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February 20, 2013 1:03 PM   Subscribe

Is the dietary advice the doctor gives the captain to help his hemorrhoids in the novel Captain Corelli's Mandolin good advice in the real world for this condition?

The doctor's advice:

'The answer to your problem is to eat a lot of onions, tomatoes, parsley, basil, oregano, and garlic. The garlic will be an antiseptic for the fissures, and the other things, taken together, will soften the stools. It is very important not to strain at all, and if you eat meat, it must always be accompanied by a great deal of fluid and a sideplate of vegetables.'

The part about eating vegetables and lots of fluids makes sense. In particular, I'm curious the about the advice with the onions, tomatoes, parsley, basil, oregano, and garlic.
posted by bluefly to Health & Fitness (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
The allicin in garlic has antiseptic properties. I don't know about the rest.
posted by SyraCarol at 2:19 PM on February 20, 2013


It's all good advice, but if it worked, no one in Italy would have hemorrhoids.
posted by ubiquity at 2:44 PM on February 20, 2013


My friend has hemmorrhoids, and his doctor told him to avoid tomatoes, I think because the acid would be irritating. It was a real sacrifice for him!
posted by MrOlenCanter at 4:26 PM on February 20, 2013


A high fibre diet is recommended. Cooked onion and whole or raw tomatos are good sources of fibre, not nearly as good as raw apple with its skin on though.
posted by Under the Sea at 4:55 PM on February 20, 2013


The allicin in garlic has antiseptic properties. I don't know about the rest.


I've heard of using garlic for yeast infections -- directly applied to the affected area. If you eat garlic, would the antiseptic properties last until it came out on the "other end"?

Tomatoes seemed a weird suggestion to me, too.

Thanks for entertaining my question.
posted by bluefly at 5:16 AM on February 21, 2013


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