tips from a-z


A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


Allergies | Asthma | Breastfeeding | Bruises | Cereal | Conception/pregnancy | Discipline and Boundaries | Diapers | Diarrhea | Ear Infections | Echinacea | Eczema | Eye infections (minor) | Facial Diagnosis | Flatulence | Food, Family and Happiness | Ginger pack | Healthy Food | Household products | Immunizations | Juices | Kuzu for healing | Love | Massage your baby | Milk/rice milk-soy milk | Mosquitos | Organics | Oils | Palm Healing | Peanut butter | Potty Training | Pregnancy | Quinoa | Sugar | Sunscreen | Surprising Healthy Snacks | Tea | Toothpaste | Toilet training | Underwear | Vegetables | Warren King link to site | Yoga for Children


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There are many factors and reasons that your children may have allergies, be it allergies to food or allergens in the air, but some can be healed with a small adjustment to diet, and obviously ridding the particular food causing the allergy. It is best to seek a healer that is specifically trained with allergies.

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Here are a few ideas that can't hurt in your battle against allergies:

1. Eliminate all sugar and dairy from diet. Sometimes eliminating sugars can relieve many allergies.

2. Salt bath – add a cup or so of salt (sea salt is fine) to your bathtub and soak.

3. Nasal wash with warm saltwater – simply inhale warm saltwater through the nose. Sometimes it's easiest to do one nostril at a time. This technique is good for cleaning out sinuses. (not to easy with kids!)

4. Sea Vegetables (seaweed) – Kids especially like Nori. My son loves it toasted as a snack. Sea Vegetables purify our body by eliminating the acidic effects of many of the foods today. Sea vegetables also help to dissolve fat and mucus deposits caused by excessive consumption of meat, dairy foods and sugars.

Healer: Dr. Warren King - visit his website for more information.


There are quite a few ideas for clearing Asthma, but it is a serious problem and should be watched closely. Obtaining a practitioner to help you in your quest to heal Asthma is essential.

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Here are some things to try:

1. See Ginger Compress - A ginger compress can be very helpful in Asthma cases.

2. Black Soybeans - cooked properly black soybeans can help coughs and asthma, it is also good for reproductive organs (both male and female). Here is a short description on how to cook Black Soybeans properly.

Wash the beans well and soak them for about 10 hours (you can also add a piece of Kombu while soaking). Bring the beans to a boil and cook for two hours. Pour the beans into a strainer and wash with cold water. Return the beans to the pot and add cold water, and continue boiling for another 2-4 hours. Then add tamari or salt and boil for another 15-20 minutes. These beans will last in the refrigerator for about a week.

3. Lotus Root Tea - can help coughing, colds, sinus and lung problems. It is very simple to make and can be purchased in a powder form. 1 tsp of lotus power per person per serving added to a small cup of water and a pinch of seasalt, you can also add 2-3 drops of ginger juice.

4. Also eliminating sugar and dairy from the diet is essential for healing asthma.

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There are enough surprises and frustrations that go along with breastfeeding, and losing your milk can completely send you off the deep end. It did for me, that is. My son Sander was only 6 months and we took a trip to New Mexico. Sander had a cold, so I was not sleeping well, and traveling threw off my schedule enough that I forgot to eat and drink fluids sufficiently, not to mention the dryness of New Mexico. Then I got a cold as well. By the time we got back from that trip, my milk was all but gone. One night when Sander woke up for his nightly feeding, I could tell there was nothing there. I got very upset, woke up my husband and started crying (the worst thing I could do... loose even more fluid). After getting over my state of panic, we made rice cream at home, (click more to see recipe) instead of opting for formula, and Sander loved it.

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In the meantime I was still frantic to get my milk back, because I knew that I could. I called friends in Italy to help (because it was 3:00 am in New York and 9:00 am in Italy). They suggested that I eat the rice cream as well, eat as much Mochi as I could, make my dinners with Millet, and stop crying and try to relax. In the morning I got up and went directly to a La Leache League meeting with Sander. It just felt good to be around other breastfeeding mothers. I told them about my problem and they were so helpful, I really knew my milk would come back, and it did. On the second day there it was, Sanders milk. We had to continue to use the rice cream a little and I had to pump to stimulate milk production. My milk came back full flow within no time.

Recipes and Tips:

Mochi - pounded sweet rice is one of the best things to eat during breastfeeding. You can buy Mochi in any health food store, in the refridgerated section. Cut Mochi into 1x1 squares and put them in the oven on a cookie sheet, when the "pop" they are ready to eat. My son loves mochi as well, it was one of the first things that he ate when he started solids.

Amasake - A grain sweetener that is a delicious drink, can also help breastmilk production. It is also available in health food stores.

Rice Cream - In a large pot combine 3/4 cup organic brown rice, 3/4 cup organic barley, an umeboshi plum and a small piece of Kombu. Fill pot with water and cook for five hours on smallest flame possible. After five hours skim off top (rice cream), put through strainer, and combine with warm spring water for baby's milk. The bottom (we call it rice mush) can be eaten with vegetables (savory) or with a puree of adzuki beans (sweet). It may not be good the first time but then you might crave it later!


