Browse Month by February 2016

How to Have Your Best Cold Ever

dvMy son came home from Grandma and Grandpa’s house at 2:45 a.m. recently. They said that he was crying and coughing and that neither could be stopped. As he has asthma whenever he is stricken with a virus (a cold, in this case), my parents had done the various inhaler treatments throughout that day, following his morning announcement that he had a “sore throat” – always a bad sign in our house. A parent of a child with viral-induced asthma knows that the plain-old cold will be anything but ho-hum.

As the mom of an asthmatic child, I do whatever it takes to keep the viruses at bay. Not so easy here in the Midwest when we spend lots of time together indoors for half the year.

Below are some of the techniques that I employ now to get through a cold.

1. Take a warm bath morning and night until you’re better.

2. Blow your nose until it’s clear.

3. Take the acetaminophen/Ibuprofen without (much) complaint.

4. Sit under a towel with a steamy bowl of water and eucalyptus essential oils for a few minutes throughout the day with a damp washcloth pressed on side of the face. (More on this below)

5. Allow me to put rub some sort of oil on the tip of nose/upper lip. (Again, more below)

The warm bath is relaxing, helps to distract him from feeling under the weather, and loosens congestion. The nose-blowing is just obvious; get that junk out of there, for goodness sake! The steady-stream of pain/fever reducer helps his body to keep the focus on healing, not on managing the pain of a sore throat/congestion in the face/head area. Yes, I am all for letting the body do its work of fending-off those pesky viruses on its own, but allowing a kid to cry/suffer with a fever/congestion/pain doesn’t seem like a smart way to handle things. I know that fever is the body’s natural defense, and that it is good for us. Save it for the adults, I say. What culture has ever existed that did not do what was within its means to relieve pain? I know of none, except for (perhaps) the Shakers, and, well, most of them aren’t around anymore. Will a child grow-up to be a better person and have a stronger constitution if you withhold these? Maybe. I, for one, give pain reliever to my child, and I take it myself when needed. Boys, especially, do need to “be tough”, in my opinion, but that can be encouraged when it is a scratch, a bloody knee/elbow, or a shot at the doctor’s office.

As for the eucalyptus oil, I do not go heavy on it – just a couple of drops in the glass bowl (okay, it’s a rectangular Pyrex-type container) after the 1 or 2 inches of water has been heated in the microwave. I have my son either lie in bed on his stomach with a pillow between him and the water, or if it is daytime, he sits at the table with it. I drape a towel over him, and set the stove timer for about 3 minutes. The towel is standard bath-sized, so there is plenty of air coming in still. Once this is done, we do the nose blowing, and then I apply any oil that we have on hand, usually scented with a few drops of lavender, too. Lavender is soothing and somewhat speeds healing, and is especially effective when the skin is moist from the steam. Doing this helps my son avoid getting a red, inflamed nose from all of the blowing/vigorous wiping with plain old tissues or the (tasteful) roll of toilet paper that is a constant-companion in our home whenever a cold strikes. Oh, I forgot to mention that if my son complains of an area of his face hurting – like one side or the other from sinus congestion, I also have him hold a dampened, microwave-warmed washcloth to the area, too, while he is under the towel. He does not know it, but I do add a bit of olive (or other) oil to the cloth, along with some lavender to make it smell nice. Again, my focus is on moving the healing process along.

As for our environment, I do a few things in my attempts to stop the spread of the illness. I say attempts as we tend to be sharers here. As soon as my son is up for the day, I open his bedroom windows to let-in fresh air. I put a new pillowcase on his kid-sized pillow so that he has something clean to lie on later, and because pillowcases often have a way of functioning as Kleenex, too, when no one is looking. I wipe-down the door handles/common light switches, and always have a separate hand towel for my son. I know, though, that he often forgets to use his, so a new one is put out daily.

Chicken soup, of course, is a must, as is a morning and evening cup of tea. In our son’s case, I encourage him to drink it without complaint (after all, this is ANOTHER thing to do!) by letting him spoon in the honey – local, of course, and pour/stir the tea. He’s 6, and that might seem a bit dangerous, but we’re talking about a small pitcher of water with at best ½ inch of water in it. We were out of honey when this most recent virus struck. Once the weekend was over, my son and I drove a few miles to the honey lady’s house, and picked-up 3 lbs. – just $9. I look at it as a little adventure for us (him), and as a way of encouraging the elderly honey lady to keep doing what she does.

I would say that we put a ½ hour in the morning and then night into the above mentioned tasks. I make the time to do this because we move through a cold in about 3 days when I follow these steps. A slight cough might linger, but I’m usually done with giving any sort of pain reliever, etc., by the end of day 2, and can stop the excessive baths/steam treatments by the end of day 3.



