Updated: Jun 25, 2020
Do you remember what it was like when you were little and got sick? I vividly remember my mother’s touch on my forehead to check my temperature and the way she seemed to have it all under control. She always made the best chicken soup, provided comfort in my bed and rubbed my chest with Vicks Vapor Rub! Never letting on that she was worried or stressed. Mothering without her hasn’t been easy especially when Jaya has been sick.
I now completely understand just how worried and stressed she was every single time and how being a mother means putting on that hat every morning, stepping into your bravest shoes and showing up as the Magic Mama you are.
You’re raising "the change" and it’s an honor to wake up every day, despite the challenges, and take care of the little souls who have chosen you to lead them on their journey.
When Jaya was around 14 months old, we put him in daycare. Everyone warned me that he would be sick often but I wasn't prepared for the monthly colds, constant congestion, and the unrelenting worry that you experience when your child doesn't feel well.
After several months of doctor visits and the occasional albuterol treatment, our holistic pediatrician grew just as tired as we were of treating the symptoms and not the root issue. So, he suggested we try a Food Inflammation Test (FIT) to see if Jaya had any food sensitivities that may be causing him to be congested and sick. This test was not covered by insurance and cost $550 out-of-pocket but we were desperate to get to the root of the cause.
Results from the FIT test showed that Jaya had sensitivities to many of the foods we were giving him. Things such as lentils, almond milk, tomatoes, soy, peanut butter, gluten and dairy (just to name a few) were now off-limits for a while.
It took some time to adjust to his new diet but we decided to make changes as a family.
Alexis and I cut those foods from our diet too, so they wouldn't be a temptation for our son. We explained the test to Jaya and what it meant for him now. He quickly understood that he couldn't eat certain foods because it might cause his tummy to hurt or he could feel sick afterward but that eventually they could be reintroduced into his diet and we would monitor if they had any negative effects on him. Surprisingly, he didn’t have a hard time accepting these new changes.
When your child is constantly sick, it makes you question everything. I believe in holistic health care and preventative medicine. I believe in getting to the root of the issue and not just masking it with a bandaid, which is oftentimes in the form of prescription drugs and antibiotics.
So, here is a list of things we use daily or weekly that, coupled with healthier food choices, I believe keep him healthy and away from the doctor's office...
1. Daily doses of Sodium Ascorbate (Aka: Vitamin C)
Not a day goes by that I don't give Jaya NutriBiotic buffered Sodium Ascorbate (Affiliate Link) (aka Vitamin C). At age 3, I give him ¼ teaspoon 3 times a day. If I suspect he is coming down with something, I double the dose. The Sodium Ascorbate we use comes in powder form and is easier for children to tolerate than Ascorbic Acid (unbuffered vitamin c). Vitamin C assists with tissue repair and must be replenished daily because it can’t be produced by our bodies. I put it in his cashew milk or water and he doesn't even notice.
2. A daily dose of Vitamin D
We try to get vitamin D by spending time outside in the sun, and while our bodies do produce it, sometimes that just isn’t enough. Also, few foods contain this vitamin naturally so it becomes difficult to get enough of it. Therefore, we give Jaya one daily spray of organic Vitamin D3 liquid dietary supplement (Affiliate Link). I usually spray two pumps first thing in the morning!
3. Daily Probiotics
You may already be familiar with the benefits of probiotics. In short, they help replenish your body's good bacteria. We give Jaya Klaire Labs Ther-Biotic Children's Chewable Tablets (Affiliate Link). These chewables are for children ages 2 and older. He loves them so much that he reminds us daily that he needs his probiotic! We give it to him once daily, about 30 minutes following a meal.
4. Weekly Immune Boosting Magnesium Baths
Most people are deficient in magnesium and unaware of it. Magnesium baths have many benefits including, helping the body absorb nutrients, reducing inflammation, calming our systems and eliminating toxins (such as heavy metals) from the body! We use Ancient Minerals Magnesium Bath Flakes (Affiliate Link). I would give him a magnesium bath more often however, our new home doesn't have a bathtub! These baths actually happen in a large bin that I fill up with water. I add 1 cup of Ancient Minerals Magnesium bath flakes, 1 tablespoon of raw organic coconut oil and 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil. As you can imagine, bath time is his favorite!