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If you want to take it on and you have lots of energy it's a great idea to make your own rice cream cereal for your baby. It's not “simple and easy”, but it's not that difficult either!

When making cereal (or homemade rice cream), use approximately four parts brown rice (short grain), three parts sweet brown rice, and one part barley. Millet and oats may be included from time to time.

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To prepare rice cream cereal:

Soak the cereals overnight. Cook soaked cereal with a small piece of kombu (kombu will come out when straining) with--there are two options--option 1: ten times more water and cook for five hours on low heat with flame tamer, or option 2: using only five times more water cook in a pressure cooker for 1 1/2 hours (use a medium low flame after the grain comes to pressure).

When preparing the rice cream cereal for a newborn or a very small baby, place the cooked mixture into a cheesecloth sack and strain it to remove the bran. Then, it can be sweetened by adding one teaspoon of barley malt or high quality rice syrup to one cup of grain milk. Heat the sweetened mixture and simmer for several minutes before use.

When preparing rice cream cereal for an older baby, after the mixture has finished cooking, put it into a hand food mill (or suribanchi) and mash it thoroughly. It's best not to use an electric blender or mixer. You can add a small amount of grain sweetener, to give the mixture a similar taste to breast milk.

Once it has been prepared with the proper taste and consistency, heat the rice cream cereal to about body temperature and put it into a baby bottle. This rice cream mixture can be stored in a class jar and reheated before subsequent feedings. If the mixture does not flow freely through the nipple you can dilute the mixture with water and try to strain again with cheesecloth.
As children get older this mixture can be served thicker with toasted and crushed sesame seeds, or with small steamed and chopped carrots.

Just as a note – I like to eat rice cream myself when I don't feel well, it is something that always puts me back on track. I make it the same as above, but I add two-three umeboshi plums while cooking. Then I eat it with pureed adzuki beans…it's really delicious!

Conception / pregnancy

Longing for a Baby
Organic Style Magazine
July/August 2004 issue
Written by Dorothy Foltz-Gray

For infertile women, alternative treatments are offering new hope.

When Shaye Henderson of Glaveston, Texas, and her husband, Richard, started trying for a second child in July 2001, they were optimistic. After all, nine years before, Shaye got pregnant the first time they tried. So it was a jolt when they couldn't conceive. “Both of us are active and fit, and we don't feel like we're in our forties,” says Shaye, wo was 42 at the time. (Richard was 44.) “Why wouldn't we get pregnant?” After six months of trying, the couple headed to an endocrinologist. The problem, the doctor told them, was simply this: Shaye was old. Up to age 30, women have a 20 percent chance of conceiving naturally each month. By age 40, the chances drop to five percent.

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Shaye and Richard tried in vitro fertilization (which involves fertilizing eggs in the Petri dish and placing them in the uterus for 10 months. After a devastating miscarriage, they decided to pursue an unexpected path that's attracting an increasing number of couples: acupuncture, herbs, and mind-body medicine. “You get into a desperate mode,” Shaye says. “I felt I'd do whatever I had to.”

Such anguish is the horm, along withi anger and frustration, says psychotherapist Mary Jane White, director of Wellness Works in Houston, a private infertility clinic. “By the time women seek out alternative treatments, they are worn out from stress and pressure. Most have already tried everything” she says. With the relatively low cost and promising results of alternative treatments, many women are coming to the same conclusion as the Hendersons: Why not give it a shot?

Conception / pregnancy


Shaye's situation is all too common. More women than ever are waiting until their late thirties and early fourties before they try to get pregnant – 20 percent of women 35 to 39 were childless in 2002, compared with 10 percent in 1976, according to the U.S. Census Report on Fertility in American Women. Approximately 10 percent of American men and women who want a baby are unable to conceive after a year of trying; about 90 to 95 percent of childless couples turn to Western medicine for answers—opting for drugs, surgery, or assisted reproductive technology, procedures that place sperm in the owman, use donated eggs, or retrieve, fertilize, and reimplant eggs. From 1996 to 2001, the number of Western medical interventions performed for infertility rose 66 percent, to 107,587. Helping women conceived has become a high-tech industry, pulling in $4 billion a year.

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Whichever method they choose, and infertile couple confronts though odds. One cycle of in vitro fertilization, for example, has a 30 percent chance of succeeding for a woman under age 35. But after age 40 the chances plummet to as low as six percent. One cycle of intrauterine insemination, a simpler procedure (costing from $300 to $700 per insemination) in which sperm is directly inserted into the uterus, averages a 15 to 20 percent success rate, again depending on age and the reason for treatment. Such medical protocols, often not covered by insurance, can be hugely expensive. In vitro fertilization costs between $10,000 and $25,000 per attempt. The psychological burden is also bruising.

Each month is a roller coaster,” says Diane Clapp, R.N., medical information directory of Resolve, a national infertility association based in Somerville, Massachusetts. “You hope that this time will work, and then you crash when it doesn't. Than begins to wear you out emotionally.” It's tough on a marriage too: Lovemaking turns to sex on demand, and a husband can be confused by his wife's misery.