Why Inflammation May Be the Cause of Your Asthma

dvThere is an epidemic of asthma in our country and around the world. Most people got asthma when they were a child and knew about it as adults. But now a lot of people are getting asthma for the first time as adults and they want to know why. Let’s take a look at our diet and how it is impacting asthma.

Asthma is above all an inflammatory condition. What asthma sufferers don’t realize is what they are eating can be causing inflammation in the body which leads to serious asthma flare ups.

There have been several studies linking an increase in inflammation as the underlying cause of asthma. Natural asthma remedies can be used to cool inflammation without any side effects.

When we eat poorly over a long period of time our body becomes imbalanced and inflammation starts to grow. Nutrient-depleted diets such as the SAD diet not only is unhealthy but causes chronic inflammation in our bodies. Ever present inflammation makes sufferers extra sensitive to triggers.

Standard American Diet (SAD) consists of more Omega 6’s than Omega 3’s and we are eating a lot of sugar in our foods. Too much sugar, carbohydrates and fats are consumed. Sugar suppresses our immune system and causes inflammation in the gut.

Omega 3 fatty acids have an anti-inflammatory effect, while omega 6 fatty acids promote inflammation. Yet we eat an abundance of omega 6 fatty acids every day. Omega 6 fatty acids are the ones that you see in most processed food and they are known as trans-fats or partially hydrogenated oils.

Evaluate your diet. What we are eating is causing inflammation in our bodies and once this happens we start seeing more serious health issues like asthma. We become more sensitive to certain foods like milk, gluten, corn and a host of other problems begin to crop up like sensitivity to chemicals, dust, mold, pollen, etc. Some people even become sensitive to the paint in their bedrooms. Think about adding natural asthma remedies to your diet like Omega 3’s – fish, fish oil, nuts.

In addition to unbalanced fat intake, nine out of ten Americans don’t eat sufficient amounts of vegetables and fruits, which are rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory vitamins, and other nutrients. Vitamin C and E as well as flavonoids have potent anti-inflammatory benefits. Supplements containing magnesium, selenium and vitamin C are great natural asthma remedies.

Cloves, Ginger, Onions, fruits like strawberries, blueberries, papaya and lemons are all great natural asthma remedies. They contain anti-inflammatory benefits and vitamin C.

It’s important to eliminate as many allergens as possible. Avoid troublesome foods. Get tested to see if you are deficient on any vitamins or minerals. Try natural asthma remedies to get to the underlying cause of your asthma symptoms.

Natural asthma remedies are safe and effective and can help reduce inflammation. When you help your body from within and address your inflammation you can feel a dramatic difference in your symptoms.



How Toxic Chemicals May Be Causing Your Asthma

bvYou may be shocked to learn according to the EPA, most homes have airborne concentrations of hazardous and toxic chemicals that are two to five times higher indoors than outdoors. In one five-year study the EPA reported that a number of homes had chemical levels that were seventy times higher inside the homes than outside! Learn how toxic chemicals in your home may be causing your asthma.

Most consumer products we use every day contain over sixty-three hazardous products which includes hundreds of different toxic chemicals. The products we clean our homes with are filled with toxic chemicals. We use these products with no protection at all and with no ventilation. Industry workers are required to wear special gloves and goggles when dealing with chemicals just like the ones we use every day.

We assume that just because the products are sold in the stores that they are safe to use. Toxic chemicals can enter our bodies by swallowing, absorbing through the skin, and breathing the air.

Here is a list of some dangers of using cleaning products:

TIDE & CHEER DETERGENT: Can cause temporary respiratory tract irritation. Can cause asthma attacks.

CLOROX: Eye, skin and respiratory irritant. Especially hazardous to people with heart conditions or asthma.

LYSOL DISINFECTANT: Eye, skin, respiratory tract irritant.

DEODORANT SOAP: may cause cancer; causes asthma; irritates lungs.

TOILET BOWL CLEANER: very toxic, causes skin, nose, throat, and lung burns

And many more…

Breathing in the toxic fumes may cause serious reactions such as burning eyes, runny noses, headaches, problems breathing, etc. Touching the products with your skin may cause skin rashes not only that the toxic chemicals go straight to your bloodstream.

People with existing lung conditions such as asthma should avoid all toxic products especially the use of aerosol products according to The American Lung Association.

If you still aren’t convinced that chemicals in your home are making you sick then take a look at the list below:

The following household products are considered hazardous waste according to the San Francisco Household Hazardous Waste Program. This is only just a few:

– Ammonia cleaners
– Chlorine bleach
– Cleansers
– Disinfectants
– Furniture and floor polish
– Oven cleaner

Because household products are considered hazardous materials, the government does not allow us to throw them in the trash. Any toxic cleaning product must be disposed of by a special Household Hazardous Waste pick-up and placed in special toxic-waste dumps.

