Saturday, February 20, 2010

Dry Red Lips

Yesterday I was looking at Aidan and said "why are your lips so red and dry"......that should have been the clue that something was stirring on the inside. This morning he woke up and with his usual shout of "mommy" he proceeded with the 'croupy' cough. That's what his coughs always sound like, dry and barky. The bright red, dry lips I noticed yesterday are showing some internal heat and could go along with a fever (which he does not have). He feels fine, energetic, eating, obsessively colouring so his body is fighting something well on its own.
This morning I got to it. Childrens' herbal Immune support (Wise Women's Children's Glycerite-which I LOVE-, acidophilus and my good ol' homeopathics. I should have started with Aconite yesterday. This remedy is indicated at the very first sign of illness. One minute the child is fine, the next they deteriorate. Those bright red lips were my indicator that something changed, but somehow I missed it. Had I given the aconite I feel confident it would have been nipped then and there would have been no cough this morning. I went to the next remedy indicated, Spongia. For that barking, croupy cough with a bit of hoarseness. Gave him 2 doses (3 pellets each time) 20 minutes apart. That was 2 hours ago and I am yet to hear him cough. We'll see if it changes and which remedy will follow....keep you posted.

Monday, February 8, 2010

To Grey or Not to Grey

In chinese medicine, the Kidney's store essence or "jing". Your essence is inherited from your parents, so you are born with a specific amount and as you age your essence naturally declines. Things you do in life can deplete your essence more rapidly, such as eating poorly, excessive alcohol consumption and because the kidneys also govern reproductive health and fertility with each pregnancy women deplete their kidney "jing" and for men it is with excessive ejaculation. How does kidney essence express itself in health? With healthy teeth, strong bones, good hearing, and a full head of your natural hair colour.

My hair has been greying since my twenties. So my kidney essence is depleting, a little too early for my liking. I inherited a specifc amount from my parents, depleted some on my own and then further depleted some with my pregnancies. But recently I have been noticing a large number of my hairs returning to their original dark brown. So much so that when I told one of my receptionist how my grey hair's are turning back brown she said she thought I started dying my hair and did not want to say anything!!

So I will share my secret.....I am a huge tea drinker and I have been religiously drinking a herbal tea blend made of nettles, red clover, alfalfa and lemon balm (this one is a relaxant), nightly. I buy organic herbs in bulk and mix them myself. I usually mix 2 parts nettle and 1 part of each, red clover, alfalfa and lemon balm and store them in a big glass jar. Every night I fill a large teaball with this blend and leave it to steep in a large mug. This combination is rich in minerals such as calcium, magnesium and iron, is alkalinizing to the blood, and most importantly for me it restores my kidneys from further depleting their essence and now it is only my greys that are depleting.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Vitamin D

I'm seeing a lot of patients feeling the winter blahs and when I ask them if they are taking their vitamin D, most are not. Vitamin D is the "sunshine" vitamin and when we are lacking the sun or it is too cold to go outside our vitmain D levels deplete. Most blood work I see, people are depleted in vitmain D stores. Vitamin D is essential for healthy bone formation, is immune modulating, anti-cancer and mood enhancing!

The easiest way I think to take it is the liquid form. I like the 1000IU dose. My kids take 1 drop per day and we take 3 drops. I simply squeeze the drops onto a clean finger, spoon or on top of one of the kids chewable mutli-vitamins and voila done!

Thursday, February 4, 2010


I know that sleep in a huge topic for parents. I'm not sure if it is something we did specifically or if it is my children's nature but both are really great sleepers. The one thing I did do was think scientifically.

The key to a good night's sleep is melatonin. Melatonin comes from melas, meaning 'black', and thus is known as the hormone of darkness as it only is secreted in darkness. Melatonin is secreted by the pineal gland, located behind the 'third eye", located in the center of the brain. Infants' melatonin levels become regular at about the third month after birth and melatonin is at its highest levels between midnight and 8:00 am.

So, what makes melatonin so important? It is crucial for a good night's sleep, is a powerful anti-oxidant, is an immune stimulant, protects against breast cancer and helps to reduce Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

So what is the key to getting high amounts of melatonin secreted? Well, since the pineal gland inhibits melatonin in lightness the key to optimal melatonin secretion is darkness. That means sleeping in a DARK room. No night lights, get rid of the sheer curtains and replace them with thick dark blinds that prohibit light from penetrating. This is the idea behind eye masks, they ensure total darkness directly over the pineal gland. For any of you doing shift work, those bright lights at 3 am are inhibiting melatonin from being made. I know kids can have a fear of darkness and Aidan does as well. He does not like walking upstairs if the lights are turned off but somehow when it comes to sleep the dark is not something he fears. It is actually the only way he knows how to sleep.