WASHINGTON (April 21, 2011)—Did you know that ginger provides pain relief and eases cold symptoms? Or that chewing gum can relieve the symptoms of heartburn? Or that walnuts are great cholesterol-cutters? Certain foods can help prevent illness and alleviate chronic conditions, too, such as coconut to fight Crohn’s disease, or beet juice to lower high blood pressure.
Now, in a new book from National Geographic, THE PEOPLE’S PHARMACY QUICK & HANDY HOME REMEDIES: Q&As for Your Common Ailments (National Geographic Books; ISBN 978-1-4262-0711-2; May 17, 2011; $14.95 paperback), Joe and Terry Graedon, hosts of the popular public radio program and writers of the syndicated newspaper column “The People’s Pharmacy,” share these ideas and many more, including some of the best and most trusted home remedies and commonsense suggestions they have collected over the past three decades from their readers and listeners. Some are familiar, some are surprising:
- Raw onion to ease wasp stings
- Chicken soup to alleviate cold and flu symptoms
- Fish oil to stave off a heart attack
- Concord grape juice to kill a cough and lower blood pressure
- Mayonnaise to get rid of lice
- Cherries to fight arthritis and gout
- A bar of soap under the bottom sheet to ease restless legs
- Yams to slow the onslaught of hot flashes during menopause
The effectiveness of some of these remedies can be explained by science, and whenever possible the Graedons explain why they work. In other cases, the reason for the remedies’ efficacy is a mystery, but the Graedons pass them along so others can try them as well. They are careful to warn that home remedies should not substitute for medical attention — but when a bar of soap or a bowlful of cherries might help, why not give them a try?
“Our motto is, if it won’t hurt, might help, and doesn’t cost too much, it’s worth considering,” they write.
Eating for health is as important as knowing about home remedies, and in THE PEOPLE’S PHARMACY QUICK & HANDY HOME REMEDIES, the Graedons share three basic diets that have proven health benefits — the DASH (low-salt) diet, the Mediterranean diet and a low-carb diet. The Graedons have also singled out their 24 “favorite foods” — from garlic to coconut, from coffee and tea to chocolate — and offer for each an up-to-date research report on just what, how and why these foods contribute to your daily diet. The book also provides healthy and delicious recipes by the Graedons and experts who have been guests on their radio show.
THE PEOPLE’S PHARMACY QUICK & HANDY HOME REMEDIES is organized in an easy-to-read question-and-answer format, alphabetical by ailment. Got a problem? Look it up in the book, then scan through all the possible remedies, reading firsthand accounts about how they’ve worked for others.
Combining the expertise of a pharmacologist —- Joe Graedon — and the knowledge of a medical anthropologist — Terry Graedon — with the authority that only National Geographic can bring, this new book provides trustworthy and interesting remedies — a sure way to reduce health care costs by healing yourself at home with remedies right out of the cupboard, refrigerator or garden.
About the Authors
Joe and Terry Graedon host the popular radio program “The People’s Pharmacy,” which can be heard on public radio stations across the country. They also write two syndicated newspaper columns, “The People’s Pharmacy” and “The People’s Herbal Pharmacy,” about both traditional and alternative treatments. Joe is a pharmacologist and American Association for the Advancement of Science fellow recognized for his contribution to the communication of the use and understanding of medicine. Terry is a medical anthropologist and a fellow of the Society for Applied Anthropology. Together, the Graedons have shared their expertise on health, medicine and nutrition for more than 30 years.