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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Relief for the Stomach Bug

Our family has run the gamut of stomach illnesses lately. Looking back now, I think we all may have had stomach flu. Everyone in my family seemed to get a version of a nasty tummy virus. My toddler, Jane, woke from a nap in a bed of vomit. If you've ever had sick toddler, you know the difficulties that presents. They're mobile, they don't know how to puke into the toilet, and they can't communicate what's going on inside their little bodies. I think she puked in every room and on enough clothing and bedding for at least three loads of laundry and countless baths (for both of us).

I was beside myself trying to figure out what I could give her to keep her from throwing up when she started getting really bad diarrhea. You know the kind that diapers are no match for, the kind that can't be contained? More laundry and sanitizing. Then, in spite of my precautions, I got sick. I quickly grabbed some DigestZen essential oil from doTerra, put some drops into water and drank it down, which prevented me from throwing up. It didn't prevent horrible stomach cramps and mind-bending diarrhea, though.

For help, I phoned my sister who is married to a naturopath and has six kids. She has been through every strain of contagious stomach viruses out there and she's in the know when it comes to natural cures that work. I tried her recommendations and, thankfully, they helped us all get over our illnesses quickly.

Here are a few of the remedies she recommended that are safe from toddler-age (18 months+) to adult sickies:

To prevent nausea:

doTerra's DigestZen essential oil blend: this can be rubbed on the soles of feet, on the stomach, and taken internally by diluting in water.

Hard to believe, but this black stuff works.
Hyland's Ipecacuanha (available at health food stores): these are small tablets that dissolve easily in the mouth. I gave my toddler two every four hours.

To prevent or stop diarrhea:
(all products below are available at health food stores):

Activated Charcoal: these come in gel capsules and can be swallowed whole. My sister told me that the charcoal is tasteless and attaches to e coli bacteria (the bad stuff that makes you sick) in the bowel. Getting a toddler to take them proves pretty difficult, but she told me a trick of  blending the charcoal into no bake cookies. I told my toddler they were "baby treats."

They are tasty and my toddler ate them up! Remember, babies under one year of age shouldn't have honey. If your baby is under one, substitute the honey with agave.

Here's the recipe:

1/4 cup natural nut butter (I used Adam's Peanut Butter)
4 Tablespoons honey or agave
1/2 cup crisp rice cereal
2 Tablespoons nonfat dry milk
1/2 cup shredded coconut (I used unsweetened coconut)
3 tablets or capsules of activated charcoal

Combine peanut butter, activated charcoal, nonfat dry milk and honey (or agave). This will make a black mixture (I told my kids it was chocolate). Then, mash in the crisp rice and form 3/4" balls. Roll the cookie balls in shredded coconut. These can be stored in the fridge for a week or more.

Hyland's Arsenicum Album: these are small tablets that dissolve in the mouth. I gave my toddler two, but she preferred the "baby treats."

Gummy vitamins: I didn't try this remedy, but my sister told me that the gelatin in the gummies helps to get rid of diarrhea. She said it worked well for her and her kids don't have any objections to taking them  when and if they decide that the charcoal-laced cookies are too weird.

If these work for you, let me know. If you have any other remedies that work, post them or a link to your blog with the remedies you like best for yourself and your family.

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