November 28, 2004

DR YVONNE CASEY’s COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE: Use Garlic to Ward Offevil Illnesses

Q MY grandmother was a great believer in using poultices for inflammation. Is this old-fashioned?

A SOME of the oldest folk remedies are the best and poultices are no exception. They are effective for a wide variety of ailments, including boils and abscesses, chest infections, arthritic complaints and sprains. The garlic poultice is one of the mostpopular. Mash chopped garlic in boiling water until it is in a pulp. Place this onto a clean cloth and apply to the affected area while hot, replacing it when it cools. This helps to draw out inflammation and promote healing.

Q I FEEL life is too much at times and find it hard to cope with even everyday tasks. I don't feel depressed as such, more fed up. I'm not sure where to go to seek help.

A PERHAPS it's not much consolation but more and more of us are concerned with the way we feel about life in general. It's like a constant battle to keep on top of everything and remain in control at all times. There's only so much we can take until westart to feel the cumulative effect. Resting the body is easy but the mind deserves a break too. Consider yoga, hypnotherapy or meditation which may help you express your innermost feelings and give you space to recognise areas of your life that needreviewing.

Q I HAVE diverticular disease and the worst aspect of it is the pain. I'm reluctant to take painkillers as these are constipating. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

A AVOID all refined and acidic food and drinks and try the herbal preparation Tormentil Complex - available from health stores. This can reduce bowel spasms that give rise to the discomfort. Take 20 drops in a little water three times daily until thepain is resolved.

Q I'VE had so much on my mind lately that I can't think straight. Would Gingko Biloba help?

A RATHER than reaching for Gingko, a more specific approach would be to address your overloaded head and cut down on the things that stress you out. You could also try the herbal remedy Avena sativa - it is particularly good for ongoing stress andexhaustion. Take 20 drops in a little water twice daily before meals. Avena sativa is available in health shops. Hopefully you won't need to take it long term but there are no restrictions if you do. It has no side- effects and it is non-addictive.

Q I HAVE an annoying itch around my back passage. Although very embarrassed, I went to my GP who prescribed various creams which only work for a while. I want to get rid of it as it's starting to keep me awake at night.

A DALET balm is a soothing yet healing ointment for anal pruritus. Apply sparingly two to three times a day and last thing at night in and around the affected region. Order Dalet balm on 01292 317670.