Pump­kin seed oil helps woman with UTI Q.

The Buffalo News - - NFL - Q. Af­ter read­ing that cin­na­mon can help con­trol blood sugar, I de­cided to try it. I eat a lit­tle bit of ground cin­na­mon when I eat sweets or any­thing like white bread that quickly turns to sugar. Be­fore, if I ate dessert at night or even French toast for

My hus­band uses roasted pump­kin seed oil on his sal­ads. He learned to love it grow­ing up in Aus­tria, where it is very pop­u­lar. One evening I read that it is good for uro­log­i­cal is­sues. I’ve been plagued with uri­nary tract in­fec­tions, and of­ten have to get up in the mid­dle of the night to trek to the bath­room. I de­cided to give it a try.

Even though I was very skep­ti­cal, I am thrilled. I’ve taken pump­kin seed oil cap­sules for prob­a­bly two years or more, and I haven’t had a UTI in more than a year. Also, I do not get up at night any longer. UTIs are a night­mare, so this is a real ben­e­fit.

A. Pump­kin seed oil has been used to treat symp­toms such as noc­turia (fre­quent night­time uri­na­tion) and over­ac­tive blad­der (Jour­nal of Tra­di­tional and Com­ple­men­tary Medicine, Jan­uary-March 2014). We could find no stud­ies demon­strat­ing that pump­kin seed oil can pre­vent uri­nary tract in­fec­tions.

A. Cin­na­mon can help re­duce the rapid rise in blood sugar that hap­pens af­ter eat­ing some­thing that is quickly di­gested, like sugar or white bread (Jour­nal of Di­a­betes Re­search, on­line, July 14, 2015). Cin­na­mon can be taken as pow­der or tea, but we think tea is bet­ter. The com­po­nents of cin­na­mon that lower blood sugar are wa­ter-sol­u­ble, so they are car­ried safely in tea. Coumarin is a toxic com­pound that is found in some cin­na­mon. It is not wa­ter-sol­u­ble but you could get some in ground cin­na­mon.

Not all cin­na­mon in the su­per­mar­ket is the same. Cin­namo­mum cas­sia, the most com­mon type, has more coumarin than Cin­namo­mum vera, Cey­lon cin­na­mon. You can learn more about this fas­ci­nat­ing spice and get recipes for its use in our book “Spice Up Your Health.” It may be or­dered at peo­ple­sphar­macy. com. To or­der by mail, please send a check for $15.95 plus $4 ship­ping and han­dling to: Grae­don En­ter­prises (SUYH), PO Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027.

A. Vi­tex ag­nus-cas­tus (chaste­berry) has been used tra­di­tion­ally to treat women’s re­pro­duc­tive prob­lems, par­tic­u­larly pre­men­strual syn­drome. An Ital­ian study of post­menopausal women suf­fer­ing with hot flashes and night sweats found that a com­bi­na­tion of Vi­tex with mag­no­lia and soy isoflavones al­le­vi­ated both symp­toms (Nu­tri­ents, Feb. 13, 2017).

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