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Ask Dr. Gott 10/31
Home remedies help ward off hip surgery
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DEAR DR. GOTT: I have been a candidate for hip surgery for the past five years, although my doctor has discouraged it. X-rays show bone on bone. Three cortisone shots helped, but the relief was brief.
    I read your article mentioning castor-oil rubs and grape juice with pectin. I tried them. Within a few days, the soreness and weakness in my hip disappeared 80 percent, and I'm now walking farther and playing more tennis than I have in years, without pain or discomfort.
    The treatment possibly won't work for everyone, but for me it's a near miracle.
    DEAR READER: Thank you for sharing your positive experience with these alternative therapies. You are not alone. I've received hundreds of letters from people whose lives were changed for the better by using castor oil and/or pectin.
    To give you related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report "Osteoarthritis."

    DEAR DR. GOTT: I have read in your column about the success some have experienced using topical application of Vicks on toenails for the treatment of fungus. I have several questions and hope you can help.
    1. How exactly does one apply the Vicks? Is it necessary to put a thick coating on the nail or can one just rub a thin coat on?
    2. Is it necessary to cover the area above the nail or just the nail itself?
    3. Should I wait a few minutes after application to put on socks, or is it all right to put them on immediately?
    4. Approximately how long should it take before results begin to show up? I know this treatment does not work for everyone.
    5. Is it necessary to apply Vicks after the nail/nails have cleared? I once took antifungal drugs, and the nails cleared up, but as soon as I discontinued use of the drugs, the fungus came back. My doctor told me that the recurrence was not unusual after stopping the drug use.
    DEAR READER: Apply a thin coat of Vicks twice a day, and rub it in well, including the nail itself, the cuticle and the surrounding skin. You may put on socks after a few minutes.
    Beneficial effects usually appear after several weeks of application, but some people notice improvement within days. For others, up to six months of therapy may be necessary.
    Once normal, fungus-free nails have grown out, Vicks can be reapplied on an as-needed basis. This is, for most patients, an effective therapy that is safe and much less expensive than antifungal therapy.
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