New Year’s Resolution: Pay Attention to your Health
Our Wellness Department carries a plethora of items to maintain good health. One you might not expect is a series of books, Favorite Home Remedies, Recipes and Remedies, and Favorite Foods, published by hometown heroes Joe and Terry Graedon of the NPR show, The People’s Pharmacy.
Favorite Home Remedies lists health problems alphabetically, followed by a series of explanations and solutions. The solutions include questions from people followed by the Graedon’s response. For example, under “Eczema,” potential solutions include borage oil, instant glue, a low-carb diet, oolong tea, and vinegar. One person writes, “I tried [taking borage oil] … within a few months the eczema on my hands had disappeared completely.” In response, the Graedons explain that borage oil is rich in a certain fatty acid, but that not everyone will benefit from it. They cite a placebo-controlled study that showed borage oil to be ineffective. Two people write about the success they’ve had by drinking oolong tea, to which the Graedons reply that researchers speculate it is antioxidant polyphenols in the tea that are anti-allergenic and calm the immune response.
Recipes and Remedies explores foods that can help manage conditions. Part 1 lists several conditions, followed by foods that can help and simple recipes. For example, under “Managing Blood Sugar” the authors describe the benefits of bitter melon, cinnamon, almonds, fenugreek, and more. They mention the potential danger of too much cinnamon, and provide recipes for Bitter Melon Stir Fry, Cinnamon Coffee, Cinnamon-Almond Oatmeal, and Fenugreek Seed Tea. Part 2 gives two, week-long healthy menus for different seasons, followed by recipes for all the dishes in the menus.
Favorite Foods again links foods to health concerns they might alleviate, focusing on foods like blueberries, chocolate, and pomegranates, that confer great benefits. Part 1 is alphabetical by food. After describing the food and its benefits, the Graedons answer questions from readers related to specific conditions. They provide references to research articles. Part 2 is organized by condition. For example, under “Cough” the Graedon’s spill the beans that there is “no good evidence for or against the effectiveness of over-the-counter medicines in acute cough.” Then they list home remedies of chocolate, concord grape juice, ginger, sage tea, and thyme tea, giving testimonials from readers, explaining the food chemistry, or referencing research articles for each food. Part 3 is a brief description of three helpful diets: the DASH diet that helps with hypertension, the low-carb diet for weight-loss, and the Mediterranean diet that protects against many things from diabetes to Alzheimer’s disease.