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Section: general-health

Dear Ann Landers,
Recently, a reader sent in a "sure cure" for a headache. He said it worked every time. It went something like this: Take a banana, and peel it. Tape half of the banana peel to your forehead with adhesive and the rest to the back of your head. He said the headache should be gone in 20 minutes. I don't get headaches often, but the day I read that column, I had a killer migraine. Although people say you shouldn't put bananas in the refrigerator, I always do, and that is where I found my "lifesaver." I used commercial duct tape to keep half the banana peel on my forehead and the other half on the back of my neck. Ann, in less than 30 minutes, my headache was gone. I phoned my husband, a chemistry teacher, and told him about my miraculous cure. He said, "That was no miracle. You apparently had a potassium deficiency in your system, and the banana filled it." Mystery solved. -- Greensboro, N.C.

Dear Greensboro,
I'm happy it worked for you. Keep reading for more: From Chatham, Ontario: Your "banana cure" intrigued me, so I taped it to my bathroom wall "just in case." Yesterday, I felt a headache coming on and went into action. When I looked in the mirror and saw myself with a banana peel taped to my forehead, I started to laugh and couldn't stop. After about 10 minutes, I took a brief nap. When I woke up, the headache was gone. I don't know if it was the banana peel, the laughter, the nap or the combination of all three, but from now on, there will always be a banana in my refrigerator. Seattle: You certainly proved your gullibility when you fell for that old banana-peel gimmick sent in by Dick Frymire of Irvington, Ky. He assured you that within 30 minutes, if you apply the banana peel and just relax, the headache will disappear. Actually, at least 85 percent of all headaches will disappear if you "just relax" because most headaches are caused by tension. Sierra Madre, Calif.: You asked readers to try the banana-peel cure for headaches. Oddly enough, I felt a headache coming on just as I was reading that column. I couldn't decide if I should take some pain medication or go for the banana cure. I went to the kitchen, peeled a banana and taped it to the front and back of my head with package tape. Within a few minutes, my headache was gone. Burke, Va.: I haven't needed the banana-peel headache cure because my husband, an Indian from South America, learned a simple cure from his mother. Apply thick slices of an unpeeled potato to the neck and forehead. Secure with a scarf. It has never failed. Toronto: Why don't you stick to lovelorn advice and leave medical cures to the experts in the field? I read about your banana cure for headaches and decided to eat two bananas a day for a week. My headaches continued unabated, and I gained two pounds. Don't sign my name. I'm too embarrassed to reveal myself.

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Reader Comment
The statement from "Toronto" was apparently misguided. No one told you to eat 2 bananas every day for a week. Learn to read, sweet cheeks! I've never tried the 'cure' for headaches, but it does sound a little weird. I don't think I'll be trying it any time soon. But I would like to see the end of testimonies about cure all seers and gurus in this column. Just don't belong here!
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"Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and repeat to yourself, the most comforting words of all; this, too, shall pass."
-Ann Landers