**Cow’s milk, wheat, egg white, peanut and soy being the top allergens. Sugar, chocolate, corn, and yeast follow.
Environmental sensitivities include Cigarette smoke, house dust, pollen, mold, volatile organic compounds, fungi, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, animal dander, and bacterial infection.
One of the first changes you may notice with a middle ear problem is a change in behavior or sleep habits.
A child may pull or tug at the ear or poke their finger inside.
They may want to be held or just lay still.
Older children may tell you it feels blocked, plugged, buzzing or ringing sounds in their ear.
Listen in to my tips and tricks for ear pain.
5 Ear Infection Symptoms For Children
tugging on the ear
wanting to be held
one cheek red
warm to touch
The truth is, you may have to change your child’s diet if they are always getting ear infections. The first thing I would do is try goat’s milk formula or take dairy out of your diet if you’re breastfeeding or out of your child’s diet.
It’s hard, I know. But, it is worth it.
Here Are 8 Steps You Can Try For Natural Ear Infection Treatment
Heat the oil up a bit with a spoon and match to soothe their inflamed ear. Caution: Make sure it’s not too hot!
#4 Add herbs to their bath
Add chamomile, lavender or thyme infusion to their bath.
To make an infusion; Place 2tbs. of herb, or 4tbs. of fresh herb in a pint jar. Fill with boiling water and put on the lid. Let it sit for 1/2 hour to 8 hours. Strain and add to a warm tub.
Alternatively, you can use Essential oils BUT be very careful.
Use only 1 drop of E.O. DILUTED in milk before adding to the tub. Use only with children 3+ months. (Caution you always have to dilute essential oils. I like to dilute them in milk, so the E.O. does not aggravate the child)
#5 Add probiotics to their diet!
Children with low numbers of intestinal Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria are more likely to succumb to infection than children who harbor optimum levels of these microbes in their intestinal tracts.
Encourage soups and greens. Remove all dairy, sugar, juice, and all kinds of milk from the diet
#7 Use Homeopathy
Homeopathy is based on the unusual and peculiar symptoms of the child. Take notes, write down what you see and then contact your local homeopath for the perfect remedy. If you choose to try it on your own; know that your child’s symptoms may get worse at first, BUT THEN they should improve by the second or third dose.
The first thing to change with homeopathy is their mental state. Instead of being carried, your child may want to go play. Instead of screaming, they may calm down and drink and eat. Each person is unique.
St. John’s Wort flower & bud (Hypericum perforatum)
Meadowsweet leaf & flower (Filipendula ulmaria)
Willow bark (Salix lucida)
It is possible to reduce the amount of antibiotic use for ear infections with diet, homeopathy, and botanicals. Often, taking out dairy may be able the only change your child needs. To deep dive into natural remedies for your children, head over to my course: Home Remedies For Children.
What’s stopping you from trying this out? Comment below.
¹ Schmidt, Dr. Michael A., Healing Childhood Ear Infections. Prevention, Home Care, and Alternative Treatment
You’ve heard the rumors… we are facing an epidemic of antibiotic resistance.
Wouldn’t it be great if your doctor had other suggestions when you visited them for your child’s symptoms?
Think about this for a moment, if antibiotics don’t always work and they are causing other health problems, what are we to do?
It all boils down to this.
Was your child born via c-section?
Have they had 1+ round of antibiotics?
Are they struggling with their digestion?
Do they have Atopic conditions like allergies, eczema, and asthma?
If you answered yes to one of the questions above, you may want to be concerned.
Reality is, our children may need a round or two of antibiotics while they build their immunity; especially if they are in daycare or the public school system.
But, what if you knew how to use natural remedies to reduce the amount of exposure your child is receiving from antibiotic use?
What if you knew how to heal your child’s gut, so they wouldn’t have these symptoms and fear of antibiotics not working?
Here’s my promise to you.
By the end of this post, you’ll understand why we need to rethink antibiotics and consider integrating natural remedies to boost your child’s immunity for years to come.
95% of clinicians prescribe antibiotics even when they are not absolutely sure they are needed. – Dr. Aviva Romm
6 Dangers Of Antibiotic Use
1. Antibiotic Resistance
One of the biggest threats to our global health today is antibiotic resistance, the World Health Organization suggests.
“Bacteria, not humans or animals, become antibiotic-resistant. These bacteria may infect humans and animals, and the infections they cause are harder to treat than those caused by non-resistant bacteria.” ¹
Bacterial infections need antibiotics and if you overuse them, they may not work when you need them most. According to the CDC, “Each year in the U.S., at least 2 million people get an antibiotic-resistant infection, and at least 23,000 people die.” Source
We have to consider reducing antibiotics and integrating natural remedies.
