DEAR DR. GOTT: I am a 98-year-old man. I have been reading your column and am getting tired of hearing about people having trouble with diarrhea. So I am writing to tell you and all these people the best remedy I learned about more than 70 years ago. Eat half of a 15-ounce can of blackberries when you get the first signs of diarrhea. That will cure it. This is not a scam, and I am not a blackberry salesman. I have used it many times in my life, and it has always worked.
DEAR READER: And who could argue with a 98-year-old’s tried-and-true cure? I must admit I have neither purchased nor seen a can of blackberries. If they aren’t in season in my neck of the woods, they aren’t generally available unless from the freezer case at my local grocery. I was able to find some online, however.
Diarrhea can be the result of a number of causes, including bacteria in food, viruses, parasites, ingesting an excessive amount of fruit or greasy foods, stress, food poisoning and a great deal more.
Home/folk remedies for prevention include a teaspoon of apple-cider vinegar mixed with a teaspoon of honey in water 30 minutes before each meal, bismuth subsalicylate taken following an attack, the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon in a glass of water up to four times a day, 6 ounces of red wine, psyllium capsules, bee pollen taken several times each day and – last but not least – several fresh or frozen blackberries. The whole berries can be substituted with blackberry juice, a shot of blackberry brandy or blackberry wine. To this list, we can now add your recommendation of a half can of blackberries. Thanks for the suggestion, which I failed to mention in earlier columns.
To provide related information, I am sending you copies of my Health Reports “Compelling Home Remedies” and “More Compelling Home Remedies.” Other readers who would like copies should send a self-addressed stamped No. 10 envelope and a $2 check or money order for each report made payable to Newsletter and mailed to Newsletter, P.O. Box 167, Wickliffe, OH 44092-0167. Be sure to mention the title(s) or print an order form off my website at www.AskDrGottMD.com.
DEAR DR. GOTT: I have the beginning of a bunion. What can I do to prevent it? Could it have anything to do with falling arches?
DEAR READER: Bunions are commonly the result of tight-fitting shoes (primarily high-heeled ones), injury to the foot, arthritis and genetic influences. I do not believe your fallen arches are to blame. The condition is permanent unless you undergo surgical correction. However, in the interim, you might consider padded shoe inserts; wearing more roomy, practical and comfortable footwear; medications such as OTC NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs); or taping your foot into a normal position. You can also use an ice pack when the pain is especially bad, or purchase bunion pads at your local pharmacy that will cushion the bony protrusion and lessen the pain. When all else fails, surgery may be necessary.