People's Pharmacy



Some of the people in my multiple sclerosis support group use the gin and raisins remedy for achy muscles and joints. Does the alcohol evaporate entirely? Would there be cause for worry if a person ate 15 or 20 raisins and was pulled over by a state trooper?

The recipe for gin-soaked raisins calls for barely covering golden raisins with gin in a shallow bowl. Allow the gin to evaporate, and eat nine raisins per day.

Under these conditions, there is only about a drop of alcohol in the daily dose. But someone who ate 15 or 20 raisins might register detectable alcohol on a Breathalyzer soon afterward. This happened several years ago to a sheriff who was eating the raisins for his arthritis.

My adult son has plantar warts. What remedies do you know of?

Warts on the sole of the foot (plantar warts) can be uncomfortable and difficult to treat. Patients may decline the doctor's offer to remove such warts surgically because they don't want to stay off their feet for the recovery period.

As a result, some doctors have turned to a home remedy: Soak the foot in hot water (110 degrees F) for 30 to 90 minutes per week. Six weeks of treatment may eradicate them.

Others have had success treating plantar warts with duct tape. Apply a piece of tape to the wart for a week. Then remove it, soak the foot in warm water to soften the skin, and abrade the wart with an emery board. Discard the emery board and reapply a patch of duct tape the next day. This remedy may take a few months to work, but like the hot-water soaks, it is inexpensive and less invasive than surgery.

For more than 25 years, I have been using Listerine full strength in a spray bottle for sunburn. An old fisherman told me about it when I got a severe sunburn from sitting in a boat on a lake.

The people I tell say this remedy works for them, too. It stops the pain instantly. I keep it in my travel bag, in a zipper-top plastic bag to avoid spilling.

This is a fascinating use for Listerine that we have not encountered before. Perhaps the menthol or eucalyptol in the original-flavor Listerine has cooling properties. Thanks for sharing your remedy.

I would like an effective insect repellent without DEET. What can you suggest?

Look for new products containing picaridin (Cutter Advanced) or oil of lemon eucalyptus (Repel Lemon Eucalyptus, Off Botanicals).

In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Write to them in care of this newspaper or e-mail them via their Web site:

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