The Family Doctor

"The Country Doctor" by Norman Rockwell

“The Country Doctor” by Norman Rockwell

Many a time I’ve wished for the days when country doctors made house calls. Not only did you not have to go anywhere with your sick child, but the doctor that would show up at your door would be someone that you knew, trusted and very likely had seen every ailment under the sun and treated everyone from babies to their grandfathers. Not so today.

Taking your child to the doctor today can be stressful whether they are sick or well. And so it seems that now more than ever many parents are having to educate themselves and become experts in the particular health areas that their child struggles with. And so, in a sense, you become the “doctor” for your family – offering relief and promoting health, sometimes when the “experts” have no solutions to offer you.

What follows are some common health issues that many children today deal with and some suggestions that might help.

(Note: The suggestions below are offered as food for thought and in no way constitutes medical advice. By reading the topics on this blog, you agree to the former statement.)

Food Sensitivities:

Food allergies and sensitivities (or intolerances) seem to be on the rise like never before. I’ve often wondered how many people throughout history who had “sickly constitutions” simply had food sensitivities. For whatever reason, the food that they ate did not agree with them and rather than nourishing their body it was acting as a slow poison which caused their health to deteriorate one bite at a time.

Two of my children along with my nieces and nephews all suffer from food sensitivities. Their reactions range from rashes, hives, eczema, constipation, sleeplessness, digestive and bowel problems. In some cases, a small amount of a troublesome food can be tolerated, and in others one bite can result in a reaction.

The most common reactions that we have dealt with and the treatments that we have found helpful for each condition are listed below for your consideration.

by Normal Rockwell

by Normal Rockwell

Constipation: Unlike food allergies which typically cause the body to repel the offending food with diahrrea, food sensitivities can often cause constipation. Aloe Vera Gel is a mild laxative and a small amount goes a long way. It lubricates and mildly softens the stool. Aloe gel has a bitter aftertaste so it is best mixed with a little bit of juice. I have also found that eating small portions of fermented foods with meals can help make stools smaller and more frequent. If you’re new to the idea of fermented foods, visit the Cellar for further discussion on how to make your own. Don’t worry it’s easy.

Hives and Eczema: I often treat hives with and eczema with “Tiny Oil.” This is an oil blend that I came up with when my son was a baby and was dealing with eczema from multiple food reactions. It helps soothe and heal itchy skin. The lavender oil in the mixture is healing, the tea tree oil disinfects, and the clove oil acts as an analgesic which helps with itching, discomfort or pain. Green Tea is also an anti-inflammatory and helps with itching. When my son would wake in the middle of the night itching and not able to sleep I would make a strong cup of green tea and give him a sponge bath with a wash cloth. He was always able to go back to sleep shortly after.

Sleeplessness: A baby or toddler who is uncomfortable and can’t sleep is one of the most difficult things to deal with because you are often so tired yourself. Any teas (sweetened with a bit of honey) or glycerine tinctures made with calming herbs such as chamomile, catnip, lemon balm and lavender can help settle a little one and ready them for sleep. Give small amounts throughout the day or one hour before bedtime. (Note: catnip and lemon balm are in the mint family. Avoid these if you have allergies to peppermint.)

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