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herbal help.

Byline: DEE ATKINSON

QIS there anything that you could suggest for my bottom lip which gets very dry and tender?

I have tried lots of lip balms and Vaseline, which do help, but within a short while they get very dry again.

I am wondering if it could be something to do with my age. I am 54 and am going through the change.

ATHERE are many possible causes for dry lips from lowered resistance to hormonal imbalances. When you go through the change of life, the texture of your skin and hair changes - often becoming drier - and the lips can sometimes flake and become quite sore.

Make sure that you have enough essential fatty acids in your diet. These are needed to maintain healthy and supple skin, and are particularly useful in preventing skin changes that are associated with hormonal problems.

One of the best sources is Flax Oil, which is one of the richest sources of Omega- 3 essential fatty acids.

Flax also has the added benefit of offering protection against health problems such as heart disease and high cholesterol.

Flax Seed Oil is available from health food stores and can be used to make salad dressings or added to smoothies.

It will take a few weeks for the Flax Oil to improve the underlying problems.

Meanwhile, try putting Aloe vera gel on your lips to sooth the tenderness and heal the cracks.

QI THINK I have gravel in my kidneys, my mother had this and I am having similar problems.

My GP has decided to wait and see how it develops since I have only had two incidents of discomfort and no stones have shown up on an ultrasound.

What could have caused this and is there anything herbal that I could take?

AIT is possible that gravel could be caused by eating foods that are high in calcium oxalate which is found in rhubarb, spinach, gooseberries and chocolate.

Drinking hard water can be a partial cause. Uric acid in certain foods can also be part of the problem.

Try eating a low acid diet, totally avoiding the foods mentioned above, drink about three litres of mineral water a day, always making sure, of course, that it has a low calcium content.

Herbs can be used to try and dissolve gravel and small stones, but this is best done with the supervision of a practitioner.

Gravel Root and Stone Root and diuretic herbs such as Cornsilk and Couch Grass have long been used for kidney problems.

Call the National Herbal Help Line on 0906 802 0117 to find your nearest Herbal Practitioner.

Dee Atkinson is the director of Napier's the Herbalist, Scotland's longest-established herbalists, with clinics in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Write to Dee at Vital, Daily Record, One Central Quay, Glasgow G3 8DA or email vital@dailyrecord.co.uk

herbal hotline

If you want advice, call the independent Herbal Hotline on 0906 802 0117 9am-1pm, Monday to Friday. Calls are answered by qualified medical herbalists and are charged at 60p a minute.
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Title Annotation:Vital
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Oct 9, 2002
Words:505
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