Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Natural and Alternative Cures For Your Child

Natural and alternative cures is not new news. In fact, it probably is the oldest news in the history of medicine. Old civilizations, such as those in India and China, have used this for thousands of years to cure their people. In these countries, especially China, modern medicine has a healthy coexistence with traditional medicine, having a huge 60% to 40% ratio for health care delivered, respectively. As a testament to it's pervasiveness, Traditional Chinese Medicine, herbal cures and Ayurvedic treatments have even found a niche in the West. It'll make you think that these therapies and cures are doing some people some good, seeing that they have stood the test of time and still as widespread as they are now.

The West has not been ignorant to recognizing the potential of finding natural ways to cure human sickness. Homeopathic treatments, developed in Germany in the 1700, is a form of alternative medicine based on the principles first defined by physician Samuel Hahnemann. Homeopathy roughly translates to "like cures like", "homeo" being Greek for "like" and "patho" meaning "disease". This kind of treatment also advocates the use of chemicals and compounds which can be extracted from flora and fauna.

Alternative medicine is still growing in prevalence so much so that even modern pharmaceutical companies are feeling the need to step up the competition. Although some are already manufacturing health supplements like garlic capsules, grape seed extract etc. it'll be a long time till the twain shall meet.

Why should one try alternative cures? Looking at the basics, it is oftentimes cheaper and less invasive. Some medication are just too strong and will cause some side effects, especially on children. Also, most alternative cures require stuff which can easily be found in the house or garden. It can even be as simple as adding or substituting ingredients to a meal. To get you started on discovering what natural cures can do for you and your family, please try some of these suggestions:

If your child is having problems with mouth infections or cavities, try using salt instead of regular toothpaste. Most commercial toothpastes are too strong and kills off naturally occurring good bacteria of the mouth along with the bad. If salt is too unpalatable, try mixing it with crushed mint leaves.

For teens or anyone having acne or pimple problems, apply lemon juice or orange peel extract instead of astringents. Some astringents are just too strong, they literally dry off the skin, leaving it vulnerable to infection. To moisturize and revitalize the skin after a long day, make a poultice out of cucumber and oatmeal (oatmeal so the mixture will hold together). Apply and leave for several hours.

There are a lot of cures for coughs but here is one that seems most palatable. Grape juice (from natural grapes of course) acts as an expectorant and relaxes the lungs. Mix a cup with honey, just make sure it is not cold.

Speaking of honey, this wonder of nature is also good for scrapes and wounds! Wash the wound or scrape first, put honey or better yet Manuka Honey (a special kind of honey found in New Zealand) on a bandage and then wrap the wound up. Amino acids and vitamin C found in honey speed up the growth of healthy tissue while the naturally occuring hydrogen peroxide it contains is released slowly, killing germs in the wound.

For babies, a frequent problem can be diaper rash. The diaper should never be allowed to stay wet and should be changed immediately. Once the baby is clean, apply an ample amount of cornstarch and not talcum powder on your baby's tushie. If the rash is severe, use cod liver oil or shark liver oil (squalene). Squalene penetrates the skin quickly and does not leave a greasy feeling on the skin.

If the child has been toilet trained already yet still has a problem with bedwetting, try giving him a small cup of cranberry juice an hour before sleeping. Cranberry juice has done wonders for the human urological system since time immemorial. Herbs like causticum, lycopodium, ursi, corn silk and pulsatilla also has been known to help.

Burns are also unavoidable with children. For minor burns without wounds, apply some ground up aloe vera on the affected part to help with the cooling. If burn marks appear sometime after, put some papaya on it. The papaya fruit is known to have enzymes that effectively help remove dead skin cells.

These are only some of the many things you can try out. If there is one thing natural medicine has in common with modern medicine, it is when to use the right medicine where and how. Simply put, a Chinese herbalist will do the same as a doctor. Most probably he will ask about the history of your sickness, what foods you are allergic to and after prescribing the medicine, tell you that you need to watch what you eat, exercise in moderation etc.

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