Q: With all the things in the newspapers about what herbs and vitamins can be dangerous, I wanted to check again about taking Ginkgo biloba. I take it for my memory and it is very good, but I saw something in a magazine about not taking it with medication.
A: Ginkgo biloba is, indeed, very good for the memory, which is why the Chinese call it Memory Tree. It is also excellent for your circulation and can help deal with cold hands and feet. Some men find it helps with impotence too, so it really has a whole raft of beneficial effects. One of the extra things that it does is to reduce the stickiness of the blood, so that you are less likely to have a stroke. If you are already taking Aspirin or Warfarin, which also thin the blood, then you shouldn’t take Ginkgo as well, as you would be doubling the effect. If you are on Aspirin or Warfarin then you could take Vinca minor instead, as it has a beneficial effect on circulation without having the blood-thinning effect that Ginkgo has.
Q: I am constantly battling with my cholesterol level, which is not terrible but is higher than my doctor would like. Can you give me some advice? I eat healthily and exercise, but all my family have had high cholesterol.
A: Inherited high cholesterol is terribly unfair, as you can do everything right and still suffer. I am sure that you are aware of not eating the unhealthy fats such as red meat, dairy produce and fried foods, but also bear in mind that your body can change excess amounts of refined sugar into fat, so refined carbohydrates may have a detrimental effect too. Avoid coffee and other caffeinated products and drink plenty of water. Take Cynara, a tincture of artichoke which helps the body to process cholesterol correctly and break it down more effectively. It also reduces the amount of cholesterol that the body itself makes, which can be very useful if you have an inherited tendency to high cholesterol. I would also suggest taking Choline and Inositol, as they help the liver to metabolize fats, as well as including garlic in your diet, as this is good for clearing cholesterol from the arteries and tissues.
Q: What can I take to help me keep warm this winter?
A: Ginkgo biloba is a top favorite, as it stimulates circulation. However, another herb that deserves more attention than it gets is Ginger. This boosts the circulation but also ‘warms’ the blood. The Chinese use it as a blood tonic and it certainly does have a warming effect. Other benefits include its anti-inflammatory effect and the stimulant effect it has on your digestion, reducing feelings of nausea and heaviness. It has no contraindications or side effects, so it is very easy and safe to use.
Q: I would be grateful if you could help with a problem of tendonitis that my daughter has been suffering from for much too long over a year now. It is now very, very painful, causing her to cut back greatly on her work. An operation has been mooted but she isn’t keen on this. The problem goes from the elbow to her wrist on the inside of
A: I would use Devils Claw and Glucosamine Sulphate together, for a 4 to 6 month period. Physiotherapists can sometimes help with ultrasound treatment.
Q: Please can you advise me what I can take for gout? I was prescribed Allopurinol but am allergic to this. I am trying to stick to the diet given to me by the Arthritis Association but cant get rid of the build-up around my joints fingers mostly. The doctor says he can do no more for me. I’ve tried Knotgrass, Devils Claw and am now on Glucosamine.
A: Urtica dioica (stinging nettle) is very effective for treating gout. You could either take a nettle tincture or drink several cups of nettle tea daily. Diet also plays an important part in controlling the condition, so try to avoid caffeine, red meats, shellfish and dairy products.
Q: My osteoporosis in the spine was made worse when I had a fall on my back. I am in constant pain with it. I have been taking Glucosamine Sulphate. Painkillers do not work at all. Have you any suggestions?
A: I am sorry to hear of your fall. There are several products you could take to help your condition. Parasites are a natural painkiller and can be taken when needed. Devils Claw will help to ease the inflammation and a natural calcium supplement, containing urtica and silica will help the body to absorb and utilize calcium. Remember to drink plenty of water and try to avoid caffeine, red meat, and high salt and sugar intake.
*The Emerald City Journal recommends consulting with a physician before implementing any of this advice. We’re a newspaper not a doctor.