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Our Toxic Homes
Courtney DeBoeck, BSc, N.D.

When we think of toxic chemicals we often think they are just found in big industry. Unfortunately many hazardous chemicals are lurking in our homes. Our cleaning products, cosmetics, hygiene products, shower curtains and carpets can all contain potential cancer causing chemicals. Becoming more aware of what you are using on a daily basis in our homes and making positive changes will not only affect your health but the health of your family. Here is a summary of some of the toxins that can be found in our homes. Additional resources can be found at the end.

Air quality | Many things affect the air quality in our homes from toxic paints, sealants, to mold and dust. Furniture and carpets are now made with more synthetic materials which release chemicals with off gassing such as formaldehyde, 12-propylbenzene and styrene, all potentially toxic to the nervous system and can cause cancer. Most new homes are air tight which means less air exchange – increasing the toxic air.
Solution – Air exchangers, hepa air filters can be helpful in removing air pollutants and opening windows when weather permits. Buying carpets and furniture made of natural materials such as wool and cotton. Plants can also help filter the air – aloe vera removes formaldehyde, English ivy removes benzene and spider plants remove carbon monoxide.

Cleaning Products | Some cleaning products claim to be natural, safe and nontoxic but beware of the good marketing. Watch for fine print warnings on these products such as harmful if swallowed, may be fatal or avoid prolonged skin exposure, none of these warnings are very natural. Also beware that ingredient lists are not required by the manufacturer or labeled on the product. Here are some common ones to avoid:

Ammonia – used in many cleaning and personal care products can cause irritation and severe burns. More toxic if mixed with other chemicals (ex) toilet scouring powder containing ammonia and chlorine based window cleaner. Ammonia and chlorine create a toxic gas also known as mustard gas.

Formaldehyde – found in cosmetics, household cleaners, building materials and paints. Known to be a potential cancer causer and well as the cause of headaches, dizziness and nausea.

Chlorine – used in laundry detergent, bathroom cleaners and paper products such as toilet paper, napkins and tampons. Chlorine is used in the manufacturing of many poisons such as DDT and Agent Orange. It is corrosive and a known irritant and takes a long time to breakdown allowing it to bio accumulate in our environment.

Solution – Use non-toxic environmentally cleaning products such as Seventh Generation and Nature Clean available at most health food stores. Buy non-bleached paper products and chlorine –free bleach. Make your own cleaning products using simple ingredients such as vinegar and baking soda.

Cosmetics and personal care products | Just because a product is on the shelves or sold at your favorite department or drug store doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe. The FDA currently does not require companies to test products for safety.
• 22% of all personal care products may be contaminated with cancer causing 1,4-dioxane including many children’s products.
• 60% of all sunscreens contain the potential hormone disruptor oxybenzone
• 61% of lipsticks tested contained residues of lead
Solution – Buy natural cosmetics and personal care products. To find out which ones are safe and non-toxic visit the cosmetic database at www.ewg.org search thru over 69,000 products or www.lovethelabel.ca

EMF | Electromagnetic fields are emitted from power lines, home wiring, transformers, cordless phones, fluorescent lights, electric blankets, baby monitors, cell phones, computers and appliances. Although still a controversial topic, there are now numerous studies linking EMF to serious health concerns such as brain tumours, leukemia, chronic fatigue, headaches and cancer. We do know that a chronic exposure such as living close to power lines is more dangerous than occasional exposure such as using a toaster. There is also debate as to what level of exposure is safe; Gauss meters are available to measure the currents and radio frequencies.

Solution | No matter the controversy, the safest option is to avoid EMF exposure as much as possible. The solution is not to stop using all of life’s electrical conveniences but to be smart about it. Unplug unused appliances, use battery operated clocks, turn off wireless routers at night, avoid electric blankets, try to sit at least 6 feet away from the television and don’t buy a house close to transformers or major power lines and don’t sleep with a cell phone at your bedside. Find a safer cellphone by checking the top 10 safer cell phone list on www.ewg.org and limit use.

Other resources:
• Why David Hated Tuesdays – One Courageous Mother’s Guide to Keeping Your Family Toxin And Allergy Free by Amilya Antonetti
• Environmental Working Group www.ewg.org
• Cosmetic database, toxin lists, top ten safest cell phones
• Cross Currents by Robert Becker, MD
• The Canadian Initiative to stop wireless, electric and electromagnetic pollution www.weepinitiative.org

Are All Supplements Made the Same?
Dawn Cormier-Hazen, H.BSc, N.D.

The answer is No! Like most things in our world you get what you pay for and it is Buyer-Be-Ware. Many supplements made from pharmaceutical companies have chemicals, dyes and fillers in them that affect their absorption, but most importantly are toxic and should not be in your ‘daily multivitamin’. Why then are these unnecessary ingredients found in vitamin supplements you ask? Well, it is purely for convenience and profit.

For example why are Stearates in supplement? They are added to the raw materials in supplements so that production machinery will run at maximum speeds. These fatty substances coat every particle of nutrient, so the particles will flow rapidly. This ensures that production schedules will meet profit targets. However, the frightening part of this is that stearates are made by hydrogenating cottonseed or palm oil. Cottonseed oil has the highest content of pesticide residues of all commercial oils because they are heavily sprayed. On average, a 100mg capsule or tablet contains 5% magnesium sterates.

In a study published in the journal of Pharmaceutical Technology (April 1985) showed that supplements with stearates had reduced the rate the capsule dissolved by 65% and this delays the absorption of nutrients. Individuals with impaired digestion may have difficulty absorbing nutrients coated with stearates. Supplements can be made without stearates, it just takes more time and attention to detail.

Another ingredient to avoid in your supplements is Talc. Talc is a suspected carcinogen that is used in many capsules that are manufactured with a high-speed encapsulator. It makes the ingredients flow faster, but in the long-term may be detrimental to your health.

Avoid all preservatives found in supplements. They are often listed as sodium benzoate, polyethylene glycol, or polysorbate. Natural preservatives do the job well.

Avoid emulsifiers like sodium lauryl sulfate or a lubricant like stearic acid. Sodium lauryl sulfate is a chemical associated with skin irritation and accumulates in the heart, brain, liver and have potentially long term health effects.

Avoid fillers like corn starch, gluten, lactose or titanium dioxide, especially if you have allergies to them. Also avoid pharmaceutical glazes and wax. Also avoid artificial colors and dyes. Dyes negatively impact behavior of some individuals and can cause severe allergic reactions.

Avoid artificial sweeteners like aspartame, dextrose or sucralose. “Fake” sugars disregulate glucose balance and some are reported to have very toxic neurological and carcinogenic effects.

Does this mean that you should never take supplements with any of these ingredients? Well, we suggest you read your labels and aim for 100% natural additive-free supplements. But the problem is that lots of people take vitamins that that they think are 100% natural when that is simply not the case! Please also note, most of these unnecessary ingredients are found in over the counter medications used for children and adults. Many professional companies do not use chemicals, dyes or lubricants in their products, you often have a choice.

