Sunday, November 10, 2013

Baby and childcare recipes

Before my blog re-do this was a big feature.  Here it is again!! Stay tuned for a post on how to keep your little ones healthy via homeopaths and natural remedies during cold season



                                                        Basic Baby Powder  
Use after bath or diaper changes to soothe & protect delicate skin. These pure ingredients absorb      moisture that can cause irritation and chafing.
                                                        2 oz. Kaolin Clay
                                                       1 oz. Arrowroot
                                                       ½ tsp. myrrh powder
                                                       ½ tsp. comfrey leaf powder
                                                      ½ tsp. slippery elm bark powder
                                                      3-5 drops Lavender Essential Oil 
                Combine together & sift through a fine mesh sifter. Put into an air-tight container.  

                                                         Oil Treatment for Head Lice
                                                                 (EO=Essential Oil)
                                                              10 drops Rosemary EO
                                                              10 drops Lavender EO
                                                              10 drops Geranium EO
                                                   10 drops Eucalyptus EO (or Tea Tree EO)
                                                       2 oz. Sweet Almond oil – as base
 Combine the essential oils with the base oil & mix well. Rub oil throughout hair & leave treatment on for at least 1-2 hours. Apply shampoo & rinse hair well. Comb the hair with a nit comb after shampooing. Repeat the procedure in a few days. Be VERY careful when applying oil near eyes. If essential oil does get in the eyes, wipe it out with plain sweet almond oil, NOT water. The water can disperse the oil too quickly.  

                                                         Natural Bug Repellent Spray
                                                             4 drops of Peppermint EO
                                                             4 drops of Geranium EO
                                                             4 oz. of distilled water
 Combine the essential oils with water in a small 4 oz. spray bottle. Spray clothing & exposed skin, avoiding areas around the eyes, mouth, & nose. The peppermint will help cool you off on a hot day as well. Also, spray hat or hair to keep bugs from buzzing around your head.  

                                                                       Cold & Flus
FLOWER ESSENCES: available at most natural foods store, are gentle healing remedies made from flowers & plants. They work well with children & can be used in conjunction with any type of medication without causing complications or side effects. Good to use with children in times of stress. Rescue Remedy: add to bathwater or give a drop of two under the child’s tongue several times daily. This remedy produces a calming, centering feeling & is excellent during times of stress or trauma. Can be used on pets as well. NOTE: LOVE this for teething too, I give her a few drops right before bed

 At the first sign of a cold or flu, start giving your child frequent, higher than normal doses of Echinacea tinctures. For ex: a child of 4 would take 1/8 tsp. of Echinacea tincture every hour until the symptoms subside.

                                                                  Fever Reducing Tea
                                                                      2 parts catnip
                                                                      2 parts elder blossoms
                                                                      1 part peppermint
                                                                      1 part Echinacea root
Mix herbs & store in an airtight container. Add 1 C. boiling water to 1 tsp. of the mixture & steep for 1 hr. Administer every 30 min. See dosage chart for guidelines.  

                                                    Apple Cider Vinegar Treatments
To lower a fever, bathe the child in a tepid bath.  Mix 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar into the tub.  Be certain there are no drafts in the room.  After the bath, quickly wrap the child in a warm flannel sheet.  Placing a drop or two of diluted pure chamomile essential oil on the sheet is very helpful.
Another treatment is to wrap the child's feet in a cool cloth that has been dipped in a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water.  Keep the child bundled warmly.

                                                                  Elderberry Syrup  
                                       This is the most popular herbal cold remedy in Europe.
 Use ONLY blue elderberries; the red ones are potentially toxic if eaten in large quantities. Never eat elderberries that have not been cooked first.
                                                      1 C. fresh or ½ C. dried elderberries
                                                                         3 C. water
                                                                         1 C. honey
Place the berries in a saucepan & cover with water. Simmer over low heat for 30-45 minutes. Smash the berries and strain them through a fin mesh strainer. Add 1 C. honey, or adjust to taste. Bottle and store in the refrigerator. Will last 2-3 months when refrigerated.  

                                                             Ginger Echinacea Syrup  
This syrup is a delicious syrup that is very effective. Other herbs can be added such as: wild cherry bark & licorice for cough, valerian for restlessness, and elecampane for respiratory infection.

