Posts Tagged ‘illness’

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(Healthy Living) Garlic Oil

Ear infections. Those two words can make the strongest mother shudder. If you have been up in the night with your hurting baby who is crying hour after hour, you know exactly what I mean. Antibiotics certainly don’t fall under the “ideal” category, but even the most idealistic parent can succumb when seeing their child in such pain. But what if, as long as the infection was not severe, there was an alternative treatment? Or even a preventative?

Garlic OilGarlic oil is a fabulous alternative treatment option. It is famous for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, thus addressing some of the main concerns in ear infections. By putting just a couple of drops in each ear several times a day, the infection is addressed as well as the pain. It can also be used as a preventative, and can be helpful if, for example, you have a child who you know is prone to ear infections after colds.

Some infections can grow too intense and need to be treated by a doctor, but you can continue to use the garlic oil in conjunction with antibiotics.

The only real disadvantage of using garlic oil is that your child will smell a bit like Italian food. But if that’s your worst problem, then you can just make spaghetti for dinner.


(Healthy Living) Vitamin D

With all the talk about the flu this winter season, many of us are on a quest for natural ways to boost our immune systems. If you are like me, classic Echinacea and good ol’ Vitamin C are among the first ideas that come to mind.

This year, though, I have made a new discovery: Vitamin D3. Many people have dubbed it the “new Vitamin C” in light of its high level of impact on the immune system.

Vitamin D3 is most naturally absorbed into our bodies via sunlight. A simple 20 minutes in the summer sun with legs and arms exposed, and no sunscreen applied, can feed your body up to 10,000IUs of Vitamin D3. (Note: the darker the skin tone, the longer you need in the sun to absorb a comparable amount.) With beautiful warm weather and time at the poolside in the summer, we are much more likely to meet our body’s requirements for this essential vitamin. Yet when we bundle up and stay indoors during the winter, a deficiency is much more likely to develop or worsen. This could be a contributing factor to the increased level of sickness during winter months.

Past recommendations put a daily Vitamin D3 supplements at the level of 400-1000IUs/day (some doctors still recommend this). However, more recently, research is starting to show that an adult body needs at least 3,000-4,000IUs/day to simply maintain a moderate level of Vitamin D, and many researchers are saying that you really need up to 5,000IU/day. Even the AAP now recommends that pregnant women take an additional 5,000IUs/day in addition to their prenatal vitamin to prevent possible permanent injury to the baby’s immune system due to Vitamin D deficiency. This recommendation is in light of research that has been pointing to the idea that Vitamin D also helps to prevent the development of autoimmune diseases.

Children can also benefit from a Vitamin D3 supplement, particularly during winter months. They are available in both drops and gummy form. A standard rule of thumb for children is approximately 1,000IUs/day per 25lbs. But please note that I am not a certified nutritionist or a doctor, so you should to do your own research on the topic to decide for yourself what the best dosage is for your individual family members. Although it is relatively rare, it is possible to take too much Vitamin D3.

Foods such as fish, milk, and eggs also contain Vitamin D3 that can be absorbed by the body.

So as you research ways to fortify your immune system this winter, consider Vitamin D3. It is one of the more natural and cost-effective ways to build your body’s defenses. Remember, your body is created to fight sickness. The best thing you can do is equip your body to accomplish what it was created to do.