Recently, cough and cold medicines for children under the age of 2 were no longer recommended by doctors.  The risk of rare yet serious side effects for children this young prompted the latest recommendation.
With the use of cold medicines prohibited for children under 2 years old, and according to label warnings, not even for children under the age of 4, parents of children who are congested with cold symptoms wonder what they can do safely to soothe their little ones.
Parents are now advised to use some of the old fashioned, common sense natural home remedies to make their children more comfortable when they are congested with a cold.  Push lots of fluids for your kids as this helps to thin mucus so the child can clear the congestion easier. 
Clear liquids such as chicken soup, tea or broth work well.  Steam works effectively to loosen congestion and makes breathing easier.   Close the bathroom door and turn on the hot water and let your child breathe in the steam.   Take care to keep your child’s hands away from the hot water.
To relieve nasal stuffiness, you can use a saline nasal wash for your child.  You place drops in each nostril and use a suction bulb to clear mucus out of their nasal passages.  For very young children who can’t blow their nose, this is especially helpful. 
Humidity in the air helps minimize congestion and soothes a scratchy throat.  The use of a cool mist humidifier can serve this purpose.  For children over the age of one, honey is effective as a cough suppressant.  Do not use honey, however, for children under one year old due to the risk of a rare infant botulism. Prevention is, of course, the best for your child’s health.  Encourage good hand washing habits and make sure they get enough sleep.

By Natural Advocate | October 29, 2008 - 10:03 pm - Posted in Alternative & Herbal Health News, Foods

I had to laugh.  The other night my boyfriend and I were watching “The Office” on tv, and they were making fun of some of the fad diets because it was an episode where the office was in some sort of contest to lose weight with another Dunder Mifflin office, so everyone was scrambling to lose as much weight as humanly possible, and you know on that show they would make that as funny as possible. 

Kelly Kapour, the shallow one, chose to go on the Master Cleanse diet, although they didn’t call it that, it was made with maple syrup and some other stuff, so you know it was a takeoff of that fad diet.  She was miserable on her second day, had the sniffles and looked terrible, and on the next day, she passed out.  That’s not too far off from how the real diet makes you feel during the first few days of deprivation.  I’ve actually tried it and couldn’t make it past the third day both times.

Now, they say there is a new breed of cleansing, detox-type diets that are a kinder, gentler version of the strict ones that are based on water and very little caloric intake as well as some potentially dubious ingredients whom some say it’s never been proven are beneficial to the body, at least not enough to warrant some of the detox diet’s claims. 

The newer detox, cleansing diets are mostly comprised of pureed fruits and dark vegetables, which provides tons of nutrients as well as enough calories, fiber, and even some protein thrown in there, so you don’t fee like you’re on your last legs by the time you hit day two or three.

The idea of detox diets is to help cleanse and purify the body’s insides, meaning the digestive tract, the colon, and even other organs, such as the liver.  Some detox diets even claim they can purify and cleanse the blood and the liver and kidneys, making the body again function at peak levels as it did before it was clouded with all the phony and processed foods that seem to be so abundant in the American diet. 

I’m all for this type of detox diet, which is more aimed at overall health promotion instead of quick weightloss and claims of instant body purification, when in fact some say that they basicaly starve the body, which accounts for the “cleansed” feeling. I also think that herbal colon cleansers are good once in a while to help the colon cleanse itself of the buildup it may get and to help it speed up the elimination process that helps to keep it clear of debris and other clogging agents such as mucous.   

By Natural Advocate | October 27, 2008 - 6:11 am - Posted in Natural Depression & Anxiety Relief

I had mentioned a couple posts back that I from time to time will suffer with little bouts of depression.  It’s sort of like I get in this funk where I’m not really sure what I want to do with myself (although of course there are a million and one things I could do at any one time, that’s just the way my life is structured at the moment), and where I get too introspective and ruminative, going over things again and again in my head, to where it almost becomes a psychosis. 