                                                          1 part fresh gingerroot, grated or chopped
                                                           1 part dried Echinacea root
 Follow the directions for making a syrup. Ginger is very warming. If the syrup is too “hot” for your child’s taste, serve the syrup diluted in warm water or tea.  

                                       Herbal Steam for Runny Nose & Head Congestion  
                  An instant remedy for sinus congestion & runny noses is an old time herbal steam.
Heat a large pot of water until steaming, add a drop or two of eucalyptus oil & have the child inhale this steam. If you grow eucalyptus you can add leaves to steam. Cover the child’s head & the pan with a large towel & treat for 5-10 minutes or until the sinuses open up. Instruct the child to keep her eyes closed tight, as the herbal oils can make them water & cause some discomfort. Because you are using a large container o hot water, ALWAYS stay by the child. Do NOT use the steam for children under 4 yrs. Old. You can also add some eucalyptus oil to a dehumidifier. Just a few drops though. NOTE: We have found that 5-6 drops works great for Audrey in the humidifier. Be sure for babies under 2 years old that it’s eucalyptus radiate and NOT globulus! I also, love to put lavender with the eucalyptus.  

                                              Treating Lung & Chest Congestion
A hot water bottle placed over the back between the shoulder blades helps loosen up phlegm & deep-seated congestion in the chest. Wrap a hot water bottle in cotton flannel to keep in the heat. NOTE: Do NOT put Vicks or any Vapo-Rub type salve on babies chests. Sometimes, this is known to collapse already stopped up airways! Scary stuff!!  

                                                           What to Feed a Cold
 What & how much a sick child eats will greatly affect the degree of illness. All dairy products, especially milk & ice cream, tend to make the symptoms of a cold worse. Sugar-rich foods should be avoided, so should orange juice, in spite of what the ads say. A large ice-cold glass of orange juice, no matter how good it tastes, is very acidic & will create more mucus & congestion. Instead, try a hot lemonade made with fresh squeezed lemon juice, a pinch of ginger, and a little honey or maple syrup to sweeten. Lemons provide Vitamin C, are alkalizing, and will help prevent illness. Grandma’s chicken soup (or miso or vegetable broth, if vegetarian) is really the best thing to eat when you have a cold or flu. The mineral rich broth, fluid, and warmth are all beneficial. You an also add medicinal herbs directly to the soup base. For example, Astragalus, dandelion root, burdock root, Echinacea, & even ginseng can be added for extra strength, nourishment, and vitality. Tie the herbs up in the cheese cloth & simmer in the broth with the soup. Remove before serving.  

                                                  Tea for Lung and Chest Congestion
                                                         2 parts licorice root
                                                         1 part Echinacea
                                                         1 part elecampane
                                                         1 part cinnamon
                                                         ½ part ginger
You can adjust flavors by adding more licorice, cinnamon & ginger to formula if needed. Combine ingredients & store in airtight container. Follow directions for a decoction. See chart on dosage.  

                                               Cough Be Gone & Sore Throat Syrup
                                                          2 parts slippery elm bark
                                                          2 parts valerian
                                                          2 parts wild cherry bark
                                                          2 parts licorice root
                                                          4 parts fennel seeds
                                                          1 part cinnamon bark
                                                          ½ part gingerroot
                                                          1/8 part orange peel
 Combine all ingredients & store in airtight container. Make a decoction following instructions. When finished, prepare syrup as instructed. See chart for dosage.  

                                                                For Sore Throats
                              Make a strong infusion of the tea & gargle for sore throat.
                                                                 1 part yarrow
                                                                 1 part sage
                                                                 1 part comfrey leaf
                                                                 1 part thyme
                               Combine & make tea as a strong infusion. Gargle for 1 minute.  

                                                                    Diaper Rash
Most diaper rashes respond readily to natural therapy. If the diaper rash is persistent & does not respond to natural therapies, it could be a herpes-related virus or yeast-type fungus. Consult your holistic practitioner or pediatrician in such cases.  

