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Ask Dr. Gott 10/11

Garlic keeps all the bloodsuckers away

    DEAR DR. GOTT: One hot summer, my husband and I went to a Little League baseball game. The mosquitoes were thick. Everyone was slapping at them but to no avail. We were not bothered by them. Lots of them were only circling around us. Why, you ask? Because we had taken garlic tablets. They work to keep the mosquitoes away. We have used the tablets for years. They work every time, and there is no odor.
    DEAR READER: Great idea. Garlic seems to work well as a bug repellant, but this is the first I have heard of garlic pills having the same effect. All the benefits with none of the drawbacks, namely, the strong garlic smell that permeates everything. Thanks for writing. Batter up!
    DEAR DR. GOTT: I am a 77-year-old South Carolina country boy who has read and enjoyed your piece in our local newspaper for years. I also suffered with cramps at night (after a good day's work) and before arising if I stretched my body. That was in the past. I tried the bar of soap in bed, and I haven't been bothered by cramps since. In thankfulness for your advice, I have written a poem (limerick) in your honor.
There once was a doctor named Gott,
Who said, "If cramps are your lot,
Just put soap in your sack,
And the cramp in your back,
Will be gone, believe it or not."
    DEAR READER: I am proud of your poem in my honor. Thank you.
    Soap has helped many readers, and I suspect it will help many more since the recent removal of quinine tablets from the market. Tonic water (8 ounces at bedtime) is also a successful substitute for many people.
    For those with persistent leg cramps and pain, I recommend you see your physician. You may have a condition called Restless Legs Syndrome, for which medications such as Requip may be helpful.

    DEAR DR. GOTT: I read your column in regard to cherries for gout. Can you please tell me if this means canned cherry pie filling, maraschino (red or green) cherries in a jar or fresh cherries? How many should I eat to achieve benefits? I always read your columns and have found many helpful tidbits.
    DEAR READER: Other readers have written me to share their experiences with cherries as a treatment (and preventive) for gout.
    The form of the cherries appears to make no difference: fresh, canned, frozen, dried or juiced. Most readers prefer fresh cherries (a handful three times a day for acute gout; a few cherries a day for prevention).
    Remember that nothing in the medical world is guaranteed, so don't be disappointed if the cherry therapy fails. But the treatment is usually favorable.

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