Q: I read about a treatment for nighttime urination (nocturia). The suggestion was a teaspoon of pectin in 3 ounces of grape juice every day.

My physician prescribed an 81-mg aspirin per day after I had a possible TIA. I didn’t think there would be a problem taking it with grape juice and pectin.

I tried half a teaspoon of pectin in 3 ounces of grape juice once a day. It worked perfectly: no middle-of-the-night trips to the bathroom. Awesome!

However, I have had a problem with intermittent nosebleeds, which have always stopped after a short time. I had a nosebleed after starting the pectin, and this one definitely did not stop quickly.

I am reducing the quantity of pectin to find the minimum level that solves the nocturia problem. The good news is that pectin and grape juice fixed a really bothersome problem for me. But the bad news is pectin and aspirin appear to prolong bleeding, at least for me.

A: You have thrown us a couple of curveballs. The idea of using pectin, such as Certo, mixed into grape juice has a reputation as arthritis remedy. We have never heard of using it to reduce nighttime urination. Thanks for sharing this.


Aspirin, of course, is recognized as a “blood thinner.” It keeps the sticky blood platelets from clumping together to form a clot. To our surprise, purple grape juice also inhibits blood platelets (Journal of Nutrition, January 2000). This may explain why the combination caused your bad nosebleed.

There are some other options for dealing with nocturia. Readers of this column report that eating a handful of raisins in the evening can be helpful. Another possibility might be beets or beet juice.

You will find details about both of these approaches along with a beet soup recipe in our eGuide to Favorite Home Remedies. This online resource may be found in the Health eGuides section of www.PeoplesPharmacy.com.

Q: You recently responded to a reader’s inquiry on skin tag removal. I use apple cider vinegar. The acidity breaks down the tissue surrounding the tag, causing it to fall off.

  • Soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar.
  • Secure the cotton ball to your skin tag with a bandage.
  • Remove it after 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Wash the area with soap and warm water.
  • Allow the area to dry.
  • Repeat daily for two weeks or until the tag falls off.

A: Thank you for sharing your step-by-step instructions. It sounds safer than some methods for skin tag removal. Although some readers recommend tying off the skin tag with dental floss, one reader shared this cautionary tale:

“As to tying string around a tag, it sounds good. But when I tried it, the tag got sore, then got infected. I had to go to the doctor to get it removed surgically. It was under my armpit. Ouch!”


Q: I recently read in your newsletter that supplements of vitamin D and calcium might prevent recurrences of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. I’ve been taking vitamin D and calcium for years. I still got BPPV, which made my head spin.

My neurologist referred me for physical therapy. The therapist did the Epley maneuver twice on my first visit and repeated it again later. It worked like magic! Now if I think the vertigo is returning, I try to do it myself at home.

A: People who are low in vitamin D appear to benefit more from the supplements to prevent BPPV recurrence (Neurology, Aug. 5, 2020). The Epley maneuver is designed to reposition the calcium crystals in the ears and is the best treatment for BPPV. It is not too hard to do these movements at home.