Q. I’ve been reading about cinnamon on your website. I’m 33 years old and healthy, so I take no medication. I like to have a cinnamon stick in hot water with lemon in the morning. Is drinking this on a daily basis bad for me?
A. Cinnamon tea with lemon should not pose a problem. We have heard from people that lemon juice in hot water is an old-fashioned approach for regularity.
Q. My urologist has diagnosed me with interstitial cystitis. He initially put me on Tofranil. When it caused a rapid heart rate (tachycardia), I discontinued it.
He said he thought I had “overactive bladder” because I have to make several trips to the potty during the night, so he put me on Ditropan. I am still having the discomfort that feels like cystitis.
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He said if my symptoms didn’t get better, he could instill DMSO (Rimso-50) into the bladder, which I am hesitant about. My question is: Is there a holistic treatment you could recommend? I have been drinking cranberry juice and have eliminated as much caffeine as possible. I also have cut way back on diet drinks and artificial sweeteners.
A. If cranberry juice has added vitamin C, it could be counterproductive. That’s because citrus products with vitamin C may irritate the bladder. Other beverages to avoid include coffee (even decaffeinated), carbonated beverages and wine. People also are advised to avoid spices, acidic foods like tomatoes and fruits such as berries, kiwi, peaches and pineapple.
You may wish to consider an over-the-counter product called Prelief (calcium glycerophosphate). This nondrug dietary supplement removes most of the acid from food and has been reported to ease symptoms (International Urogynecology Journal, August 2016).
You also may want to let your doctor know about a new study that shows hyaluronic acid plus chondroitin sulfate works as well as DMSO with fewer side effects (Neurourology Urodynamics, Sept. 21, 2016).
Q. You have written in your column about using grape juice and Certo to relieve plantar fasciitis. I have chronic gout and peripheral neuropathy in my right foot, and I want to try this cocktail to see if I can get relief. How much Certo do I put into what quantity of grape juice? I hope you can give me the recipe.
A. The classic Certo and grape juice recipe was developed as a home remedy for arthritis. People use 2 teaspoons of Certo in 3 ounces of purple grape juice three times daily. Some find that 1 tablespoon of Certo in 8 ounces of grape juice taken once daily is more convenient. Certo is liquid plant pectin and is used to thicken jams and jellies. It can be found in the canning section of your grocery.
To learn more about this and other natural approaches to easing inflammation, we are sending you our Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis. Anyone who would like a copy, please send $3 in check or money order with a long (No. 10), stamped (68 cents), self-addressed envelope to: Graedons’ People’s Pharmacy, No. AA-2, P.O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027. It also can be downloaded for $2 from our website: peoplespharmacy.com.
Other nondrug approaches to dealing with gout include celery seeds (Apium graveolens) and tart cherries (BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, March 1, 2016).
In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Write to them in care of this newspaper or email them via their Web site: PeoplesPharmacy.com. Their newest book is “Top Screwups Doctors Make and How to Avoid Them.”