Remedies for Coughs

My daughter has had a cough for several weeks.  Thankfully, it’s almost gone now.  When it first started, I worried it could turn to pneumonia.  Right before Christmas she had a fever, was wheezing, and coughing up mucus; so I decided to take her to the doctor to make sure it hadn’t turned to pneumonia (they listen for crackle sounds).  Thankfully, it hadn’t.  I am pretty proactive with giving her natural remedies as soon as symptoms arise.

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The most effective remedies I’ve used and have seen results:

Garlic Oil : crush garlic (use a garlic press if you have one) and put it in olive oil, let sit a few minutes and then rub oil on the soles of feet and or chest.  I do this three times a day when things are really bad.  Garlic is a great antiviral and antibiotic!  It helps reduce fevers and clears up ear infections!

Do Terra’s Breathe Blend/Eucalyptus Essential Oil: Put 4 drops in a bath or in an oil (jojoba, olive, coconut, etc-whatever your preference) and rub on chest or soles of feet.  I add a few drops to the humidifier too.

Slippery Elm Tea: I mix the powder with warm water or juice.

Elderberry Syrup

To prevent coughs from turning into pneumonia, create an environment with lots of humidity to loosen mucus (run shower while taking a bath) and do percussion tapping (basically tap back and chest).

*Again, I’m not a doctor; but these are things that have helped our family.  Only you can decide how to treat your family*

GAPS intro is harder then I anticipated.

From someone who was already grain free, starch free, and unrefined sugar free, GAPS intro is still hard!  Grant it I likely had a lot of bad bacteria and yeast issues from years of antibiotics, etc; so my body is responding to the diet. (The lack of sugars, starches, and carbs are allowing the bad bacteria and yeast to die off.)

I took a whole capsule of bio kult probiotic this morning two or so hours before waking up for the day.  This was too much or too far away from taking food because the next time I got up, I could barely stand.  I literally crawled to the kitchen and made myself some carrot juice for instant fuel, took some fermented cod liver oil, and heated up some broth with some eggs.  Slightly improved but still weak, I stayed in bed all morning while my husband and little girl went to church.  At some point I tried getting up again and still had issues, so I went to the kitchen to grab ghee and honey.  I mixed them up and my body really enjoyed it, to the point I may have eaten too much.  I think my blood sugar was low and when I went to get up it felt like my blood pressure was low.  So, after another hour or so in bed, I tried getting up again. This time I felt so much better.  I made myself some lunch ( had a chicken boiling in the crock pot) and introduced some sauerkraut .  I skipped some parts of previous stages due to how I was feeling and my body was craving something new.  Mmmm. The combo of chicken and kraut was delicious.  While I had the energy, I decided to make some nut butter for another day.  I had a smidgen just to taste it.

I underestimated how low energy and sick feeling I would feel at times.  These are all cues to back off a little bit or eat something your body needs at the time. The gut and brain are so connected that I’m even having issues coping with things and being emotionally on edge.

I may end up going through intro a little faster now, or I may be content in the remaining stages due to the added variety of eggs, nut butter, fermented foods, etc.  for the most part I am on stage three, minus the carrot juice from this morning.

Im thankful to have a husband who is helping out today by taking care of Eby.

Day Two/Day Three of Gaps Intro: Stage Two

I underestimated how difficult GAPS intro is.  I have so many cravings for something sweet or starchy.  The reason the intro stage is so hard is that the bad bacteria is dying off from lack of sugars, starches, and carbs feeding them.  This stage is so important, so the good bacteria have a chance to repopulate with the introduction of fermented foods juice and probiotics.  Skip over the stage too quickly and you won’t have the healing you desire.

I’m physically exhausted, thirsty, irritable, and tired of chicken broth already.  I don’t have much patience.

