Q. Thanks to whoever thought of using mustard for leg cramps. This remedy is totally awesome. At 2 a.m., I had the worst leg cramp. My entire leg was screaming! I grabbed the bottle of mustard and swallowed a spoonful. My leg quit hurting within two minutes. I call it the mustard miracle.
A. We, too, have found that swallowing a spoonful of plain yellow mustard can stop a leg cramp quickly. We don’t know whether it is the vinegar or the turmeric included for yellow coloring in the mustard that works.
Not everyone wants to take mustard in the middle of the night, though keeping a packet of mustard in the nightstand can make it more convenient.
Q. I honestly hate anything cinnamon and usually avoid it, although my husband loves cinnamon and ginger. I am 53 and was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes several years ago. I’ve never had my blood sugar go over 220 at any given time, so my doctor, who is a diabetes specialist, has me on metformin. In the past few months, my fasting glucose levels have become completely normal again, between 73 and 92 every morning. So with my doctor’s knowledge, I’ve lowered my dose of metformin. I believe this is due to two things: First, I try not to eat ANY white flour, rice or breads at all, and second, I’ve been taking cinnamon capsules every morning with my diabetes-formulated multivitamin. I don’t have any eye-focusing problems that I used to have in the mornings, no tingling, nothing! I’ve also lost 8 pounds. I think that all this together has improved my particular case.
A. Congratulations on your improved blood-sugar control and your weight loss. Your decision to avoid white bread and other flour products has probably contributed to your success. Cinnamon also can help prevent blood-sugar spikes after meals.
Cilantro for psoriasis
Q. I read a newspaper column that mentioned cilantro herb in the diet could be helpful for psoriasis. I tried this, adding fresh cilantro to my diet. It is a very versatile herb, and I was delighted to experience dramatic improvement in my psoriasis symptoms. BRAVO to you and the reader who originally gave the recommendation!
A. A few months ago, we heard from the reader who initially suggested this approach:“I have been using this as needed for more than 10 years. When I first notice small red patches, usually on my legs, I get two bunches of cilantro leaves and eat them over the next three days or so. The red spots go away.”
We have not found any scientific studies of eating cilantro leaves (Coriandrum sativum) to control the redness and itching due to psoriasis. Cilantro is a popular component of many cuisines, from Southeast Asia and China to Latin America and the Mediterranean.
Not everyone likes the taste of cilantro, however. For some people, the leaves taste like soap. They may wish to look for dietary supplements with cilantro in health-food stores.
Joe and Teresa Graedon: www.peoplespharmacy.com