Today marks exactly a week since Karlie got sick and although we had several very miserable days, I am so happy to say that she is back to her normal, happy, playful, squealing, into everything self! For many reasons, we decided to let her fight strep-throat and an ear infection naturally, without any "medicine" at all. Instead of antibiotics and Tylenol, we used many different natural remedies that had been recommended to me by my fabulous Christian Holistic doctor and a good friend who had successfully fought strep with several of her boys. So I thought I'd share with you some of the things we did for her. Whether or not you choose to use antibiotics, these methods will still be helpful in fighting any illness. (Disclaimer: I know that strep can be dangerous, especially for babies, and I would not have attempted this without the following resources!)
1. Chiropractor! The relief a chiropractor can bring during illness is simply amazing. I could see immediate relief in Karlie' s eyes once the chiro had finished. I took her the first day she had a fever and again on the 4th day to make sure her ears were draining correctly. Our particular chiro has a lot of medical training and gave me much encouragement and more advice on beating it naturally. If you live in my area, I can recommend a fabulous Christian chiro who charges a reasonable rate and doesn't even deal with insurance. I just love her!
2. Collodial Silver -- extremely helpful to fight off any kind of sickness! We start taking it at the first sign of a sore throat or runny nose. When Karlie was at her worst, I gave it to her every hour. I'm still giving it to her about twice a day to make sure the illness is completely gone.
3. Kombucha -- it cleanses the body from toxins and aids in digestion and metabolism. Click HERE to see my review of it and some links explaining why I love this drink and how to make it yourself. My toddler and I drink this regularly (I'm still working on my husband :), and I was amazed that my baby would even take sips of it when she was sick! When I make it, I usually try to leave a small jar of it fermenting for several weeks so that it will be even more potent for killing off illness.
4. Home-made ear drops -- these are helpful even if the sickness is not an ear infection, because it helps to get garlic and GSE into the body which fight infection. Click HERE for 2 different home-made ear drops, one that you can use right away and one that you can make ahead of time and store.
5. Oregano Oil, Garlic, and Probiotics -- Oregano Oil and Garlic both kill bacteria. I rubbed some oil on one foot and cut up a clove of garlic and rubbed that on her other foot every couple of hours. (A baby/toddler's feet are very porous and will absorb well. Mark and I swallow them as a pill when we are sick.) Make sure you get oregano oil that does not contain any other ingredients (like olive oil) or it will not be potent enough. The probiotics are important because the oregano oil kills ALL bacteria, even the good kind. So I mixed probiotics in with her applesauce to try to boost her good bacteria.
6. Let the fever run its course -- (That means NO Tylenol!) This was probably the hardest, yet most important thing for me to do. God made our bodies to have a fever because the high temp. kills the virus or bacteria. Using Tylenol ruins this natural process and makes the body unable to fight the disease. It can also cause a fever convulsion by bringing the fever down too quickly. Without Tylenol, Karlie's fever naturally broke when it got too high for her, then would climb back up and break again, etc, until it had killed the infection. So I just tried to make Karlie as comfortable as possible and once when she was utterly miserable, I gave her THIS special bath for helping with the fever. The main thing you have to watch out for with a high fever is dehydration, but I will write about that soon...
7. Nursing as much as possible -- I was soooooo thankful that Karlie got this sickness while nursing, because breastmilk is truly the best medicine I could give her. Breast milk is tailor-made to fit the unique needs of your child each day. Did you know that when your baby nurses, the breast is stimulated by the bacteria introduced by your baby? This bacteria travels into the breast tissue, causing an immediate reaction with the formation of antibodies, which can then be found back in the mother’s milk within 8 hours!! So if your baby is fighting a cold or other illness, your body is creating antibodies specific for what your baby is combating that very day. Needless to say, I ditched the schedule and let Karlie nurse as often as she would. Nursing was also very comforting to Karlie and really seemed to calm her down when she would get really upset during her high fever. So she pretty much nursed all night long for about 3 nights! Exhausting, but I knew it was what she needed! I also tried to eat a lot of garlic, Kombucha, probiotics, take oregano oil, and eat smoothies with GSE so she would get those benefits from me as well.
8. Coconut water -- This is truly nature's Gatorade or Pedialyte without all the added flavorings and sugar! I get in the organic section at Kroger and always keep it on hand for any time we are sick. Coconut Water is rich in many vital minerals, vitamins, and proteins, not just the basic "electrolyte essentials" found in a lab-formulated drink. And believe it or not, the natural electrolyte & pH balance of coconut water even make it suitable for a rehydrating IV solution! Karlie is just starting to use a sippy, so she would only drink a little, but Karis will drink every drop that I give her and beg for more! Smart Water/ Trinity Mineral Water is also a good option for dehydrating because it has a lot of electrolytes, but my favorite is coconut water.
9. Smoothies with coconut milk, coconut oil, frozen fruit, raw honey, and grapefruit seed extract -- Ok, Karlie won't eat this, but I had to add it because its the best thing for when my husband or toddler is sick. It is really the only thing I can get them to eat when they are miserable. It is dairy-free so it won't add to drainage, has tons of vitamin C from the fruit, contains bacteria fighting GSE and coconut oil, all the nutrients of coconut milk, and the honey is soothing and has many other benefits. We actually eat these all the time to try to boost our immune system. My husband likes them so much that he was willing to give up his nightly ice cream treat for them (and if you know my husband, that is saying A LOT!)
10. "Remedies" from my Christian Holistic Doctor -- I know not everyone has this resource available but I wanted to include it because if you live in my area, I can refer you to the BEST natural doctor ever. She can pinpoint any illnesses/ allergies without invasive treatment and makes remedies based on your body's particular needs. She has such a heart for helping others and I just love her!
These are just several of the things that have really seemed to work for us as we try to fight off illnesses naturally. I hope they were helpful to you!