In addition, the fertility drugs used in many assisted-reproductive technologies can be risky to take. About 53 percent of these procedures result in multiple births, which carry a higher risk of death for an infant and complications for the mother. Then there are the drugs' possible side effects, such as ovarian cysts, hot flashes, nausea, weight gain, headaches, and fatigue. In one out of 100 IVF procedures, women can develop severe ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome. The result is fluid and electrolyte imbalances that can endanger liver and kidney function, cause blood clots, and (rarely) lead to death. Clomid, a commonly prescribed drug that boosts egg production, has been associated with ovarian tumors and ovarian cancer in women who use it for more than a year. Another egg-producing drug, human menopausal gonadotropin, may double or triple the risk of breast cancer in women taking it for six months or more.

Like 10 percent of infertile couples, Shaye and Richard had unexplained infertility; a monthlong series of tests yielded normal results. Their doctor recommended intrauterine insemination, in which Richards's sperm would be inserted into Shaye's uterus. Over the course of six procedures, Shave took both Clomid and human menopausal gonadotropin. She knew the possible cancer risks, “but I felt so desperate for the procedure to work,” she says, “that I put up with almost anything to get my ‘old' eggs to grow.”

During each week she expected to ovulate, Shaye took triops to her doctor every three to four days—more than an hour round-trip—for ultrashounds and blood work to pinpoint the timing of ovulation. Says Shaye: “At one point I was afraid for anyone to see the veins in my arms, they were so pocked with needle marks.” On ovualtion day, when riochard needed to donate sperm, they had to go to the clinic separately so that one of them could stay home to care for their son. “Richard and I were never even in the same room when I was inseminated,” Shaye says. “It was very lonely.”

After a miscarriage and then six ,ore months without a pregnancy, Shaye and Richard were brokenhearted. Their marriage was weighted with sadness. Shaye felt increasingly isolated; they had told no family members and few friends that they were trying to have a baby. “I didn't have anyone to talk to about what was happening to me,” she says. “And I didn't know anyone who had gone through it.”

Conception / pregnancy


In October 2002, Shaye began researching infertility on the Internet and stumbled across the name of Randine Lewis, Ph.D., an acupuncturist based in Houston at the time; she had a background in both Western and Chinese medicine. “I was ecstatic that she was only 50 miles away,” Shaye says. “But what struck me as soon as we met was that to her, I wasn't a protocol. I was a woman hurting, and she was going to help me.”

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Lewis, author of The Infertility Cure, agreed to see the Hendersons right away at Eastern Harmony Medical Acupuncture Clinic, an infertility clinic she founded in 1999 that specializes in acupuncture and herbal treatments (she has since moved to Asheville, North Carolina). Her success rate was impressive: About 75 percent of the approximately 1,000 women Lewis has been at both her Houston clinic and her three-month fertility-enhancing retreats have given birth (some were pursuing assisted-reproductive technology and other therapies simultaneously).

Since there early 1990's, an increasing number of studies have pointed to reasons why acupuncture may work. For one thing, it significantly increases the blood flow to the uterus, helping the uterine lining to nourish a fetus. Other studies suggest that acupuncture can renormalize hormone secretions that effect ovulation. It can also relax the uterus, making it easier for an egg to stay put. In fact, in a widely accepted 2002 German study of women undergoing assisted reproductive technology, 43 percent of participants also using acupuncture because pregnant, compared with 26 percent of those using only reproductive medicine “Acupuncture improves blood flow in the uttering artery, creating better receptivity for implantation,” explains Judith Balk, M.D., an ob-gyn and medical acupuncturist at the University of Pittsburgh. But acupuncture affects more than the uterus. Adds Bald: “It releases endorphins, leaving people relaxed, even sleepy. By changing some stress reactions in the body through mind-body exercises, it produces a much better state for getting pregnant.”

Lewis, however, doesn't rely on needles alone. She also offers herbal remedies that regulate hormones, mixes of 10 to 15 carefully vetted, pesticide-free herbs per capsule that she assembles for patients indivisually. “We find out what each person's pattern of imbalance is,” she says. “And then we make up formulas that address those imbalances.”

Some traditional practitioners are uncomfortable with using herbs because they are not regulated and may do harm. Research at Loma Linda University, in California, shows that some herbs that are marketed for infertility—Saint-John's-wort, Echinacea, ginkgo bilboa—may decrease the ability of eggs and sperm to fertilize. Other research indicates that Saint-John's-wort may make fertility medication less effective. “It's very important for patients to realize that herbs and medicines,” says Mark P. Leondires, M.D., medical director at the Center for Advanced Reproductive Medicine in Norwalk, Connecticut. “Herbs have not been tested with the same rigor as toher medications.”

Conception / pregnancy


Shaye continued taking herbs, but she had to discontinue the acupuncture treatment because it was too expensive. Typical treatments run from $85 to $200 per session (minimal recommended treatment is once a week for three months). In March 2003, six IVF procedures and $2,500 of the Hendersons' own money later (Shaye did have some insurance coverage), her doctor called it quits, telling Shaye that at 44 she was too old for in vitro fertilization to work.

