I am so over the dairy campaigns about milk and weight loss, bone health and calcium. Dairy is not a necessity in our diet people! I found this site and really wanted to share some interesting facts on how not only is dairy not necessary but how it is harming Americans everyday.
“There is no human requirement for milk from a cow,” says Suzanne Havala, RD, author of the American Dietetic Association’s “Position Paper on Vegetarian Diets” and several books on nutrition. “The use of milk and its products in our country is strictly a cultural tradition,” she notes. “There are millions of people around the world who never consume cow’s milk and are none the worse for it.”
While the question of whether dairy foods contribute to or detract from the well- being of our skeletons often occupies center stage, there are additional serious health concerns that might make you wary of dairy.
Allergies: Milk is the most common cause of food allergy. A recent study found that one way to reduce the number of allergies in infants is for the breastfeeding mother to avoid consuming, or make very limited use of cow’s milk.
Women’s health concerns: Studies indicate that osteoporosis, which afflicts 20 million American women, and ovarian cancer are most common in those countries with the highest consumption of dairy food and lowest in those countries with low dairy intake. According to gynecologist Christiane Northrup, MD, author of Women’s Bodies Women’s Wisdom, other health problems associated with the consumption of dairy foods include benign breast conditions, recurrent vaginitis, acne, menstrual cramps, fibroids, chronic intestinal upset and increased pain from endometriosis.
Anemia: Overreliance on milk in children can lead to anemia, as milk is very low in iron, and drinking large quantities of it can crowd iron-rich foods from the diet. In young infants, protein from cow’s milk can cause intestinal bleeding, another possible cause of anemia.
Colic: Sensitivity to cow’s milk can cause colic, a digestive ailment in infants. Colic can cause problems even in infants who aren’t drinking cow’s milk but whose mothers are.
Food safety concerns: Washington Post columnist Colman McCarthy chides that milk is tainted with so many that it should be sold by prescription only. Dairy farmers regularly administer drugs and growth hormones to cows to boost milk production. Investigations have routinely found residues of these veterinary pharmaceuticals in milk and other milk products, some of which may raise cancer risks. One compound approved for use in 1993 and now widely employed by commercial dairies is the controversial genetically engineered Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH). Many feel that this compound– which increases milk production in an era of serious milk surplus– poses grave potential health risks for consumers (including elevated antibiotic residue levels in milk) while favoring large-scale factory farms at the expense of small dairy producers. Unfortunately, producers who shun BGH are forbidden from labeling their products as such. Only organic dairy foods are certified to be free of antibiotic and BGH residues.
Heart disease: Dairy products are major contributors of fat, saturated fat and cholesterol to the diet. According to cardiologist Dean Ornish, MD, “Milk rates second only to beef as the largest source of saturated fat in the American diet.” Consider, for example, that one glass of 2% milk has as much saturated fat as three strips of bacon. Almost half the calories in whole milk come from fat.
Insulin-dependent diabetes: Recent research indicates that consuming cow’s milk throughout adolescence increases the risk of developing Type I diabetes. About 1 million Americans have this disease. (13)
Lactose intolerance: Many people cannot stomach lactose, the sugar in milk, because they lack the necessary digestive enzyme. Some people are also sensitive to milk protein. An estimated 50 million Americans experience intestinal discomfort after consuming dairy products. Symptoms include bloating, stomach pain, cramps, gas or diarrhea.
Such findings prompted breast surgeon Robert Kradjian, MD, in 1993 to review more than 500 medical articles written about milk since 1988. “How would I summarize the articles?,” Kradian asks. “First of all, none of the authors spoke of cow’s milk as an excellent food, free of side effects. The main focus of the published reports seem to be on intestinal colic, intestinal irritation, intestinal bleeding, and anemia, allergic reactions in infants and children as well as infections such as salmonella… In adults the problems seemed centered more around heart disease and arthritis, allergy, sinusitis, and the more serious questions of leukemia, lymphoma and cancer.”
Here is some info I recently put together about why you should avoid antibiotics for ear infections and some ideas for how to treat them naturally.