Dawn Cormier-Hazen, H.BSc, N.D.

We all want what’s best for our children, even when it comes to healthy teeth. But it is buyer-be-ware when it comes to popular toothpastes on the market. We usually don’t tend to think, something suggested by the Canadian Dental Association would be harmful in any way to our children, but when you look closer, you will find that the ingredients in conventional toothpaste are toxic. Have you checked the ingredients in your toothpaste or mouthwash lately? Here are the top five hidden dangers in popular dental hygiene products:

Sodium Fluoride
This is what most dentists recommend to prevent cavities, however, did you know that Fluoride is a by-product of the phosphate fertilizer industry and is classified as a hazardous waste product. Most toothpaste contains enough fluoride in 4 ounces to kill a small child within 2-4 hours? The Case Against Fluoride brings new research to light, including links on how fluoride harms your brain, bones, and kidneys. In fact the evidence that fluoride reduces the chances of tooth decay is surprisingly weak. The fact is that fluoride intake can do just the opposite and weaken your bones and teeth. So, this common ingredient in your toothpaste, is based on antiquated data and putting your families health at risk. New recent data suggests that Fluoride decreases the IQ levels of our children and affects their behavior in negative ways. Another important note regarding fluoride is that the local Water Utility in Perth County has advised the public to consider using non-fluoridated toothpaste for children. This is because our water already naturally is high in Fluoride. Children, who tend to swallow toothpaste, are at risk of getting too much Fluoride and harming their health. Children under 7 years old in Stratford shouldn’t consume our municipal water unless the fluoride is filtered out. See Water quality handout for more information on the toxic effects of fluoride. View the Fluoride Deception Video.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
It is used widely in formulations of many personal care products like shower gels, shampoo, dish and hand soap, bubble-bath, and moisturizers as well as your toothpaste. It acts as a sudsing or emulsifying agent to make products foam-up and bubble. It is a harmful irritant to mucus membranes and skin. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is a chemical listed on the National Institutes of Health hazard list, toxic to the liver and kidneys, and a known trigger to skin conditions and gum inflammation. You don’t want to be swallowing or absorbing this chemical twice a day when brushing your teeth.

Triclosan is actually a pesticide! It is added to toothpaste and mouthwash because of its anti-bacterial properties. Triclosan has been scrutinized in regards to human health and safety. While the companies claim it is safe, the EPA has registered it as a dangerous pesticide having a high score on both human health and environmental risks. This chemical is suspected of causing cancer in humans. Taken internally in small amounts, it can cause cold sweats, circulatory collapse, convulsions, coma and death. Externally, it causes a variety of skin irritations and can temporarily deactivate sensory nerve endings. This is a chemical you do not want your children to be in contact with. Remember, chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides like Triclosan accumulate in fatty tissues within the human body. The additive effects may suppress the immune system, cause hormonal disruption, brain hemorrhages and sterility.

Hydrated Silica
Hydrated Silica is an abrasive component in toothpaste made from crystallized quartz, sand and flint. It serves to help whiten tooth enamel. Scratching the surface of tooth enamel everyday harms the enamel and prevents re-mineralization. This is much like using sand to clean glass and sever wear on the enamel may eventually occur. Look for ingredients like silica and cellulose; these are to be avoided.

FD&C Dye # 1 & 2
These dyes are artificial chemicals used to color your toothpaste for aesthetic purposes. Recent studies indicate that these dyes can trigger a wide number of behavioral, learning and health problems. These dyes can also cause severe allergic reactions, asthma attacks, headaches, nausea, fatigue, nervousness, lack of concentration and cancers. These Dyes are manufactured from petroleum products, such as coal tar oil. Some coal tar components are classified as active carcinogens. Again, why color your toothpaste tootie-frutie colors at the expense of your health – it does not make logical sense.

What to do!
Be safe, be healthy, use natural and organic toothpaste whenever you can, especially for your children who are more vulnerable to chemical toxicity compared to adults. There are many natural types of toothpaste on the market. Read your labels and be alert to toxic ingredients to avoid.

Dawn Cormier-Hazen, H.BSc, N.D.

Water makes up more than two thirds of human body weight, and without water, we would die in a few days. The human brain is made up of 95% water, blood is 82% and lungs 90%. A mere 2% drop in our body's water supply can trigger signs of dehydration: fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on smaller print, such as a computer screen. (Are you having trouble reading this? Drink up!) Mild dehydration is also one of the most common causes of daytime fatigue. An estimated seventy-five percent of Americans have mild, chronic dehydration. Pretty scary statistic for a developed country where water is readily available through the tap or bottle water.

Water is important to the mechanics of the human body. The body cannot work without it, just as a car cannot run without gas and oil. In fact, all the cell and organ functions that make up our entire anatomy and physiology depend on water for their functioning.
• Water serves as a lubricant
• Water forms the base for saliva
• Water forms the fluids that surround the joints.
• Water regulates the body temperature through perspiration.
• Water helps to alleviate constipation thereby eliminating waste – the best detox agent.
• Water helps to regulate metabolism

Municipal water companies use Chlorine, a very toxic and an unstable compound to disinfect our water supplies. Other disinfection applications for purifying water are much more safe and very effective, but none as quick and cheap as chlorine. Over the past 25 years, scientists have discovered that while chlorine is killing microbes, it is also reacting with organic matter already in the water to form toxic chemicals called organochlorines. To date, several hundred known organochlorines have been found in drinking water.

A growing number of studies have linked chlorinated drinking water to cancer and reproductive harm in humans. The most respected cancer study is a compilation of 10 separate epidemiological studies on chlorinated drinking water and cancer known as the Morris study. It found disinfection by-products in chlorinated water to be responsible for 9% of all bladder cancers and 15% of rectal cancers in the U.S. This translates into 10,000 additional deaths per year for just these two organs, a figure the Morris researchers believe to be an under-estimate. A 1998 California Department of Health Study found that pregnant women with high exposure to chlorinated drinking water nearly doubled their risk of miscarriage, from a rate of 9.5% to 16%. When showering in chlorinated water, the chlorine gas is breathed in and absorbed through the lungs readily. This increases the body’s toxic chlorine burden and causes irritation to the delicate breathing surfaces of the lungs.

Fluoride is another chemical that is added to our water based on antiquated data. Fluoride is a toxic chemical waste product from the fertilizer industry. It is added by industry to “prevent tooth decay” apparently. The sad reality is, however, that there is practically no difference in tooth decay rates between fluoridated and non-fluoridated countries, and no difference between states that fluoridate a high versus low percentage of their water. Yet, while fluoride in drinking water does NOT decrease rates of tooth decay, numerous studies show that this chemical has an array of devastating health effects that are being imposed on you and your family whether you like it or not. One of those risks, as Dr. Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network, recently reported, is lowered intelligence in your children. Fluoride is known to interfere with basic functions of nerve cells in your brain. There are now numerous animal and human studies demonstrating the damage fluoride inflicts on your brain, including your pineal gland. Also, over consumption of fluoride leads to a condition called fluorosis. Fluorosis is fluoride poisoning, due to ingestion of too much fluoride in drinking water over a long period or due to ingestion of pesticides containing fluoride salts. Chronic fluorosis results in mottling of the teeth of children and weakening of bones. The ADA and the CDC now both recommend that infants NOT receive fluoridated water for drinking, nor for making their formula, as fluoridated water contains 250 times more fluoride than mother's milk. "We shouldn't fluoridate water and harm our most vulnerable,"Dr. Osmunson says.” It is my strong belief and recommendation to avoid giving your children fluoridated water.”