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“I was devastated and depressed,” Shaye says. “My stress was off the Richter scale.” Shaye was also grieving for the 16 months she and her husband had lost, robbed by an increasingly punishing pursuit of a baby. Then Randine Lewis suggested Shaye attend a 10-week behavioral-treatment program (exercise, nutrition, group therapy, and once-a-week mind-body sessions) that was run at the time by psychotherapist Mary Jane White at Wellness wroks in Houston.

White's program is based on one developed in 1987 by psychologist Alice Domar, who was one of the first to investigate using mind-body techniques to treat infertile women. “I wouldn't get the first three women who signed up for my study to stop crying long enough to fill out the forms,” she says. Their grief was so palpable it drove Domar to create the world's first mind-body program for infertile women. The results astonished her: “They came in depressed, and within 10 weeks they became psychologically healthy again. A third of them got pregnant. These were women who had been trying to conceive for more than three years.

Numerous studies document the effect of depression on the ability to conceive. A study by Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, for example, found that depressed women were twice as likely to be infertile as women who were not depressed. Another study indicated that depressed women had abnormalities with the luteinizing hormone necessary for ovulation. “There are a lot of things that can happen when you have ongoing stress,” White explains. “You can disrupt hormonal balance, have fallopian tube or cervical spasms, or shut down ovulation. If your body is having a fight-or-flight response, everything inside it is gripped.”

Since her program's debut, Domar has documented that women struggling to conceive are as depressed as those with life-threatening illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, and HIV. She has found that alleviating depression can help at least some women become pregnant. In her 2000 study of 184 women, more than half of those I in a support group or a cognitive-behavioral group conceived and had a baby, compared with only 20 percent of those in the control group. But for Domar something more important happened: These women, pregnant or not, got their lives back.

Conception / pregnancy


Not everyone who enters these programs conceives. Catherine (not her real name), a 33-year-old physical therapist from Chicago, has been trying to get pregnant for two years. Like Shaye, she took fertility drugs, suggered a miscarriage, and then learned about Lewis and White's three-month fertility workshops in Asheville. Much of Catherine's relief has come from meeting other owmen who understand her. “I've felt an overwhelming sense of power in sharing my experience within the safe embrace of women also trying to conceive,” she says. “I don't thing bringing my stressed-out, imbalanced body to the table gives doctors much chance of helping me.” When Shaye entered White's mind-body program, all she wanted was to feel better. “I went into this not as a last desperate hope to get pregnant but as a way to put my head on straight again,” she says. “I wanted off this infertility roller coaster.”

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Because of the fertility workshop's cost-$925-Shaye couldn't afford additional acupuncture treatments, although she continued taking the herbs Lewis prescribed. For two-and-a-half hours weekly, she and 10 other women learned stress-coping skills and relaxation techniques such as deep breathing. They practiced meditation and yoga. They worked at focusing on what was going well in their lives instead of seeing only failure.

“Every week I insist that they tell me one really good thing,” White says. “Not about fertility but about their garden, a good dinner, a vacation. I'm trying to get them to put fertility into perspective.” For Shaye, such an assignment was tough. Initially she felt she had nothing good to report. “When Shaye came into my program, she was so depressed she couldn't figure out what to do next,” White says. “She cried throughout our initial evaluation.” But gradually, the permission to resume living transformed her. Within weeks, Shaye brightened. And she began riding horses, a childhood dream. “I was taking care of my family again, and I was okay with not having another child”, she says. Shaye finished White's program in June 2003 feeling relaxed and at ease: “I was back to being grateful for the beautiful family I had, and I was living everyday with them instead of living every day as a cycle day number X.” On August 17, her period was one day late. “I did a home pregnancy test, and there it was—positive.” The couple's baby boy Caden, whom she calls “our little miracle,” was born April 20, 2004. As Shaye says, “It is a very happy ending—and beginning.

Conception / pregnancy


For more information on alternative treatments for infertility, try:

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Fertility Enhancing Retreats, Led by Randine Lewis and Mary Jane White, in Asheville, North Carolina, and Tucson, Arizona. 800-551-5947 or

Wellness Works, individual therapy from Mary Jane White, in Houston. 713-874-1878 or

The Eastern Harmony Acupuncture, and Herbal Clinic in Houston, run by Sadhna Singh, 713-529-1610 or

The Mind/Body center for Women's Health at Boston IVF, directed by Alice Domar, with six locations in Massachusetts. 888-718-3717 or

The Sher Institutes for Reproductive Medicine, run by Geoffrey Sher, M.D., has seven treatment centers across the country, some of which offer acupuncture services in addition to IVF. 800-780-7437 or

The International Council on Infertility Information Dissemination, in Arlington, Virginia. 703-379-9178 or

For information about Western fertility treatments, contact:

Resolve, The National Infertility Association in Sommerville, Massachusetts. 888-623-0744 or

The American Infertility Association in New York City. 888-917-3777 or

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine in Birmingham, Alabama. 205-978-5000 or

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Discipline and Boundaries



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Ear Infections

Ear infections are one of the most common problems with young kids today. There are so many possibilities as to the cause of an ear infection that it is important to consult your doctor first, before trying these and all natural remedies. Some doctors, like mine, are interested to hear these ideas and curious for me to tell them if they work!