In Childhood Ear Infections, Dr. Michael A. Schmidt presents over 16 scientific studies that show that many cases of chronic ear infections are due to food or airborne allergies or hypersensitivity reactions. Allergies can cause significant pressure changes within the middle ear, as well as obstruction of the eustachian tube. The most common allergens implicated in ear infection are cow’s milk and dairy products, wheat, eggs, chocolate, citrus, corn, soy, peanuts or other nuts, shellfish, sugar, and yeast. Dairy is the number one contributor to childhood ear problems. Proper allergy management, such as elimination and rotation diets, can produce dramatic recovery in allergic children with chronic ear infections.
We have been treating ear infections naturally (without antibiotics) for the past year successfully. I just wanted to share what we’ve done for them.
Wally’s Ear Oil has been a life saver. It’s a natural blend of herbs and oils that help soothe the ear. May provide relief from the pain and discomfort associated with ear aches, “swimmer’s ear”, infections, fungus and yeast.
Ingredients: Almond oil, essential oils of Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Garlic, Mullein, Echinacea Root.
It’s cheaper here. I bought mine at Whole Foods.
Herbs for Kids Willow/Garlic Ear Oil also comes highly recommended. I have also seen it at most WFS including Whole Foods.
Ingredients: Extra Virgin Olive oil, Fresh Garlic cloves, Calendula flower, Willow bark, Usnea lichen and Vitamin E oil.
Healing Ear Infections: Why Antibiotics Are Not the Best Treatment
The Problem of Bacterial Resistance
Although penicillin drugs such as amoxicillin, which is typically prescribed for otitis media, are less toxic than many other antibiotics, they can cause severe allergic reactions and gastrointestinal upset, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Also, any antibiotic can cause the overgrowth of bacteria or other organisms that are not susceptible to that particular antibiotic. This can lead to yeast infections or “superinfections” of staphylococci.3
More ominously, the increased use of antibiotics has resulted in the development of resistant bacteria. Bacteria that once were killed by a particular antibiotic, in other words, are no longer susceptible to that antibiotic. This makes infectious diseases caused by those organisms more difficult to treat.
For instance, the leading bacteria that cause infections of the middle ear, Streptococcus pneumonia, can also cause pneumonia, sinusitis, bronchitis, and meningitis. S. pneumonia was originally easy to treat with penicillin, but by the late 1980s a penicillin-resistant strain had emerged. In the past 15 years, the number of cases of penicillin-resistant S. pneumonia in the US has more than doubled. In Asia, cases of antibiotic-resistant S. pneumonia amount to 70 percent of total pneumonia infections; in the US such cases are as high as 25 percent. In US daycare centers, antibiotic-resistant S. pneumoniae can be as high as 61 percent.4 These resistant bacteria are passed from one person to another and are particularly high in children with otitis media.
Herbs for Ear Pain
Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) has long been used as a demulcent to relieve congestion and inflammation. Components of mullein have also been found to have antibacterial, antiseptic, and pain-relieving properties. A few drops of oil infused with mullein can provide great relief for a child feeling the pain of ear inflammation. Use commercial ear drops containing mullein, or prepare your own ahead of time (making infused oil can take two weeks). To make the oil, cover a handful of dried mullein flowers with a carrier oil such as olive or almond oil. Let the oil set for two weeks, shaking it daily. If you are pressed for time, speed the process by heating the oil and mullein flowers gently on the stove for 30 minutes. Strain and use it when it reaches body temperature, testing it just as you would a baby’s formula, by dropping it on your wrist. The oil should be warm but not hot. Cold oil can be warmed gently by setting the bottle in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes. Use a few drops in the ear canal up to three times a day if necessary.
Garlic (Allium sativum) has both antibacterial and antiviral properties and is often used in combination with mullein in oil to treat ear infections. Again, either buy this commercially or prepare it yourself. To make it yourself, crush a garlic clove in a few tablespoons of olive oil and gently warm it over the stove for 30 minutes. Strain before use and put a few drops of body-temperature oil in the ear canal.
St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) is another herb that may be beneficial for its antiviral, antibacterial, and soothing qualities. St. John’s wort can be purchased commercially, or you can make infused oil from the tips of the branches, including the flowers and leaves. Put a few drops of oil into the ear canal.
Essential oil of lavender (Lavandula officinalis) has antiseptic and soothing qualities. Dilute lavender oil in an equal amount of vegetable oil, such as almond oil. Use a few drops of this warmed oil in the ear canal. Lavender oil, either in the ear or rubbed behind the ear, can also soothe nerves and may help an anxious toddler to sleep.
