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Taking Charge of Your Family’s Wellness, Naturally

Written by Andrea Candee   
Saturday, 01 December 2007 00:00
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“Self empowerment” is the buzz word of our time. Yet, many feel disempowered when it comes to the care of their family’s health. Integrated medicine, taking the best of all worlds, is a sensible, responsible approach to healthcare. Here’s more from Andrea Candee, author of Gentle Healing for Baby and Child.

Trying Herbs

Grandparents recognize this as the health care approach of their youth: administer natural remedies at home unless the situation requires more professional help. Perhaps this is why grandparents seem to be the biggest purchasers of books on natural wellness for children, offering it to their adult children for the care of the grandchildren.

Turning to the health food store or even the kitchen pantry, and given a medical diagnosis, a parent educated in medicinal herbs can return a youngster to health or soothe discomfort until seen by the family care provider. And what better way to empower a child about their own wellness than to engage them in their healthcare, creating an awareness that will stay with them for their entire lives. They learn that taking care of their bodies preventatively is every bit as important as consulting a doctor when they are sick.

Statistics indicate that 75 percent of children have at least three ear infections before the age of six. Most of us either have or know a child who repeatedly suffers from what we have tacitly come to accept as a common childhood illness. Doesn’t it make you wonder why, with all the advances of modern medicine, children seem to suffer from ear infections more, rather than less than they did even 20 years ago?

Some children respond well to antibiotics; others are put on a round robin of antibiotic treatments (sometimes for years); and others still require surgery. A study reported in The Journal of the American Medical Association found that children given antibiotics for ear infections were two to six times more likely to develop a recurrence than children who did not receive the antibiotic treatment.

I am not the only one asking the question: What long-term effects do antibiotics have on developing immune systems?

“We found that, in the case of ear infections, sometimes the prescribed medicines created other problems and occasionally didn’t even cure…We have had the opportunity…to observe how effective, gentle and well tolerated these (herbal) remedies are in children.” (Larry Baskind, MD, FAAP, Riverside Pediatrics, Croton on Hudson, NY; excerpted from the foreword of Gentle Healing for Baby and Child [Simon & Schuster] ).