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The ears are a common site for the accumulation of fat, mucus, and other excessive factors in the body, as are lungs, bronchi, and sinuses. More often than not the cause of the accumulation is poor diet. So you need to watch your diet or that of your kids when they experience ear problems. Replace all dairy products with vegan alternatives. There are so many types of milk to try and I am sure you will find one that your child will like instead of cows milk, some ideas to try are: rice milk, soy milk, almond milk, oat milk, and many others…most have the same amount of calcium (sometimes even more) than cows milk. Watch the effect of this change in diet, but dairy products are slow to exit the bodies system so give this new dairy free diet a chance to take effect.

Natural Remedies for Ear Infection:

Garlic has a long history of healing that dates back to the ancient Romans. The remedy is as simple as taking a small piece of garlic clove (peeled and clean). Wrap the garlic in cheesecloth, put a couple drops of sesame or olive oil on it and stick it in the inflamed ear. Be sure to visit your doctor and discuss this remedy before trying it out on your children.

Mix an equal amount of tofu and mashed leafy greens in a suribanchi. Add 10 to 20 percent whole wheat pastry flour and spread on cheesecloth or linen. Apply to the head directly behind the painful ear. Replace with a fresh plaster when the application becomes warm.

See separate section under “palm healing”


Echinacea is one of those things that has not necessarily been proven to work for all children (and grown-up for that matter). So you should talk to your doctor to see if he suggests it for your particular situation. There are so many cases for both sides. It has worked well for our family, and we use it for most winter colds, during travel, and when all the kids at daycare are sick.

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Just remember to only take Echinacea for two weeks at a time, then you must go off it for a period of time because it will become ineffective. Doses are usually listed on the bottle. We really like the Weleda brand just because we use Weleda for most of our homeopathic needs (as well as toothpaste for kids, creams, oils and lotions).

Our doctor also suggested the fizzy vitamin drinks to boost the vitamin C intake when a cold is looming. They now make them just for children, and the flavors are perfect for kids.


Eye Infections (Minor)

I don’t espouse to have all the information but I do want to share this little story, just in case the same thing happens to you. Now this is just an “idea” and absolutely NOT medical advice in any way. If you find yourself with an eye infection and you can see a doctor, by all means that is what you should do, go to a doctor! But we didn’t have the means, and this remedy happened to work in this case.

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My husband and I were visiting friends in Italy for Christmas. It was all in all not a very good trip. I had already been in Italy for some time working with my friends, and my husband arrived just in time for the holidays, with an eye infection. We had all been working pretty hard, we were crabby, he arrived tired and with this red tearing eye. We just knew it was the start of an unusual holiday.

We all sat down to dinner that first evening and the topic of discussion was “the eye infection”, my friends are wonderful people, but they just wouldn’t let go. My Italian friends 80-year-old father was at the dinner and he suggested to pee in the eye. So we all came to the conclusion that he should pee in his eye twice a day, and that would clear up the infection. This was an odd concept, but not a new one, knowing my friends, so my husband decided he was game for this particular healing remedy. It is only suggested for people in good health, that eat well and take care of themselves. And fortunately my husband does, pretty much, fall into that category.

So it started that night, he pee’d into a cup and used an eyedropper to put his pee into his eye. We both remember it was only about 24 hours before it cleared up. We thought that was pretty miraculous, but none of us had ever had anything like it before so we didn’t have a real gauge. The trip went onto be a mild success, as a diversion from work, we ran off to Venice together and it was very romantic. Venice in the winter is not to be believed!

Do you have an off the wall remedy that really worked for you? Just send it in and we will test it out, just kidding, we will print it…just in case someone else finds themselves in the same predicament…

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Facial Diagnosis


Just wanted to let you know that most flatulence comes from sugar as well as the infamous bean. Since many people are so afraid of beans for their infamous relation to flatulence, maybe some people will quit sugar for that very same reason!

If you are lactose intolerant you will find that ice cream can send your friends and partners running!
If you do have problems with beans, make sure that you are soaking them properly, and use a piece of Kombu seaweed in your soaking water. The Kombu will add minerals and also make your beans easier to digest.

Food, Family and Happiness

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Ginger Pack

Ginger Compress
By Linda Redmond

This is a very useful bit of advice if you have children, especially if they suffer from colds, bronchitis or asthma. It works very well to clear the lungs. It doesn't cost anything but time with your sick child and about $1 for a piece of ginger. My kids actually request it when they get a cold, they love the soothing feeling and care that they get from their mom, and it is a very satisfying feeling to know you are doing something to help them in their time of need. For the recipe, click more

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1. Grate up a small piece of ginger (preferably organic) until you have a piece about the size of a golf ball.