Drinking peppermint (Mentha piperita) tea can be soothing to a child. Peppermint also has antiseptic and decongestant qualities that can help relieve the pain of ear inflammation. You can mix peppermint with chamomile tea, which also is anti-inflammatory and has slight sedative qualities that may help relax a child in pain.
If your child has reoccurring ear infections – Consider boosting his or her immune system. This can be done with echinacea (Echinacea) spp. extracts as well as vitamin C. With echinacea, use a formula made especially for children, or one-fourth the adult dose for children from two to ten, one-half the adult dose for children over ten. For vitamin C, approximately 500 milligrams per day is a good dose for children. If diarrhea develops, cut back on the dose.
Here is some info I recently put together on fevers for a Moms board I help run. I just thought I would share since it’s the cold and flu season.
A lot of moms are concerned about how high a fever gets, febrile seizures, brain damage, etc. So what’s the real deal on fevers? What is a fever for? What are some natural ways to relive fever symptoms and the fever itself?
Why is a fever important?
Fever is the immune system’s response in addition to sending T-Cells to fight antibodies. The T-Cells can kill bacterial pathogens. Those pathogens are killable by T-Cell attacks. Fevers are also part of the clean up process for toxic bacterial waste products.
Viruses are not living microorganisms that rummage about internally looking for food to scavenge, as bacteria do. A virus does not have a nucleus cell that divides to create more microbes, as bacteria do. The body’s thalamus/thyroid reaction raises the temperature slightly, and that stops viruses from replicating.
A snippit on piggybacking meds to reduce a fever and the percentage of children who get febrile seizures.
Only 5% to 10% of children under six get febrile convulsions, which usually last for a few minutes. The commonly misdirected concern is that a high fever in a young child can create brain damage. The actual situation is that vaccinations and other illnesses are the real causes of brain damage, not the fever itself.
The fever phobia has led parents and maybe some doctors to alternate Tylenol with Advil or any Ibuprofen in a desperate effort to reduce fevers. This effort has occasionally resulted in more serious damage, sometimes death. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics advises against these desperate measures to reduce fever. They advise sticking with one medication, using conservative doses carefully.
Info from National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) on febrile seizures can be found here.
The vast majority of febrile seizures are harmless. There is NO evidence that febrile seizures cause brain damage. The degree of the fever has nothing to do with the seizure, it’s how fast it spikes. You can have febrile seizures at any temp, it’s all about how fast it spikes.
Febrile seizures are not caused by “fever”. The fever expands the diameter of the tiny blood vessels so that more white blood cell infection fighting “soldiers” can traverse down the ‘roads.” When the blood vessel roads become jammed, by too many white blood cells, and altered fluid dynamics, there is ischemia. Ischemia causes a lack of oxygen to the brain.
Herbs – Elder flower and yarrow increase sweating to help manage hot fevers, while ginger has warming effects to help manage fever with chills. Tea is an excellent way to administer herbs while keeping a feverish child hydrated and nourished. Helpful herbal teas for fever include chamomile, red clover, rosemary and peppermint. Lemon juice or honey can be added to the tea (never give honey to infants under one year).
Essential Oils – Lemon, lavender, eucalyptus, thyme, pine, rosemary and sage essential oils are beneficial for feverish children and also help support the immune system to support the body’s defenses instead of suppressing them. Drop some lavender essential oil in cool water and use a washrag to wipe a child’s forehead for a cooling, relaxing effect.
Treating Childhood Fevers with Aromatherapy, Essential Oils, Natural Care for Infant or Child Fever
Homeopathy – Aconite, Belladonna, Nux Vomica and Pulsatilla are four common remedies indicated in childhood fevers.
Treating Fevers with Homeopathy and Choosing a Homeopathic Remedy for Childhood Fevers
Foods/Fluids – Many children lose their appetite when feverish, so parents can give nourishing fluids like fruit juices, teas, broth and juiced vegetables to keep a energy and hydration levels up. Whenever a child can eat try feeding them easy to digest fruits, vegetables and nuts to avoid constipation, provide plenty of energy and gently stimulate digestion. Let the child eat as much as they desire rather than purposefully “starving a fever” as the old myth goes.
Rest and Light Activity – While infants and children with a fever will often sleep more often, or longer than usual, parents should allow their children to be lightly active if they feel like it. A walk around the block in the fresh air can raise a sick child’s spirits.