Remember, fluoride is a nonessential nutrient, meaning not required by your body. No disease develops in humans when they are “deprived” of fluoride. Even the promoters of fluoridation have finally conceded the benefits of fluoride are only topical – it works from the outside of your tooth, not from inside your body. Given the proven health risks of fluoride in drinking water, it is reasonable that many Canadians would rather NOT have it coming out of their tap. However, it’s added to water supplies as a matter of course. Everyone is essentially forced to take the same medication, with an uncontrolled and unmonitored dose. No other drug is administered in this “one size fits all” way. Fluoride in water is not even regulated by the FDA.

Watch the Fluoride Deception video.

What to do?
Do not drink municipal tap water, always drink filtered water. Common filtration systems like reverse osmosis, carbon filters, or alkaline units are very suitable for cleaning your water if you make sure routine filter replacement practices are followed. Be sure to carry your water in a safe water vessel like glass, stainless steel, or BPA-free plastic. Do not consume water that is stored in plastic bottles!

Why Organic Food?
Kim Sebben, RHN

Definition of “Organic”
An organic product is one that is raised, grown, stored, and/or processed without the use of synthetically produced chemicals or fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, or any other pesticides, growth hormones or growth regulators. Only farmers, who produce food according to a set of standards, undergo evaluation by other certified growers, and pass a yearly inspection by a trained independent inspector can label their products certified organic.

Why is “Certified Organic” Important?
By Choosing to purchase from independent organic growers, the soil is grateful, the farmer is happy and the children are safe. Everybody wins.

Better Flavour
Organic farming starts with the nourishment of the soil, which leads to the nourishment of the plant and, ultimately, higher nutrient content. It TASTES BETTER!

Protect our Children
The average child is exposed to four times as many cancer- causing pesticides in their daily lives compared to an adult. Organic food contains no carcinogenic pesticides, and will help protect our children from the harmful accumulation of toxic chemicals.

Keep Chemicals off your plate
The FDA approved many pesticides before research linked them to chemicals that cause cancer and other diseases. The bottom line is that pesticides are poisons made to kill living creatures, and can also be harmful to humans. When you can’t purchase organic try to buy locally produced food. Visit your local farmers markets and pick fruits and vegetables that have no sprays on them.

Here is a guide to help you determine which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticide residues and are the most important to buy organic. By avoiding the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables and eating the least contaminated produce you can lower intake levels.

Dirty Dozen | Buy these organic

Nectarines – Imported
Grapes – Imported
Sweet Bell Peppers
Blueberries – Domestic
Kale/ Collard Greens

Attaining an Active Lifestyle
Leanne Bender-Pattinson BSc, N.D.

Attaining an active lifestyle is imperative for optimal health! Since many of our daily activities require us to be in a sedentary position, including sitting at a desk, driving in a vehicle, etc. it is imperative that we consciously incorporate activity into our daily routine!

20-40 minutes a day of brisk-walking is all that it takes! Walking is a phenomenal choice for staying active as you don’t need any special equipment to do it, other than of course a good pair of running shoes! If the weather is not appropriate to walk outside, consider walking indoors either in a mall, community center or indoor track.

Be sure when you do plan your walk that you don’t go out too late at night and ideally, take a buddy along with you at all times if possible.
In the winter months, be careful of the ice!
Find something that you like to do – if you don’t enjoy the type of exercise you are doing, you will never be motivated to get active!
Try other forms of exercise like swimming, hiking, cycling, cross-country skiing, zumba, yoga, pilates and urban poling/ pole walking
Having a variety of activities to engage in prevents boredom and monotony
Try to make it a social time too! Bring a friend with you and you can both benefit from better health and time spent together
Find a time that works for you and commit to it in your schedule (i.e. exercise first thing in the morning before your day starts so you don’t end up not having enough time later in the day to squeeze it in; exercise on your lunch break; or at the end of your work day)
Avoid exercising an hour before bedtime as you will be too stimulated to try to wind down and fall asleep

Strength Training
Buy some free weights to do at home if going to the gym is not feasible for you
This is one piece of equipment that I think is very unique that you may want to try – gymstick.ca
You could also consider using thera-bands/ resistance bands for increased difficulty

Don’t forget to incorporate stretching into your routine!
Try to stretch for 5-10 minutes after every work out
Each time you stretch, try to hold the stretches for a longer period of time and try to stretch a bit further each time to increase your flexibility

Some easy ways to get active:
Walk to the grocery store
Take the stairs instead of the elevator
Stretch at your desk
Park in the furthest corner of the parking lot (though perhaps not late at night as you want to stay safe!)
Go to local community rink and skate together or play shinny
Tobogganing is a great activity (especially walking up the hill!)
Go for family walks
Swim as a family
Learn a new activity as a family (i.e. tai chi, bowling, golf, skiing, etc.)
Nature hikes are great year round
Bike together with family and friends
Enroll in a fitness class with your child(ren)
Walk your child to school

Remember, if you are an active adult, there is a much better chance your children will also be active and they too, will be healthier for it!

Benefits of Registered Massage Therapy
Terri-Lynn Penney RMT

Massage Therapy has many physiological and psychological effects on the body. Performing massage on a healthy person increases muscle flexibility, relaxation and decreases stress levels. Massage is able to reduce anxiety and depression. It has been shown that positive touch increases your well being. General Swedish Massage can provide a major difference in a person’s stress level; managing our stress level in today’s society can be the first and very important step in maintaining a happy healthy lifestyle.

Massage Therapy positive effects on Pain Control & Circulation:
Pain can arise from a variety of sources and massage has been proven to reduce and manage pain. Pain can affect our lives in so many ways and massage can alleviate the pain. Through massage we can address the source of your pain and stop the nociceptor pain signal; the painful nerve firing.

Decreased circulation reduces blood flow and oxygen to an area often resulting in pain. Increasing circulation can seem like a small issue but is very important in maintaining tissue health and decreasing pain. Increasing circulation and calming the nervous system can promote the clearing out of metabolic wastes and the by products of tissue damage and inflammation allowing the delivery of oxygen and nutrition to your tissue cells. Blood pressure is also decreased with appropriate massage techniques and therefore has a positive effect on cardiac and hypertensive clients as well as stressed clients.