2. Put it into a tea ball or wrap in cheesecloth and tie it up.

3. Put into a big pot of water.

4. Boil and then simmer for about 9 minutes.

5. Dip the middle of a towel into the hot tea and wring out excess.

6. Slowly, so as not to burn the back, lay the hot towel on their upper back, lung area.

7. Cover with another towel to keep it hot.

8. Let the towel rest on their back for about 10 minutes.

9. Repeat steps five thru eight 3 or 4 times.

You can do this for an hour and then take a break, and repeat maybe 3 times a day. It seems to be very effective in the evening. It's nice to know that your kids can rely on their mom and not a prescription to make them feel better. I promise they will love the attention and their lungs will clear up as well. If you are interested in healing asthma, send me an email to, and use "healing asthma" for the subject.

As with any remedy it is important that you let your pediatrician know that you are using a ginger compress for your child. If they are a good pediatrician they will probably want to hear about your results, if not and you get laughed at, maybe it’s time to visit a new pediatrician that is more sensitive to using natural remedies.

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Healthy Food

Rule number one is that “healthy food” is not usually healthy food if is says so on the label, it’s healthy food if you made it yourself. Some of the worst enemies for kids are processed foods and it’s all around them, so try your best not to feed it to them as a meal. Use whole foods, with as little processing as possible and learn to cook healthy and happy, you will see a response in your children immediately. Your children will be more awake, alive and filled with wholesome energy.

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The next step to eating and living healthy is to use organic ingredients when possible. Organics have come a long way to being regulated since 2002, when standardized labeling was put into place. People that give the excuse that the organic label doesn’t mean anything are just using it as an excuse, so support Organic farming and buy organic products. Vote with your dollar and buy organic, at least for your kids. The following regulated labels began appearing on your grocer's shelves in October 2002, and are the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Organic Rule.

* 100% Organic: These foods must contain, excluding water and salt, only organically produced ingredients. The USDA seal can be used on these packages.

* Organic: These foods must consist of at least 95 percent organically produced ingredients, excluding water and salt. The USDA seal can be used on these packages.

* Made with organic ingredients: Processed products that contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients can use this phrase and list up to three of the organic ingredients or food groups on the principal display panel. The USDA seal cannot be used on these packages, but the percentage of organic content and the certifier's seal or mark may be used. The nonorganic ingredients (30 percent or less) may not be genetically engineered or include other prohibited methods such as irradiation or fertilization with sewage sludge. Products made with less than 70 percent organic ingredients can only identify organic ingredients in the ingredient statement and cannot use the USDA organic seal or a certifier's seal or mark.

* Transitional: The "transitional organic" label is not allowed under the national organic rule at this time. In the past, this label has been used to signify that a farmer is using organic methods but hasn't reached the three-year pesticide-free requirement. Under the new rule, however, the USDA is not allowing it.

Guidelines from
See also “Organics” on our Tips from A to Z

Household Products

It’s so easy to change to natural cleaning products, they smell better, they clean just the same as traditional toxic cleaning products and you won’t be harming the planet. With kids it’s really one less thing to worry about, I don’t feel so bad cleaning around my son because the smells are not toxic and strong. Actually most of the natural products today smell great! There is Seventh Generation, Ecover and Heathers natural and organic cleaning products, they are available in natural foods stores.

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Just a note about health food stores, they are great and full of interesting people. It’s a fun experience and since most moms and families switch to organic foods when they have children the stores are always full of families and children. It makes shopping more fun.

There are so many cleaning products that you can make with vinegar, baking soda, and other simple kitchen items. There have been many books written on the subject. Share any cleaning tips you may have and we will add them to this section!

– I use salt to clean my pots and pans. Take a bunch of salt and a bit of water and scrub away, you will be amazed how fast stains come out, this works particularly great for coffee and tea stains.

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The rule is to water down store bought juice by at least 50%. This will save you money and save your kids teeth. It’s hard to understand why so much sugar is added to juices, and even 100% apple juice should be watered down, if you aren’t already doing it, start now, your kids will complain at first but they will get used to it.

It’s as simple as that!

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Kuzu for Healing

Kuzu is a simple drink/tea that tastes great (well my husband thinks it takes a bit of getting used to), it keeps you warm from the inside out, it helps to fight illness and gives you strength and vitality. It’s great for an upset stomach or poor digestion. I have yet to get my son to drink it, but you never know what kids will like so try it on your kids. Click more for the recipe.

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You will need:

-kukicha twig tea
-umeboshi plum (it comes in the form of pickled plums or paste)
-ginger root
-Tamari or Shoyu

Make your twig tea, in the meantime dissolve 1 tsp (or 1 tbsp for grown-ups) kuzu in 1/4 cup cold water. Add kuzu to your twig tea and bring to a light simmer (kuzu will be cloudy), add a piece of the plum or a 1/2 tsp paste and stir constantly until the kuzu becomes clear. Turn off heat and add approx. 1 tsp grated ginger and 2-3 drops of Tamari.

Visit the website of Warren King L.Ac. He explains in more detail and with some additional suggestions the Kuzu drink. His website is great for information on healing and children.

