The whole family was plagued by so many health issues last year, that I'm gradually changing our lifestyle and diet as we enter into a healthier and happier 2014. While I'm not 100% for naturopathy, I am keen on minimising our reliance on pharmaceuticals and unnecessarily invasive treatments. Hopefully all these changes can also improve the chances of our #2 babymaking efforts!
Here's what we're trying that seems to work so far. Thanks to Google and friends for the tips.
1) Sore throats and runny nose: Doesn't it feel like if it's not you, a friend or family member will catch this at least once a week? The unnatural cold front in Singapore, and fluctuating temperatures doesn't help!
- Avoid dairy, bananas, cold food. Subsitute for calcium with tofu, soy beans, almonds, oranges, greens
- Nasal douche or spray with sea salt (antibacterial, isotonic)
- Diffuse or drop chamomile, eucalyptus (for older kids), camphor / tiger balm (adults) on pillow or clothes
- Apply pain relieving rescue cream twice daily from nostrils to top of nose and cheeks
- Soak flax seed overnight, boil and reduce to make a warm compress/ paste and apply to head, cheek, nose ideally for 30 mins each day
2) Cough: If persists more than a week though, go see a doctor as there could be a respiratory infection. Don't wait like I did!
- Serve up pork rib (or vegetable roots) soup, red dates with daikon (white radish) or watercress
- Drink warm manuka honey, lemon and chamomile tea
- Diffuse or drop lavender (cramped cough), eucalpytus (congestion), thyme (suppressant), myrrh (anti-inflammatory). If no oils at hand, use Vicks BabyRub
- Try warm curd or lemon packing too
3) (Mild) fever, diarrhea, vomiting from an upset tummy / stomach bug: B had all of this around Christmas. We didn't see a doctor as his temperature never exceeded 38C, and I wanted to allow his immune system the chance to produce antibodies to cure the body. He recovered within a few days with:
- Drink, drink, drink! Peppermint, fennel or chamomile tea, ginger with lemon and honey water
- Ensure sufficient zinc and fiber: Fruits (bananas, apples, pomegranates, grapes, cranberries, cherries, blueberries), carrot, ginger and sweet potato porridge, wholewheat bread/flour, veggies (carrots). Cut down on dairy, white bread, sugar, chocolates, juice
- Barley tea and/or ginger to settle the tummy. The taste can be hard to swallow for kids so add to their favourite foods (i.e. porridge, fish soup ... and of course, baked goodies, like gingerbread men :)
- Wear cotton clothes, go on diapers (sets back potty training, but oh so necessary!)
4) Rash and bites: We go outdoors alot and get our fair share of mozzie and sandfly bites, no matter how much lotion and repellent we use! Our family also has a history of adult eczema although B so far shows no signs .... yet
- Aloe vera or papaya based gels, peppermint or oatmeal bath (fill a cloth bag with leaves/uncooked oats)
- Calendula, coconut oil, olive oil, tea tree oil and oatmeal based lotions. Oatmeal worked wonders for me since I first discovered Aveeno while working in New York. It's anti-inflammatory, seals in moisture, relieves irration
- If rash also includes oral sores, it could be HFMD, scarlet fever, chicken pox
- If rash is chronic, likely to be eczema. Check this out!
5) Healthy, organic living wherever possible. I was quite particular about this while pregnant and through B's first year, but slacked off last year:
- Organic grocery shopping at Fairprice Finest or if I can't find something and need it quick, I'll stop by Brown Rice Paradise or Four Seasons Market
- Organic online shopping from iherb, The Fishwives, The Organic Grocer, Fassler
- Organic (casual) dining at Real Food, Balanced Living as these are nearby. Get more recs here or join the Organic Living Meet Up
6) Massage: Ironically, I had more massages when working full-time and traveling lots:
- This year, I'm aiming for at least twice a year (for me)
- Casual, 15 mins twice daily (for B) on the back, belly button, head, hands and feet meridians
- Don't know what oil to use? Read this! If inspired, make your own blend of jojoba, thyme, bergamot, cypress,
tea tree and angelica oils :)
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