What does this really mean for you – toxic chemicals in our household cleaners are making us sick. Asthma sufferers are especially sensitive to chemicals because when we breathe in the toxic chemicals our immune system goes in overdrive. We react by wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, even asthma attacks.

Why are we using these products when they are considered hazardous waste and may cause serious health issues like asthma?



Top 5 Natural Asthma Remedies

dvMost people do not even realize that asthma can be life-threatening. Despite the fact that there are more conventional treatments available than ever before, the death rate from asthma has more than doubled since 1980. Now more than ever asthma sufferers are turning to natural asthma remedies for asthma relief.

Natural asthma remedies are a safe and effective way to get relief from your asthma symptoms such as tightness or pain in your chest, wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. Natural asthma remedies have been used for years for treating asthma.

Another reason for asthma sufferers to turn to natural asthma remedies is because asthma medications have a host of side effects. They contribute to yeast growth, osteoporosis, rapid heartbeat, increased blood pressure, palpitations, anxiety, insomnia, headaches, dizziness, thinning of the skin and connective tissue, etc. They even seem to worsen asthmatic symptoms after a while or become less potent.

Natural asthma remedies do more than treat the asthma symptoms, they are used to aid the body by enhancing its own natural defense mechanisms to heal itself.

Using natural asthma remedies can reduce your reliance on bronchodilators (inhalers), antihistamines and corticosteroids (steroids), reduce symptoms of coughing, wheezing or difficulty breathing.

Top 5 Natural Asthma Remedies:

1. Magnesium – Magnesium helps stabilize the mast cell and relax muscles, so it functions as both an anti-inflammatory nutrient and as a bronchodilator.

2. Supplement with Omega 3 essential fatty acids – natural anti-inflammatory substance, gentle treatment that slowly over time helps the body repair tissue damage.

3. Take a high quality Probiotic – Probiotics can help your body heal asthma from within

4. Vitamin C & E – Vitamin C works as a gentle antihistamine without the side effect s of medications. They have potent anti-inflammatory benefits. Vitamin E penetrates each cell’s fatty membrane and protects the cell from damage.

5. Turmeric – Turmeric is a perennial herb of the ginger family used as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Nutritional deficiencies are an important key to beginning to heal asthma. Nutrient supplements target asthma at a cellular level, where things first go wrong.

If you are dealing with the challenges of asthma (as increasing numbers of people are these days!), don’t think that potentially dangerous medications are your only choice.

Because when you help your body naturally from within and support it in addressing some of the underlying factors behind asthma, you can feel a dramatic difference in your symptoms.


3 Steps to Stop Asthma – Natural Asthma Remedies

sbEven if you seem to be pretty healthy today, there’s a good chance that inflammation is simmering in your body, quietly damaging your heart, your mind and other tissues. Inflammation is the leading cause of asthma today and some 300 million people currently suffer from asthma. Natural asthma remedies can help reduce inflammation.

Inflammation is a normal process that can go dreadfully wrong. It is supposed to protect us from infections and promote healing when we are injured. Yet chronic inflammation does just the opposite: it breaks down our bodies and makes us more susceptible to disease. Conventional medicine reduces the symptoms of inflammation but doesn’t get to the root cause of asthma.

Sheila, my sister, had suffered from asthma since she was ten. She was allergic to dust, grasses, smoke, perfumes, wool, and some cosmetics. Within a few years of her asthma diagnosis, Sheila was taking a variety of prescription drugs: oral and nasal, a bronchodilator, antibiotics and other medications. She began to feel addicted to her asthma drugs and was afraid to be without them.

Her asthma was related to and aggravated by her allergies, and Sheila found herself taking increasingly stronger medications. At age forty, she consulted with a holistic physician. He recommended she try natural asthma remedies to reduce her the inflammation that was causing her asthma symptoms. Two months after Sheila started taking natural asthma remedies, she had a new vitality and higher energy levels. Over the next year or so, she was able to stop using all of her medications.

The causes of inflammation are often related to dietary imbalances or deficiencies. Your immune system is working overtime to remove any foreign allergens from your system which causes an allergic inflammatory reaction.

Inflammation triggers are the events that precipitate a specific inflammatory response after the body is already primed for an overreaction. Although it is not the same as correcting the causes of inflammation, it is essential to avoid events that trigger inflammation. Doing so helps settle down an agitated immune system.

More people are turning to Natural asthma remedies because they are safe and effective for reducing inflammation without all the side effects.

Natural asthma remedies:

First, try to reduce your exposure to inflammation triggers. If you have food allergies, make a point of avoiding troublesome foods.

Second, it is important to stay away from triggers such as chemicals, pollen etc. to allow your immune system to normalize. Switch your home to natural chemical free cleaning products.

Thirdly, eat a more wholesome diet and take fish oil supplements and supplement with vitamins.

You have the power to transform your health. Natural asthma remedies such as diet, supplements and removing inflammation triggers can get to the root cause of asthma.