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Yesterday, most of the food I ate were the leftovers from day one.  I did boil another chicken and make pulled chicken with carrot zucchini noodles for dinner.  I forgot to peel the zucchini, so that was GAPS intro illegal.

i have found that herbal gelatin really helps curb the cravings and hunger.  Here is the recipe I used:

http://kehoeskitchen.com/2013/05/01/peppermint-intro-jellies/#.UmF7nMu9KSM

You can use peppermint tea, chamomile, or ginger tea.  You can even add honey if you are finding you need something to help your blood sugar.

Basically the recipe is 1 1/3 c tea to 6 Tbsp gelatin.

I use Great Lakes grass fed pastured gelatin. http://amzn.to/19Ryshj

For the most part, I have been resting.  Last night I was abnormally tired, I wanted to crawl into bed at 7:30.

This morning I had meatballs for breakfast ( beef and chicken liver combined) that I made in the crockpot last night.  I made two pounds so I could freeze some for another day.  I also had a raw egg yolk in broth.

For lunch, Eby and I ate the leftover pulled chicken with some broth (with one raw egg yolk) and two spoonfuls of sauerkraut juice.

Right now I have beef broth going in one crockpot, and a roast boiling in the other.  We will probably have the roast with some carrots or carrot soup tonight.

I look forward to future stages, but I don’t want to rush through the stage just because Im tired of the food.  I want to do it right the first time so I don’t have to go on intro again.

Ear Infections

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Ever have an ear infection?  If you have, you know they are painful.

I never had an ear infection until this last year.  This year I’ve had two.  I’m thankful for the experience, so I know how to help Eby when and if she seems like she has one.

A trip to the doctor is not necessary.  All you need is a clove of garlic and olive oil and you can both prevent and treat ear infections!

Peel a garlic clove and crush it.  Place it in some olive oil in a closed container for 8-12 hours in a dark place.  After 8-12 hours, strain out the garlic and pour the garlic oil into a dark eye dropper bottle.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001FAT8A2/ref=as_li_ss_il?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B001FAT8A2&linkCode=as2&tag=thepne-20

Any time you think you might have an ear infection or your child is acting like they have one, put one or two drops in each ear.  Repeat until symptoms subside.  You can warm the bottle of oil in a pot of hot water (make sure the oil isn’t hot when you put it in your ear.).   It’s harmless even if you don’t have an ear infection.

Hot water bottles help a lot too.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001CKEO68/ref=as_li_ss_il?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B001CKEO68&linkCode=as2&tag=thepne-20

If your child gets recurring ear infections, dairy may be to blame.

Also, I’m not an advocate of the garlic oil you find in the store.  It has not worked for us.

Other things you can do: pull out and down on your ears very quickly three times on each ear.  This is something our chiropractor taught us.

Acne: My Journey with Cystic Acne

I didn’t struggle with acne till my second year of college.  My second year of college was full of stressful life events.  Between a misunderstood relationship to my grandfathers battle with cancer (and death) and two car accidents with both cars being totaled, my face was a telltale sign of my emotions and declining nutrition.

Below is a photo of my cystic acne at its worst on the left.   On the right is my face healed!

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In college and high school my diet consisted of a lot of processed foods, sugar, and dairy.   All of these foods are inflammatory, so they weren’t helping .

The mainstream approach is to go to a dermatologist when you have acne.  I dId this.  I did a course of antibiotics for 6 or more months, differin gel, clindamyacin, and birth control.  All of these things worked toward covering up the acne, but failed to get to the root of the cause.  Anytime I stopped a treatment, my acne would come back.  Not to mention it never fully cleared up.  So, when I stopped birth control to prepare for baby making, my cystic acne returned.  It was a price I was willing to pay for having a baby, but that doesn’t mean it was not an emotional roller coaster.  I continued the creams until we started trying to conceive.  I didn’t feel comfortable using them as they were not safe to use during pregnancy.

Numerous times I had heard of people having success clearing up their acne eliminating dairy from their diet.  This sounded like an impossible feat, as I was a dairy addict!  I loved cheese, and milk, and yogurt, and ice cream!  Eliminating dairy seemed crazy to me.  Wasn’t dairy the only good source of calcium out there?