Welcome to the world of a lot of women.  We tend to be very introspective creatures, and that is why I believe women are much more susceptible to depression and anxiety, because we do tend to over analyze almost everything in our lives and about our lives, including the people in them.  I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but hell if we don’t lighten up once in a while, what’s life like?

Anyways, I had read that 5htp was a good natural antidepressant, so I went online and bought some.  It’s not a bad price usually, and if you’re lucky you can find it on sale once in a while as well.  I take one 100mg 5htp in the morning and one 100 mg 5htp in the evening with my dinner, and it seemed to start helping my mood a lot after around three weeks, although I must say I experienced an improvement in the first few days, admittedly it could have been a simple placebo effect.

The thing that struck me most about taking 5htp though was that it worked to help soothe my nerves as well, but didn’t make me tired.  I think that’s what I like about it, because it helps me with the anxiety that I tend to experience during certain times at work or at home, and it seemed to make me a more center and peaceful problem solver. 

By Natural Advocate | October 24, 2008 - 9:40 pm - Posted in Vitamins & Minerals

Vitamin B was looked at as a hopeful new natural way to help slow down the progression of alzheimers, which as we all know is a debilitating disease that often comes with aging where the sufferer forgets things, many times things that are near and dear to them, and continues to show a decline in mental capacity to remember anything either quickly or slowly, depending on how serious or how rapidly progressing the disease in in their brains.

The reason Vitamin B was looked at so hopefully as a defense against brain deterioration is that vitamin B helps to slow the production of a certain amino acid called homocysteine, which is thought to be the primary cause of alzheimers, and the amino acid that allows the deterioration of the brain to take place, eventually ending in a death if not slowed.  There are a few drugs used to help alzheimers patients, but none so far that really do much as far as slowing it’s progression or making significant improvements in a patient’s life.

When patients with varying degrees of alzheimer’s disease were put on vitamin B supplements, and varying degrees of folic acid, they were not showing any visible signs of improvement in cognitive skills.  At least not for the eighteen months they were put on the supplementation.  I’m very skeptical when it comes to some of these tests.  Have you ever notice that they rarely have good news to report when it has to do with a natural treatment or remedy, and act like the next drug is going to help with everything?

I say you follow your own gut and knowledge on a lot of things like this.  I for one, make sure I get vitamin B in my diet and/or in a supplement every day because I believe that it’s a good way to get extra energy, and that it also helps with your mental performance, and I’m not changing that because of one study. 

By Natural Advocate | October 21, 2008 - 9:39 pm - Posted in Alternative & Herbal Health News

Preschools and day care centers are often a necessity as both parents work and cannot stay at home with their little ones.  Preschools and day cares offer a wonderful opportunity for children to learn social skills and get a jump start on learning basic academic skills prior to starting kindergarten.
Along with the sociability however comes exposure to lots of new and different germs.  There are basic preventative steps you, as a parent, can take to keep your preschooler healthy.  Teach your children to wash their hands and to do so correctly at key times.  They should wash their hands when they arrive at school and prior to snacks and meals.  Also teach your children to keep their hands away from their noses and their bottom ends.
A second basic prevention measure to illness is to ensure your preschooler eats well.  Proper nutrition is key to good health maintenance at any age.  Start your preschooler’s day with a good breakfast and encourage lots of fruits and vegetables as snacks and with meals.  Breakfast should include a carbohydrate with some milk and fruit.
A third basic to keeping your little one healthy is to make sure they get enough sleep.  The requirement for preschoolers is about 10 – 12 hours of sleep per night.  If, in the summertime, you have let bedtime lapse to 11:00, you can gradually move the bedtime to 8:00 before summer is over to reset their body clock.
Adequate rest and nutrition will keep your toddler’s immune system boosted to reduce their chances of getting sick.  Washing their hands often and correctly will help to keep their immediate environment more germ free. 

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