2. Food Intolerances (gluten/dairy)
If you haven’t heard the word microbiome yet, get ready to learn more. These communities of gut flora run from our mouth to our anus and affect our weight, mood, mental health, and even our immunity. One of the ways we damage this flora is through yup, you guessed it, antibiotics.
And, children born via c-section are already compromised due to the one dose of antibiotics mom gets before surgery.
If you’re planning a C-section, consider Vaginal seeding to protect your child’s gut flora.
When your child’s microbiome is affected, they may have difficulty digesting gluten and dairy – some of the top inflammatory foods we consume.
One way around this is to try Goat’s milk formula or for mom to take dairy out of her diet if breastfeeding. Also, mom may want to take a digestive enzyme to help her digest the milk.
3. Leaky Gut Syndrome
Leaky gut, also known as increased intestinal permeability, is a digestive condition in which bacteria and toxins are able to “leak” through the intestinal wall causing headaches, food intolerances, allergies and joint pain in our child’s health.
Medications that lead to Leaky Gut Syndrome In Kids:
Acid reducing medication
If your child is taking these medications regularly, you may want to consider the 4R approach. Read more about Leaky Gut Syndrom in kids Here.
4. Clostridium difficile
The leading cause of deaths in the hospital, Clostridium difficile or C. diff. is a bacterium that is normally present in the body in small numbers. When they are out of balance with the rest of your gut bacteria – due to antibiotic use or a compromised immune system, they may cause an infection and result in diarrhea.
This bacteria produces a toxin that causes inflammation of the colon and results in varying degrees of diarrhea, sometimes a bloody stool, and could potentially lead to death. Often, children with a compromised immune system have the greatest risk of getting C. Diff. If your child has bloody stool, please have it checked immediately for C. Diff.
C. diff can go hand in hand with Celiac disease and Inflammatory Bowel Disease; please have your child checked if you suspect they have C. Diff.
Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your doctor may suggest an antibiotic or to take the probiotic Saccharomyces Boulardi daily to replenish your gut flora. Read more here.
An inflammatory skin condition, Eczema, affects 1 in 5 children and is increasing each year. Known as ‘the itch that rashes’ typically begins with the itch and ends with red, scaly skin. You may also have rough bumps, thick patches or bumps that leak fluid and crust over.
Those with Atopic dermatitis typically have a food allergy to wheat, dairy, peanuts or nuts.
Why is this happening? 3 reasons.
Their microbiome is out of balance – possibly due to medications either from mom or baby
Child or Mom has an inflammatory diet or a food allergy
What can you do about Eczema?
Address any gut imbalances in mom or child’s diet.
Cover the skin with a botanical cream like Calendula.
MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) infections generally begin as skin infections. The bacterium invades the skin through an open sore, cut, or scrape. For children, the most common source of infection is a simple cut or abrasion.
MRSA is different from other staph bacteria because it has built up a resistance to most of the antibiotics doctors usually use to treat staph infections.
What can you do about it antibiotic resistance?
Encourage your children to wash their hands with just soap and water, NOT antibacterial soap.
Eat grass-fed, antibiotic-free meat, and dairy to reduce exposure to antibiotics.
Let me guess, your little one does not want to sleep.
It’s frustrating, I know. I’m raising twins!
Wouldn’t it be great if you could lull them to sleep with a natural remedy?
Think about this for a moment, if you could trust a product to soothe your child when they are sick, teething, or revved up on sugar – would you use it?
Let me show you my favorite natural remedies to help your little one sleep.
But don’t forget to check with your doctor before using any new herbal remedies.
First, why is your child not sleeping?
Are they teething?
Did they have too much sugar or caffeine?
It’s important to know why this is happening to determine the best remedy for your child.
So, What’s the magic formula?
Here are my nine steps to lull your little one to sleep.
Try Homeopathy for teething children
Encourage Chamomile tea at nighttime
Integrate a Herbal Tinctures to soothe anxiety and pain
Cut back on the chocolate and caffeine
Add Epsom Salts to tubby time to increase magnesium levels
Add magnesium to their diet if they have been stressed
Encourage good sleep hygiene https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/children-and-sleep
Shut off the TV and tablets an hour before bed
Keep their bedroom dark
2 Homeopathic Remedies For Teething
I’ll never forget the one night my little girl stayed up until 5:00 am with two doses of Tylonal in her! Her teeth were clearing bothering her. I wish I had this remedy for that one night.
Coffea Cruda 30 c
Sensitive to pain and noise. Worse at night and with touch. Shooting pain, better for cold application. A child cannot sleep due to teething.
Chamomilla 30 c
Symptoms: One cheek red, unbearable pains and better for uncovering. Worse in the evening. Screaming, crying and wants to be held and you’re thinking go the f**k to sleep:) Your energy and thoughts are a clear symptom for this remedy!
3 Botanicals To Help Your Child Sleep
Known as a gentle sedative, Valerian can calm the nervous system and reduce your child’s stress. It’s one of the most useful relaxing nervines available to use. Due to its taste and strength, it’s best used it as a combined tincture to help promote sleep when your child is sick, feverish, anxious or diagnosed with ADHD.
Please check the dosing on the product before administering to your child.
As a nervine, passionflower can be used for insomnia, anxiety, ADHD, and to help relieve pain. Try Herb Pharm: Kids fast asleep for when your little one is sick, nervous, or anxious on Sunday night.
Feel comforted to know, that it’s made with glycerin and safe for children who weight 25#’s or more. Check the packaging for dosing.
Just like the story of Peter Rabbit, his mom knew he needed rest and served him a cup of chamomile tea. Safe for children of all ages, one cup of tea can soothe inflammation, aid digestion and relax your child’s nervous system to lull them to sleep. Use as a single cup of tea or a blended recipe similar to the one below.
Additionally, you can use chamomile as a tincture in a little water, for a quick remedy in the middle of the night.
I’ve heard this countless times… if your child goes to daycare they don’t get ‘that’ sick their first year of kindergarten.
It’s not true.
New people, new viruses, new foods, and new stressors will challenge your child’s immune system when they get to school (or daycare).
What if you could support your child’s immune system to prevent them from getting secondary infections; like pneumonia by boosting their immunity with diet and botanicals?
Imagine what it would be like with fewer doctor’s visits, missed days of school, and a full night’s sleep!
Let’s start with my favorite herbal remedies to boost your child’s immunity all year long.
5 Botanicals To Boost Your Child’s immunity
Primarily used in Chinese medicine, Andrographis has been known to help reduce secondary infections; like pneumonia. The botanical is bitter and cold and I would use it during signs of heat; such as a fever. As an antimicrobial, it kills bacteria, reduces sore throats, coughs, and fevers. Source.
Effective for both viral and bacterial infections, it is the prime remedy to support your child’s body. Great for upper respiratory tract illnesses such as laryngitis, tonsillitis, and congestion of the nose and sinuses. I’ll also use Echinacea at the first for a sign of cold or urinary tract infection.
The fresh rootstock of ginger is used as a diaphoretic to heat the body and rid it of infection naturally by raising your body temperature. It’s also used as carminative aiding digestion and elimination soothing the gut wall and easing gripping pains. Keep in mind, the dried ginger root may be too strong for children.
Personally, I will make Fresh Ginger Root tea for myself or dried ginger tea. For the kids, I’ll make an herbal syrup with ginger or use Herb Pharm Immune Avenger so it’s not too spicy for them!
One of the most effective anti-microbial plants available would be garlic. A daily dose of garlic clove can reduce your risk of bacterial infection and viral infections. Probably the hardest to sneak into your child’s diet, they may enjoy the Kid Friendly Cider or Garlic toast to prevent infections of the lung.
Other tips to keep your kids healthy all year
wash, wash, wash their hands every single day when they get home from school
clean their sippy cup straws!
encourage fruits and vegetables
boost their immunity with Vitamin D., Vitamin C, and probiotics
consider taking out dairy if they continue to get ear infections
skip the sugar as it lower’s their immune system
What herbs do you use to boost your child’s immunity? Leave a comment below.
Hoffman, David; The herbal handbook, A user’s guide to medical herbalism
Do you want to trust and believe herbs will work for you, but in the back of your mind you’re thinking “is this going to harm me?”
Do you feel like your practitioner is selling you snake oil? That cure-all elixir with false claims.
Or do you have bottles of supplements, you’ve never used for fear of what is in them?
It’s hard to believe some supplements may work for you when you’re not sure what to look for.
One concern is the increase in lead or mercury in our herbal products.
A study published in the August 27, 2008, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), demonstrated that one-fifth of U.S.-manufactured and Indian-manufactured Ayurvedic products bought on the Internet contained detectable lead, mercury, or arsenic.¹
Purchasing online from a reputable company is important to your health. You want to know exactly what is in the ingredients you are ingesting and if you can trust the company from which you are purchasing.
When purchasing herbal products look for products that have full labeling. Look for the following on the label:
The company notes the full name of botanical on the product.
They have an expiration date. Keep in mind, herbal tinctures or tonics that have alcohol can be preserved for years beyond their expiration date. If your product smells bad or you have a gut feeling it is not good, throw it away.
The company offers dosing suggestions on the bottle. Herb Pharm has a whole line of products dedicated to children’s health and has the dosing on the bottle.
Watch for any ‘red flags’, companies claiming for weight loss or extreme health declarations that seem impossible.
Even if they have perfect labeling, you want to look for these additional concerns when consuming botanicals.
They use certified organic or pesticide-free plant products that are sustainably harvested.
The plant is vibrant, tasty, potent, and consistent
The product is proven safe through laboratory analysis.
Tests each product to ensure there are no molds or contamination
Does not practice product substitution – using another botanical as a substitution
Is considerate of temperature control, freshness, and monitor’s quality.
Can provide you with an organic certificate, kosher certificate, certificates of analysis, pesticide residue tests, GCMS printouts, and MSDS forms documents to ensure your safety.
Consumer concerns when using herbal medicine:
Watch for potential allergic or idiosyncratic reactions, this is an abnormal sensitivity to a drug which may result in:
severe skin reactions – look for skin rashes, itching, or hives
anaphylaxis – along with skin rashes, the throat will feel like it is closing up and you have trouble breathing. Take a deep breath, this rarely happens.
blood dyscrasias – a disease or disorder of the blood.
hepatotoxicity – liver damage.
fever or joint pain
Who is at risk for idiosyncratic reactions?
Women who are 50 or older
Those who are currently using medications
If you have:
If you are malnourished and/or decreased weight
If you consume alcohol regularly
If you have possible enzyme deficiencies
The most prevalent source of adverse effects is with clients who are currently taking medication. If you are taking the following medication, please check with your doctor and community herbalist before ingesting a new herbal product.
Are you taking these medications?
Please check with your doctor before consuming a new herbal product.
Idiosyncratic reactions occur very infrequently and are independent of dose, and are highly unpredictable. Herb/drug interactions present a higher risk than allergic reactions. But, if you or your child’s partner has an allergy to the Asteraceae family, it would be important for you to keep this plant away from your child until they are older.
Other concerns when using botanicals:
Watch for the timing of use – stop taking botanicals two weeks before surgery for fear of too much bleeding or a bad reaction.
Dosage – always check for correct dosing when using any medication.
Imagine not having to stuff medicine into your child.
Imagine your child loving the taste of their medicine and wanting more!
This is what’s possible when you use herbal medicine and homeopathy. Herbs can taste great when you incorporate these simple tips.
What is a tincture?
Tinctures are a combination of herb, water, and alcohol used to preserve the botanicals in it. Tinctures are a safe, quick, and easy way to take herbal medicine and reduce our conventional medications for years to come.
Tinctures are typically created with alcohol or glycerine. When you purchase a tincture made with alcohol they are hydroethanolic extracts; which means they are made with a mixture of water and alcohol for the desired optimization of the final product. Read more about tinctures and dosing for children here.
What you really need to know, is that the amount of alcohol in a hydroethanolic tincture is minimal (less than what’s found in a ripe banana). But still, this is not the ideal medicine for diabetics or children due to the alcohol preservative.
What is a glycerite tincture?
Glycerin is used to prepare “alcohol-free” tinctures, and to preserve and sweeten the taste of liquid extracts called- glycerites.Glycerine is considered a weaker solvent, so it may not be as strong as using the other extracts but certainly safer for our children.
Children under 1 year of age may prefer glycerine tinctures for its sweet taste.
How do you take a tincture?
For an adult, you would take 30-60 drops into a 1/4 cup of water and drink it 2-3x day. For children, it’s a bit more challenging.
How to give tinctures to children?
#1 Start with Herb Pharm tinctures, as they have a whole line of children’s tinctures made with glycerine and they give you the EXACT dosing on the labels
#2 Always dilute the tincture in water or juice and check the dosing below
#3 Always use the safest botanicals with your children
#4 Check with your doctor before administrating any new medication
#5 Always watch for allergic or idiosyncratic reactions
4 Tips for giving tinctures to children
Babies can receive the tincture through the mother’s milk or in a bottle. (check to dose below)
Toddlers love taking tinctures with a fun straw or a syringe. (see the picture of my daughter giving my son a tincture)
For pregnancy and young children, you can pour boiling water over the tincture to dissipate the alcohol. Let cool completely and add juice for children to disguise the taste if needed.