                                                          Reasons for Diaper Rash
Harsh, irritating detergents can leave a sopa residue on the diapers. Simply change soaps. Use mild detergents such as, Charlie’s powder. NEVER use bleach. Irritating foods affect the child’s digestive system. Spicy foods, citrus fruits, and other high-acid foods are major irritants. Teething, fever, and other stress-related incidents cause toxins to be released in the child’s system, which can sometimes be manifested as diaper rashes or other skin-related problems. Not changing the diaper enough. Ammonia builds up and actually burns the baby’s skin. Using cloth diapers allows the baby’s bottom to breath & let in healing air. Tight plastic pants & disposable not changed frequently can cause problems. TAKE OFF THE DIAPERS WHEN THERE IS A DIAPER RASH. Let the baby’s bottom be exposed to the air to dry it up.

                                                                Bottoms Up Salve
 A good recipe for diaper rash, cuts, scrapes, & irritated skin. If you don’t have the time for steep for 2 weeks or if there’s not much sun, let the herbs steep in the olive oil in a double boiler over very low heat for several hrs. Check frequently to be sure the oil is not over heating & burning the herbs.
                                                             1 part comfrey leaf
                                                             1 part comfrey root
                                                             1 part St. John’s wort flower
                                                             1 part calendula flower
                                                             Olive oil
                                                             Grated beeswax
Combine the herbs & store in an airtight container. Make a solar infusion by steeping 2 oz. of the herb mixture in 1 pint of olive oil for 2 weeks. This will creat about 2 cups of herbal oil. At the end o 2 weeks, place mixture in a double boiler & warm for 1 hr. over VERY low heat. Strain. To each cup of warm herbal oil, add ¼ cup of grated beeswax. You might need ot warm the oil a little longer to melt the beeswax. When the beeswax is melter, check for desired consistency; place 1TBLSP. of the mixture in the refrigerator for a few minutes. If the salve is too hard, add a little more oil. If it’s too soft, add a little more beeswax. Pour into a glass far and seal tightly when cooled. The salve does not need ot be refrigerated and will last for month (or years) if stores in a cool area.  

                                                                      Baby Oil  
This is an excellent all-purpose oil & it is wonderful to rub on baby after baths. It also makes a great massage oil for babies
                                                             1 pint apricot or almond oil
                                                              ½ oz. chemical free roses
                                                              1 oz. chamomile
                                                              ½ oz. comfrey leaf
 Mix herbs & oils together & let sit in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid for 2 weeks in a warm, sunny spot. For a stronger oil, pour into the top of a double boiler. Slowly warm the mixture over very low heat for 1 hr. Strain & bottle. You may lightly scent with a few drops of pure essential oil such as lavender, rose, or chamomile. Use at room temperature only. Store in a cool place.  

                                                             Cradle Cap Oil
                                                             1 part dried nettle leaf
                                                             1 part chamomile flowers
                                                             1 part mullein leaf
                                                             Olive oil
                                                             Lavender essential oil
In a double boiler, combine herbs. Cover with olive oil. Cook over very low heat for about 1 hr. Strain and bottle. Add 1 drop of lavender essential oil to each ounce of herbal oil. Store in a cool area or the refrigerator. Oil should always be at room temperature before application. You can remove the “cap” & help regulate the activity of the sebaceous glands by gently massaging a mixture of the herbal oil in the scalp 2-3 times daily. Leave the oil mixture on overnight. The next morning the crust can be easily removed by gently massaging. Be sure no to pick at the scab or be too rough. Shampoo with a mild baby shampoo only when necessary.  
                                                             Tea for Cradle Cap  
                If cradle cap continues to be persistent, give the infant this warm herbal tea.
                                                          1 part red clover flower
                                                          1 part burdock root
                                                          1 part mullein leaf
Mix the herbs in airtight container until ready to use. Add 1 cup boiling water to 1 tsp. of herb mixture & steep for 30 min. Strain. Give the infant 2 tsp. of the tea 3-4 times daily for several weeks. Teething Often when a child has difficult teething, various symptoms will arise. Intermittent fever, diaper & other rashes, extreme crankiness, and diarrhea are not uncommon.  

                                                                 Catnip Tea
  This is an old standby for both child & parent during the teething times. Catnip is soothing to the nervous system & helps to relieve acute pain. The tea itself is not tasty, so you may wish to formulate with other gentle nerviness teas such as chamomile, rose, passionflower, or lemon balm

NOTE: This works WONDERS!!! We use it nearly every night to simply help both Audrey and I wind down. Nothing compares to it when Audrey is teething! She likes the taste of the tea, so we don’t mix it with any other teas.

