Tag Archives: medicine

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Are There Dangerous Toxins in Your Medicine Cabinet?

medications-cure-tablets-pharmacy-56612-largeThis post is for informational purposes only. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family

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.

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Elderberry Syrup

100 g dried elderberries
1 quart cold distilled water
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
1 cup local honey

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.

What is your favorite natural remedy? Share it with us here in the comments!

The Power of Essential Oils

This blog is for informational purposes. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family with your purchases.

power of essential oils titlesI know more and more moms who are using essential oils; they are making their way into more and more people’s lives. Used to be you could only find them in health food stores or online, but now they are popping up in drug stores, department stores and even theme park boutiques. Just because you can buy them in a store doesn’t mean they aren’t powerful. Your neighbor’s sister’s cousin may be selling essential oils to her playgroup, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be used without some wisdom and instruction.

Turn a bottle of aspirin, Tylenol or Advil around to the back and you can read an extensive list of instructions, warnings and side effects. Just because you can buy them just about anywhere from drugstores and grocery stores to airports, gas stations and hotel lobbies doesn’t mean they are ok to give to just anyone of any age in any amount. These common over-the-counter drugs are powerful and must be used as directed. That seems obvious – that’s why they have “child proof” caps right? The same is true for essential oils. They, too, come with cautions on the label and child-proof caps on top. This is because essential oils can be powerful tools to help us just like these OTC meds.

Stephanie Tallent, one of the owners of the wellness website BeeYoutiful, explained to me that some people are more sensitive to both the benefits and the side effects of essential oils. In particular pregnant women, babies and young children have specific dosing guidelines that should be followed when using the oils, especially if using them internally. Some oils are so strong they really shouldn’t be used with anyone younger than 13 years old. This is why Stephanie urges everyone who uses essential oils to make the effort to get educated about their use. Her company not only sells essential oils, but also offers quite a few free health resources.

Each essential oil contains on average about 100 different active components. These different compounds work in synergy with each other and with the compounds in other oils. This is why it is important to buy high quality pure essential oils. The cheap knock-offs aren’t going to have the right balance and quantity of active ingredients. Many essential oils are also adaptogens, meaning they instigate a reaction within the body to help it achieve a more balanced state. You won’t get that from artificial oils and perfume fragrances.  For optimum safety the majority of essential oils must be diluted before you rub them on your body or ingest them.

The bottom line is if you are going to use essential oils you need to respect their potency. There are so many tools available to anyone wanting to take control of their own health. The first line of strategy needs to be addressing the diet, cleaning it up and filling it with wholesome foods along with herbs and spices that support good health. Next in line would be supplements to target specific needs such as vitamins, amino acids or cod liver oil.  Essential oils will be more effective when you have a strong foundation of a healthy lifestyle. Then you may find you don’t need those OTC drugs and you can clean out your medicine cabinet to make room for more oils! table of strength comparison for various methods of personal careHow can you learn how to use essential oils safely? There are many books available that teach you about the different uses and safety guidelines. One I really like is Valerie Worwood’s book The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy. Valerie has written many books on essential oils, she teaches certification courses and does research into their uses. In this book she gives practical instruction on how to use essential oils safely with any member of the family and in any room of the house, office and even the garden. There are also several online course available through Vintage Remedies for those who want to learn about the evidenced-based side of aromatherapy.

Tell us your favorite ways to use essential oils. Leave us a comment here or on our Facebook page!