From the Publisher
“The Graedons offer evidence-based answers to questions about home remedies for common health problems.” –Book News Inc.
“This is an excellent book that proves better health can be achieved by healing yourself at home with remedies right out of the cupboard, refrigerator, or garden.” –Tucsoncitizen.com
“Very readable as well as entertaining, this is a great resource for those interested in home remedies for everyday woes.” –Library Journal
“A compilation of reader feedback to remedies, plus a list of 24 foods the authors suggest can help with health problems such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and high blood sugar. The foods list includes coffee, blueberries, green tea, beets and chocolate.” –Richmond Times Dispatch
“In these times when so many lack medical insurance, an investment in this book might be a good idea.” –Foodsiteoftheday.
A former pharmacologist and a medical anthropologist, respectively, the Graedons combine their skills as well as their celebrity (they write a syndicated column, The People's Pharmacy, and cohost a health talk show on public radio) to gather from fans the best Q&As on ailments and proposed remedies. They then provide either scientific evidence to back them up or refute them accordingly. (LJ 5/15/11)
Read an Excerpt
Doctors have been writing about treating heartburn for most of recorded history. In 400 B.C. the Greek physician Hippocrates noted that eating cheese after a meal could cause indigestion and discomfort, especially if accompanied by wine. Apparently Europeans were already enjoying that habit if they didn’t suffer reflux. Heartburn, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), can have serious consequences and should not be ignored. Drugs that doctors prescribe for the condition can be very difficult to discontinue, however, and have potential side effects. We’re not convinced that they are always better than home remedies.
Q: I used to have very bad heartburn until I remembered a home remedy my mother used to make. I mix a couple ounces of water, an ounce of apple cider vinegar, and a teaspoon of sugar. After the sugar dissolves, I add half a teaspoon of baking soda, stir it briefly, and drink the mixture immediately. This offers fast relief.
A: Baking soda is a time-honored approach to neutralizing stomach acid that has splashed into the esophagus and is causing heartburn.
Q: My wife and I both use plain old 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 okay.
A: Although mustard may 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. Mustard also contains vinegar, which some people find helpful against heartburn.
Q: I frequently have heartburn and finally found a wonderful remedy: papaya pills. Every time I have heartburn, I eat one of the pills and the heartburn disappears. My doctor says it’s fine to use them. Others might like to know about this great way to treat heartburn.
A: Papaya is a tropical fruit that contains an enzyme (papain) that may be very helpful for digestion. Although papain does nothing to suppress acid, some people report that papaya relieves heartburn. Anyone who is allergic to latex should avoid papaya since there is cross-reactivity between latex and papaya, which could be very dangerous. Papain may also increase the blood-thinning effects of warfarin (coumadin).