                                                             High-Calcium Tea
 This blend is very helpful for all ages to give to the child throughout the teething period. It is effective if it is given several weeks or even months before teething begins. It supplies necessary calcium in a form that the body can easily digest & assimilate. Use it to supplement a natural diet rich in calcium.
                                                              1 part nettle
                                                              2 parts oats
                                                              1 part raspberry leaf
                                                              2 parts lemongrass
                                                              2 parts lemon balm
                                                              3 parts rose hips
                                                              ½ part cinnamon
                                                    Pinch of stevia to sweeten (optional)
  Combine herbs and store in an airtight container. Make a tea following directions for an infusion. Use the dosage chart to determine the amount used.

                                                                  Herbal Pops
Frozen catnip or chamomile pops are excellent for teething children to suck on. The cold helps numb the gums & relieves the pain.  

                                                            Seed Tea for Colic
                                                                1 part fennel
                                                                1 part dill
                                                                3 parts anise
                                                                3 parts chamomile
                                                                ¼ part catnip
                                                        A pinch of stevia to sweeten
 Mix the ingredients and store in an airtight container until ready to use. Infuse 1 TBLSP of mixture in 1 cup of boiling water and let sit covered for 45 minutes. Cool and strain. Give the infant teaspoon dosages every few minutes until colic pain ceases. This tea may also be given effectively in small doses before feeding time. Hyland Pharmacy has a homeopathic colic tablet that is very good. It is available in most nature food stores. Also, “Gripe” water is good for colic You can place your baby in a warm chamomile or lavender bath. If bottle fed, the baby can enjoy his feeding from the comfort of this soothing bath. You may relax the child’s stomach muscles by placing a towel that was soaked in hot bath tea, such as chamomile or lavender. Make sure the towel is warm NOT hot.  

                                                          Baby’s Bath Herbs  
                                            These herbs are something & relaxing
                                                        1 part chemical free roses
                                                        2 parts chamomile
                                                        2 parts calendula
                                                        1 part lavender
                                                        2 parts comfrey leaf
 Mix all herbs. Place a small handful of the mixture in a cotton bag. Add bag to baby’s bath, allowing the herbs to steep in the water. Use the fragrant herbal bag as a washcloth.

                                                  Garlic & Mullein Flower Oil  
One of the best herbal remedies for ear infections. It is important to treat both ears; the ear canals are connected & the infection can move back & forth. The oil will not only help fight infection, but also relieve the pain. Be absolutely sure the oil is warm not hot.
                   2 TBLSP. Mullein flowers (fresh flowers are best, but dried flowers may be substituted)
                                                     2 TBLSP. Chopped garlic
                                                              Olive oil
Place the garlic & mullein flowers in a double boiler or small saucepan. Add just enough olive oil to cover the herbs. Over very low heat, warm for 20-30 min. strain through a fine wire mesh strained lined with cheesecloth. To use: warm the oil in a teaspoon held over a candle or stove top. Warm only to the temperature of mother’s milk (about room temperature) Suction oil into a dropper & put several drops into the ear. Administer the warm herbal oil every 30 min. or as often as needed. Any extra oil will drain out on its own within a few minutes.  

                                  Chicken Pox, Measles, & Other Skin Eruptions
  This formula assists the body in warding off infection & lessens the uncomfortable effects of the rash                                      
                                                   1 part Echinacea root & tops
                                                   1 part astragalus root
                                                   2 parts oats (milky green tops)
                                                   1 part burdock root
 Follow the directions for making herbal syrups. At the onset of infection, administer 1 tsp. every hour until symptoms clear. Use 4-6 times daily during the course of an infection  

                                              Teas for Chicken Pox & Measles
                                                         1 part calendula
                                                         1 part red clover
                                                         2 parts oats (milky tops)
                                                         2 parts lemon balm
                                                         1 part passionflower
 Mix herbs & store in an airtight container. Add 1 C boiling water to 1 tsp. mixture & steep for 30 min. Strain, sweeten with stevia, honey, or maple syrup. Let the child drink as much as desired.  

