Sunday, October 16, 2011

Herbal Remedies and Supplements I Keep on Hand for my Child

There are a number of great herbal supplements that can be used for children, often in lieu of conventional medicine.  Many can be used for children as young as one.  Here is a list of what I keep on hand for my 22 month old.

Herbs for Kids Products: I have been quite pleased with this organic brand of herbal supplements and have been using them on my son since he was about 14 months old.  I have provided the link to the site that will include use instructions.  Here are a few standards that I like to keep on hand.

*Echinacea - I use this at the first sign of sickness.

*Astragalus - This is great to use for building up the immune system.  If you know you are going to be around a lot of germs, give them a dose the day before, day of, and day after exposure.

*Cherry Bark Blend - Good for dry irritated throats

*Horehound Blend - Good for respiratory and lung support

*Temp Assure - This is a great blend to support the body during a fever (I even used it for my husband once in a pinch).  My personal rule of thumb is not to medicate a fever for a child that is under 100.5.  Fevers are used by your body to kill of germs and only get dangerous if they go too high or for too long.  Our modern day habit of treating low grade fevers with fever reducing medications actually does more harm than good, making it much for difficult for your body to develop immunity against the germ and to kill off the germ, thus increasing the risks for relapse.

*Chamomile Calm - This is a great blend for teething and for days where there has been a lot of excitement (like Christmas or all day at the zoo) and a calming influence is needed at night for sleep.

Quantum Nutrition Labs:  I cannot say enough good things about these supplements.  I have been using this brand for about 4 years and actually had privilege to be seen by Dr. Marshall at his Southern California clinic.  This are extremely high quality supplements and worth the investment.

*D 3 serum - I like to use this a few times a week to build immunity.  We get a lot of sun in SoCal, so I don't feel the need to use it daily for my son, but it's great for times of sickness or winter, when he is not out in the sun as much.

*Vitamin C - I use this daily, especially since my little guy is not eating a lot of fresh fruits and vegies yet.

*Greens Mix - This is a great daily supplement as well; I use it for calcium support.

*Colostrum Powder - I use this when my son starts to show the first signs of illness, is having an eczema breakout, or has been exposed to germs.

*EFA oil blend - This can also be given on a daily basis and is good brain support.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Elderberry Syrup...

Yes, that season of colds and flus is here.  We all woke up a bit stuffy today, so I decided it was high time to mix up some homemade elderberry syrup.  There are lots of variations of recipes out there, but this is the syrup that I made today:

*1 cup dried elderberries (You can get these from Mountain Rose Herbs.)
*4 cups of filtered water
*10 whole cloves
*2 cinnamon sticks
*1 tbsp of fresh grated ginger
*2 cups of raw honey

Combine the first five ingredients in a stove top pot and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, turn down to a simmer and allow to simmer for 30-40 minutes until the liquid reduces to about half.  Once the simmering is completed, strain into a jar and allow to cool to about 90 degrees.  Next add the raw honey (you want to be sure that the liquid has cooled to 90 degrees so that when the raw honey is added, you retain the healthy benefits of the honey.)  Store in the refrigerator.  Discard after a month.

Adults can take 1 Tbsp daily.  Child's dose will need to be decided by weight.  There are many ways to determine a child's dose and parents should use whatever formula they feel most comfortable using.  These can easily be found on the internet.  Clark's Rule and Young's Rule are just two examples of methods that can be used to determine your child's dose.  This syrup should not be given to children under the age of two.  Pregnant and lactation women should consult their practitioners.

This is a great immune syrup to take during cold and flu season.  It's delicious and your dose can be taken alone or used to top ice cream, strudels, crisps, pancakes...well, you get the idea!

In our home, we tend to rotate through our supplements and do not take most things on a daily basis.  If you chose to do this with the elderberry syrup, this is a great supplement to take when you know that you will be around a lot of people.  If we are going to an event, I will usually have us take it the day before, day of, and day after to help keep our immune systems boosted while being exposed to germs.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Baby on the Way...

You may have noticed things have been a bit quiet here the past month or two...there has been good reason for that!  We have a baby on the way.  It's been a challenging first trimester so far with the "morning" (more like "all day") sickness.  Now that I am 11 weeks, I hope to be turning the corner soon and postings should be back on track again.  Thank you for your patience!