People's Pharmacy



I've had good luck getting rid of warts with minced garlic. Apply it directly to the wart and cover it with a bandage. Change the garlic and the bandage at least once a day.

The wart should be filed down regularly. It will slowly disintegrate in about three weeks. Be very careful to cover only the wart, since garlic is too strong for healthy skin.

Thanks for this suggestion. Home remedies are frequently helpful for treating warts. Here's another: "I have a cure for plantar warts that worked for me. As a teenager, I saw a doctor who wanted to burn a plantar wart off. I didn't like that idea, so a neighbor suggested castor oil on a cotton ball fastened in place over the wart with a bandage. The wart was gone in two weeks, and the doctor was amazed."

My dad, 77, is on Zocor. It has lowered his cholesterol quite a bit, but he has developed leg weakness that hits him suddenly and has made him fall. I think the Zocor is to blame, but his doctor does not agree. Is there any remedy that will keep his cholesterol lower without this side effect?

Have your dad ask his doctor about niacin. Before the development of statin drugs, physicians prescribed high doses of this B vitamin to lower cholesterol.

Here's one reader's experience:

"I built up to a high dose of niacin under my doctor's supervision when my cholesterol was 240, about six or seven years ago. It came down to 175 after a couple of months, so I tapered down to a maintenance dose of just 250 milligrams twice a day in timed-release tablets.

"I have taken the low dose for more than five years, and my cholesterol is stable at about the 175 level. While this may not work for everyone, the extremely low cost of niacin and absence of side effects at low doses makes it worth trying."

Some years ago I found a tape that I played at bedtime. The person on the tape had a beautiful deep voice, and his goal was to help you control your appetite. It was like hypnosis. Now, my wife and I both think this would help us curb our appetites and relax. Do you know if there are CDs that do this sort of thing?

We have been impressed with Dr. Emmett Miller's collection of audiotapes and CDs. They deal with everything from stress and anxiety to insomnia and weight loss. Miller was an early pioneer in mind-body medicine.

Could black cohosh cause liver problems? Recent blood tests showed I had elevated enzymes. I started taking black cohosh for hot flashes two months ago.

British regulators recently issued a warning about rare but serious liver problems associated with the herb black cohosh. Symptoms may include right-sided abdominal pain, nausea, fatigue, yellow eyes and dark urine.

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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