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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Will eggplant water lower blood pressure?

Q. I have been drinking “eggplant water” I made from floating half a dozen thinly sliced pieces of eggplant on top of two or three quarts of water. I have been drinking 60 ounces daily for about two weeks.

My weight dropped 7 pounds, and my blood pressure is down from 150/80 to 124/66. This might be helping my insulin resistance, which made it hard for me to lose weight before.

A. When cells don’t respond efficiently to insulin, blood-sugar control is more difficult. Losing weight is also more challenging, but people who shed pounds often lower their blood pressure.

You are not the first reader to mention eggplant water for hypertension, but the previous recipe called for just one ounce daily, not 60. Compounds in eggplant may work like certain blood pressure medicines (ACE inhibitors such as lisinopril) and may also help with insulin resistance (Bioresource Technology, May 2008).

You will find a number of other nondrug approaches for controlling hypertension along with a discussion of the pros and cons of common medications in our Guide to Blood Pressure Treatment. 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. B-67, P.O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027. It also can be downloaded for $2 from our Web site:

Q. After reading about coconut macaroon cookies and diarrhea, I took them for my spastic colon. They worked.

But then I went on vacation and could not find the cookies when I needed them. So I ate two Mounds bars and realized that the coconut was the magic for sure.

Now I just eat a small bowl of unsweetened organic coconut whenever I get an attack of diarrhea. I appreciate all the things I have learned from your columns during the past 20 years.

A. We have heard from a number of people who find unsweetened shredded coconut helpful against chronic or recurrent diarrhea. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Q. I had an enormous plantar wart on the heel of my foot. I let it go for a long time because I read they can go away on their own, but it got to be about 2 inches across.

I tried salicylic acid patches from the pharmacy, but it took nearly a whole box of them to cover it. A dermatologist froze it, which hurt like crazy, but didn’t kill the wart. I finally tried duct tape.

I wore duct tape on it for about two months. My heel looked like Swiss cheese because the calloused skin swells and turns white from the duct tape and the black spots of the wart looked like craters in my foot. Then came summertime, and I wanted to wear sandals. I gave up treating the wart for a while.

Much to my surprise, once the “Swiss cheese” callus wore away, clear, pink healthy skin grew back in its place. The duct tape had worked. It just took a long time to see the results.

A. A few studies have examined duct tape for warts, but the results have been conflicting. Nonetheless, this approach is inexpensive and doesn’t hurt.

Others who would like to try this should cut a piece of duct tape the same size as the wart. Place the duct tape on the wart and leave it in place for a week. Then remove the tape, soak the wart in warm water and file it down with an emery board. The next day, put a fresh piece of duct tape on the wart. Repeat the procedure for up to two months.

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