Tips for garden composting, healthy gums, and more … Reader advice on recent reader questions

Tips for garden composting, healthy gums, and more … Reader advice on recent reader questions – Your Community Health Forum

Put Food Scraps to Use

JILL JACOBS from Pittsburgh wrote via email for tips on composting.

JOEL STRYKER, a master composter for Santa Cruz County, Calif., responded via email: You can compost just about any food of food waste. However, meats, oils, of dairy can attract dogs, rats, of raccoons, and stink up your compost. Fruit and vegetable waste, bread, pasta, coffee grounds and filters, tea bags, and old, moldy leftovers are all great for the compost, and will not smell in a properly managed pile. A good general book for setting up a composting system is Let It Rot (Storey Books, 1998) by Stu Campbell.

Skin Dryness Solved

F. HARKNESS from Niagara Falls, Ontario, wrote in for help with Sjogren’s syndrome, an inflammatory autoimmune disorder that causes dryness.

STACY ASTOR SHAUL from Newbury Park, Calif., responded via email: I had Sjogren’s symptoms and found relief by cutting sugar out of my diet. I no longer have the dryness.

Preserving Your Gums

MARY ROGERS from Regina, Saskatchewan, wrote about her daughter’s receding gum line.

GIL from Dallas responded via email: It sounds as though your daughter brushes her teeth too vigorously. Her gums won’t grow back, but they will stop receding if she lightens her grip a bit.

ROSEMARY WOOD from Binghamton, N.Y., responded via email: I have found the daily use of a Waterpik, along with regular brushing and flossing, to be invaluable in the fight against receding gums and gum disease.

Editor’s Note: For more dental tips, see “Massage Your Gums,” page 22.

Leg Help

R.E. MARSHALL from New York City wrote for help with venous insufficiency.

MARY JO HESSERT from Wausau, Wis., responded: I believe the best therapy for this condition is osteopathic manipulation given by an osteopathic physician. I am confident that this will help, if not cure you altogether. Good luck.

Can You Help?

These Readers Are Seeking Advice

Add Spark to Water

I’m trying to drink more water, but I find the taste too bland. At home, I sometimes put lemon in my water. But when I’m at work, I don’t have many options. Does anyone have suggestions on what to add that would make water taste better?

Marianne Randall

San Diego, Calif., via email

Too Much Iron

My recent blood test results showed a high iron count. My doctor wasn’t concerned, but I’ve heard that it can cause serious problems if left untreated. Does anyone have any information?

Diane Johnson

Wixom, Mich., via email

Needs Help for Hives

I had chronic hives for more than two years in the early 1990s. Now they’re back. Doctors gave me steroids and antihistamines but I’ve had only limited relief. Has anyone else had this health problem? It affects my life, both personally and professionally.


Roseville, Calif.

Answers to these questions may appear as early as our October/November 2002 issue.


Have a question to ask or an answer to give? Send it to Reader to Reader, Natural Health, 70 Lincoln Street, 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02111, or email us at

COPYRIGHT 2002 Weider Publications

COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group