Archive for the ‘Baby’ Category

Natural Home Remedies to Heal Ear Infections

Sunday, January 11th, 2009

written by Candice and Robert

We all had a wonderful holiday break from school and gained more first hand experience in healing ear infections then ever before. When the fevers and coughing turned into earaches and fluid draining from the ears of both our babies, we knew we had to do something. It came to a head when Hani refused to eat and was too weak and in pain to do anything but cry and be held (I think that was the day after the fluid started draining from one of Hani’s ears and both of Nickalus’ ears, as well as their noses). We had started putting garlic and mullein ear drops in their ears the day before but it wasn’t getting better, so we pulled out all our books (including the ones shown below), did some more research and came up with the following remedies that we used to help both our babies heal from their ear infections:

External Applications (in the ears, using cotton balls and Q-tips):

  • Turmeric, Hing (Asafoetida), Neem oil, Colloidal Silver with Tea Tree oil spray, and ear drops (Garlic and Mullein in an olive oil base). First, the colloidal silver with tea tree oil spray was used to sanitize the Q-tip that we used to clean the fluid out of the ear. Colloidal silver and tea tree oil are natural antibiotics and antiviral. Once the ear was clear of any noticeable fluid, we moistened a small cotton ball with the Garlic/mullein oil and with neem oil. Garlic and neem are well known for their antibacterial properties. Mullein is very soothing and takes away inflammation. After the cotton balls were slightly moistened with the oil, we rolled them in a mixture of turmeric and hing. Turmeric is antimicrobial plus has properties that heal skin tissue and decrease inflammation. Hing works like the garlic with its pungent smell to kill infection, but it also is very drying and helps to dry out the inner ear. We put these on cotton balls and put them in both babies’ ears, securing them with body tape.

Internal Applications (mixed with almond milk or water in a bottle):

  • Tea made by boiling water with goldenseal powder, hing, turmeric, trikatu, and honey in it. Goldenseal, although expensive is a very powerful natural antibiotic. It can be used both externally and internally in small amounts. Hing and trikatu (an Ayurvedic herb) works by increasing the body’s digestive activity to help boost the immune system. And turmeric again works like an antibiotic in the body. For every 2 cups of water or liquid, we used 1/8 to 1/4tsp of each herb. It is important to add the honey to this mixture when putting it in the bottle (don’t heat the honey). All of these herbs are very bitter and pungent (they don’t taste very good). We used Vanilla flavored Almond Milk bought at the store, so there was some sugar in this. If your child is under a year old and you do not feel comfortable using honey, you can substitute stevia or molasses. This tea or mixture helps heal the infections from the inside out and can be given when ever they want a drink.
  • Honey and Trikatu on a spoon is an ayurvedic home remedy for runny noses or productive (with mucus) coughs. Mucus builds in the digestive system first, before it shows up running out of a nose or rattling around in their lungs. Trikatu is a powerful herbal formulation that helps stimulate the digestive fire and dries up mucus in the digestive tract, boosting the immune system and enabling the body to get rid of the mucus. Adding a small pinch of trikatu to a spoon full of honey is an effective and quick way of getting rid of mucus in the lungs. The honey is essential, not only for taste (trikatu tastes like chilli pepper mixed with black pepper), but energetically honey brings the healing power of the herb to the lungs and upper body region. They work together to clear the digestive system and the lungs of mucus. Trikatu should not be used long term in children. Only for acute conditions and never longer than 5 days in children, the elderly, and pregnant women. The trikatu and honey combination can be given up to 3 times a day as needed.

