Q: When I was growing up, my mother suggested I apply lemon juice under my arms at least once a week while I was taking a shower to avoid using deodorant. So I did. I rubbed my armpit with half of the lemon and left the juice on for about five minutes while I washed. Before I ended my shower, I applied soap and water to remove the lemon juice.
I have never used deodorant and have never needed it.
A: Thanks for an unusual suggestion. We caution others that lemon juice should not be applied to abraded skin or scratches, so do not put it on right after shaving armpits. It could sting like crazy!
Editor’s note: Milk of Magnesia is also recommended by readers.
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist, and Teresa Graedon is an expert in medical anthropology and nutrition. In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. E-mail them via their Web site: www.peoples pharmacy.com. They can be reached at peoplespharmacy @gmail.com.