Treating Childhood Illnesses
When my daughter had measles I withheld all food from her. Food feeds a virus as well as the person, and valuable energy is wasted on the digestive system when it should be going to the immune system. Fasting allows the body to rest. We usually don’t feel like eating when we are ill because it is our body’s way of telling us to fast.
I made sure she had regular fluids to avoid dehydration – starting with water and then progressing to fruit juice when she was a little better. Breast milk is also ideal. For her fever, I gave regular doses of Belladonna 6 homeopathy and tepid sponge bathing to prevent any febrile convulsion (which are caused by allowing the temperature to rise too quickly).
I didn’t give any paracetamol or another anti-pyretic because if you try to suppress symptoms you end up pushing them into the body and causing measles complications. According to Medicine Net, ‘Avoid aspirin and all aspirin products. (Aspirin today is not recommended for children or for patients with infectious diseases caused by viruses, because of the association with Reyes syndrome)’. Nearly all measles complications are either in malnourished children or healthy children whose measles was ‘medicated.’
I used calamine lotion on her spots to ease any discomfort. Some alternative medical professionals are against calamine lotion as they say it is also suppressive so you may wish to discuss with your alternative healthcare provider and/or your child’s doctor before deciding if you want to do this.
Her rash disappeared after 3 days and she was fully recovered in 8 days and did not get ill (even with a cold) for another year or more afterwards.
Remedies that I gave my daughter included:
Phytolacca 30 – to ease pain of the swollen neck.
Belladonna 30 – for fever.
Vitamin C supplements and Echinacea drops to help the immune system.
Fasting to allow the body to heal.
Plenty of drinks of cold water (and breast milk, if you’re still breast feeding) and non citrus fruit juices.
Tepid sponging for fever, and use of an electric fan if necessary.
A hot lavender wheat bag, placed around the neck.
Rhus toxicodendron can also be used if the swollen glands are reddish or the sufferer is an adult. It can be used as a nosode (homeopathic ‘immunisation’ against mumps) if the person is an adult or they have a weak immune system.
All people are different, though, so it is best to consult a qualified homeopath who can tailor remedies to your child’s specific needs.
If your child’s glands become an angry red colour, this is a sign of infection which requires oral or IV antibiotics. There are natural alternatives to antibiotics, such as tea tree compresses, but your child should be examined by a doctor if you are worried about a secondary infection. This is fairly unusual, and most children with healthy immune systems just recover at home without treatment.
Antibiotics damage the natural flora of the intestines and can weaken the immune system in the long run, so you will need to strengthen your child’s constitution after this type of therapy. I gave my daughter supplemental vitamins and pro-biotic drinks to balance her system. It has been 9 months since her mumps and she has only had one minor cold since.
TREATMENT OF CHICKENPOX
I have nursed all four of my daughters through chickenpox, and my first three daughters had it all at the same time. The two eldest ones did not even feel unwell with it and were still eating meals and running around playing. They got irritated by the itchy spots and would wake in the night, scratching, but that was the extent of the illness. My fourth daughter, Alicia, got it a few years later, and like her sisters, didn’t feel ill. She proudly showed off her spots to everyone and told me off for calling her ‘spotty dotty’.
I didn’t actually give any specific treatment other than vitamin C to support the immune system and breast milk and aromatherapy skin lotion to ease the irritation of the itchy spots. To ease discomfort you could also make sure your child is wearing loose clothing and give tepid sponge baths. If your child has a fever, sponge bathing can help. You could also give a homeopathic remedy, such as belladonna. Electric fans have worked wonders on all my family members, when ill, and can help keep a temperature at a steady level and ease headaches and pain.
Lavender patches can also help with headaches. These are self-adhesive patches that you stick on the forehead which contain cooling lavender. They are available from various outlets, including www.moku-reflexology.co.uk, if you want to buy online. Please note, they are not suitable for pregnant women due to danger to the foetus.
Breast feeding can help as your milk contains antibodies to anything in your baby’s environment including viruses he is exposed to.
If you had chickenpox as a child, you will pass on antibodies to chickenpox in your breast milk, which may prevent or ease the affects of chickenpox on your baby, as well as providing warmth and comfort to him if he’s feeling unwell. I breast fed my then 7 month old through chickenpox and it helped to calm and sooth her. I sprayed breast milk on her spots to heal them up quicker, as mother’s milk is extremely anti-viral.
Rubella doesn’t usually require treatment, but
1. Keep your child off school or away from groups of other children (unless you are part of a contact network where other parents wish their child to gain natural immunity through exposure).
2. Keep your child away from pregnant women until he is better.
3. If he feels unwell, put him to bed. Rest is a good tonic.
4. If he has a fever, you can make him comfortable with tepid bathing, an electric fan and/or the homeopathic remedy Belladonna 30. I have found the electric fan to work wonders at easing my children’s discomfort!
5. Miriam Stoppard suggests paracetamol but there have been studies linking this with complications of childhood disease (I am planning a page on this).
