Q. I was fascinated with the story of turmeric milk for hip bursitis. I’d like to try it, but I need more information. What are the proportions of almond milk, turmeric, cinnamon and cayenne pepper?

A. The reader did not specify the proportions. However, we have a traditional recipe for turmeric milk in our book “Spice Up Your Health”:

8 ounces of milk (dairy or nondairy, preferably not skim)

1 teaspoon powdered turmeric

1 teaspoon honey

Pinch black pepper

Bring the milk to a simmer. Stir the spices and honey into a tablespoon of unheated milk in a mug that will hold the hot milk too. Add it and stir thoroughly.

The reader left out the honey and added cinnamon and cayenne. The most likely proportions would be 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and about 1/8 teaspoon cayenne, but you may need to adjust the cayenne to your taste. You might also consider adding 1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger.

Turmeric is the spice that makes curry yellow. It is also found in yellow mustard. This spice has been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, perhaps due to its anti-inflammatory activity (Pharmacological Research, May 25, 2020).

People taking anticoagulants should not use turmeric, as it might increase the risk of bleeding. Some people may develop an allergic rash to turmeric.

Q. I started following The People’s Pharmacy about 30 years ago. As a nurse, I am familiar with most drugs, so the home remedies section is my favorite. I helped my husband stop his cramps with tonic water.

A friend recently asked me if I had any ideas about her eczema. I suggested cider vinegar topically. She is thrilled with the result — no more itching and her spots are going away.

A. Apple cider vinegar as a soak for eczema is new to us. A research team at the University of Virginia tested this treatment to see if it improves skin barrier function like urea does (Pediatric Dermatology, September 2019). Sadly, it does not, but the investigators are considering whether some other type of acidic ointment might help.

Q. I took meloxicam to treat arthritis pain for a year. Then I was rushed to the emergency room with excruciating pain in my abdomen. After many X-rays, the doctors determined that I had a ruptured peptic ulcer and needed emergency surgery.

I was told to stop taking meloxicam immediately to avoid a repeat. I certainly don’t want another ulcer, but I would like some relief for the joint pain. What can you suggest?

A. NSAIDs like meloxicam, diclofenac, ibuprofen and naproxen all can increase the risk for ulcer formation. A ruptured peptic ulcer (also called a perforated or bleeding ulcer) is a life-threatening condition, as you discovered.

You might want to consider some home or herbal remedies to see if one works for you. Many people find that gin-soaked golden raisins can help. Others prefer Certo plant pectin dissolved in grape juice. Knox gelatin stirred into juice, yogurt or applesauce has its fans.

Herbal therapies, including ashwagandha, Boswellia, ginger and stinging nettle, may ease inflammation. Some people find that acupuncture or bee sting therapy can be helpful. Others report good results with the dietary supplements MSM and SAMe.

You can learn more about all of these approaches in our eGuide to Alternatives for Arthritis. This online resource is available in the Health eGuides section of www.PeoplesPharmacy.com.

In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Write to them in care of King Features, 628 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL 32803, or email them via their website:


— King Features

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