Massage Therapy benefits Musculoskeletal system, Lymphatic system, & Respiratory Function:
Clinical massage applications of techniques affect the gamma motor system which controls muscle tone. Massage through stimulating certain parts of the muscle tissue can relax muscles, decrease spasms, improve resting length of muscles and reduce trigger points and adhesions or muscle “knots”. Light techniques have been shown to increase the flow of lymph. Manual lymphatic drainage techniques can reduce edema; an abnormal amount of fluid beneath the skin that produces swelling; and also reduces pain in the area being treated. Studies show that there is an increase in urine output showing the body clearing out metabolic waste after a treatment.

Improving lymphatic flow through massage also lowers the chance of scar tissue formation by removing wastes secondary to edema and inflammation. Massage Therapy increases the activity of the immune system and has been shown to decrease an over-active immune response which results in the susceptibility to illness.

Several advance techniques including tapotement, joint play, postural drainage and coughing techniques have shown to improve respiratory function and chest expansion and also to clear mucous in respiratory pathologies. The frequencies of attacks in those that suffer from asthma have been reduced when clients receive massage therapy and their stress levels have been decreased.

The Lymphatic System
Massage Therapy provides therapeutic care to a diverse clientele suffering from a variety of ailments. Research continues to show the enormous benefits of touch — which range from treating chronic diseases, neurological disorders, and injuries, to alleviating the tensions of modern lifestyles. Getting a massage can do you a world of good. And getting massage frequently can do even more.


green baby
The Importance of Breast Feeding
Nursing your infant provides many benefits, the first of which is the bonding of mother and child. Aside from the many nutrients that baby receives when mother consumes a nutritious, well-rounded diet, the milk also provides antibodies to help fight infections. It also exposes baby to a variety of flavours, which increases the likelihood of being open to eating a wide range of foods. Breast feeding can also reduce the risk of breast cancer for mom.
If there are any challenges experienced and breast feeding isn’t going as smoothly as expected, there are many support groups such as breast feeding clinics, la leche league, midwives, and lactation consultants. If latching is an issue, you can try using a nipple shield or pump breast milk if unable to feed directly. Your milk is invaluable! For more information Dr. Newman is an expert who has a book and website for your reference.

Choosing a Formula for Your Baby
It is most ideal to choose a formula that is made with organic ingredients and sweetened without corn syrup: Baby’s Only (Health Coach, New Hamburg).
You can also consider your baby’s blood type (easy to test if unknown) to help determine options for the base milk (dairy or soy). Ultimately, how your infant tolerates any formula (gas, colick, bowel regularity), will be a deciding factor for continuing or not.

Diapering Your Child
Conventional disposable diapers are made with ingredients that you may prefer to avoid exposing your child to. Dioxins are a by-product of chlorine bleach that accumulate in the body over a lifetime. Sodium polyacrylate is a super absorbent polymer (SAP), or the absorbent gel that keeps baby dry. This can irritate skin by absorbing the protective natural oils and has been linked to staph infections. Other ingredients include polyethylene film, polypropylene pastic, glue and artificial fragrance. These are simply more chemicals that children are exposed to.

Another perspective to consider is that disposable diapers have an environmental cost associated with their production. They also take many years to biodegrade and therefore occupy a large portion of our landfills. There are now many companies who produce reusable and disposable diapers with your infant’s health as well as the environment in mind.

Consider the many options for reusable cloth or compostable/flushable diapers such as g Diapers, Kushies. Natural disposable diapers are free of bleach, have minimal plastics, are made with renewable resources and are free of dioxins and other harmful chemicals. Examples include Nature Babycare, PC Diapers.

A damp cloth whenever possible, is always best. When convenience is a priority the best wipes use natural/organic ingredients, and avoid the use of chlorine bleach. Examples include Aleva Naturals, Seventh Generation, and Nature Babycare.

Cleansers, Moisturizers, & Sunscreens
Products that we apply to our skin absorb and enter the blood stream, no different than if we were to eat whatever is inside the bottle. Our liver and kidneys likewise have to do work to clear any toxins absorbed from the skin, therefore it is beneficial to choose skin care products for our infants that are natural and organic. Choose lotions and cleansers that are unscented unless natural essential oils are used. In general, you want ingredients that you can pronounce to avoid using chemicals on your baby’s skin. There is a wonderful website that you can use to check many personal care products online at www.ewg.org/skindeep to discover safety levels and to help find high quality, non-toxic products. This website also includes a list of their “top 10” safest and effective sunscreens.

Ideal products are those that are made of silicone or natural rubber, and the plastic components are BPA and pthalate free.

When to Introduce Food to Your Baby
It is best to wait until baby is at least 6 months of age before introducing solids into their diet. Also useful is to consider dietary requirements and blood type of your child to have a guideline about which foods are most beneficial to their health. In general, choose organic, naturally raised foods as much as possible and try to make baby foods in bulk and freeze. There is a wonderful blender called “Baby Bullet” which indudes BPA free storage containers with an adjustable date indicator. Good quality organic jarred foods are made by Earthbound Organic, PC Organic, and Heinz Organic. Avoiding jarred foods made with sugar, additives, and preservatives is ideal.

Foods to integrate first are fruits, then vegetables, then grains. With the few very first solids given, best to mix in either breast milk or high quality formula to make it as easy as possible for baby to digest. General rule: introduce one new food at a time and wait at least 4 days of feeding your child this food before adding the next.

Clothing Your Child
Natural, breathable fibre clothing such as cotton, wool, and bamboo are best. Try to avoid polyester and fleece. Always wash all new clothing before wearing.

Baby’s Toys
Because everything goes in their mouthes, natural materials such as wood, cotton strings, non-toxic crayons and paints are idea. Many plastic toys are not BPA and pthalate free so do make sure before allowing them exposure to those plastics.

spring detox
Spring has finally arrived! As you start your spring-cleaning, it’s a perfect time to also clean your body. Detoxification is a process of cleaning, nourishing and resting the body from the inside out. This cleansing process can help make you feel better if you feel sick and if you already feel well – you can feel even better.

Why are we toxic? Daily, toxins bombard us from our environment – industrial pollution, pesticides and herbicides in our food, air and water. Smoking, alcohol consumption and prescription medications can further increase your bodies’ toxic load. Our bodies’ ability to detoxify is slowed the more toxins you are exposed to, through cleansing you increase and enhance your ability to detox.

Signs of toxicity can include – fatique, sensitivity to chemicals, chronic headaches, skin conditions, constipation and difficulty concentrating.

With a trip to your local health food store, you’ll find numerous kits and supplements to help increase your bodies’ detoxification systems. The programs vary in intensity and length; they can involve fasting to following a diet plan with supplemental support. It is important to find a program that suits your needs and your lifestyle.

Every detoxification program has similarities; all will target the liver and digestive system. The liver is our main detox organ and is responsible for transforming toxic substances into harmless ones and purifying the blood.

Some general detox guidelines:
  1. Follow the dietary guidelines – see below
  2. Drink plenty of pure water
  3. Rest
  4. Moderate exercise
  5. Support for the liver, bowels and digestive system.

Foods to Avoid – Meat, sugar, wheat, dairy, chocolate, alcohol and caffeine – all place extra stress on the liver.