Below is a picture of all the items (except the honey, I forgot to put that in the picture) we used to address the ear infections. We have access to the ayurvedic herbs – neem oil, goldenseal, and trikatu – because Candice is a medical herbalist. And if you want help locating these herbs, feel free to contact Candice through her website at phxherbs4kids.com. All these items are not necessary, but we had them on hand so we used them all:

Food:

  • Cut up Figs and Dates – figs are excellent for children, and dates promote health and vitality. They are also good during teething, as their texture helps massage the gums. During ear infections, the movement of the jaw chewing also breaks down mucus in the inner ear and allows it to drain, breast feeding also does this.
  • Almond Milk – we switched from raw goats milk to almond milk in their bottles to help reduce the amount of mucus involved during this time. If your child has lots of mucus, in the ear or lungs, it is important to avoid mucus producing foods; such as dairy products, cold foods and drinks, processed sugar, fried foods, and berries.
  • Rice Porridge made in a similar fashion as my oatmeal

The morning after putting all those herbs in the babies ears on cotton balls taped to their heads with body tape, we were excited to see them acting more like themselves again (see picture to the right). This was very encouraging, they began eating again and wanting to play. A couple days later we got rid of the tape (and some of their hair, we cut some to make the tape removal less painful) but kept using turmeric and hing to keep reducing the fluid that was still draining a bit from their ears (as well as the ear drops to ensure the infections get totally resolved).

As you can see below, they are recovering very nicely – their ears are a bit orange because of the turmeric, but that’s okay. We used these remedies religiously for 5 days. It is important to be consistent with this treatment. As we found, stopping the remedy for a day or two resulted in increased drainage from the ears, specifically from Nickalus. We are back to using the turmeric and hing on a Q-tip that had been sprayed with the colloidal silver/tea tree oil rubbed in the ear two times a day. We will continue to treat them until there is no sign of fluid.

For plenty more home remedies which will empower you to take control of your own health, click on the book pictured to the right.

The picture of Hani shows the molar he pushed through in the back during this episode – he’s also working on the molar on the other side and an eye tooth – sickness often comes during teething due to the stress on the immune system during that time.

How to Soothe a Crying Baby

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

With five small children in the house, we have learned many ways of soothing our children.  One day this week Candice got Nickalus out of bed after a nap and he was screaming and crying uncontrollably.  He wouldn’t let go of his blanket, so she pulled him out, blanket and all.  He wouldn’t take a pacifier or bottle of water, so when she brought him downstairs she stuck a chicken nugget in his mouth.

One thing we have learned about Nickalus is that he finds comfort in food, but Candice was still amazed that he stopped crying so fast.  He immediately stopped wailing and sucked on the chicken nugget like it was a pacifier, while still clutching his blanket.  He must have sucked on it for 10 minutes before eating it, plenty of time for me to take this picture:
Nickalus sucking on a chicken nugget while clutching his blanket

This is meant as a humorous post, but if your child is soothed by food you might try something similar – just make sure you only give chicken nuggets to babies with teeth, Nickalus has 16 teeth now (he’s 19 months old).

We also use many types of wraps and baby carriers to soothe our babies (it’s like holding them but it’s not as tiring and you can have your hands free), like an ergo, a becko, a maytie, a moby wrap, a homemade sling, a maya wrap, rebozo, and a few more that I don’t remember the names of (we have a large collection). Mamatoto is a good resource if you want to learn about carrying babies – with two babies around I usually carry one on my back just to keep them out of trouble!

My Gymnastics Mushroom

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

This post has moved to http://www.lifetimegymnast.com/my-gymnastics-mushroom – please go there for gymnastics updates.

Constipation in a Breast-Fed Baby

Friday, April 18th, 2008

I have dealt with a lot of poopy issues as a parent of five children. My oldest and my youngest children were and are constipated babies. As a baby, my oldest child, who was exclusively breast-fed the first 6 months of his life was very constipated. He would have a bowel movement once a week. A big blow-out at that. I had a few friends who said that some babies “just don’t go as often”. My family care MD said that breast-milk was a laxative and he couldn’t figure out why the baby was constipated.

When we first started giving our oldest solid food at 6 months, he became very very constipated. It was so bad, that one time he didn’t poop for 2 weeks. And when that bowel movement came, it was hard like rabbit poop and very painful. I knew something had to be done. So I started giving him water. I was told by several people, including lactation consultants that breast-fed babies don’t need water and that if they get water too soon, it can damage their kidneys. There is some truth to excessive water intake at an early age can weaken the Kidney system. But I learned that a blanket statement, such as “breast-fed babies don’t need water” does not apply to every baby!

