Natural Parenting Health
In this day and age, I feel that the “war on drugs” should largely be against western medicine and all it’s profit-hungry, vivisecting and environment destroying pharmaceutical companies. Modern medicine has it’s place, but most often, nature will work wonders!
Information on Vaccination
What is Homeopathy?
Using Essential Oils for families
The Healing Basket – your natural first kit.
Fluoride, Lead and Children
Just say NO to Ritalin!
The use of this drug is increasing at an alarming rate. Already widely prescribed in the USA, are parents in danger of letting this controversial drug permanantly damage their children? What are the alternatives? Why are some children hyperactive to begin with?
Circumcision – Jock Doubleday presents compelling information in his regular newsletter. Feature Article for May 2003.
Article Archive of Health Topics – Autism, Pregnancy, Childbirth, Body Piercing, Dentistry and More.
Natural First Aid
There are so many great natural solutions to our children’s wounds of play (and war !). Here are just a few of our most frequently used and recommended-
Arnica tablets (Homeopathic) never fail to amaze us. When anyone has a bump, knocks their knee or bangs their head, a quick dose of Arnica will prevent knots and bruises from forming and will quiet a frantic child. Arnica is also available as an ointment, cream, tincture and spray to be applied externally.
Aloe Vera gel either right from the plant in your kitchen or from the health food store is healing for burns and scrapes. I just discovered that when used as a base with 5 drops each of lavender and chamomile oil, it provides instant relief from nettle stings (our 3 year old fell face first into a patch!).
Calendula ointment is great for skin irritations, nappy rash and minor scrapes (no broken skin).
We avoid the prophylactic use of antibiotic ointments for cuts. Witch hazel is an effective wound cleanser or even a gentle antibacterial soap work perfectly well.
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Children can react very differently to everyday bumps and scrapes, some with great fear or drama until you acknowledge and care for their scrape with great concern, whilst others you almost have to sit on to tend to their injury!
Most children however, fall somewhere between these two extremes and one thing I have found to be universal in helping children be calm and focused is the discovery of the “Healing Basket”. Shea Darian (Author of Seven Times the Sun) introduces this wonderful idea in her book. The basics are compromised of:
- A medium sized basket
- Paper bag or container to hold plasters, cottonwool balls and swabs
- Small glass bottle of Lavender massage oil (for headaches, fevers or just “quiet time”)
- Small glass or clay bottle filled with white glitter “fairy dust” (sprinkle to promote magical healing)
- A small cloth to cover the contents when storing
Ours also contains some first aid essentials such as:
- Arnica Homeopathic tablets
- Arnica ointment
- Calendula ointment
- Aloe Vera gel
- Witch hazel
- Herbal throat lozenges
Some extra things you can add are; a special beeswax “healing candle”, which gets lit when a child is feeling unwell plus a book relating to injury or illness, we have “Mr. Bump” from the Mr. Men series, or even simply reading a favorite book can become a comforting ritual.
Having a Healing Basket really seems to reassure the child that there is a remedy to their injury, and it lies within the basket. It’s comforting presence really beats rushing to the bathroom medicine cabinet for supplies, where adult medicines, razors and other such child-unfriendly things are usually kept. It provides a space dedicated with items to heal especially them.
Disclaimer: I am NOT a doctor, nor have I had any formal training in medicine. The recommendations and opinions in this article are drawn from my own experience as a woman and mother treating myself and family. No information given here is suggested to be an alternative to seeking the advice of a health professional.