Foods that Support Detoxification – Garlic, onions, the cabbage family, lemon, fresh fruits and vegetables, rice, quinoa, amaranth and millet

Herbs for the Liver – Milk thistle, burdock root and dandelion are a few of the many herbs that support the liver.

Supplements – Fiber to support the bowels, Vitamin C, bioflavnoids, carotenes, digestive enzymes (if needed), selenium, magnesium

What Can You Expect
During detoxification you may feel fatigued, have headaches and bad breath, all of these symptoms won’t last long. You should notice improvements in energy, digestion, reduction in allergy symptoms, better concentration and mental clarity as you near the end of your detox.

Detoxification is safe for almost everyone. However, if you have a health condition or take prescription medications you should consult with a qualified health professional before starting any program.

how to clean up your lifestyle

By living a healthy lifestyle, your protect your DNA every day. If you do unhealthy things in your life, you speed up your DNA damage and hasten the onset of all diseases! The sooner you make changes the sooner you begin to heal.
Let’s discuss the following:

  • Begin drinking clean filtered water, ideally alkaline water, not plain tap water or water in plastic bottles
  • Begin drinking enough water, about 1.5-2 litres daily on average
  • Begin eating the colors of the RAINBOW (orange, red, purple, yellow, green, pink), a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables daily, ideally 5-9 servings daily
  • Mix a green drink daily, or a smoothie or veggie juice made from organic fruits and veggies
  • Avoid all artificial sweeteners (splenda, sugar twin, aspartame, sucralose...)
  • Avoid all toxic oils (partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated oils) found in most baked goods and greasy foods
  • Importantly, consume “good quality” omega 3 oils daily to reduce inflammation – the major link to all degenerative diseases
  • Seriously reduce the amount of refined sugars you consume daily – sugar feeds cancer and fuels disease’s of all types
  • Choose stevia or minimal levels of Agava nectar as a sweetener instead of sugar
  • Avoid all white/refined flours
  • Avoid all pop, candy, store bought baked goods, etc.....
  • Avoid foods with glutamates (excitotoxins) which are labelled as MSG, hydrolysed vegetable protein, soy isolates, soy proteins, caseinate, autolyzed yeast, natural flavouring
  • You must cook food from scratch and with good ingredients, mostly organic
  • Consume foods rich in I-3-C which are protective for cancer (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, brussel sprouts)
  • Read your labels, if you can’t pronounce it, do not consume it
  • Cook and consume curcumin (turmeric) daily as a cancer preventive antioxidant
  • Drink green tea daily as a cancer preventive antioxidant
  • Do what it takes to reduce the stress in your life
  • Do what it takes to get more exercise
  • Start taking saunas for detoxification
  • Do take a very good multivitamin-mineral every day for basic antioxidant and DNA protection
  • Take Vitamin D3 daily in doses of 3-6000IU (adult dosage), one of your best immune and anticancer nutrients
  • Reconsider every medication you presently take, there are natural alternatives usually available that won’t burden your body or cause excess acidity
  • Learn how to keep your body in a healthy alkaline zone (1st morning urine pH 6.8-7.0 usually)
  • Learn how to preserve your body and nervous system by avoiding toxic mercury amalgams from being placed in your teeth – this means silver fillings are toxic !
  • If you have toxic mercury fillings ask your Naturopathic Doctor how you can safely and effectively have them removed and detoxified out of your body
  • Mothers nurse your babies for 1-2 years not just a few months!
  • Consider how Electric Magnetic Fields may be affecting the health of you and your family daily (cell phones, Wireless technology, high tension wires near your home etc.)
  • Avoid the use of toxic household products at all costs – go green!
  • Avoid the use of personal care products that are not natural
  • Generally avoid chemicals, they damage your DNA
  • Avoid products with ingredients like: Dyes, parabens, Bis-phenol A, sodium lauryl sulphate, propolyne glycol, heavy metals, ...
  • Do not let yourself get over weight, fat especially around your waist is most harmful to your health
  • If you are sick, let yourself run a high fever to burn off your infection, this is also cancer preventive
  • Start making the connection between what you eat and how your feeling - Consider getting food allergy testing if you suspect a connection
  • Your lymphatic system needs to be stimulated – use a trampoline or rebounder, and elliptical machine, jump rope or anything that bounces
  • Go barefoot in the grass everyday
  • Do what you love, help others and healing will follow
  • It is important to connect with your higher source as often as you can – this is a source of knowledge, inspiration and guidance
  • Think of your body as a Ferrari race car, put only high octane (optimal nutrition) in your tank
  • When you add supplements to your daily routine, make sure they are good quality
  • If this seems overwhelming, do one step at a time, every step in right direction is a correct step

Top Strategies to Health & Wellness

1. Reduce or eliminate your processed food, sugar and grain carbohydrate intake. You have the choice to be an informed consumer for you and your family – do not let slick marketing and advertising persuade you what is convenient and tasty for your family is actually healthy. These foods can quickly imbalance your sugar, insulin and leptin levels which lead up the path to chronic serious diseases.

2. Normalize your ration of omega-3 to omega-6 fats. Taking a high quality fish or krill oil daily and reducing your intake of most processed vegetable oils.  You must at all costs also avoid Trans fats (hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated oils).

3. Eat 9 servings of organic vegetables and fruit daily. The phytonutrients, antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and fiber will influence every system in your body in a positive way and will even help down-regulate expressions of inherited ‘bad’ genes.  How you bathe your cells in nutrition every day will influence how they operate – make it a good bath.

4. Breastfeed you babies for at least 6-12 months of age. This is critical to build the babies immune system and intestinal system.  It also decreases the tendency to childhood diseases (like asthma, eczema, ADHA etc).  Moms, your diet has to be clean and nutritious for baby’s food to be healthy.

5. Get regular exercise. One of the primary reasons exercise works is that it drives down your insulin levels. Driving down insulin levels is one of the most powerful ways to reduce your cancer risk. Exercising to a sweat also helps your body to detoxify.

6. Get regular good restful sleep. Important for repair and restoration and healing.

7. Normalize your vitamin D levels and vitamin A levels by getting plenty of sunlight exposure and consider careful supplementation when this is not possible. Vitamin D is very preventative for cancer. Reconsider slathering sunscreen on your or your children’s body which contains a soup of toxic chemicals.  You may want to exercise prudent sun exposure practices instead.

8. Reduce your exposure to environmental toxins like pesticides, household chemical cleaners, synthetic air fresheners etc. Be aware of indoor pollution levels.  New houses gassing off volatile compounds are very toxic. Have ionizing air filtration units in place, Keep windows open and the house aired out.

9. Limit your exposure to radio waves produces by cell phones, cell phone towers, base stations, and WiFi stations. Choose an old fashioned land line for phones in your house. Provide protection with sound cancellation technology devices. Never let children under the age of 16 use a cell phone!

10. Avoid frying or charbroiling your food. Boil, poach or steam instead. The hydrocarbons produced cause cancer.

Breast Cancer Prevention & Treatment
25 Ways to Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
  1. Eat a high-fibre, healthy fat (Omega 3, 6 and 9) diet of mostly raw organic foods (unrefined) to limit carcinogens and increase antioxidants and nutrients.

