Archive for the ‘Home Remedies’ Category

Stopping Hiccups

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

A couple nights ago Kayin (our 6 year old son) came down after we put the kids to bed and he had a bad case of hiccups. I remembered finding something for Demitri about 8 months ago that worked great, so I looked up hiccups in my Ayurvedic Cooking for Self-Healing book (the one pictured to the right). Here is what I wrote back in April about our experience with Demitri:

One day last week our four-year-old son Demitri had the hiccups when we were getting everyone ready for bed. I remember reading about a recommendation for hiccups in my ayurvedic-cooking book, so I decided to give it a try. Here is the recommendation:

“To stop hiccoughs, eat 2 chopped bananas mixed with 1 teaspoon of ghee, ½ teaspoon of honey and 2 pinches of ginger powder.”
-Ayurvedic Cooking for Self Healing by Usha Lad and Dr. Vasant Lad, page 189

I already had half a banana left from one of my children on the counter so I put it in a little bowl, cut it up with a butter knife and fork, used a spoon to put in a little bit of ghee, used the knife to add a little bit of honey (the honey we use has never been heated so it is semi-solid), and added one shake of ginger powder. Then I mixed everything up and gave a spoonful to my son. Although it tasted sweet to me he was in a sad mood and said he didn’t like it, but after one bite he didn’t have any more hiccups! He hasn’t had any hiccups since then, but I won’t forget this remedy – it brought us great relief, since hiccups at bedtime can keep everyone up late.

This time I didn’t have any leftover bananas and Kayin said he was hungry so I used one whole banana, broke it into pieces, then added half a spoonful of ghee, half a spoonful of honey, and a few shakes of ginger powder. After mixing it up I gave it to Kayin. He liked it and dug in, but halfway through he stopped and said he was done eating and done with hiccups, and proceeded to go lay down and go to sleep. I got to eat the rest, it was Yummy!

Cooked Apples for Diarrhea

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Our family just went through a wave of diarrhea/stomach flu, and a few days ago Candice had it bad so I wanted to help her feel better quickly (with 5 kids ages 6 months to 6 years we both need to be well as much as possible). So I found this recommendation for Diarrhea in my Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies:

Cook one or two apples until they are mushy, then add 1 teaspoon ghee, a pinch of cardamom, and a pinch of nutmeg. Eat slowly. This mixture is not only delicious, it will also help stop diarrhea right away.

So after a quick trip to the nearest grocery store for apples, I cut one up, cored it, peeled off the skin, and sauteed it in a pan with a little water so it wouldn’t burn. When I could squish all the pieces with a fork, I added a little bit of ghee, cardamom, and nutmeg, mixed it up and put it into a bowl for Candice. She doesn’t normally like fruit so I only started with one, but she said it felt good to her. However, Nickalus ate most of the first apple so I cooked 2 more. By the end of the day Candice and the kids went through almost 6 apples. Fortunately I had some leftover that I put in the fridge because I needed it a couple days later:)

Warm salt water really does reduce swelling!

Friday, April 18th, 2008

This afternoon the kids were playing in the backyard and I had just opened the sliding glass door to plead with them to not take apart the travel cage for our rabbit that Candice bought this week. Eden (our 2 yr old daughter was near the door so I told her to watch out before I closed it. She stuck her fingers in just before it closed and they got smashed.

She started a constant panic crying at that point, so I brought her inside and gave her a couple homeopathic arnica pills (we call them “hurt pills”) but as soon as she had closed her mouth over them she continued her panic crying.

Her fingers were already swelling up, so I tried making a paste of turmeric and salt (recommended for swelling in the home remedies book – see link to the right) and she let me put a little bit on her fingers, but that didn’t seem to help (not right away, at least). Then I got a teacup, put a bunch of salt in the bottom, and filled it with almost hot water and told Eden to put her fingers in it. She did so willingly, and I could see a visible relief as she relaxed her shoulders and switched into normal crying mode.

After a few minutes, she began getting distracted and only cried when her awareness was brought back to her fingers since she had to stand in one place while soaking them (I would recommend using a mug rather than a teacup in this situation because the teacup kept falling over). After about 15 minutes she was playing in the water and it seemed like she forgot which hand got hurt. The swelling had already been reduced almost back to normal. So I told her to go wash her hands and get them dried off, and within an hour she was climbing and playing like nothing had happened!

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 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

Turmeric and Salt for a Strained ankle

Monday, April 14th, 2008

One day last week I came downstairs and after skipping the last step with a toy on it I landed funny and strained my ankle. After a few minutes on my back I was able to get up and gingerly walk on it, so I made a mental note of appreciation for my MBT shoes ( that have strengthed my ankles for the past few years and went to bed. At about 3am I awoke in a great deal of pain and couldn’t sleep anymore. So I hobbled downstairs on my hands and one foot and got some ice. That was my first instinct because I was taught to put ice on all my injuries during my 16 years as a competitive gymnast. But after about 10 minutes I put the ice pack back in the freezer and decided to find out what else I could do, since the pain wasn’t much better.

I looked in my Ayurvedic home remedies book and read a recommendation about putting a healing paste (made by adding a little water to equal parts turmeric and salt) on sprains and strains. So I tried putting on a paste, and a few hours later I could walk on that ankle again gingerly. Then I tried another recommendation from the same book –

“To relieve swelling, soak the foot for 15 minutes in hot water with 2 tablespoons of salt per gallon of water.”

I did that around 6am, and my ankle was still yellow from the turmeric for awhile. But by noon I was walking normally with only slight sensitivity while carrying two of our children down the stairs. I was amazed at how effective these simple remedies were – my ankle is fine now.

Update (with another example): A few months later while my parents came to visit us, my dad twisted his ankle stepping down from their RV which was parked in our driveway. These remedies were fresh on my mind, so as he sat on the couch in pain I got a bucket of warm water with salt in it and gave it to him to soak his ankle (and foot) in. Then I made a paste of turmeric and salt, and after about 15 minutes I gave it to him to rub on his ankle. The next day he drove their RV a couple hours to a round dance event, and he was able to dance with only slight discomfort. By the following day he said he didn’t notice any pain in his ankle.