TREATING WHOOPING COUGH
According to Dr. Miriam Stoppard, allopathic cough medicine should NOT be given for whooping cough. (‘Child Health’, DK books,1998). If a GP diagnoses whooping cough, he may offer antibiotics, as bordetella pertussis is caused by a bacterium and may respond to antibiotics. It should be remembered that these can also depress the immune system.
In a severe case, your baby may be given extra oxygen in hospital.
There are alternative treatments. Homeopathic preparations we gave our daughter included:
Belladonna 30 (for slight fever)
Bryonia 30 (for cough)
Pertussin 30 –this is a nosode which we gave later to stop the persistent cough she developed, which can be an ‘echo’ effect of pertussis. It can be given in more severe cases or to strengthen your child’s immune system if she has any after-effects.
There are other remedies which can be used but these are tailored to the specific child and her symptoms so it’s best to see a registered homeopath rather than self-treat.
We also used a eucalyptus and menthol chest rub which we massaged into her chest several times daily, but you should NOT do this near to a dose of homeopathy as it could counter-act the affects of the homeopathy. If in doubt, speak to a qualified homeopath. Also, you should NOT put eucalyptus anywhere near your baby’s face, especially the nose as this can cause him to wheeze and may make the situation worse. Make sure it’s a brand suitable for small babies and use only on the chest, not on the face.
We placed bowls of boiling water around the house and also had her sitting in her car seat in the bathroom while we bathed or showered so that the steam would help ease her congestion.
Adding thyme to your child’s bath can also sooth. Take three teaspoons of thyme and add it to boiling water, then put it in the bath through a strainer.
It’s important to always have your child in the same room as you at night, preferably in the same bed in case they vomit. In the case of an older child, you can raise up the head end of the bed as a slightly raised surface aids breathing. (Some of this information is taken from ‘Natural Medicine For Children’, Julian Scott MA PhD, 1990).
TREATMENT OF ROTAVIRUS
1. Stop all solid foods, cow’s milk and formula milk. For a bottle fed baby, give him water every 15 minutes. He may also need a glucose solution from your doctor until you can re-introduce formula. If you’ve got a friend who can give him expressed breast milk, that would be better.
For a breast fed baby, rotavirus is rare, but if he does have it, breast feed him as often as he wants, even if that is all the time.
For an older child, give nothing but water initially – no citrus juice, and re-introduce foods slowly. Melon is good because it’s full of water and easy on the stomach.
All this information, except the breast feeding information, is from Dr. Miriam Stoppard’s book.
Garlic to Treat H1N1 Flu
Wrapped up in earmuffs and a heavy jacket to fight the Beijing winter, Liu Zhan shows little sign of soaring wealth. Until he removes his gloves — and reveals a large gold ring. At the Chinese capital’s biggest vegetable wholesale market, other traders call him “Millionaire Liu.”
The pungent root of that nickname is stacked in bags on and around Liu’s haulage truck. Garlic prices have jumped so high in China that the crop has outperformed gold and stocks to be the country’s best performing asset this year.
As H1N1 swine flu continues to worry China’s leaders — who are rolling out a nationwide vaccine program — its people seek a more traditional remedy. Just as some Chinese turned to turnips to prevent the SARS virus in 2003, garlic has emerged as a swine flu fighter in 2009.
“Garlic kills bacteria, and I eat at least half a bulb each day,” says Liu, 43, whose prices have leapt from just five cents a pound in February to almost 55 cents today.
Although Chinese government experts have cautioned consumers about the lack of scientific proof for garlic’s flu-killing powers, its supporters remain adamant. “Garlic can definitely help prevent swine flu,” claims Li Jingfeng, chairman of the Jinxiang Garlic Association in eastern China’s Shandong province.
Self-promoted as China’s “hometown of garlic,” Jinxiang county grows a quarter of all garlic in China, which in turn provides more than a quarter of global output, says Wang Hao, marketing manager for the China Garlic website. Jinxiang, whose name means Gold Village, has enjoyed its best-ever sales year, says Li.
“Next year, the price will be even higher, but our American and European buyers still think it’s cheap, as garlic sells for $6.60 for a pound in their countries,” he says.
Homeopathy to Treat Infectious Diseases
The fact that homeopathy became extremely popular during the 19th century primarily because of its impressive successes in treating the infectious disease epidemics that raged during that time is a fact that is totally ignored by skeptics.(3)(4)(5) It is highly unlikely that a placebo response is the explanation for homeopathy’s notable successes in treating epidemics of cholera, yellow fever, scarlet fever, typhoid, pneumonia, or influenza. Skeptics are wonderfully clever in trying to make up stories and excuses for the good and often amazing results that people get from homeopathic medicines. Most often, however, they simply say that “old news is no news,” as they brag about not learning from the past as though this is a good thing.