  2. Avoid bras but, if you must wear one, make it loose fitting without under-wire and do not wear it more than 12 hours a day to prevent constriction of your lymphatic system, the channels that drain toxins from the body.

  3. Filter all tap water (including cooking water); store water in glass bottles, plastic bottles will leech estrogen-like chemicals into the water and cause abnormal breast cell growth.

  4. Drink 6 to 10 glasses of filtered water daily to help flush toxins.

  5. Supplement Vitamin C in high doses for its antioxidant, cancer-preventive effects.

  6. Get 20 to 30 minutes of early morning exercise daily to optimize lymphatic circulation; re-bounders (mini-trampolines) are ideal for lymphatic system exercises; yoga and meditation are good for mental and spiritual health.

  7. Avoid foods sprayed with pesticides, which contain dioxins, known breast cancer inducers. Eat organic foods.

  8. Minimize intake of animal products, especially chicken, beef, pork and all dairy, due to their estrogen content, increasing breast cancer risk. Eat organically raised eats only.

  9. Avoid prescription estrogens, (ERT), which increases risk of breast cancer.

  10. Avoid cigarette smoking, alcoholic beverages, canned, packaged, smoked foods and aspartame to limit carcinogenic exposure.

  11. If you're menopausal, use natural progesterone or herbal preparations instead of ERT to lower breast cancer risk.

  12. Laugh a lot to enhance immunity. Avoid chronic stress which suppresses immune function.

  13. Add these 10 breast cancer preventing foods to your diet (fresh and organic): apricots, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, flax seeds (ground), garlic (raw and crushed), ginger millet and soy bean products.

  14. Take a broad-spectrum multi-vitamin and mineral supplement daily as insurance(should contain a minimum of 1 mg of folic acid and 200 mcg of selenium).

  15. Avoid x-rays (except in emergencies) to prevent malignant transformation of breast tissue. This includes routine dental x-rays and mammograms. Instead breast thermography scans are radiation free and very accurate at detecting early changes in breast tissue.

  16. Supplement with proven breast cancer preventive nutritional supplements:
    1) calcium-d-glucarate-500 mg three times daily, etc.
    2) rosemary extract - 30 mg three times daily
    3) indole 3-carbinol - 100 mg three times daily

  17. Supplement with sea vegetables (kelp, dulse, nori) or sea salt daily for iodine which supports thyroid function, important for breast cancer prevention.

  18. Get restful sleep to optimize immunity. Consider more aerobic exercise or supplements such as chamomile, passifloral, avena, valerian root or inositol to aid sleep.

  19. Avoid carcinogenic chemicals such as those found in hair dyes, deodorants, antiperspirants, shampoos, toothpastes, silicone breast implants and artificial sweeteners.

  20. Keep fungal invaders, thought to increase breast cancer risk, under control by supplementing with wild oregano oil drops and lactobacillus acidophilus as directed. Avoid sugars, yeast and alcohol to keep fungal growth down.

  21. Increase intake of omega 3 fish oils (EPA/DHA) making sure it's molecularly distilled to remove harmful heavy metals.

  22. Ask your naturopathic doctor about yearly detoxification protocols to decrease toxic burden.

  23. Make sure your bowels are eliminating well on a daily basis. Add ground flax or psyllium husk to your daily routine if needed.

  24. Avoid use of chemical household cleaners, including chlorine bleach and do not use deodorizers around the house (sprays, plug-ins or candles).

  25. Breastfeed your children for a minimum of 9 months, and do not expose your children to plastics that act as hormone disruptors. This means do not microwave foods or formula in plastic dishes or plastic wrap. Do not place hot foods in plastic containers, store all drinks in glassware - not plastic, and avoid plastic teething rings for your baby.

Provide naturopathic medicine to compliment conventional treatment:

Minimize the side effects of chemotherapy & radiation.

Provide alternatives to chemotherapy & radiation.

Promote rapid healing from breast surgery.

Give information about your illness & diagnosis.

Give emotional support & assist decision making.

Resolve underlying risk factors that predisposed you to breast cancer in the first place, so chances of reoccurrence are minimal or eliminated.

a resource guide for breastfeeding
Breastfeeding Benefits:

Automatic: Breastfeeding contracts your uterus, preventing post-partum bleeding. You should try to have your baby room-in with you as soon as possible after birth so that s/he can nurse frequently. It may take two to six days for breast milk to appear. The more often you nurse, the more milk you will produce. Feed your baby whenever s/he is hungry. Breast milk is digested within 90 minutes and feeding every two to three hours is normal. You may also nurse more frequently depending on your baby’s needs.

It is convenient and safe: Breast milk is always safe, fresh and exactly the right temperature. It is ready on a moment’s notice, and you don’t have to stop and boil water, sterilize bottles or heat formula. That makes night feedings especially easy! It also makes it easier to travel since breast milk is always with you.

It’s specific to your baby’s needs: Your body will make the nutrients in your milk change to suit your baby’s nutritional needs with just the right amount of fat, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals throughout his/her growth. Also, antibodies are in the first milk produced, called colostrum, and provide immunity to your baby during a time when their immune system is still developing. This results in fewer allergies, colds, and ear infections.

Availability: Breast milk is available for months to years. Your baby may not need anything but your milk for 6 months. That means no water or other food or drink. If you nurse as often as your baby wants, s/he will get everything needed to grow. Frequent feedings are not a reflection of your milk supply but more a reflection of your baby’s feeding patterns. Have confidence in this process as nature intends it to be.

Health Benefits: Breastfeeding is especially protective against common childhood conditions including eczema, otitis media, and iron-deficiency anemia. Infants breast fed for 9 months or longer have a significantly reduced incidence of food allergies. Some of this protection, depends on the mothers diet during these months of lactation. For mothers, breastfeeding provides increased protection against breast cancer and osteoporosis.

Weight Reduction: Breast feeding helps you lose weight because it uses up the extra fat stored in your body during pregnancy. You should eat an extra 500 calories per day to produce the milk. The good news is that your body uses 940 calories to produce one litre of milk. This results in a slow and steady weight loss of one kilogram (2-3 lbs) per month, the maximum benefits are seen after nursing your baby for one year.

Easy on the budget: The average annual cost of formula feeding in the first year of life is between $1275 and $3055. When breastfeeding, there are no formula, bottles, artificial nipples, or extra expenses except for the extra calories that you may need to produce the milk. Even when you account for the extra food you are eating to give your body more nutrients, breastfeeding still costs far less than formula.

A great start: Breastfeeding creates a wonderful bond between mother and child. Learning to breast feed takes a little time and some patience. Many women have some difficulties, especially in the early weeks but this is perfectly normal. It takes about six weeks to establish a steady milk supply. If you are having difficulty, don’t hesitate to speak to a Lactation Consultant, a Registered Nurse, a Midwife, a Postpartum Doula, a Naturopathic Doctor, the La Leche League, or a friend who has breast fed, right away!

