I have a friend who says that Preparation H can smooth wrinkles on your face. She has lovely skin, but I am dubious. Could a hemorrhoid product really do any good against wrinkles, or is this an urban legend?

Preparation H has a reputation for unique uses beyond the obvious one. For decades people told us that they used this ointment on bed sores, surgical scars (to reduce itching and inflammation), burns and cracked, dry fingertips, as well as wrinkles. One woman told us that Preparation H rescued her plum tree after she scraped the bark with her lawn mower.

Many of these unorthodox uses were touted with the original Preparation H formulation, which included live yeast-cell derivative (LYCD). But the Food and Drug Administration made the manufacturer remove the LYCD because the studies supporting its effectiveness for hemorrhoids did not convince the agency.

Scientific studies show that LYCD, also known as Bio-Dyne, can hasten wound healing.

Elsewhere in the world, the formulation of Preparation H still contains LYCD. If you would like to try it, you can get some from Canada via the Internet. Look for Preparation H with Bio-Dyne.

I often drink a glass of tonic water (which contains quinine) to prevent leg cramps. I thought I was being smart until I read in a newsletter that anyone taking Lanoxin should not drink tonic water. Why not?

Quinine reduces the liver's ability to process digoxin (Lanoxin), so this heart medicine can accumulate to toxic levels if a person is also taking quinine. The research on this interaction employed doses higher than you would get from a single glass of tonic water, but you should have your digoxin level tested to make sure you are within a safe range.

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