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Massage Your Baby

Milk // Rice Milk // Soy Milk

There are so many options, and that is what we really need to remember. So many people feel that they can use Soy or Rice milk if their children have problems digesting with Cows Milk. Fact is Soy and Rice milk have just as much Calcium and Vitamins A, B12, and D as cows milk (it says so on the box!), and you can buy the enriched version for your kids just to be sure. Whenever someone asks me why my son does not drink cows milk I just say, “Well, he is not a cow, that’s why”. There are way too many unknowns about cow’s milk these days, especially cow’s milk that is not organic. The amount of drugs poured into dairy cows, be it pesticides or antibiotics, not to mention the mucus that cows milk inhibits, make me wonder why anyone still uses cows milk. No wonder the milk industry needed such a large advertising campaign…got milk?

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My son Sander has never had cows milk, and as well, has never had stomach problems, never thrown up as a child, and has never had gas problems. If you are still worried about calcium you will find that Nori is a great treat for kids, I haven’t met a kid yet that doesn’t like it (just toast it and tear off pieces from the sheet). Another great source of calcium is Broccoli, Kale and then there is always yoghurt! You’ve never had anything as good as your favorite morning cereal with rice milk, or oatmeal made with rice milk is delicious (just add a little organic rice syrup and your kids will love it)! As always you need to check with your pediatrician to see what is right for your family, but it’s worth the asking!


Mosquito season is just around the corner and with the risk of West Nile Virus it is particularly important to guard ourselves from these pesky pests. One simple way to help keep the mosquito count down is to create safe havens for bats to live around your home. Bats consume up to several thousand insects per night, and mosquitoes are a particular favorite (checkout for more information). Growing the right flowers and herbs around your favorite outdoor areas will also help. Natural Home magazine (May/June 2004 issue) had a list of 8 natural and safe ways to keep mosquitoes at bay. With these easy no-nonsense tips those unwanted mosquitoes will be out of sight, and out of your hair!

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8 Safe Ways To Beat Mosquitoes

With West Nile virus scare season upon us, health officials are bidding folds to apply toxic, DEET-containing mosquito repellents. Though effective at stopping bites, DEET can cause seizures in young children and is unadvisable for infants and pregnant or lactating women. Why not try natural alternatives?

1. Ban bug breeding. Eliminating areas of standing water such as clogged gutters and birdbaths denies mosquitoes breeding grounds.

2. Go natural. A number of nontoxic, botanical insect repellents are sold in health food stores. These products should be reapplied every thirty minutes or so to remain effective.

3. Deploy soy. Repellents containing soybean oil reportedly protect against mosquitoes for about ninety minutes—comparable to DEET.

4. Sick’em with citronella and geranium. Candles containing these aromatic oils keep bloodsuckers away from decks and patios. Another option: a spray machine that periodically releases plant oils into the air.

5. Grow repellent herbs. Plant flowerpots with geranium, lemon balm, catnip, basil, lemon thyme, and lemongrass. Crush the herb and rub on your skin. (First, test a small area to determine skin sensitivity.)

6. Trap them. Mosquito traps release natural gases that lure mosquitoes into sticky traps, vacuums, or electrocution grids. Caveat: The traps may actually attract mosquitoes.

7. Blow them away. Set a fan on your deck, patio, or porch. Mosquitoes don’t fly well through wind.

8. Dress of Success. In infested areas, wear mosquito-net hoods, shirts, and pants.
Article taken from the May/June 2004 issue of Natural Home Magazine.

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The rapid and consistent growth of the organic industry in the past 20 years created the need for a set of national organic standards to serve as clear guidelines for the industry and its customers as to what can be considered organic. After 11 years of input and revision the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Organic Rule, became effective on October 21, 2002.

But I think that some people, somehow, don’t trust Organics. These are possibly the same people who think that Organics are too expensive, unregulated, and have never heard the word - sustainability. Organic agriculture is a production method that supports and enhances the earth’s natural balance. Organic food products are produced using:

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–Agricultural management practices that promote and enhance agro- and eco-system health and use no genetically engineered seeds or crops, sewage sludge, long-lasting pesticides, herbicides or fungicides.

–Livestock management practices that promote healthy, humanely treated animals by providing organically-grown feed, fresh air and outdoor access while using no antibiotics or growth hormones.

–Food processing practices that protect the integrity of the organic product and disallow irradiation, genetically modified ingredients (GMOs) or synthetic preservatives.

If you are not considering organics for yourself, it is important to give greater thought to your children. Their small bodies are so clean and clear and we, as parents, should keep them that way. Let them make the decision when they are old enough to do so, but until then, let’s help our kids to be strong and hopeful.

For more information on the Organics Rule check these websites:

For more on Guidelines

USDA’s National Organic Program at:

See also “Healthy Food” on our Tips from A to Z

Part of this text and information is from a pamphlet that is available at Whole Food Markets.


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Palm Healing

Of the many natural treatments available for the recovery of health, simple palm healing is one of the most effective and easy to use. Because it is based on the subtle adjustment of the body’s electromagnetic energy, and requires nothing other than our two hands, it is very safe and carries no risk of harmful side effects. Palm healing can be used in conjunction with whatever your pediatrician recommends for any of the following ailments. It is an ideally safe method for helping children recover from sickness. References to palm healing can also be found throughout history. In the Bible, for example, there are many recorded instances of its use, especially among Jesus and his disciples.

