I've heard this statement alot in the last month or so. Everything from a stuffy nose, chest cough, bronchitis, pneumonia and a large number of cases of shingles. It's "that" time of year as everyone says. What if it doesn't have to be "that" time of year-ever?
If you have asked me this question you're likely well aware of the steps that my family has taken in the last 3-4 years to get on to a different health track! A healthy one!!!!
Go back in time to 4-5 years ago, we could likely have bought shares in drug companies like Ibuprofen and Tylenol, as well as the fact that the favorite type of mold in our house came out of a prescription bottle in the form of several types of antibiotics a year per person.
It was about the time that I became a doula that I REALLY started to see that the "normal" way of doctors wasn't really that normal, and in fact alot of times caused much more harm then good. I also remember thinking that my doula trainers where a tiny bit "hippieish" and wasn't sure if that was anything I wanted to be.
Fast forward 5 years...please feel free to call me a hippy, "witch" doctor (my son jokingly calls me this) health nut, alternative medication whacko....I will TOTALLY thank you for any of the above or others!
So...first off let me insert this little disclaimer : I am NOT a medical doctor, the information I am going to share is NOT a replacement for medical advice if you are suffering from a serious illness or medical condition. If you attempt any of the items in this blog, that is your choice. All of the information found here can and has been accessed on the Internet and through various books that I have taken the time to read and follow over the last 5 years. I have used each and every one of the things I am going to list, however they may not be effective for you as every body has a different reaction.
All that being said ready...set.....go!
If you look in my "medicine" cupboard this is what you will find:
Vitamins/Minerals: B complex, C, D, Calcium,
Oil of Oregano
Essential Oils: Tea Tree, Lavender, Cedar, Clary Sage, Eucalyptus, Camphor,
Organic Local Honey
Respiractin (it's in the fridge)
That's it! That's all! The essential oil line up may fluctuate between several other scents depending on what is required and what I am in the mood for.
So this is what these items have, yep gonna use the word cured in the last 4 years in our house:
Coughs both minor and major
Serious (as in covered) cases of Poison Ivy
Sinusitis (aka sinus infections)
Stomach Upsets-Vomiting and Diarrhea
Round Worms human and animal variety
Hmmmmm think that's all. We don't get sick that often so it's hard to remember back and think of what we've dealt with....but those are the things that really jump out at me for now. Might think of others...
So how does this work?
First off-the one thing that isn't listed in my cupboard list (because no matter how I try he won't fit) is the amazing Dr John Rae. Chiropractic care is a huge part of our families immune fighting system. With proper spinal care your immune system is able to fight off infection much more quickly. In fact one of the things that I and Cassidy had suffered from for pretty much our entire life times respectively was environmental allergies. Both Cass and I were 24 hour allergy med poppers, about 2 months after starting a full care regiment with John, we were able to kick the Claritin to the curb and leave it there!
Even with John's magic touch illness has creeped through so here's how we deal with it.
#1-Having the proper nutrition going in is and can be the only cure you truly need to keep yourself healthy. I am not going to go into the Isagenix details in this blog-you can go back and find that one and read if for yourself. But with proper nutrition going in our bodies are able to ward off most infections and viruses.
#2-By not treating each "illness" as the plague and in fact embracing it and letting it run it's course we have built up our bodies immune systems so that when we do run across something that sneaks in, we are able to fight it off much faster.
I no longer look at the kids illnesses as something that HAS TO BE eradicated and quickly. They are allowed to be sick. I came to this brilliant thought while sitting through a lecture by the amazing Dr. Lawrence Palevsky. If you're child has been sick you likely have been sent this link:
Read it...what Dr. Larry says just makes sense! It may sound very old wives taleish but it totally totally works! This is the essence of how I as a mom of 5 kids has "treated" my family for the last 5 years.
#3-As Dr Larry says-when we do get "sick" it's our body saying we need to clean out the junk. While our family does this on a daily basis with the use of Isagenix Cleanse for Life, I also use the following regiments to aid in helping the junk get out.
Oil Of Oregano-
If you've known me for a while you should know what this is by now. If we're just newly acquainted OoO
In our house it is the be all end all it really is. I remember finding out about OoO from a friend. Once I started doing the research I was sort of convinced, but what totally convinced me was when Morgan woke up the day after a trek in the bush and was quite covered in Poison Ivy. The summer before we had gone through this as well-it took almost 6 weeks for the infection to stop spreading and the scarring to heal.
