Q: A few months ago, I started taking 2 tablespoons daily of a fresh, high-polyphenol extra-virgin olive oil that I buy at a boutique olive oil store.

Of all the foods that I’ve tried for lowering my 140/90 blood pressure, this is the only one (besides beet juice) that delivered results. This morning my BP was 120/84!

The taste is tolerable. The olive oil burns the back of my throat due to the high phenol count (560 for this bottle). I think it’s well worth it.

A: People who follow a Mediterranean diet appear to have better blood pressure control and cardiovascular health (International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Sept. 23, 2019). One important feature of this dietary pattern is the dominant use of extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO).

In addition to producing a favorable lipid profile, EVOO is rich in plant compounds known as phenols. One review of the effect of olive oil on blood pressure concluded that daily consumption of 2 tablespoons of EVOO can help control blood pressure. Thank you for sharing your success story.

Anyone who would like to learn more about natural ways to help control high blood pressure may wish to consult our eGuide to Blood Pressure Solutions. It is available in the Health eGuide section at www.PeoplesPharmacy.com.


Q: I have an unusual wart cure to offer you. Sixty years ago, I was cured of plantar warts on the ball of my foot.

I had been living in a very large city where I saw several podiatrists. They tried every procedure you can think of, including freezing, surgery and acid. I cannot even remember them all, but nothing worked.

The warts were with me for a long time, but of course, it was so long ago I forget the duration. Then I moved to a very small town in northern Michigan. Soon the large wart was having a baby. They weren’t contiguous but actually separate warts.

I didn’t want my whole foot covered with warts, so I saw the podiatrist in this small town. He gave me a prescription for water-soluble vitamin A. Within two weeks, the warts were gone, never to return. I was astonished.

A: What a fascinating story! You didn’t say whether you were taking the vitamin A by mouth or smearing it on the sole of your foot.

Podiatrists and dermatologists do not appear to have done many studies on vitamin A as a therapy for plantar warts. We found one case report of a young woman with recalcitrant warts on her hand who cured them with topical vitamin A (Virology Journal, online, Jan. 17, 2012).

Decades ago, German scientists reported that topical vitamin A (retinoic acid) was “unsuitable” for treating plantar warts (Zeitschrift fur Hautkrankheiten, July 15, 1975). Some readers have reported that taking desiccated liver tablets helped them get rid of persistent plantar warts by stimulating their immune systems. Others have had success with hot water foot soaks, vinegar foot baths, topical castor oil, fresh turmeric root applied to the wart (warning: turmeric stains) or banana peel taped to the wart.

There is a lively controversy regarding the effectiveness of taking the heartburn medicine cimetidine (Tagamet) orally. Some researchers suggest that this over-the-counter drug also enhances the immune response and may help the body ward off the virus that causes warts (International Immunopharmacology, May 2019).