Q. Last night, I pulled a pan out of the 425-degree oven and set it on the stove. Two minutes later, I grabbed the pan without a mitt.
Needless to say, I burned my hand severely. I immediately placed the hand in a bowl of water with ice.
Even after several hours in ice water, my hand hurt too much for me to go to sleep. I jumped on the computer to find a home remedy. I was completely skeptical when I read about mustard on your website, but I gave it a shot.
I poured cold yellow mustard all over my hand and then put my hand in a plastic baggie. I left it on for about 10 minutes. The pain immediately went away.
I fell asleep, and when I woke, the pain was completely gone! My hand is a little sore this morning, but there are no blisters, and I can use it.
A. Ice water is the best first aid for a burn. Third-degree burns require immediate medical attention.
We have heard from many people that cold yellow mustard can help kitchen burns. Others tell us that soy sauce also is effective.
Q. I honestly hate the taste of cinnamon, although my husband loves it in cookies, cakes or anything else. I am 53 and was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes almost four years ago. My doctor has me on metformin twice daily.
A couple of months ago, I noticed my morning fasting glucose levels were completely normal again, between 73 and 92 every morning! With my doctor’s approval, I’m now taking only one dose of metformin a day.
I believe this is due to two things. First, I try not to eat ANY white flour or rice. Second, I’ve been taking cinnamon extract capsules every morning, along with a B vitamin complex.
I no longer have any eye-focusing problems in the mornings, no tingling in my feet, nothing! I feel great. I’ve also lost 8 pounds (from 195 down to 187). I think this approach has improved my health and offer it for others to try.
A. We love success stories like yours, especially since diabetes drugs like Actos and Avandia have come under fire. There is scientific evidence to support your strategy of following a low-carb diet and adding cinnamon to your regimen.
Readers who would like to learn more about cinnamon and other ways to control blood sugar may find our book “Best Choices From The People’s Pharmacy” of interest. It is available in libraries and online at www.PeoplesPharmacy.com.
Q. I listened to your public-radio program on the dangers of aluminum in common products. Something was said about a way to counteract aluminum in the body, but I missed what product is used.
A. Our guest, Chris Exley, Ph.D., professor of bioinorganic chemistry at Keele University, pointed out that aluminum is a neurotoxin. His research suggests that mineral water high in silica may help protect the brain against aluminum damage in animals (Histology and Histopathology, August 2012).
Dr. Exley suggested that mineral waters such as Fiji and Volvic are rich in silica and might be worth consideration. You can listen to the interview for free at www.PeoplesPharmacy.com.
Q. I was amused to read about catnip as a mosquito repellent. A couple of summers ago, I grew my own catnip (in hanging pots to keep it out of reach of the neighborhood cats) and followed a recipe for catnip mosquito spray I found on the Internet.
It didn’t work to deter mosquitoes at all, but it attracted the neighborhood cats. One day, I had a tiny piece of freshly picked catnip in my pocket as I walked in the yard, and a neighborhood cat that usually ignores me followed everywhere I went, meowing the whole time.
A. Catnip (Nepeta cataria) contains a chemical (nepetalactone) that has a profound effect on cats. Some get excited or agitated, while others appear happy or even euphoric with catnip around.
The person who wrote to us combined catnip oil and geranium oil on her dog to ward off ticks, fleas and mosquitoes. Scientific research shows that components of catnip oil can repel mosquitoes (Journal of Medical Entomology, July 2009), but recipes off the Internet may not be effective
In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Email them via their website: www.PeoplesPharmacy.com.