Q: Since battling irritable bowel syndrome for years, I’ve had to deal with both constipation and diarrhea. For diarrhea, I make tea from raspberry leaves. You can get the leaves at health food stores or online. Don’t mistake this for raspberry-flavored tea, which doesn’t work.
As for constipation, I use the pumpkin bran muffins from your “Guide to Digestive Disorders.” It takes a few days to get results. I call them “Muffins to GO.”
Nurse’s pudding works well, too. After mixing applesauce, All-Bran and prune juice, I put it in ice-cube trays and freeze it. I pop out one or two when I need them. Of course, I call these “Poop-Pops.”
Believe me, I’m not making light of the situation. When I have a normal bowel movement, I feel like I’ve won a gold medal. It’s a heck of a way to live, but I hope it helps someone else.
A: Thank you for sharing your strategies for coping with IBS. Anyone who uses the Power Pudding recipe (nurse’s pudding) should be sure to drink plenty of water at the same time to prevent intestinal blockage. The usual dose is 1-2 tablespoons a day.
Q: I have been suffering from leg and foot cramps at night for more than a year. This has gradually been getting worse and more frequent, and it was really disturbing my sleep.
About a week ago, I cut up some Ivory soap and scattered it under the bottom sheet. Since I did that, I have not had one cramp. This works!
A: Over the past 15 years, we have heard from many readers that placing soap in the bed can reduce the likelihood of leg cramps. There is even some research supporting this concept (Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare, September 2008).
Q: I listen to your podcast. Since I heard Dr. Low Dog suggest thyme and sage for respiratory infections, my family, friends and livestock have not needed antibiotics, even for deep infections. Do these herbal treatments affect the gut microbiome?
A: When we checked the medical literature, we were surprised to find that thyme leaves frequently carry the probiotic Bifidobacteria (International Journal of Molecular Sciences, July 26, 2019). There is also evidence that both thyme and sage have antimicrobial and antiviral activity.
You can learn more about Dr. Low Dog’s recipes for Immuno-Tea and thyme cough syrup, as well as get our recipe for thyme tea, in our book “Recipes & Remedies From The People’s Pharmacy.” There is also a chapter on sage as well as thyme in our book “Spice Up Your Heath.” Both are available at www.PeoplesPharmacy.com.
Dr. Low Dog’s grandmother kept a sage gargle handy during cold and flu season. You can use 1 ounce of dried sage leaves, 1 ounce of dried thyme leaves and 16 ounces of apple cider vinegar. Grind the herbs and place them in a canning jar. Cover with vinegar, close the jar and shake thoroughly. Let it sit for two weeks. Strain and use as a mouthwash or gargle.
Q: You recently wrote about treating nail fungus with vitamin E. You’d have to break the capsules with a pin and squirt the liquid onto the toe. You cited a dermatologist who recommended 400 IU capsules.
It sounded good to me, so I went in search of those magic capsules. To my amazement, I found vitamin E oil: 13,000 mg (30,000 IU) per bottle. The directions said nothing about toenail fungus, but of course I took a bottle home and used it. It’s so much easier than poking a pill with a pin!
A: Thanks for the tip. We imagine others will want to try it.