Fast forward to our two year stretch of infertility, I discovered dairy was also linked to PCOS.  So, acne and PCOS were both found to be helped by a dairy free life? I was officially motivated !

I also read about certain vitamin deficiencies being linked to acne and infertility.  A specific supplement came up in my online searches that had glowing reviews for acne sufferers, and the supplements were similar to the suggested fertility supplements.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0001TJIYO/ref=as_li_ss_il?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0001TJIYO&linkCode=as2&tag=thepne-20

Between this supplement, going dairy free (and possibly gluten free), eliminating sugar for awhile, getting vitamin d (sunshine or d3), and lots of fresh pressed carrot juice, I am cystic acne free.  I still have scars, but I am working on those too.

Ive been using carrot seed oil to help my body heal the scars.  It’s also a really great natural sunscreen!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009I3C8P0/ref=as_li_ss_il?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B009I3C8P0&linkCode=as2&tag=thepne-20

Going dairy free is hard initially because dairy has an addictive quality to it (I forget the scientific reason).  However, clearly my body responds to dairy.  Anytime I try to reintroduce it (even grassfed raw milk) I get a cyst or two.  If my body is responding to it externally through my skin, what effect is it having me internally that I don’t see?  For me, it may be PCOS too.

I encourage you to try going dairy free for 6 weeks at a minimum to see if your acne improves.  What do you have to lose besides your acne!

There are plenty of other sources for calcium.  Don’t let that stop you.  And there are tons of dairy alternatives out there today!  I could do another post on dairy substitutes In the future if that interests any of you?

Elderberry Syrup

While I was pregnant with Eby, I caught a virus that had a terrible cough with it.  It sounded as bad or similar to whooping cough (and I did have have the pertussis vaccine; but whether it  works or not is another topic).  The cough lasted for a long time, and everything I normally do to kick viruses out of my system failed to work.  So, I looked up natural remedies safe for whooping cough, and found elderberry syrup.  I went out and bought some.  It worked!  In no time, my cough was gone.  Amazing stuff!  It’s like liquid gold in my eyes.

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005SAS982/ref=as_li_ss_il?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B005SAS982&linkCode=as2&tag=thepne-20

Elderberry syrup is an antiviral, so taken everyday can prevent sickness.  When sick, you should take it every hour.

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I made my first batch of homemade elderberry syrup today.  It’s quite easy, and cheaper than buying the stuff at the store.

The recipe:

1 cup dried elderberries

4 cups water

optional: ginger, cloves, cinnamon (add when the elderberries are simmering)

Bring to a boil and then simmer till the liquid is reduced by 50%.  Then filter out the berries, mushing them to get all the juice out. When the juice has cooled to slightly warmer than room temperature, add 1/2 cup- 1 cup Raw honey.  If you don’t have honey, you could use maple syrup.

Store in fridge.  You can can it if you make larger batches.

You can buy the berries here:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000UVUHXY/ref=as_li_ss_il?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000UVUHXY&linkCode=as2&tag=thepne-20

I plan to take a Tbsp of this a day to stay healthy.  If I come down with something, I will try to take it every hour till I feel better.

Dealing with (Baby) Reflux Naturally

Once Eby was home from the Birth Center, she slept a lot.  I’m not exaggerating.  She was hard to wake up to feed, actually impossible to wake up.  This was a red flag for me as a Momma.  Eby had some trauma from birth due to me pushing for six hours.  The midwife called it a muffin top.  (We used arnica right away) The doctors who saw her later said she had a hematoma.  This bruise, as it healed, caused her to have moderate jaundice.  She had numerous heel sticks (blood draws) to test her bilirubin levels the first two weeks.  At home we had her in a bili-blanket to bring her levels down.  We also took her outside daily for a dose of natural sun.