Instructions on Latching from Anne J Barnes www.BreastfeedingOnline.com

  • Have your nipple and the baby’s nose in line before latching.

  • Hold your baby’s body so that it is wrapped around and close to your body; it is best to have skin-to-skin and belly-to belly contact between you and your baby.

  • Hold your baby’s head around the base of the neck, supporting it but NOT pushing it against the breast. The baby’s head and shoulders are supported so the head extends slightly as the baby is moved onto the breast. The lower arm of the baby should be under your breast and his/her head.

  • Tilt the baby’s head back slightly and lightly rub the top lip against your nipple. Repeat this until the baby demonstrates the rooting reflex – his/her mouth opens widely and his/her tongue is down and forward. You may have to move the mouth away slightly and touch the top lip to the nipple, repeating this until the baby’s mouth opens wide with the tongue forward and down/uncurled. Try ractising this until you are comfortable with what a proper rooting reflex looks like.

  • When the baby’s mouth opens as WIDE as possible, move the baby quickly onto the breast at a diagonal angle such that the chin and lower jaw touch the breast first. It’s like a firm hug where you bring the baby’s shoulders in quickly so that the chin and lower jaw make the first contact.

  • Aim the nipple for the top of the baby’s mouth and watch the lower lip and aim it as far from the base of the nipple as possible so the baby’s uncurled tongue draws a lot of the breast areola and nipple tissue into his/her mouth.

  • When moving the baby onto the breast, move the body and head together.

  • Once latched, the top lip will be close to the nipple, and the areola shows above the lip. The bottom lip will be visible because the tongue is doing the majority of work in keeping the latch and nursing properly.

  • Keep the chin close against the breast and the baby’s body closely against your belly.

  • Proper nursing can be felt and seen – you can see the lower jaw moving and can feel him/her drinking via your hand on the base of his/her neck.

  • Improper nursing is demonstrated by noisy nursing, and painful nipples for mom.

  • Have someone hold a mirror for you so you can see your baby latching from a side view. It’s not always easy to see if the bottom lip is well under the nipple. Sucking sounds demonstrate a poor latch, not enough areola in the mouth, and nursing on the nipple alone all create noise and nipple pain for the mother. Breastfeeding Products Breastfeeding occurs best when it is kept simple and as natural as possible. Some circumstances, however, require an aid to help with breastfeeding.

  • Breast pumps are useful when a mother is saving her milk for a premature or sick baby, when a mother plans to return to work, or when a mother and her baby are separated over a feeding time. In the hospital you may be advised to use a breast pump to relieve engorgement. If used for this purpose, be sure to pump only enough to relieve areolar swelling to soften the breast for the baby to latch.

  • Breast shells or breast shields are hard plastic shells recommended for use during pregnancy and between feedings to correct flat or inverted nipples. They are also recommended when air is needed to treat sore nipples.

  • Oxytocin nasal spray was used to aid the release of milk during the first week of breastfeeding. Discuss the use of oxytocin with your primary health practitioner for further information.

  • Nipple shields look like a regular rubber nipple and is worn over a mother’s nipple during a feeding. Nipple shields are considered an unnecessary item and often cause trouble according to the La Leche League International. The League states that the use of a nipple shield is never justified. The impulses to the brain that normally come from a baby nursing directly on the nipple are fewer, as are the secretion and letdown of the breast milk. The baby can become accustomed to the nipple shield and is usually upset when it is not provided. The baby can be weaned from the shield with patience and discipline, but it is not an easy task. You may want to start the baby nursing on the shield until milk is flowing well and then quickly take it away and put the baby directly on the real nipple. Once your baby is accustomed to your breast, the nipple shield can be thrown away.

Is Your Baby Getting Enough Milk?

You can be sure that your baby is getting enough milk if:

  • There are six to eight really wet diapers and two to five bowel movements per day and your baby is receiving only breast milk – no water or formula.

  • Weight is gained at an average of four to seven ounces a week, or about one pound per month.

  • Most babies lose weight after their birth and can take two to three weeks to regain their birth weight. When weighing your baby, weight gain should be determined from the lowest weight the baby reached rather than the birth weight.

  • Frequent nursing occurs on both breasts at each feeding. Feedings are two to three hours apart, or eight to twelve times in a 24-hour period.

  • Your baby appears healthy – good skin color and resilience, is ‘filling out’ and growing in length, has good muscle tone, and is alert and active.

How to Increase Your Milk Supply:

  • Nurse frequently

  • Nurse from each breast at each feeding

  • Avoid bottles and pacifiers as they create nipple confusion. All your baby’s feeding should be at the breast.

  • Give your baby only breast milk

  • Drink plenty of fluids and eat a well balanced diet.

  • Get plenty of rest and relaxation.

If Your Milk Supply is Low:
It is important to determine what is interfering with your production of milk if you notice that your supply is not meeting your baby’s needs. The following factors can cause or contribute to a decreased milk supply:

  • Supplementing with formula, juice or water can interfere. They will fill up the baby and force him to wait longer for the next feeding. This decreases the nursing time at the breast and causes a negative feedback to the production of milk. Supplementing with the above causes a mother to reduce breast milk production.

  • Nipple confusion occurs when a baby is given more than one type of nipple. For example, a bottle nipple requires different mouth coordination than that of a real nipple. The end result is that the baby is not latching effectively at the breast to stimulate your breasts to produce enough milk.

  • Pacifiers are used to aid babies to meet their sucking needs, which may also reduce the time nursing at the breast.

  • Further, a pacifier provides no nutritional value.

  • Scheduled feedings can interfere with the supply and demand system of milk production. Simply feed your baby on demand to ensure an adequate supply.

  • Sleepy babies nurse infrequently and for short periods, often falling asleep at the breast just as they latch on. If this describes your baby, it is important for you to wake your baby regularly. Stimulate him/her with gentle handling, and encourage him to nurse at least every two hours for weight gain. You will need to decide how often to nurse until s/he learns how to get enough to eat.

  • Long feedings assure an adequate milk supply. Conversely, if you cut your feeding short this can prevent your supply from increasing as your baby’s needs increase. On the other hand, a continually nursing baby who never seems satisfied may not be nursing correctly.

Saving Your Milk for Your Baby
New research has shown that human milk can safely be kept at room temperature for six to ten hours because of its remarkable ability to prevent bacterial growth. Milk can be kept refrigerated for three to five days. For longer storage it can be frozen for up to two weeks in the freezer compartment of your refrigerator, or up to four months in a separate door freezer that is opened infrequently and stays at a constant temperature. Once the milk is thawed it should not be refrozen. Freeze milk in small amounts varying from 2 to 4 ounces. Always label each container with the month, date and year and the baby’s name if more than one baby is being fed. After pumping into a clean container, transfer it to a storage container. Use a separate container to refrigerate the milk each time you pump or express. These cooled batches can later be combined for a feeding or for freezing. When collecting your milk, it is often easiest to handexpress rather than pump. Don’t be discouraged if the amount of milk obtained at first is a small volume. With practice several ounces can be expressed in 15-20 minutes.

