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Acetominophen: aka Tylenol, Little Fevers Pain Reliever, or non-aspirin pain reliever/fever reducer, or other brand names or generic.
It’s a common item in medicine cabinets and purses of lots and lots of moms. We take it ourselves for headaches and cramps. We give it to our kids for fevers. The pediatricians hand out free samples every time we visit their offices.
It is often the drug of choice all around the country.
But are we too trusting when we use it?
It turns out that maybe we do need to step back and ask a few questions before deciding to keep it in our medicine chests and here’s why:
Using acetaminophen for fever in the first year of life is associated with an increase in the incidence of asthma and other allergic symptoms later in childhood.
This is because acetaminophen severely depletes antioxidants such as glutathione in the liver and other body tissues. Glutathione is used for growth, tissue repair and immune system building.
Asthma is one of many diseases influenced greatly by antioxidants. Acetaminophen is definitely not something to use if you already have asthma.
A new study just released showed acetaminophen is definitely linked with behavior issues. Women who took acetominophin during pregnancy were 29-46% more likely to have children with a wide range of behavior problems by age 7 than moms who did not take it.
Dr. Mercola calls acetaminophen one of the most dangerous medicines on the market. Even when taken at the recommended dosage for just a few weeks it can be toxic to your liver. In fact, acetaminophen is responsible for nearly half of all cases of acute liver failure each year.
What can we do to protect ourselves and our families?
It’s super important to become knowledgeable and informed about the medications we use. The Medicine Chest Renovation e-book from Vintage Remedies is a quick-start guide to help you decide what to keep and what to toss out.
Taking courses or reading books on safe alternatives to OTC drugs is a great family project. Older children and teens can learn right alongside mom about which herbs to use for which conditions, and how to make tinctures and salves and syrups at home to stock your own medicine cabinet.
Try this recipe for elderberry syrup to keep on hand for cold and flu season.
Elderberry syrup is an effective cold and flu fighter. Elderberries and elder flowers are safe for all ages with no known contraindications. You can make it yourself with this recipe reprinted from The Handbook of Vintage Remedies. At that book link there is also an alternative recipe that adds astragalus, echinacea and wild cherry to the elderberries.
Combine berries and water in a large (cold) saucepot. If time permits, allow the berries to soak until they are soft, about 30 – 60 minutes. Place over medium heat and gradually bring to a boil. Once a rolling boil has been reached, stir frequently and continue to boil until the liquid has been reduced by half – roughly 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
Strain the concentrated extract and measure the liquid. It should be roughly 2 cups. Combine with the cup and a half of honey, brown rice syrup, glycerin or simple sugar solution. (Or a blend of two or more sweeteners as I did in the ingredient list above.) Bring back to a boil and continue to boil for 10 minutes until the mixture is thoroughly combined and the syrup reaches your preferred consistency. Allow to cool slightly and pour into prepared bottles. Store in the refrigerator.