Health & Family

Fresh sauerkraut juice helps ease canker sores

Q. My husband has canker sores in his mouth all the time. The doctors he has seen say there's no cure, so he has to live with it. What can you recommend?

Readers report that fresh kiwi fruit can be helpful. Here's another reader's remedy: “Sauerkraut juice has worked like a miracle for me! It starts clearing up a canker sore within hours, and the sore is usually healed by the next day. One caveat, though: Juice from canned sauerkraut doesn't work nearly as well as the fresh stuff (in the refrigerated deli section).

“It's such a weird remedy that I did some research on sauerkraut to see why it might work. Sauerkraut is fermented (like yogurt or sourdough) and is full of probiotics. I've discovered that if I sip a little sauerkraut juice every couple of days, I don't develop canker sores in the first place.”

Ooooh, excuse me!

Q. I am in good health and take Toprol for blood pressure, Crestor for cholesterol and Evista to prevent osteoporosis. My problem is gas. I have so much that it is very embarrassing when I work with the other ladies at church. Breakfast is oatmeal; midday, I have chicken, fish or beef with vegetables and a fruit; and supper is a sandwich and an apple. How can I get rid of this problem?

Your diet and your medications might be contributing to the problem. Evista can cause gas in about 3 percent of patients; Toprol and Crestor affect about 1 percent in this way. Don't stop your drugs, but ask your health care provider about alternatives.

Onion for stings

Q. You've written about baking soda and vinegar to ease wasp stings. Until about 35 years ago I used this remedy. Then a friend suggested that I apply raw yellow onion as soon as possible. I take about a teaspoon of grated onion, put it on the sting and bandage it in place. It provides immediate relief, and the swelling disappears quite soon. I always take a raw onion as part of my first-aid kit on camping trips. If I don't need it for a sting, I can always use it in a stew.

You aren't the only one to benefit from raw onion for stings. We've heard other reports of it working.

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