Q. My daughter had several warts on her hands and was able to kill them quickly with lemon juice. She dabbed the warts with a sliver of lemon three or four times a day, and all of the warts fell off within four days.
A. Four years ago, we heard from another mother whose daughter also had warts: “Years ago, my daughter had eight plantar warts on the bottoms of her feet. She could hardly walk, and I tried everything to no avail.
“A friend of mine suggested squeezing fresh lemon juice on them three or four times a day. We had nothing to lose so we tried it. Those warts turned black and fell off so fast she was completely healed within four weeks. I hope this will help others.”
Other wart remedies include topical applications of castor oil, vinegar, Listerine or even instant glue. Some people report good results with duct tape, and others get rid of warts by taping a piece of banana peel to them, fleshy side to skin.
Q. I read that if you soak raisins in gin it might help ease arthritis pain. I have pain in my hands and would like to try this remedy.
I am a school-bus driver, and we get tested all the time for drugs and alcohol. If I were to try the raisins, would the alcohol show up on the Breathalyzer test? They say not to use mouthwash 30 minutes before the test, for it will show up. I am afraid that I could lose my job if gin-soaked raisins triggered the alcohol reading on one of my tests.
A. We have had the raisins analyzed, and there is only one drop of alcohol in the daily dose of nine raisins. Nevertheless, your concern is justified.
Back in 1995, a North Carolina sheriff got into trouble because of the gin-soaked-raisin remedy. According to the (Hendersonville, N.C.) Times-News: “Madison County Sheriff Dedrick Brown was stopped for suspicion of drunken driving … but the charge was thrown out by a magistrate when his Breathalyzer test was lower than the threshold to be considered legally impaired.
“The sheriff had a blood-alcohol content of .07 percent, just under the state limit of .08 percent. … Brown said he took a home-remedy mix of white raisins and gin about 15 minutes before he was stopped. Brown said he was returning from a car auction in Henderson County. The sheriff normally chews tobacco to keep awake when driving. … He couldn’t find any tobacco in his car that night so he said he instead had about three mouthfuls of the raisins soaked in gin. Brown said he had been using the mixture lately for his arthritic knees.”
We are sending you our Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis, which tells about the gin-soaked raisins and offers other approaches, including a grape juice/apple juice/apple-cider vinegar concoction. Anyone who would like a copy, please send $3 in check or money order with a long (No. 10), stamped (59 cents), self-addressed envelope to: Graedons’ People’s Pharmacy, No. AA-2, P.O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027. It also can be downloaded for $2 from our Web site: www.peoplespharmacy.com.
Q. A few friends have mentioned that taking zinc helps to ward off colds and flu. Is there any validity to that?
A. The evidence on zinc is inconclusive. There have been more than 10 well-controlled trials of zinc lozenges, nasal sprays or gels. Although some have shown benefit, others did not show that zinc is better than placebo. We need better research before we can give you a definite answer.