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What is Homeopathy
- Homeopathy is an exceptionally safe form of medicine that treats the whole individual. It relies for it’s effects on the body’s own powers of self-regulation and self-healing. It was developed over two hundred years ago and is now gaining popularity due to it’s successful treatment of people of every age in all walks of life. Homeopathy is a naturopathic form of medicine which seeks to assist nature and the body’s own healing abilities. It works on the principal that ‘like cures like’-by taking a substance; plants and minerals most commonly, that cause the symptoms you’re experiencing, and diluting it enough, it simply triggers the body’s own response to heal itself. The more diluted the remedy, the more powerful the effect on the patient. The ‘mother tincture’ of the remedy is first diluted in a ratio of either 1:10, 1:100 or 1:1000 and then that process is repeated to achieve the above potencies and sometimes stronger (which should only be prescribed by a licensed practitioner) Homeopathic remedies are available in several different forms and potencies, the most commonly prescribed potency being 6c, 30c, 6x or 30x. The number refers to how many times the above dilution process is repeated, the ‘c’ and ‘x’ symbols refer to the initial dilution ratios (think Roman numerals).
- It does not affect nor interfere with other medications, in fact, Homeopathy may have no noticeable effect if you are taking conventional medication for any reason. It is very sensitive to contaminants, so avoid handling the tablets as much as possible and store in a cool, dry place away from strong odors.
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The Safe Use of Essential Oils for Families
- Aromatherapy- the practice of applying essential oils to holistically heal. Essential oils are not really “oils”, but in fact the light and non-greasy result of distilling many plants and flowers. Widely used throughout history and the world for many centuries, the powerful effect of this therapy is easy to witness. Our sense of smell is extremely important to our lives. Simply put, do we happen to notice that when we smell something unpleasant, it makes us irritated or upset? Yet pleasant smells lift our sprits and give us a feeling of well-being. Essential oils therefore not only work in a very real way on our bodies, but effect our mind dramatically too. Sometimes people can be skeptical about how inhaling a substance can affect the mind and body, but then consider anesthetics, nicotine etc. Inhaling the oils has a direct effect on the body as some of the oil will be absorbed via the lungs, and thereby entering the bloodstream.. Aromatherapy can be used to compliment many forms of treatment, both orthodox and unorthodox.
- Children respond wonderfully to this therapy; by far the best methods of using the oils with children is in the bath, but air sprays, oil burning and massages are all great ways to incorporate healing oils into everyday living as well as during times of more serious illness. Some safety precautions need to be observed however; If applying oils to the skin, first dilute in an un-perfumed vegetable-based oil; you will find you need only a very few drops per application This applies to bathing in oils also; to prevent any skin irritation by direct contact, first swish the oil drops to mix with the water immediately before getting into the bath. OIl burners are very popular and provide a much healthier alternative to artificial air freshners. Fill your oil burner with water than add 5-10 drops of the oil of your choice, make your own combinations. Lavender burns almost constantly in our house, to help promote a calming atmosphere for mum and kids. If i’m feeling out of sorts I’ll add some Bergamot oil to help lift my spirits.
- Most people are now incorporating the use of essential oils into their health and beauty routines. These powerful substances prove themselves to be very beneficial to us, physically and emotionally. With all oils, care should always be taken to prevent direct contact with the eyes and skin and no oils should ever be taken internally unless directed so by a qualified aromatherapist. Certain oils should be avoided during pregnancy and without professional supervision.
- I have provided two tables below which outline oils and their many uses and benefits for families and also potentially dangerous oils.
Here’s a brief list of the most commonly used children’s oils:
|Lavender||Wakefulness, Irritability, Fevers, Headache||Any|
|Chamomile||Digestive upsets, Irritability||Massage is most helpful|
|Eucalyptus||Colds, preventing spread of airborne germs||Oil Burner, baths or on the corner of a pillow to relieve stuffy noses at night|
|Clove||Teething, toothache, sore gums||Rub directly onto affected area|
|Tea Tree||Boosting the immune system, disinfecting the atmosphere and hard surfaces/toothbrushes||Any|
Here’s a list of potentially harmful and toxic oils – Avoid use during pregnancy.
- Clary Sage
- SageThe following oils should be avoided during the first 3 or 4 months of pregnancy and used with caution during the remaining months.
- Sweet Fennel
All good books on Aromatherapy will have more extensive lists and suggestions – here’s two of my favourites –