                           Valerian-Burdock Tincture for Itching & Skin Rash
                                                1 part burdock root tincture
                                                1 part Echinacea root tincture
                                                1 part valerian root tincture
  Mix together. Give 1/8 tsp. tincture every 2 hrs. For some children, valerian acts as a stimulant. If you notice your child becoming more irritated & active after using it, discontinue immediately.

                                                        Oatmeal Bath  
Nothing is as soothing to itchy and irritated skin than a warm oatmeal bath. For extra comfort, place the strained oatmeal in a cotton bag or sock & add it to the bathwater. A couple of drops of lavender oil, in addition to being a relaxing nervine, has antibacterial & disinfectant properties.

 Prepare a big pot of oatmeal, adding 3 times as much water as usual. Cook for 5 min. Strain. Add the liquid to the bathwater.

                                                    Disinfectant Powder
 Mix up this herbal powder & keep on hand as a disinfectant. It can be sprinkled directly on oozing pox sores, helping ot dry them as well as preventing infection from setting in. You may also try sprinkling slippery elm powder over the sores. It’s so soothing & helps to stop itching.
                                                 1 oz. green clay
                                                 1 TBLSP. Comfrey root powder
                                                 1 TBLSP. Calendula flower, powdered
                                                 ½ tsp. goldenseal or chaparral powder
  Combine all ingredients. Sprinkle on skin sores to stop itching & promote drying. Store remaining powder in a shaker container or glass bottle with a tight fitting lid.

                                     Rescue Remedy Flower Essence Spritzer  
               Try spraying this spritzer in a child’s room to relieve stress & anxiety
                                3 ½ oz. distilled water 3 drops lavender essential oil
                                                 4 drops Rescue Remedy
                                                 1 TBLSP brandy
 Combine all ingredients in a 4 oz. spritzer bottle with a mister top. Shake before using. Use as a room spray as needed. NOTE: this works wonders!!!

                                            Suggested Dosages for Children

                                         When Adult Dose is 1 cup (8oz)

                           AGE                                                     DOSAGE
                     Younger than 2 years                                 1/2 to 1 teaspoon
                     2 to 4 years                                                2 teaspoons
                     4 to 7 years                                                1 tablespoon
                     7 to 11 years                                              2 tablespoon

                          When Adults Dose is 1 teaspoon, or 60 grains/drops

                          AGE                                                      DOSAGE
                     Younger than 3 months                             2 grains/drops
                     3 to 6 months                                            3 grains/drops
                     6 to 9 months                                            4 grains/drops
                     9 to 12 months                                          5 grains/drops
                     18 to 24 months                                        6 grains/drops
                     12 to 24 months                                        7 grains/drops
                     2 to 3 years                                                8 grains/drops
                     3 to 4 years                                               10 grains/drops
                     4 to 6 years                                               15 grains/drops
                     6 to 9 years                                               24 grains/drops
                     9 to 12 years                                             30 grains/drops                                    

           Herbal Teas

           The making of herbal tea is a fine art, but it is also blessedly simple.  For a medicinal tea to be effective, it must be administered in small amounts several times daily.  For chronic problems, serve the tea three or four times daily.  For acute ailments such as cold, fevers, and headaches, have the child take several small sips every half hour until the symptoms subside.  Use the dosage chart as a guideline for amounts.

          To make a tea, use one to three tablespoons of herb(s) for each cup of water.  The herb-to-water ratio varies with the quality of herbs being used, whether the herb is fresh or dried (fresh herbs are used in greater amounts than dried), and how strong you wish the tea to be.  There are several methods for making herbal teas.

             Infusions are made from the more delicate parts of the plant including the leaves, flowers, and aromatic parts.  Place the herb in a container with a tight-fitting lid, and pour boiling water over it.  Steep for 30 to 45 minutes.  The length of time you steep and the amount of herb you use will determine the strength of the tea.

            Decoctions are made from the more tenacious parts of the plants such as the roots and bark.  It's a little harder to extract the active constituents from these parts, so a slow simmer (or an overnight infusion) if often required.  Place herbs in a small saucepan and cover with cold water.  Bring to a slow simmer; cover and continue to simmer for approximately 20 minutes.  Again, the length of time you simmer plus the amount of herb used will have a direct effect on the strength of the tea.