Written by: Heidi Kussmann B.Sc., N.D. Keystone Naturopathic Medicine

Hay Fever Prevention
Sneezing, coughing, runny eyes and plugged up sinuses sound familiar? You are probably among the millions who suffer from hay fever (allergic rhinitis) each year. Allergy symptoms occur when your body responds to an allergen, (pollen, dust, molds, animal dander etc.) and releases histamines, which causes runny noses, and red itchy eyes. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to decrease or even eliminate your body’s response to the allergens.

There are many different factors to consider when treating allergies, some you can control and others you can’t. For instance, you can decrease your exposure to certain allergens by allergy proofing your home with air filters hypoallergenic bedding and removing old carpets. You can’t decrease the amount of pollen or mold that will be in the outdoor environment each year.

Your best defense is prevention.

  1. Making sure your living / working environment is as allergy free as possible.

  2. Support your body with proper supplements and diet to decrease your allergic response.

Hidden food sensitivities can decrease your immune system and increase inflammation in your body – both of which can lead to an increased allergic response. Food sensitivities can be determined through elimination diets, electro dermal screening or for IgG/IgE blood tests with a qualified practitioner.

Foods to avoid

Refined sugar (white sugar) – consumption of sugar puts added stress on the immune system.
Dairy products – dairy products are mucous forming.

There are a variety of vitamins and herbs that can help. The key is to start early, usually 5 – 12 weeks before your allergies start.

  • Vitamin A – supports a healthy and intact mucous membranes (nose, eyes, bronchi and lungs)

  • Quercetin – in an herb that helps reduce the amount of histamine released.

  • Vitamin C – supports lung tissue, helps reduce symptoms and supports the immune system.

  • Fish oils – helps to decrease inflammation

  • Nettle tea – can help alleviate allergic symptoms (runny nose, chest congestion etc.)

  • If you feel you have tried everything or you just don’t know where to start visit a qualified practitioner in your area.

  • Homeopathy – specific homeopathic allergy preparations can work to desensitize you to common allergens and as well treat the symptoms experienced with allergies (runny nose etc.).

Treating Fever Naturally
Fever is one of the most common symptoms of illness in children. Simple elevation of body temperature inhibits the growth of and even kills some disease causing organisms. Fever increases interferon, a chemical that inhibits the reproduction of viruses. In short, fever is an immune system stimulant. It is defined as an oral temperature greater than 37.8 degrees C.

In adults, the height of the fever generally indicates the severity of the disease. In children under 8 years old, there may be very little fever even with serious infection, or conversely they may have a high fever with a simple cold. Therefore it is important to evaluate their appetite, mood, their level of activity, responsiveness and ability to be consoled in order to determine how sick they are.

You should work to lower the fever if any of the following apply:

The temperature is 40 degrees C or higher for more than one hour
The fever climbs above 40.5 degrees C at any point
The patient is a child who has febrile seizures
The patient is really exhausted or uncomfortable
Febrile seizures occur in up to 4% of children. They are most likely to occur in boys 6 to 24 months old and seldom occur in any child after the age of five. The rate at which the temperature rises may be more important than the height of the temperature in the occurrences of seizures. While a child who has had a febrile seizure has a 50% chance of having a second one , they generally do not cause any long term damage.

A mild fever may require no treatment. However the child may be uncomfortable, unable to rest and unwilling or unable to eat. Here you may want to use natural therapies to moderate the fever rather than suppress it. Always make sure the child is kept well hydrated, especially if the fever is accompanied by diarrhea or vomiting.

Herbal Treatments
Catnip, peppermint and yarrow – any of these herbs can be made into a tea and given to the child every four hours.

Consider a combination remedy for fever, which are available at most health food stores. The following single remedies are also helpful – Aconite, Belladonna, Colubrina, Pulsatilla and Chamomila.

Cold Sock Treatment
Run a pair of cotton socks under the cold water tap and wring them out. Place the wet socks on the child’s feet and immediately cover the wet sock with a dry wool sock. The cold wet feeling is only temporary, soon the body will warm the socks up and in a couple of hours make the socks toasty and dry. You can leave the socks on overnight or remove them in a few hours.

This form of hydrotherapy (water therapy) can be used to reduce a fever, increase white blood cell count (immune system) and remove congestion from the head.

Consult a professional if the temperature is above 39.5 degrees C and does not respond to your fever lowering treatments. Also, if the child acts confused or loses consciousness, a febrile seizure occurs, the child is under six months of age, there is persistent fever accompanied by headache and stiff neck or the child looks and feels really sick. Always remember never to give ASA to a child with a because of the association with Reye’s syndrome.

Treating the Common Cold Naturally
The common cold affects almost everyone, especially during the winter. The cause is a virus, which can mutate and change form easily, making it almost impossible to cure. The body responds to the virus by trying to expel it, causing a runny noise, cough, fever and sneezing. Although there is no cure, there are several things you can do to relieve some of the symptom, shorten its duration and prevent reoccurrence.

Your best defense is a strong, healthy immune system. It’s important to remember the basics, wash your hands, get plenty of rest, eat nutritious foods, drink lots of water and decrease stress. These things all help the immune system stay strong and allow it to fight bacteria and viruses. If you get several colds a year you may want to support and strengthen your immune system before the cold and flu season arrives.

Herbs such as astragalus, licorice, Echinacea and vitamins such as vitamin C, zinc and vitamin A help to boost the immune system. These are often available singly or in combination at your local health food store.

Treatment should begin at the first sign of a cold and should continue until the symptoms resolve. Here are some things you can do.

It is important to drink lots of fluids and eat nutritious foods. Soups and broths are always a good idea. Avoid refined sugar, as it tends to depress the immune system. Dairy, bananas and citrus should be limited or avoided as they tend to increase mucous.

Vitamin C, zinc and vitamin A as mentioned earlier are very important for the immune system. B vitamins also help the body deal with stress and help prevent us from getting sick.

Echinacea, goldenseal, licorice and astragalus help to boost the immune system. Oregano oil, garlic and olive leaf extract also help to eliminate both viruses and bacteria.

Phytosterois (derived from plants) help to balance the immune system. These are especially good for people with a decreased immune system.

There are several excellent combination homeopathics available, such as Dolicoccil and Oscillococcinum to treat the common cold and flu.

Single remedies which may also help:
  • Aconite – when cold symptoms come on suddenly.
  • Belladona – symptoms come on suddenly with high fever and flushed but dry face.
  • Allium cepa – burning nasal discharge and tearing eyes.

Steam Inhalation
Steam inhalation can help relieve nasal congestion. You can do this by placing your face over a bowl of fairly warm water and covering your head with a towel. A few drops of eucalyptus oil can be added to the water.

If your symptoms don’t start to resolve in a few days or seem to be getting worse seek the advice of a healthcare professional.

Sunrise Health Services and Wellness Centre | 413 Hibernia Street | Stratford, Ontario, Canada N5A 5W2
The information provided throughout this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider.