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Don’t trust botanicals, here are 7 companies to love

Don’t trust botanicals, here are 7 companies to love

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.

How to trust your herbal products

The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) was created in 1982 and is the voice for the herbal product industry.

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.

Concerns when using herbal medicine

The company you purchase from:

  • Ensures quality control in each product
  • Three companies I love: Herb Pharm, Herbalist & Alchemist and Moutain Rose Herbs offer this information online to their consumers.
  • 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:
    • hepatic disease
    • renal ideas
    • 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?

  • anticoagulants
  • barbiturates
  • insulin
  • cardiac medications
  • NSAIDs
  • oral contraceptives
  • anti-depressants

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.
  • Duration of use

Herbs to avoid with your children (and ages)

  • Basil herb <2
  • Coffee seeds <12
  • Coltsfoot leaves <2
  • Comfrey leaves and roots (externally)<2
  • Eucalyptus <2
  • Jamaica dogwood
  • Lobelia plant
  • Mate leaves <2
  • Oregano leaf <2
  • Peppermint leaves & E.O. <2
  • Senna leaves <12 {ok for kids 2+ for 1x use}
  • Tea leaves <6
  • Uva ursi <12
  • Valerian root <3

For a complete list see: Herbal Contradictions and drug interaction

Who are the 7 herbal companies you can know and trust?

To search for a company you love, head over to the American Herbal Products Association directory of members.

Who is your favorite company to use? Let us know in the comments below.


References:

¹ https://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm050798.htm

Additional resources:

4 Creative ways to use tinctures with kids

4 Creative ways to use tinctures with kids

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

natural remedies

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.
  • If you are using a full strength tincture or the taste is not great, add Elderberry or Lemon Balm Glycerite to sweeten the medicine.

What is the dosing of a tincture for a child?

Dosage depends on the weight and age of the person being treated.  To treat an acute condition you can take a tincture 1-3x day. 

Age — Dosage

  • Younger than 3 months — 2 drops
  • 3 to 6 months — 3 drops
  • 6 to 9 months — 4 drops
  • 9 to 12 months — 5 drops
  • 12 to 18 months — 7 drops
  • 18 to 24 months — 8 drops
  • 2 to 3 years — 10 drops
  • 3 to 4 years — 12 drops
  • 4 to 6 years — 15 drops
  • 6 to 9 years — 24 drops
  • 9 to 12 years — 30 drops
  • 12 and older —30-60 drops

Concerns when using botanicals with children

Always watch for an allergic or idiosyncratic reaction when using botanicals.  If either parent has an allergy to a botanical, do not offer this herb to your child.

Signs of an allergic reaction include:

  • redness of the skin and/or cheeks
  • itchy skin
  • blotching

If you see these signs, stop offering the tincture immediately.

Conclusion

Tinctures can be our children’s new medicine.  When used properly, with correct dosing your child can reduce their medications by integrating natural remedies like tinctures into their diet.

Are you using tinctures? What are your favorites? Comment below.

How to stop a sinus infection naturally

How to stop a sinus infection naturally

You can stop sinus infections with diet, herbs, and homeopathy.

Imagine knowing the exact plan to reduce the use of antibiotics for decades to come.

For years, I would call up the doctor and request medications for my sinus pressure.  I knew I needed drugs to get rid of the pain. Little did I know overusing antibiotics would bite me in the butt years later.

I struggled with acne, digestive problems and then food sensitivities to gluten and dairy all due to using antibiotics frequently.

When you learn how to reduce medications, heal your gut, and integrate natural remedies, you won’t have to worry about antibiotic resistance in the future.

What are the symptoms of a sinus infection?

  •  A headache or heavy feeling in the head (sometimes with difficulty concentrating)
  •  Nasal congestion or nasal discharge
  •  Post-nasal drip (mucus dripping down back of the throat)
  •  A sore throat (mucus dripping down can cause chronic irritation)
  •  A cough – wet or dry and usually all day
  •  Fatigue
  •  Bad breath
  •  Moderate to high fever

The next time you feel a sinus infection brewing.. try these natural remedies.

Diet to stop a sinus infection

  • Gluten, dairy, and sugar are common allergens that cause sinus infections.
  • Eliminate these foods from your diet if you experience frequent sinus infections. If I was to choose just one, I’d get rid of dairy ASAP.
  • Encourage lots of green vegetables & soups when you are under the weather.
  • Drink clear liquids and caffeine free tea.
  • Consider adding a probiotic to your diet and healing your gut with The 4R approach. 

heal your gut

  • Make garlic toast!
    • Toast some gluten-free bread and top with Organic Olive oil and sliced raw garlic.
    • Fresh garlic is known as an antimicrobial to aid with infections. Eat daily until you are better.

Tinctures to stop a sinus infection

  • Take Echinacea tincture For 7-10days. Take 30-40 drops 3-4x day in a little bit of water.
  • Garlic is a great anti-microbial and can fight viral and bacterial infections.  Eat garlic raw if able, or mix with hot water and lemon for a garlic lemonade.

How to use essential oils to stop a sinus infection

  • Add one drop of Thyme Essential Oil to a facecloth (for adults only), place in the shower and let the steam help open your sinuses.
  • Alternatively, try herbal steam.
    • Boil water and place one drop of Lavender or Thyme Essential oil in the bowl, cover your head and steam for 20 min.  You can also use lavender dried buds or dried Thyme for less potent steam.

 Apply Lavender Essential Oil topically

  • Dab diluted Lavender Essential oil on your cheeks and under ears.  Dilute when using with children.  ONLY 1 drop of essential oil to 1 tbs. of carrier oil. Don’t use with children under 2 years of age.

Homeopathic Remedy For A Sinus Infection 

sinus infectionTake 30 C Kali Carbonicum if you have the following symptoms:

    • Pressure, fullness, and pain at root of the nose.  Discharge is thick, ropy green-ish yellow, post-nasal drip, violent sneezing; mucus tastes sticky, aching and fullness in global, worse with cold, 2-3am, suppressed catarrh.
  • Take 2-3x day if symptoms are improving.
  • STOP taking homeopathy if your symptoms get worse, you should feel your symptoms improving with each dose of homeopathy.  For a sinus infection, you may have to take for 2 or 3 days, along with the tinctures and change of diet.  Be patient and rest.
Read how Dr. Aviva Romm, Dr. Axe, and Dr. Jocker’s stop sinus infections naturally.
Conclusion

Even if you’ve struggled with sinus infections your whole life, you can stop a sinus infection in its track with diet, herbs, and homeopathy.  

Even if you don’t know how to use herbs.

Even if you don’t know anything about natural remedies.

I’m proof.  It’s been 10 years since I’ve needed antibiotics for a sinus infection.  A simple change in your diet, healing your gut and integrating natural remedies can reduce the number of antibiotics you need due to sinus infections.

There may be a time you’ll need antibiotics, but overall if you strive to improve your diet, you can stop the use of antibiotics for sinus infections.

What do you do when you have sinus pressure? Share your tips below.

Why you should use fewer medications with your kids

Why you should use fewer medications with your kids

Have you ever wondered why there are more food sensitivities in our children these days?

You probably know someone who is gluten-free or dairy-free; maybe even your own child.

Or maybe you know someone with Atopic conditions like eczema, allergies, or asthma.

Did you know, this could be because of your child’s gut health and the medications we are offering them?

Why are our children so sick?

If your child has had just one round of antibiotics or medications (or born via c-section), they may be increasing their risk for allergies, asthma, and eczema.

What medications affect our digestion and therefore our children’s health?

  • Antibiotics
  • Steroids
  • NSAIDS
  • Acid reducing medication
  • And Stress!!!

children's cough


Is your child experiencing one of these symptoms?

If so, It may be time to address their gut health.

  • Chronic diarrhea, constipation, gas or bloating
  • Nutritional deficiencies-white spots on nails, shaking or tremors
  • Poor immune system- always sick
  • Headaches, brain fog, memory loss
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Skin rashes and problems such as acne, eczema or rosacea
  • Cravings for sugar or carbs
  • Joint pain
  • Depression, anxiety, ADD, ADHD, bad behavior at school
  • Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or celiac
  • >>Chronic cough
  • Allergies, Asthma, & Eczema
  • Cheeks get red easily
  • Food avoidance; meat, dairy, and gluten

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How can you ‘fix’ their gut health?

By focussing on these 5 steps, you can reduce your child’s Atopic conditions and food allergy reactions.

natural remedies

What is the difference between food allergy and food sensitivity?

A true food allergy causes:

  • An immune system reaction that affects numerous organs in the body
  • It can cause a range of symptoms
  • In some cases, an allergic food reaction can be severe or life-threatening
  • You would NEVER re-introduce this food into your child’s diet

A food sensitivity is:

  • Typically less severe
  • Causes digestive problems
  • Possibly skin problems as well
  • Dairy and gluten are the most popular allergens

Did you know, you can heal your child’s gut? It’s called the 4R approach. I’ve written about it here:

heal your gut

Conclusion

If your child is struggling with a food sensitivity, food allergy, or Atopic conditions like; Asthma, Eczema, or Allergies it may be time to address your child’s gut health. When you heal your child’s gut, they may have fewer nagging symptoms like an ongoing cough, clearer skin, and fewer asthma attacks throughout the year. 

By learning natural remedies and reducing medications, you can support your child’s health for years to come.

Is your child struggling with these symptoms? Comment below and let me know.
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How The 4R Approach Reduces Children’s Food Sensitivities

How The 4R Approach Reduces Children’s Food Sensitivities

“I hope this is gluten-free.  I don’t even know what that means, but it seems to be the trend these days.” This quote may be a joke to some people, but if you’re a parent and your child is struggling with food sensitivities it doesn’t seem funny at all.

It’s true. Everywhere you turn someone is gluten-free or dairy-free.

For over the past ten years, I’ve been on and off the gluten-free diet.  But, it wasn’t until my son started developing food sensitivities and a nagging cough, that I realized his diet needs to change.

Not only his diet needs to change, but he also needed to heal his gut.

What exactly is a food sensitivity?

A food sensitivity:
  • typically causes a less severe reaction
  • they may have an ongoing/undiagnosed cough
  • usually causes digestive problems
  • your child’s skin may break-out after they eat
  • dairy and gluten may be the top sensitive foods for them
A true food allergy causes:
  • an immune system reaction that affects numerous organs in the body
  • it can cause a range of symptoms
  • in some cases, an allergic food reaction can be severe or life-threatening
  • you would NEVER re-introduce this food into your child’s diet!!! 
  • The 4R approach may reduce your child’s reaction to their allergy but you would never re-introduce the food to them again unless under a doctor’s supervision

If your child is struggling with a food sensitivity OR a food allergy, the 4R approach may help reduce their symptoms.

Here are 13 symptoms your child may need to heal their gut

  1. Chronic diarrhea, constipation, gas or bloating
  2. Nutritional deficiencies
  3. Poor immune system
  4. Headaches, brain fog, memory loss
  5. Excessive fatigue
  6. Skin rashes and problems such as acne, eczema or rosacea
  7. Cravings for sugar or carbs
  8. Joint pain
  9. Depression, anxiety, ADD, ADHD, bad behavior at school
  10. Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, celiac
  11. Chronic cough
  12. Allergies, Asthma, & Eczema
  13. Cheeks get red easily

If your child has some of these symptoms, they may have Leaky Gut Syndrome.

What is 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.”

Medications that lead to Leaky Gut Syndrome In Kids:
  • Antibiotics
  • Steroids
  • NSAIDS
  • Acid reducing medication

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What can you do if your child has a Leaky Gut? You can help them heal with the 4R approach.

What is the 4R approach?

It’s a method that addresses the underlying causes of gut imbalances and restores harmony, helping to alleviate symptoms and maybe even disease for our children. The program suggests you: Remove> Reinoculate> Repair> Reintroduce

heal your gut

How do you heal your child’s gut?

  • Promote healthy evacuation daily with fiber, fruit, vegetables, and water
  • Try an elimination diet for 2-3 weeks if symptoms persist, you may want to try the 4R approach
  • Remove all triggers: i.e. all allergens and cross reactors like gluten and dairy
  • Get off medications (with Dr.’s approval and replace with natural remedies )
  • Reduce your child’s stress with reading, being outside, and adding herbal teas
  • Heal their gut lining with the 4R approach below
  • NEVER re-introduce foods that cause a true allergic reaction

Keep in mind.  This program is most successful when the whole family agrees to participate. So, what are the steps?

The 4R approach for children

1. Remove

Take out what ails them  

  • Remove the top allergens for your child including wheat, corn, eggs, dairy, peanuts, and soybeans.
  • Add in whole grains (like quinoa and rice), organic vegetables, fruit, and healthy fats. 
  • Remove all allergens for 4-6 weeks or it may take up to a year to heal their gut with an auto-immune disease.
  • Encourage whole, organic foods if able.
  • This is the hardest part to do with small kids.  It helps if the whole house works together.
  • Plan ahead.  Print recipes, go grocery shopping, be prepared for meltdowns:)

2. Replace

  • Add in a digestive enzyme like Vital Chews or Kids Digest to help your child digest protein, dairy, and meat
  • If digestive enzymes produce bloating, your child may have SIBO. Ask for help.
  • Teenagers can have 350 HCL at the beginning of a meal to aid digestion or offer bitters to them.

3.  Reinoculate

  • Add in a high-quality children’s probiotic like Klaire
    • this is safe for infants and up to age 7
  • Wait 2 weeks for the elimination diet or up to 6 weeks.  Adding in a probiotic can give you gas and bloating if you do not remove the allergens first and start with digestive enzymes. 
  • Look for probiotics with Lactobacillus and Bifidobacter species.
  • For older kids, they can incorporate fermented foods such as miso, sauerkraut, and kimchee 3-4x week.
  • Although very delicious, kombucha can be high in sugar so consider using sparingly. 

4. Repair

Include the following supplements for 6-weeks or more to repair your child’s gut.  Dosing depends on your child’s age. The following supplements can be taken for up to 6 months to help to heal the intestinal lining:

  • Tumeric
  • Curcumin
  • Ginger
  • Chamomile Tea
  • Marshmallow root powder
  • DGL licorice (aloe and licorice are not for internal use during pregnancy; these are fine for children) are some of the most effective herbs for healing the gut lining.

Zinc dosing

  • Age 4-7 years old 5-10 mg/day
  • Age 12 10-20 mg/day

Fish oil: 

Conclusion

If your child is struggling with food sensitivities and find you’re avoiding foods, there is hope.  The 4R approach is more than an elimination diet.  The 4R approach can heal your child’s digestive tract, reduce bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation for years to come.

Want to learn more? Head over to Home Remedies For Children; my online course that shows you how to integrate natural remedies with your children and heal their gut so they have fewer digestive problems.

Warmly~ Tara
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