I did a quick search to see if PI was one of the things OoO was good for, of course it was. Morgan's episode of PI lasted 8 days!!! I wish now that I had taken pictures of it, but it was completely covering one side of his face, his arm and a large portion of his stomach and leg. From break out to scars healed EIGHT DAYS!!! I was sold, and have not been without it since.
The next major curing episode for OoO was last winter (Feb 2011) when Kelsey came home with a sore throat. She went on to tell me that her teacher had been off sick for a couple of days with strep throat. I thought oh boy, this could get interesting.
If for some reason you've ever looked in Kelsey's throat you have seen that her tonsils on a normal no infection present day are HUGE! It's just the way they are, have been like that since she was born. But when she gets a throat infection they can swell to the point that she can barely swallow. As a munchkin she was on the "one more bout and out they come" list. Having had my tonsil out as a 7 year old we were not good with that decision, and said no to having them removed.
So long story short....Kelsey's strep lasted 2 days of significant infection (you could actually see the pus pockets), including a low grade fever (101'F) and some fairly high pain, then it started to dissipate and was totally gone by day 5. I've chatted with people in the last 2-3 months who are on their 2nd or 3rd round of antibiotics and are still suffering. Once I have said OoO go get it, they have been done with the infection within days.
How do you take OoO?
Well it can be taken in two ways, orally or topically. Depending on what you are fighting I usually suggest both.
My kids can NOT deal with the flavour-it's very very very very strong to say the least! So also depending on the person depends on how it gets used.
Ingestion: 1-2 drops daily will help keep things at bay.
If you are sick, then I suggest upping that to 5 drops, my crazy husband has been known to use the full droppers worth-he really doesn't get sick very often!
Topically: 3-4 drops mixed in with equal amount of olive oil, rub near the affected area-so if sore throat rub on throat, if couch rub on chest.
For something like poison ivy, chicken pox, shingles etc, use 3-4 drops mixed with Olive Oil 2-3 times a day. This will help kill off the bacteria faster as well as help to stop the spreading.
All ages can use OoO, however, the caution goes out for little people under 5. OoO is a very strong cleanser, so use only 1-2 drops with younger children. Best way to use it for them is to put it on the soles of their feet.
Drink lots so that your liver and kidney's flush out the toxins!
We have always taken vitamin C at our house as a way to help ward of winter not so friendly colds etc. We've always however just followed the bottle directions and taken the 1 or 2 tablets that the label recommends.
About a year ago I came across an article in regards to Vitamin C being the lost cure for diseases like cancer. Boy did that spur on a fast search! Turns out that in the 1930's vitamin c WAS being used to cure people who were literally at death's door. Dr. F.R. Klenner used mega doses of IV infused vitamin c in the form of absorbic acid to cure polio patients, and went on to use it on other diseases like measles and chicken pox with 100% cure outcomes.
You can find a great article on his work here
Sooo I went on to do some more research into the use of vitamin c at high doses to deal with illnesses. Turns out it's all amazing! Our bodies need the absorbic acid found 'in' vitamin c to help us keep all of our body systems in line. The RDA "recommend daily amount" is set around 90 mg for adults. This is JUST enough to keep our bodies from going into scurvy, however to keep our body in proper levels we need much more.
The best way to go about finding out how much you need is to do a Vitamin C flush.
Directions are here:
At our house, we all take at least 5000mgs of vitamin c a day. Split into 3 or 4 doses. If someone is showing signs of getting sick I up that dose following the directions for the flush and flush for at least 2 days.
OoO and Vitamin C are the two ways that we daily go about keeping bad stuff out of the body in our house. BUT sometimes things sneak by. Which like the article by Dr. Palevsky says is a sign that maybe something is a bit off in the immune system.
I can usually pinpoint what it is especially on an individual basis. We've gone on a milk binge is usually the first place I look, and clear out the milk for a few days. Two of my kids have very obvious issues with milk that once it's out of their systems for a couple of days clear up very quickly (eczema being the most obvious). Too much "junk food" from being over at a friends house is usually the next culprit, so that just takes time to reboot the system and things get better.
In the last couple of weeks, I have had a bit of a cough. That's where the Respiractin http://www.respiractin.com/ comes in. This is an amazing product whose recipe goes back a century. It works on the lungs and helps to expel excess phlegm and mucous build up. I have suggested this product to friends whose children have used asthma inhalers and they have found relief from needing the inhalers within 1-2 weeks.
Nin Jiom http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nin_Jiom_Pei_Pa_Koa is the next cold and only "cough medicine" product that you will find in my house. This recipe just like Respiractin is quite old, and in fact dates back 100+ years as well.