Once I started offering my son water (an ounce or two at a time), his bowel movements occured once or twice a week and they weren’t as hard. I came to a conclusion that my baby was just dehydrated. In fact, I was too. By increasing my water intake, it also helped my baby get re hydrated. Another thing we did to help move his bowels more is we switched his diet. He was only 6 or 7 months old, but we switched to only feeding him Fruit-Eze. Fruit-Eze is a puree of dates, raisins, and prunes (see fruiteze.com). We started feeding him it thinned out with water at least twice a day. Within a week, his bowels were moving daily.

Once he was having a bowel movement every day, I noticed some positive changes in him. He wasn’t as fussy at bed time. My son was never ‘colicky’. But at night he would be fussy and pull his legs to his chest, etc. That quit! His eczema had also cleared up, and his allergies were better. We were doing a few other things at this time, like using natural laundry soap and no fabric softener; eating more organic foods; using natural cleaning products; and giving 1/8tsp of vinegar (pickle juice) to my son daily *I’ll be writing a post on how Apple Cider Vinegar healed my son’s allergies and asthma soon.

The concept is simple. When elimination happens, healing can happen. When your body is full of crap (literaly) and thus toxins, illness will surface. Whether that is eczema, food and environmental allergies, reoccurring colds/flus, runny noses, ear infections….I could go on, but this is a Good Feeling Place and I want to continue feeling good.

Anyways…my youngest child is still a baby at the writing of this post. He is almost an identical copy to my oldest son. He too is frequently constipated and only has a poopy diaper about every 5 days. He also is exclusively breast-fed and is currently not interested in food at 6 months old. I do offer him a bottle of water through out the day. More if we are out side. He seems interested in taking the water. But it doesn’t have the same immediate effect as it did with my oldest. So I assume that my baby is not as dehydrated as my first child was.

One time when we were on vacation, my baby hadn’t pooped in about 6 days, so I knew he would be going soon. I switched his regular filtered water out with a product called Smart Water (you can find it at grocery stores, Walmart, Sam’s Club). Smart Water is basically vapor distilled water with added Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium, and Potassium (3 basic minerals everyone needs). After my baby drank about 1/2 oz of Smart Water, he pooped instantly. About every 2 oz of Smart Water I gave him, he’d poop. We had his bowels moving daily for a week straight. I was amazed at how much he could actually poop! And then I thought, I can’t believe he wasn’t going every day!

Minerals work for constipation because they heavy in nature. Its heaviness sort of pulled everything down and out of my son–if you want to think of it that way. That is also why those 3 minerals are important if you have leg cramps. Its heaviness pulls the nutrients and energy down to the legs and into the muscles to nourish them. The daily bowel movements went off and on for about 3 weeks. Then we were back to being constipated.

I am not sure how I heard of this [editor’s note: see home remedies book below], but I tried the ol’ warm salt water technique. You heat up in a pan on the stove as much water as you want to put in a bottle. Then you sprinkle salt (preferable rock salt-think minerals) into the pan and stir. You will want to season to taste. The water needs to be salty enough that it will make you pucker or gag, but not too salty that you feel you need to drink clean water get the taste out of your mouth. Once you got the right taste, give the warm salt water to your baby. Preferably do this first thing in the morning before feeding if possible. I am not certain how much each child will have to drink. The first time I tried this on my baby, he drank 4-5 swallows and then he had a poop. Another time, he drank 3oz and then pooped later that afternoon.

The salt water works because the salty taste drains downward. Just like the minerals do. The salty taste also increases fluids in the body, specifically the Intestines. For instance, Salted Lime Water will rehydrate you if you have sun stroke (or are out in the sun too long); also Epsom salt is a good laxative for adults.

Our baby still has issues with constipation. He is still strictly breast-fed and I am trying to eliminate foods from my diet to help him, but that is a challenge for me. The herbals I am giving him are helping to increase his digestive ability long term, along with the probiotics. Right now, the warm salt water bottle is our fix for acute constipation. Hope all of this helps some of you.

Peace and Blessings