People's Pharmacy

November 17, 2006|By Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon | Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon,

Have you come across a solution for thunderstorm-phobic dogs? Even Xanax doesn't help my hound.

We have a friend whose dog is also afraid of thunder. Here's how he copes:

"Having a dog that is afraid of thunder means that a year in its life takes seven off yours. We've had some limited success in helping our dog Lucy.

"Snug wrapping helps. Since we had trouble with Ace-type bandages, we got a doggie sweat shirt. We put it on when we first see her exhibit symptoms of thunder nervousness.

"Comfort Zone spray from Farnam Pet Products has worked recently, producing a real calming effect. I apply a spritz on the neck of her sweat shirt. Active Ingredient: D.A.P., or Dog Appeasing Pheromone. I don't know what it is, but look for it at

"What really works best is driving. I drove through a thunderstorm with her in the back seat, and she was not bothered at all."

Are colon-cleansing products beneficial and safe to use?

Someone who is healthy does not need to "cleanse the colon." This is only appropriate before a colonoscopy. The laxatives that are often used for so-called colon cleansing can be harsh. Used too frequently, they can damage the tissues of the colon or deplete the body of essential minerals.

I have a fungal infection under both big toes and remembered reading in your column about soaking feet in vinegar to get rid of it. Can you repeat those directions? The $149 nail polish prescribed by my doctor was not covered by insurance.

Prescription drugs for nail fungus are pricey, whether it's the liquid polish your doctor prescribed or pills. The oral medicine may also produce some scary side effects, such as liver problems.

Home remedies may not be well tested, but hundreds of readers have found them helpful. You might try soaking your feet in a solution of one part vinegar to two parts water for 15 minutes daily.

We have described many other inexpensive options, including vitamin E and Vicks VapoRub.

My wife and I both use plain yellow mustard to combat indigestion or acid reflux. It works very well for us. If we swallow a spoonful of mustard before an Italian meal, we are OK.

Although mustard might seem like the last thing anyone would want to take for heartburn, we have heard from others that it can be helpful. The turmeric that makes mustard yellow was traditionally used for digestive upset in Chinese medicine.

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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