Follow the directions for using the products as found on the label.
This yummy herb is also classified as a medicine. Only a few herbs can claim this. Like OoO garlic can be used as an antibacterial, anti fungal, anti parasitic, topical pain reliever and an antibiotic to name a few of it's benefits. It is also amazing for helping lower cholesterol and heart disease.
We use A LOT of garlic at our house, (Ask anyone who has had my homemade Caesar salad dressing and you'll know just how much) I'd say we use 50/50 raw vs cooked. The raw is much better for you, but cooked is just as good.
Sore throats-chew 1/2 clove of garlic and let the juice flow to the back of you throat. Within about 5 minutes the pain will start to dissipate.
Cough/Colds-chew a clove of garlic. Best to do this on a full stomach. The intensity of the raw garlic can cause tummy upsets.
Over all health. Just eat garlic it's good for you!!!!
Nature really does provide us with all we need to heal ourselves. Honey is just another example of this.
The link above is a short list of the benefits of honey.
As a general rule honey is the sugar of choice for me for baking. It is much healthier then processed sugar and has less effect on insulin levels.
The most common way we use honey at home is for sore throats. A spoonful after eating the clove of garlic is a great way to get rid of the taste of the garlic as well as help boost the immune system into action.
A "hot toddy" of lemon, hot water, honey and alcohol such as rum is a great way to help relieve chest congestion. Especially when combined with Respiractin and or Nin Jiom.
AC is an emergency type item in my cupboard. It helps most especially with bad tummy aches. I firmly believe that if the stomach wants to get rid of something, it's a good idea to let it do just that. But one can only vomit or have diarrhea episodes so many times and this can actually become dangerous if liquids don't want to stay down.
For serious bouts of vomiting or diarrhea take 1-2 tablets. If you have a tummy ache take 1.
Like I said at the beginning of the blog, we used to inhale Tylenol and ibuprofen like they were candy. Not a good idea. Our first line of defence for headaches and other muscle aches and pains is to head to Dr John and have our spines/necks adjusted. Most times this relieves the pain issue.
However, I also have 3 very rambunctious sons, who have done stupid things like break bones, played punching games until bruises are left behind....you get the picture.
That's where the arnica comes in. We have it both in tablet and cream form.
Each essential oil has it's own properties. It would take me pages of blog to go over them. So I am going to just touch on the ones that we use and the things we use them for.
To say I HATE head lice is a mild statement indeed! Anyone who has had to deal with these pesky little creatures knows my pain! We used to treat our kids with the horrid chemical products found at the pharmacy, but I got to the point that I was wondering if I could actually poison my kids with too much of it. So I went hunting for natural alternatives. This recipe is the most amazing thing every made in my kitchen-head lice gone and have not returned for 2 years!!!
Combine equal drops of:
Tea Tree Oil, Lavender Oil, Geranium Oil, Eucalyptus Oil, Thyme Oil and Lemon Oil.
Have this mixture on hand. If you are dealing with a lice outbreak, take 4-5 drops and add into enough olive oil to coat hair. Leave on for at least 2 hours and comb out using lice comb. Get the nits!
To use as a preventative, use a spritz bottle, add 4-5 drops of the oil mixture into 1 cup of water. Spray on hair. It actually has a fairly nice smell to it.
As a pet loving family and not wanting to add chemicals into my kids bodies, I also don't want to add them to my pets bodies. Because animals, especially cats synthesize essential oils differently then humans you need to be careful as to how often you use these mixtures.
Combine equal drops of:
Cedar Oil, Lavender Oil, Citronella Oil, Eucaplytpus Oil and Peppermint Oil.
As a bath: combine 3-4 drops of the oil mixture with 1/4 cup of Castille Soap. (For large dogs use as much as 7 drops) Shampoo dog and rinse gently.
As a flea collar: Use a cloth collar, drop 3-4 drops of the oil mixture on to the collar. Repeat weekly.
Cats can not synthesize the lavender and peppermint oil as well as dogs. Make the above recipe but for every 5 drops of the other oils only add 1 drop of peppermint and lavender oil. Bath your cat (have fun with that) and place 1-2 drops on to their fabric collar. Repeat biweekly if you have an infestation, monthly as a preventative.
So that's about that. You may think that in order to stay healthy we use alot of industrial cleaners and antibacterials around the house. Nothing could be further from the truth. See my previous blog on Detoxing your house to see what I use as cleaners at home.