Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Natural Remedies for Illness

We ran this story on herbal remedies and I think there are some helpful tips for us parents. I thought I would share some of the suggestions:

1. Colds/Allergies Remedy: Yogi Tea

Start with whole cloves and black peppercorn to make yogi tea. Dr. Nancy Welliver (Naturopathic Physician and Chair of Botanical Medicine at Bastyr University in Seattle) said, "You might want to throw in 2 or 3 of these cinnamon sticks." Continue with crushed cardamon seed and fresh ginger, boil the mixture for 30 minutes to 3 hours, and add black tea, last.

2. Digestive Problems: Ginger

To make ginger syrup, peel and slice the ginger and add sugar. Dr. Welliver said, "So you layer ginger, sugar, ginger, sugar, and kids really love this because you're actually doing something with sugar." After 12 to 18 hours, strain out the ginger and the syrup is ready to be given by the teaspoonful. This helps soothe stomach upset in children and nausea in pregnant women.

You can make homemade ginger ale by adding mineral water in a one- to-one ratio. (She says this is great for upset stomachs with kids too!)

3. Diarrhea Remedy: Bilberry

Grind up dried bilberry or blueberry in a coffee grinder, add half a cup of honey and mix.

Fast Facts:

Herbs and spices have been used for medicinal purposes since ancient times. Nearly 20 percent of Americans currently use natural products to promote health or treat ailments. Many of the herbs and spices with natural healing properties can be found in home kitchens.

Alternative Medicine Foundation

American Botanical Association

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health

So will I be making these home remedies? It sounds like a good idea, but time consuming. So, I will probably opt for over spending at the drug store. However, I definitely would have made the ginger tea when I was pregnant. I don't like taking drugs during pregnancy. So, if there's something natural that will do the trick, I would opt for that!

Do you have any home remedies you can share with us?

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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Knight in Dragonland said...

Cobra venom is natural. Ricin, one of the most deadly toxins known to man, is natural ... it's derived from the castor bean. Some essential oils will stimulate uterine contraction and induce miscarriage. It's very dangerous to assume that some "natural" product is safer.

What's certainly true is that, unlike prescription medications, these concoctions have not undergone rigorous testing for efficacy or safety, and the doses of the active components will vary wildly from product to product, batch to batch. So, you may be taking something that's toxic and doesn't even work.

That said, there have been some studies relating to ginger for nausea, both during pregnancy and otherwise. That seems to be a reasonable and safe option.

The cold remedy recipe seems particularly horrific ... clove, black pepper, black tea, cardamon, cinnamon and ginger? BLECH!!! For one, if you're sensitive to caffeine, it's not a good option. Maybe it would help the cold symptoms, but you won't sleep. You also might be on the pot the whole time because several of those ingredients may do a good job of loosening your bowels.

newsanchormom.com said...

I wasn't trying to imply that everything that is natural is safe, but thank you for pointing that out. I am just saying if there is a SAFE, natural alternative I would choose that over man-made chemicals when I was pregnant. I think most pregnant women try not to take anything they don't have to during pregnancy. There are so many things that have not been tested on pregnant woman. Don't you agree that sometimes doctors have to go with their knowledge and not research to determine what a pregnant woman can take?

Maureen Peel said...

Growing up, if any of us kids had a bad cough at night my mother would make us wear Vix... on our feet that is. She always made us put Vix VaporRub on our feet and put socks on over it. It sounded crazy and it still does sound crazy, but it worked! The coughing stopped almost immediately. I used it on my children all the time. They hated the "icky" feeling but they always felt much better the next morning. My son now has two children of his own and he makes them Vix up their feet too. Another mother on a blogging website discusses this home remedy: http://www.parentdish.com/2007/04/17/vicks-on-the-feet-cures-cough/

newsanchormom.com said...

I am not a big fan of cough medicine. Vics on the feet? It's worth a try! I will remember that the next time my kids are dealing with a cough!Thanks!

SallyN said...

I think an important consideration when deciding what treatment to take, is to familiarize oneself with the pros and cons, and available information... regardless of whether it's a homeopathic remedy, natural remedy, or pharmaceutical concoction.

Keep in mind, that most drugs are given the label of NOT safe for pregnancy, for the very reason that they have not been tested on pregnant women either.

All that aside, during my first trimester I was really wishing that ginger was not a migraine trigger for me. It made the 'morning' sickness better, but the tradeoff was a migraine. No fun. :(

newsanchormom.com said...

Migraines vs. nausea. I think I would choose nausea too!

Jody said...

When we had an ear ache growing up, my mom would take a cotton ball soaked in Sweet Oil and warm it up. Then it was placed in our ear overnight. By morning...NO ear ache!!!!

newsanchormom.com said...

Jody, I wonder if that works for an ear infection too?

Shannon said...

In my Filipino family, Vicks is a cure-all for whatever ails you. Although it specifically says on the bottle not to use it on an open wound, my relatives swear it is the best for healing cuts and scrapes, even bruises. The standard response (and remember, my MIL is an M.D.!) is "put some vicks on it!" [Think "Windex" in My Big Fat Greek Wedding"]

I've personally used a homeopathic garlic ear oil drops for earaches before, with great success. I bought it at a HFS but I'm sure a homemade concoction would work as well.

I also like tea tree oil... it was great in clearing up/preventing diaper rashes. (Diluted it in the wipes solution I made for the cloth wipes.)

I think the cold remedy sounds good actually... I'll have to file that one away!

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