Dear Dr. Gott: I was particularly interested in a column you wrote a while back in which you described the illegal and bizarre importation of body parts – such as elephant and rhinoceros penises – for cultural and medicinal purposes. Let me share my experience with you, to show that this strange therapy is not confined merely to recent immigrants.
In the 1930s, my older brother ran an unusual part-time business. He raised goats. Every Monday, he would butcher a 6-month-old billy after first tying off and removing the testicles. These glands were then put into a shopping bag between two hot water bottles.
We lived about a 5-minute walk from a streetcar line that ran from Santa Ana to Los Angeles, then transferred to Beverly Hills, where he would deliver the goat testicles to a very prominent physician who used the glands for injections into well-known male movie stars and other rich people. I don’t know whether this “therapy” had any favorable sexual consequences, but the men truly believed they had found a fountain of youth.
I don’t know what the doctor’s fee was, but he paid my brother $25 a week. Back during the Depression this was a lot of money.
At home, my mother sold goat meat for 10 cents a pound to regular customers. Because the meat was so young, it was tender and tasty. We kids thought we were living high when Mama roasted a leg of goat, laced with herbs and garlic, as well as homegrown vegetables.
I just thought you would enjoy this little vignette, a folly of Hollywood. What do you think?
Dear Reader: Baaaa.
I’m glad that medical treatments have advanced since your childhood but, frankly, I wonder how people will view “modern” 2005 medical therapy in 70 years. Perhaps doctors will be back to giving “goat shots”!
Dear Dr. Gott: Can the natural estrogens in soy products relieve the symptoms of menopause?
Dear Reader: So-called “phytoestrogens” (hormones from plant, not animal, sources) may help relieve the moodiness, hot flashes, sweats and other symptoms of menopause. However, the results are unpredictable: Some women swear by the products; other women find them to be useless. If I were you, I’d go ahead and try phytoestrogens. They are completely devoid of side effects and harm – as far as I know – and do not, like standard hormone replacement, increase the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and other disorders.
To give you related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report “Menopause.” Other readers who would like a copy should send a long, self-addressed, stamped envelope and $2 to Newsletter, P.O. Box 167, Wickliffe, OH 44092. Be sure to mention the title.
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