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Once the sleepy coma stage was done (jaundice was gone), Eby struggled with GERD or reflux.  How did I know she had reflux?  She would spit up more than a normal baby, she would gag/choke/swallow and her breathing was worrisome (she would gasp).  I took her to a mainstream doctor and he prescribed Zantac.  What would any natural momma do when a doctor prescribes a mainstream pharmaceutical drug to her child?  I looked up everything I could on the drug and reflux.  My conclusion: I wasn’t comfortable giving Eby this drug.  Why?  Zantac makes it difficult for a child’s developing body to absorb much needed nutrients.  It also doesn’t get to the root of the problem.  Breast milk naturally soothes reflux.  So, I continued breastfeeding on demand and monitoring Eby’s reflux.  There were times it wasn’t bad, and I felt like she was “normal”; but then there were times I was very concerned.  We tried having her upright upon suggestions.  It helped slightly, but it wasn’t enough.  We tried some gripe water and homeopathics.  They helped temporarily but weren’t getting to the root of the issue.

I started to notice certain foods I ate made her reflux worse, so I asked our Naturopathic Doctor if we could do a food sensitivity blood panel on Eby.  This allowed us to see what foods Eby’s body was responding to that I was eating.  I already knew some of the culprits, but there were clearly more.

When we got the results back, they confirmed my suspicions, but also included more foods I had to avoid.  I was already avoiding my own food sensitivities (dairy, wheat, yeast, peanuts, asparagus, pork, tuna, corn etc.).  Now I was forced to relearn cooking and baking all over.  Eby is sensitive to corn, rice (two main wheat alternatives), halibut, sardines (no loss there), sesame seeds, apricots, lemons, grapefruit, oranges, red grapes, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumbers, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, yeast, CHOCOLATE (boo), crabs, and honey (boo).   *sigh*  Interestingly enough the strongest responses she had were to foods I ate A LOT of in pregnancy (chocolate, rice, corn, potatoes, apricots, oranges, and honey).

Anyway, when I avoided all of Eby’s trigger foods, Eby was a normal baby without reflux.  Every time I slipped and had one of the foods, her symptoms of reflux would come back.  It was really hard at first, but seeing Eby in pain and suffering was a driving force to eliminate her trigger foods from my diet.

One of the things we bought that gave me peace of mind at night was this:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002ZB8298/ref=as_li_ss_il?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B002ZB8298&linkCode=as2&tag=thepne-20

This monitor allowed me to sleep at night, knowing the alarm would go off if Eby stopped breathing.  Before we had it, I was constantly checking on Eby and not able to sleep.

Now that Eby is older and on solids (in addition to breast milk), her reactions to the foods I eat aren’t as scary; but she still reacts.  For example, If I eat chocolate, she gets a mild rash and a sore bum.  It’s proof that diet really does play a significant role!

My favorite gripe water/homeopathic for gas/reflux is this:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00282S83E/ref=as_li_ss_il?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00282S83E&linkCode=as2&tag=thepne-20

I gave this to Eby whenever she had belly issues, gas, or I ate one of her trigger foods (I’m human, and being on a limited diet is hard!)

If you have a baby with reflux, I feel your pain.  It’s hard to watch your child suffer.  I suggest keeping a food log and writing down when your child has a reaction to see if certain foods correlate.  Obviously, this only works with breastfeeding mammas.  However, if you aren’t breastfeeding, you may want to look at the ingredients in your formula to see if they are triggering reflux (and try a new formula).

Amber Necklaces are great for reflux too!  I originally had this one: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0071MQ0NG/ref=as_li_ss_il?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0071MQ0NG&linkCode=as2&tag=thepne-20  Every time we took it off we noticed things got worse.  When our first necklace got lost, we bought a hazelwood/amber necklace.  Hazelwood works to balance the body’s ph (helping reflux) and amber is a natural analgesic.  We get lots of comments.  Most people think we have it on Eby just for fashion.  Some are concerned.  The necklace is knotted between each bead for minimal spillage if it were to break.  If Eby were to pull on it, which she never has, the clasp is designed to pull apart.  I’m a firm believer these necklaces work, and every mom who has one feels the same.  I want to get one myself to see if it helps with headaches.

By the way, if you are an adult suffering with reflux and heartburn, it could be a food sensitivity as well!