Q. My husband and I have been together for more than 16 years. I’m 34, and he’s a few years older. I’m the one who wants to have sex more often.
I love him. He is a great guy, but sex once every three months is so frustrating to me. I would prefer two or three times a week.
I initiate lovemaking most of the time. I try not to ask, but it’s so hard to just keep my sex drive to myself. I want the intimacy. I wish I could just take a pill to make me uninterested in sex.
A. Although there are some medicines that lower sex drive as a side effect, we cannot recommend them. They can cause too many other possible adverse reactions.
We recently heard from a woman who reported that drinking spearmint tea morning and evening reduced her overactive libido. Research indicates that spearmint tea can lower testosterone levels, which might help to explain this effect (Phytotherapy Research, February 2010).
Another reader tried this approach and wrote: “The spearmint tea truly does work for decreasing sex drive. As a female with previously high sex drive, I’ve been greatly relieved by this. It has brought more harmony to my marriage. I had to drink it for a few weeks before I noticed the effect.”
You and your husband also may find counseling useful. We hope the spearmint tea helps.
Q. A number of years ago, my blood pressure was 210/100. I took the prescribed medication but started reading about how to control high blood pressure naturally. I forget to take pills if I have no symptoms.
I read that low-carbohydrate diets can lower your blood pressure, so I cut down on bread, pasta and fruit but eat lots of nonstarchy vegetables. A few months after I also eliminated sugar, my blood pressure dropped to about 120/80 without meds.
I never cut back on salt, and my blood pressure is now regularly 110/68 at home. It still pops up to 140/80 at the doctor’s office. I carry my cuff with me there so that she can check my recent readings and test it against her meter.
Be sure to check your blood pressure after sitting quietly for five minutes. I got these instructions while I was a member of a 10-year Women’s Health Initiative study, but the doctor’s office doesn’t always follow them.
A. We are delighted that you were able to lower your blood pressure so successfully and that you continue to monitor it carefully. The diet you describe is quite similar to one that has been proven effective.
Anyone who would like to learn more about lowering blood pressure naturally with diet and special foods such as beet and grape juice, kefir and pomegranate may be interested in our Guide to Blood Pressure Treatment. To order a copy, please send $3 in check or money order with a long (No. 10), stamped (70 cents), self-addressed envelope to: Graedons’ People’s Pharmacy, No. B-67, P.O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027. It also can be downloaded for $2 from our website: www.peoplespharmacy.com.
Q. I recently began using a castor-oil pack (castor oil and a heating pad) on my tummy for abdominal pain on the advice of my acupuncturist. To my surprise, after about 10 applications, an itchy skin tag I’d had there for more than 20 years has vanished. Apparently, castor oil also can cause skin tags to disappear.
A. Thank you for sharing this new approach to getting rid of skin tags.
In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Write to them via www.PeoplesPharmacy.com.