           Solar and lunar infusions utilize the light of the sun and moon to extract the healing properties of the herbs.  Thisis one of my favorite methods of making herb tea.  Sometimes after I've prepared herb tea on my kitchen stove, I'll place it in the moonlight or sunlight to pick up some of the rays.  I believe we are children of the sky as well as the Earth and that using these energies in our healing work adds a special touch.
           When making solar tea, place herbs and water in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid.  Place directly in the hot sunlight for several hours.  For lunar tea, herbs can be placed in an open container (unless there are a lot of night flying bugs around!) and positioned directly in the path of the moonlight.  Lunar tea is subtle and magical; it is whispered that fairies love to drink it. 

Herb Candy
          To make herbal candy:
           1.  Grind raisins, dates, apricots, and walnuts in a food processor or grinder.  Alternatively, you can mix nut butter (such as peanut, almond, or cashew) with honey in equal portions, then proceed with the rest of the steps.  Note: If you're concerned about the use of honey in small children (due to report of botulism poisoning) then use maple syup, rice syrup, or maple cream.
          2.  Stir in shredded coconut (the unsweetened type found in natural foods stores) and carob powder
          3. Mix in the herb powders well. (Determine the dosage of herb by using the chart above. Divide the candy into once-daily dosages.
          4.  Roll mixture into balls.  Roll again in powdered carob or coconut.  Store in refrigerator.

          Because they are sweet, children often prefer their medicine in syrup form.  Syrups are delicious, concentrated extracts of the herbs cooked into a sweet medicine including honey and/or fruit juice.  Vegetable glycerin may be substituted for honey.  It is an excellent medium for the herbs and is very nutritious.
                 To make syrup:
                  1.  Use 2 ounces of herb mixture to 1 quart of cold water.  Over low heat, simmer the liquid down to 1 pint.  This will give you a very concentrated, thick tea.
                  2. Strain the herbs from the liquid.  Compost the herbs and pour the liquid back into the pot.
                  3.  To each pint of liquid, add 1 cup of honey (or other sweetener such as maple syrup, vegetable glycerin, or brown sugar).  Most recipes call for 2 cups of sweetener (a1:1 ratio of sweetener to  liquid), but I find it far too sweet.  In the days when refrigeration wasn't common, the added sugar helped to preserve the syrup.
                 4.  Warm the honey and liquid together just enough to mix well.  Most recipes call for cooking the honey and tea together for 20-30 minutes more, but this method cooks the living enzymes out of the honey.
                5.  Remove from the heat and bottle for use.  You may wish to add a fruit concentrate to flavor, a coupe drops of essential oil such as peppermint or spearmint, or a small amount of brandy to help preserve the syrup and aid as a relaxant in cough formulas.  Syrups will last for several weeks, even months, if refrigerated.

           Tinctures are concentrated extracts of herbs.  They are taken simply by diluting a few drops of the tincture in warm water or juice.  Most tinctures are made with alcohol as the primary solvent or extractant.  Though the mount of alcohol is very small, many people choose not to use alcohol-based tinctures for a variety of reasons.  Effective tinctures can be made using either vegetable glycerin or apple cider vinegar as the solvent.  Though they may not be as strong as alcohol based preparations, they are perfectly suited to children.
           Some of the alcohol in tinctures can be removed by placing the tincture in boiling water for five to ten minutes.  This method removes only about 50 percent of the alcohol, however.  Since alcoholic tinctures are quite concentrated, it is very important when giving them to children to follow the recommended dosage on the bottle or the guidelines on the dosage chart.  Remember, less is often best.
          If choosing alcohol as your solvent, select one that contains 80-100 proof alcohol such as vodka, gin, or brandy.  Half of the proof number is the percentrage ofalcohol in the spirits: 80 proof brandy contains 40 percent alcohol, 100 proof vodka contain 50 percent alcohol.
          There are several methods used to make tinctures. The traditional or Simpler's method is the one I perfer.  It is an

I give credit where credit it due:
Gladstar, Rosemary. Herbal Remedies for Children’s Health. North Adams: Storey Publishing, 1999  
(I highly suggest you get this AMAZING book!!)

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