Thursday, July 17, 2008

Honey and allergies

I am always interested in reading about natural remedies for our health. I have steered away from conventional medicine and drugs since Ian was a baby and so far I see the benefits. The boys are rarely sick and when they are it's usually very mild, and over quickly. One of the biggest things I've tried to do is boost there immune systems by a natural exposure to germs. We don't buy Purell or any type of antibacterial soaps, ever. They kill the good germs as well as the bad and leave you more exposed in the end. Not to mention the problem with the antibiotic resistance that's occurring from overuse. Also, the boys are naturally exposed to the world when we go to the store or have a playdate with other kids, but aren't overly exposed to germs since they don't go to a daycare or preschool.

They also eat really healthy and rarely have sugar. They both prefer water over any other beverage in a cup so juice and milk are never an issue.

Of course this doesn't mean they are super immune as Ian picked up some type of bacterial bug on his hands this week and apparently touched his eyes. I took him to his naturopathic doctor after seeing the bloodshot eyes and the swelling and for the first time in his life, he's on antibiotics. Only topically since they are eye drops, but antibiotics nonetheless. To counteract the negative effects they have on his digestion, I'm giving him lots of probiotics and I'll probably continue for several weeks just to boost the good bacteria in his gut.

The only drug they've ever been given is Tylenol and that has only been the few times they've had a high fever. Otherwise, I use herbs, food, and homeopathic remedies. I've been meaning to put together a natural first aid kit to share on here but haven't gotten to it yet. It's on my list of things to do...

One thing I was interested in learning about was seasonal allergies. Even though Jeremy and I don't suffer from allergies, I wanted to figure out how to boost up the boys' immunity to it since it's becoming more and more common for kids to suffer from them. One of the things I've done since both boys were little babies is give them probiotics. Our pediatrician told me that babies, age newborn on up, on a regular dose of probiotics rarely, if ever get seasonal allergies.

The other thing is eating truly raw, LOCAL, honey. I know people who take local bee pollen and have had great success with reducing their allergy symptoms. But I've read that eating local honey, which contains pollen from the flowers in your own region, can actually help your body build up an immunity to it before the allergy sets in. I personally prefer raw because it also contains the enzymes your body needs to digest it. You have to be pretty specific when you are asking for it though. Most people think all honey is raw if nothing has been added or taken out. But heating the honey is what destroys all the enzymes so you want to make sure to ask whether it's been heated at all. You want honey straight from the comb.

Just this last spring, when we were in Seattle, I found some truly raw, straight from the comb, honey. I bought a 4lb container and we ate every drop. I just ordered more from Snoqualmie Valley Honey farm because Seattle's wild blackberry pollen is similar to here in Portland. Yum.



Sarah@mommyinjapan said...

I agree with exposing the kids to good germs. Misaki sucks her thumb, which grosses out my MIL who is always trying to get Misaki to wash her hands, but Misaki is the healthiest of us all. I'm convinced that she's got the best antibodies.

Adam and Raechell said...

I totally agree with this idea that local honey is the way to go to help with allergies. I do this as well. Once you've had the good stuff...that bottle of honey found in the plastic bear at the supermarket just won't do!
I learned this info from Sue about a year and a half ago...I love knowledgeable friends and family. Very cool info, Andrea, can't wait to see the first aid kit! ;)

Justin Cardinal said...

I think my sister-in-law used to get some local raw honey in Pdx ... I'll have to ask her where for you so you don't have to order it?! Miss you already!