There are more than 150 placebo controlled clinical studies, most of which have shown positive results, either compared with a placebo or compared with a conventional drug.(6-10)
If that were not enough, studies testing the effects of homeopathic medicines on cell cultures, plants, animals, physics experiments, and chemistry trials have shown statistically significant effects. (11-16) Needless to say, the placebo effect in these basic science studies is virtually non-existent, while the effects from homeopathic doses are significant and sometimes substantial.
Vitamin D to Prevent Influenza A
Background: To our knowledge, no rigorously designed clinical trials have evaluated the relation between vitamin D and physician-diagnosed seasonal influenza.
Objective: We investigated the effect of vitamin D supplements on the incidence of seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren.
Design: From December 2008 through March 2009, we conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial comparing vitamin D3 supplements (1200 IU/d) with placebo in schoolchildren. The primary outcome was the incidence of influenza A, diagnosed with influenza antigen testing with a nasopharyngeal swab specimen.
Results: Influenza A occurred in 18 of 167 (10.8%) children in the vitamin D3 group compared with 31 of 167 (18.6%) children in the placebo group [relative risk (RR), 0.58; 95% CI: 0.34, 0.99; P = 0.04]. The reduction in influenza A was more prominent in children who had not been taking other vitamin D supplements (RR: 0.36; 95% CI: 0.17, 0.79; P = 0.006) and who started nursery school after age 3 y (RR: 0.36; 95% CI: 0.17, 0.78; P = 0.005). In children with a previous diagnosis of asthma, asthma attacks as a secondary outcome occurred in 2 children receiving vitamin D3 compared with 12 children receiving placebo (RR: 0.17; 95% CI: 0.04, 0.73; P = 0.006).
Conclusion: This study suggests that vitamin D3 supplementation during the winter may reduce the incidence of influenza A, especially in specific subgroups of schoolchildren. This trial was registered at https://center.umin.ac.jp as UMIN000001373.
Source: Am J Clin Nutr (March 10, 2010). doi:10.3945/ajcn.2009.29094
General Childhood Ailments
For sore throats I either give a children’s vitamin C and enchinacea supplement or a couple of drops of children’s enchinacea in a cup of orange juice. A dose or two of this usually does the trick.
The vitamins I give are Mr. Tumee children’s vitamins because they don’t contain aspartame, talc or other such products that should be avoided (as they nullify any positive effect of the vitamin in my opinion).
TIP: Don’t get your vitamins from a big supermarket, they are always loaded with junk and aren’t actually that good for you.
Mr. Tumee’s does contain a bit of sugar, but I think this is preferable to artificial sweeteners and as the body needs a tiny amount of sugar, I am not too concerned with this small amount.
There are also other brands of vitamins out there that use cherry powder as a sweetener instead of aspartame.
Coughs that are productive (i.e, they get flem up off the chest) should not be treated as they are there for a purpose to help your child remove toxins and mucus from his body.
If the cough is not productive (i.e he’s coughing all the time and not getting anything up), you could consider using a children’s multi-vitamin to strengthen his overall immune system.
When my 5 year old son had a persistant cough earlier this year that would not go away, I gave him Mr. Tumee’s children’s vitamins and all traces of the cough was gone two days later.
You can also give chamomile tea with a spoonful of honey in it to sooth a cough and sore throat (only use the honey if your baby is older than one year, due to the risk of infant botulism). Babies younger than that can have previously boiled, cooled chamomile tea in a sippy cup or bottle.
If you are still breast feeding, breast milk has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties in it that will help your baby get over his cough.
If your child’s cough goes on for a long time or you notice any other symptoms, take him to the doctor. It could possibly be whooping cough even if he’s been vaccinated.
I use headache patches, either lavender aromatherapy ones or plain ones from the chemist as they are drug free, topical and ease the discomfort of a headache. You just stick them on the child’s forehead and leave them there for a few hours to give relief.
Cuts and Bruises
I use arnica homeopathy (6c) for scuffed knees and bumps and it works every time. A minute or two after taking the remedy, the sting is gone (I have also used it on myself and it works for me too). I carry it in my handbag in case my little one falls over as it’s an instant tonic and the first thing he asks for when he’s hurt himself.
Fever should not be treated as it is the immune system response to infection and is there to help your child.
Bacteria and viruses cannot live in elevated temperatures which is why your child gets a fever, to kill off germs. Children who have fever treated in infectious diseases die and have complications in greater numbers because suppressing the fever allows the pathogens to grow. Experimental animals die when their fevers are medically suppressed when they have an infection.
There are only a few exceptions to the rule:
1. If your child’s fever is interfering with his respiratory system
2. If your child’s fever goes up very quickly
3. If your child’s fever goes down very quickly
Rapid rises and falls of fever can cause a febrile convulsion so if you notice this you may want to use an anti-pyretic.
To ease my child’s pain and discomfort caused by fever, I would give them a tepid bath and/or put an electric fan on them. My son as a baby would get fevers whenever he was cutting new teeth and the electric fan and my milk were the only two things that would stop him crying. I did this only for the purpose of easing pain, not to suppress the fever.