Q. Your readers did it again! I’ve been drinking oolong tea for more than a month now, and the patches of psoriasis have disappeared, along with the flaking. I still have a couple of areas that need some ointment now and then, but overall I can wear shorts now without being embarrassed about my skin. (My skinny legs are another matter.) Thanks.
A. A study long ago in Japan found that oolong tea was effective in easing treatment-resistant eczema (Archives of Dermatology, January 2001), but we have found no studies of oolong tea for psoriasis.
Several visitors to our website have reported that drinking oolong tea eased their psoriasis. Others have noted that turmeric or cilantro also can be helpful.
Q. My husband has suffered with polyneuropathy for three years. After his doctors said there was no cure, we found a cure at our vitamin store.
He takes 600 mg of alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) daily. We are elated with the results. We have a neighbor who also began taking it, and he, too, is much improved.
A. A randomized, placebo-controlled study in Russia and Israel showed that 600 mg of ALA daily can greatly ease the symptoms of neuropathy such as stabbing or burning pain, numbness and “pins and needles” (Diabetes Care, November 2006).
A recent article points out that ALA is one of the few treatments that has shown promise for diabetic polyneuropathy and calls for more research (Diabetes/ Metabolism Research and Reviews online, Feb. 5, 2013).
Another nonprescription approach to this problem is benfotiamine, a synthetic form of the B vitamin thiamine. We learned about it from Dr. Charles Beauchamp several years ago, and recently heard this from a reader: “I appreciate the suggestion of benfotiamine for my foot pain. Within a month it has totally cleared up.”