5. Homemade Hand & Body Wash
In an effort to eliminate toxins, I recently started making Jaya's hand and body wash. I am including this in our preventative health care regimen because handwashing plays a vital role in reducing the risk of getting sick. Furthermore, the skin is our largest organ. It absorbs everything! It's important for me to know exactly what I am putting on my son's body and I was having a difficult time finding a hand and body wash that was not full of chemicals. I was also finding that many of the ingredients used in body washes happen to be endocrine disruptors. I invite you to read the list of ingredients on every purchase you make. Certain chemicals can cause serious hormonal issues for children and can even lead to developmental disorders or cancerous tumors.
So, I reached out to another crunchy mama friend and she shared a recipe with me that she uses on her daughter! You only need 3 simple ingredients to make this easy hand and body wash for your little one.
Here's what to do...
Mix equal parts water, castile soap and coconut oil. Then, add a few drops of lavender essential oil and place in an empty bottle. Shake well and that's it! All done! We use Quinns Organic Castile Unscented Soap (Affiliate Link), organic grocery store brand coconut oil (that we also cook with), we use 365 whole foods coconut oil (Affiliate Link) and certified pure therapeutic grade lavender essential oil.
This homemade hand and body wash leaves Jaya's skin feeling smooth and hydrated every time! We also started taking a squeeze bottle of this hand and body wash with us (a staple in our bag) to avoid using the soap in public bathrooms. Oftentimes, the soap in public bathrooms is FULL of dyes and endocrine-disrupting chemicals! Try making this simple hand wash for yourself and avoid washing your little one’s hands in bright pink toxic soap next time you use a public bathroom!
As soon as we get home from an outing, after using the bathroom and right before we sit down to eat we are ALL washing our hands! This is an important part of staying healthy!
6. Zinc Liquid
Another way we boost his immune system is by giving him ½ teaspoon of liquid zinc near his bedtime once per week. Since Jaya does not eat meat, chicken or fish (the top sources of zinc) we want to make sure he’s getting enough of this mineral. We use Kirkman Zinc Liquid (Affiliate Link) which is casein & gluten-free and does not include any artificial flavors.
7. Nasal Spray
While we don’t use it often anymore, only when he is congested, we always have Xlear Natural Saline Spray (Affiliate Link) on hand. This assists in loosening mucus and cleaning his passages. We simply insert the nozzle into his nostrils and spray one time on each side.
8. Hypertonic Saline
Thankfully, we haven’t had to use a nebulizer in the past 13 months but we still keep Naveh Pharma hypertonic saline (Affiliate Link) on hand just in case. This saline comes in 5ml single-dose packs. It does not have any preservatives and has assisted us before when Jaya was wheezing or very congested. (Please note that price of this saline product will vary due to the recent coronavirus-19, COVID19).
9. Colloidal Silver
I like to keep MBi Nutraceuticals Colloidal Silver 30PPM (Affiliate Link) on hand because of its antimicrobial benefits. Although I do not give this to Jaya orally, I have it on hand in the event of a wound and therefore have added it to my list of preventative care measures. I have also been told by our holistic pediatrician that I can use it in the nebulizer in the event that I don’t have saline on hand.
10. Respiratory Blend
My last trick to keeping our son healthy is the "ALL CLEAR" respiratory blend from www.shoptheoilymama.com, also on Instagram as (IG:theoilymama305). This blend is made with certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils and comes in a small roller. I apply it to the back of Jaya’s ears (along the ear bone) and to the soles of his feet when we are going to places where there are large crowds or when I get the slightest inclination that he may be getting sick.
In the 13 months since we implemented all of these changes, Jaya has only been sick (with a cold) ONE TIME and it didn’t last too many days either!
We followed our protocol of staying home/resting, doubling his vitamin C intake, washing his hands often and eating healthy foods.
Oh! And cuddling as much as possible of course! A drastic change from the little boy who was once visiting the doctor's office monthly.
I hope this list helps some of you Magic Mamas out there! I get asked often what it is that I do with Jaya to keep him healthy but please remember, I am NOT a doctor. These are suggestions made based on things that have worked well for my family. Please check with your pediatrician if you have any questions or concerns regarding your child's health
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