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Palm healing is a very intuitive, and people often use it without realizing it. When someone has a headache, for example, or a stomachache, they often place a hand on the afflicted are for relief. This practice should be a very soothing and calming sensation, when applying hands for treatments it should always be with a very soft and comforting hand.

To Prepare for Treatments

To activate your healing power before practicing palm healing, sit with your spine straight and shoulders and elbows relaxed. Place your hands together, lightly touching. Extend your thumbs outward, and place them on either side of the vocal cords in the region of the throat energy center. Keep your elbows raised slightly, close your eyes, and breathe normally and quietly. Sit in this position for about a minute and then begin breathing more deeply, allowing your abdomen to expand during the in-breath and contract with the out-breath. After several deep, slow breaths, add the sound of SU on the out-breath, continuing five or six times. Then return to normal, quiet breathing and slowly detach your thumbs from the throat energy center and gradually separate your hands. Slowly open your eyes and relax your posture. You are now ready to apply your palms for healing.

This practice helps to increase your conductivity to heaven and earth’s forces while activating the flow of healing energy in the palms and fingertips.

Some examples where palm healing can be used in common problems. It is possible that any of these problems could be serious so as always see your pediatrician and palm healing can always be used in conjunction with other natural/pharmaceutical remedies.

Digestive Problems

To treat diarrhea, constipation, gas or other intestinal problems, place the child on his or her back, sit close by with a straight but relaxed posture, and breathe in a normal quiet way. Place one hand lightly on the child’s abdomen, so that the center of the palm covers the navel or the region just below the naval. Close your eyes and breathe with a quiet and gentle rhythm for several minutes, keeping your hand lightly on the intestinal region. Slowly remove your hand after 15 to 20 minutes.

If the child is experiencing problems in the stomach, place your hand further up on the abdomen in the area just below the ribcage. The breathing can be done as above. This method is especially good for calming a baby who is colicky or hyperactive as a result of indigestion or gas pains. Palm healing can be given several times a day until the condition improves.

Nasal Blockage

To treat blocked sinuses and/or nasal passages, place your hand across the bridge of the nose. Treat as described above.

Ear Problems

To treat inner ear infections, dry, cracked skin behind the ear, or other ear disorders, place your hand over each ear and treat as above. To treat the related organs, the kidneys, place your hand across the middle of the back and treat as above.

Difficulty with Sleeping

If you child has difficulty sleeping, apply your palm to the forehead and treat as above. Then move your hand to the side of the head so that the center of the palm covers the temple. Treat one side at a time. It is also advisable to treat the abdominal area as described above.

Crying Baby

To help quite a nervous or hysterical baby, apply your palm to the forehead and treat as above. Then, apply your palm to the base of the spine and treat as above. Following this, you can also apply you palm to the top of the head and slowly slide it down the back of the head and down the spine to the buttocks. Repeat several times, using a slow and gentle motion. These treatments are also effective in calming hyperactive children.


Apply your palm to the child’s forehead and treat as above. You may also apply the treatment to the back or sides of the head or back of the neck. Since fevers are often related to blockage or stagnation in the intestines, it is recommended that they be treated as well. In some cases, fevers are localized in particular organs. Treat the affected organ in these instances.If anything Palm Healing gives you a chance to just be with your child when they are not happy and not feeling well. There is something to be said for just being close and trying to help.

Information taken from:
Macrobiotic Pregnancy and care of the Newborn
By Michio and Aveline Kushi
Japan Publications, Inc.

Peanut Butter

Potty Training


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Bad, bad BAD…

Kids should not eat sugar, read “Sugar Blues” by William Dufty and your whole outlook on sugar will change.

There are so many other things you can use besides sugar:
-rice syrup
-barley syrup
-honey (not for babies)
-maple syrup


There are a few brands out there but I, personally, really think that Dr. Hauschka – for kids is the best. There are some horrible things in regular sunscreens, all you have to do it read the label and for newborns and small babies should not be used. Although, I have a friend whose baby broke out in a rash from Dr. Hauschka…I guess the best thing is to stay in the shade and use nothing.

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I have a theory that I happen to believe in, but you may think I’m crazy. I think that skin sunburns easily from bad food and sugar. When I eat clean food, whole foods, I don’t really need to use sunscreen, but I don’t mean eating good for a day, I mean MONTHS or even years. My son and I go to the beach quite often, and I don’t really use sunscreen on him, but we never go from 12 – 2:00, either in the morning or really late in the day.

So that’s my theory…..

Surprising Healthy Snacks

We will continue to add to this list as you’all email your suggestions. email to: (put “snack” in subject)

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Mochi – great treat for kids, and now they have chocolate!

Tofu – cut tofu cubes into large squares (bit size) sauté with onion until slightly browned, and then squeeze on some Braggs at the end. Kids love it!

Nori – take a sheet of nori and toast in a pan or on the stove flame.

Edamame – just make sure you get the organic kind, soybeans are pretty bad with pesticide retention.

Veggie Booty – it’s like cheese puffs, but veggies!

Steamed veggies – carrots, broccoli or turnips (steamed to soft for little kids, obviously)

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Toilet Training

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Warren King (link to site)

Healer: Dr. Warren King - visit his website for more information.

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Yoga for Children

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