In my professional (and personal) opinion there is one food substance that has contributed more to the degeneration of health than any other chemical or toxin out there. SUGAR!
Every day I work with clients who battle their sugar addictions (and/or corn syrup and/or refined carbohydrates which are converted into sugar in the small intestine) and every day I watch as those who are able to successfully reduce or eliminate sweets from their diet - experience amazing improvements in health. But it's one thing to get an adult to give up the sweets and quite another to expect it of kids, right? I'm quite used to the panicked look in a parent's eyes when I even suggest it. The idea that springs into their heads is that if the children don't get their sweets they won't eat anything at all and then they will starve! Right?
Well, you may be surprised to know that just like adults, children do have a self-preservation instinct. So, they will eat whatever you give them if there is nothing else available. Yes, they will certainly not like it and they will probably cry and fight and do all kinds of horrible things that every parent dreads but... they will get over it. Perhaps you might think it is cruel to deny sweets to kids? Far better that they should suffer from lifelong health issues?
I am noticing a distinct trend in my clients.
From my grandmother's generation most were raised on real food made at home and often straight from the farm or their own family gardens. Yes, there was certainly sugar but it was not nearly as ubiquitous as it is today. In Iridology analysis, these clients exhibit nearly perfect constitutional health. When questioned, the women claim they had no trouble with menstruation and hardly any menopausal difficulties. Children were birthed easily and good health was enjoyed well into adulthood. It is only now in their later years that they experience poor health and degeneration. Most are just looking for advice on how to reduce or eliminate the number of pills and supplements they take. They are not accustomed to these aches and pains and find them to be an annoyance. There are of course exceptions but let me continue.
In my parent's generation poor health begins to truly present itself on average now as they reach 50 and 60 years of age. This generation also enjoyed mostly real food and home-cooked meals in youth. Although pop and candy were becoming fast favorites at Ice Cream and Soda Shoppes around the country. Most were breastfed as infants although the trend was starting to change and few would breastfeed their own children in favor of a "more scientific" approach. There is more thyroid, heart disease, bone and joint degeneration, and digestive issues but again, not presenting much until after age 50. Menstruation was easy for the most part but menopause brings significant discomfort.
Then in my generation. The clients I see are experiencing poor health in their 20's and 30's. Mostly allergies, digestive disorders, and joint problems, but some auto-immune and arthritis as well. ARTHRITIS! That which was supposed to be relegated to old age. I suffered from it myself in my 20's before I started my education. We still grew up on mostly home-cooked meals but fast food was becoming more common. Every school outing involved a stop at McDonald's or Burger King. Little Debbie cakes graced our lunches and Halloween Trick-or-Treating became a contest of gluttony. Dental cavities and braces became the norm. More and more kids got glasses. More and more "fat" kids suffered from the bullying of their peers. As adults, more women experience menstrual pain and irregularities. Childbirth and breastfeeding do not come as easy as they had hoped. Maintaining an ideal weight is a struggle. Thyroid problems and heart disease are common.
And now, in my children's generation. Childhood resiliency is a thing of the past. Obesity is common, asthma, ADD and Autism are rising fast. Food allergies and eczema run rampant. Digestive troubles start even at birth. The physical health of our children is so poor that a simple trip and fall can result in a serious fracture. But then again, sugar is everywhere. Candy is used for teaching math in school. Every week a child's birthday or upcoming holiday is cause for yet another sugar-filled party. This generation is not destined to have the same longevity that their parent's will have. If this trend continues, I predict that infertility rates will skyrocket within one more generation and population rates will fall. But maybe that was the plan all along?
I certainly don't want to give you the impression that I think sugar is the only factor in this but it is certainly a significant player. I started this post thinking I was going to talk about my own experiences with converting my kids to a diet without sugar but that will have to wait for a part two. What needs to happen now is we need to wake up to what is going on around us! We need to take action to reverse this trend of degeneration. If not for us, if not for our children, then for our grandchildren's sake we need to do this. Because even though I am doing the best that I can for my own children, I know that some damage has already been done and may not be reversible. But by giving them the best that I can in their growth and development phase and teaching them how important it will be for their own children - perhaps my grandchildren and great-grandchildren will enjoy better health than I, instead of worse.
To Be Continued...
To Your Health and that of your children and grandchildren,
Even Naturopaths get sick, unfortunately. The good news is, any illness in my family is an opportunity for me to test out some remedies.
I used to get laryngitis about twice a year so even though I've been able to avoid it for several years now the signs and symptoms were familiar to me. And not being able to talk is not a good thing when you do consultations for a living. If I had been smart I would have started taking my remedies at the first sign of illness: the little tickle in my throat. But with the holidays being what they are... I was too busy to take care of myself and now I'm paying for it!
My go-to remedy up until this point for sore throats has been alternating between the essential oil blend called Four Thieves mixed with water into a spray bottle and probiotic powder placed directly on the tongue. This works because the essential oils kill pathogenic bacteria on contact and the probiotics restore the protective forms of bacteria to the sensitive mucosa. The relief from this regimen is almost instant but once my voice started going I knew that I needed a bit more.
Citrus felt really good on my throat so I tried an old remedy I have used for singers. 1 oz. of lemon juice with 1/8 tsp of cayenne pepper (capsicum) and 1 oz. of water. This cuts through mucus and leaves a pleasant burning sensation while also stimulating blood flow to the area. It felt good but didn't do much for my voice.
I have some slippery elm lozenges I made years ago that are still just as good as the day I made them. The slippery elm is very soothing and the lozenges seem to last forever so it's nice for a general sore throat and cough.
Looking through some of my herbal remedy books I find a reference to sage and honey tea for laryngitis. Although I wasn't sure at first I could do this one since I am currently five months pregnant, it turns out there were no contraindications except during breastfeeding. Lukewarm tea seems to work better than really hot or cold tea at bringing the voice back.
I also found a reference to propolis tincture. It said that if one drop of proplis tincture doesn't produce the voice - it's not the right remedy. We happened to have some propolis tincture at the shop so I grabbed a bottle. Now I have never been a big fan of propolis, I find the taste to be horrid and in tincture form it is doubly so... but it did work quite well! So if you can stand the taste it's worth it. And it's faster than brewing a cup of sage tea. Just one drop at the back of the throat as needed throughout the day. I did find that I still had to use either the probiotic powder on my tongue or drink some kefir to restore the good bacteria though. The anti-bacterial nature of all of these remedies left my throat feeling quite raw at times and the probiotics helped considerably. The propolis seemed to numb my throat for a short time but the probiotic had more lasting relief. Between the two I was able to get some decent sleep.
After just two days, my voice is almost completely back to normal and my throat no longer hurts at all. Rather than stopping any remedies I know it's best to switch gears and use my herbal teas, probiotics, and broth for rebuilding my immunity. And maybe next time I'll take my own advice and take care of myself at the first sign of illness instead of waiting until it gets to this level.
I hope my experience helps you find what works best for you!
To Your Health!
This article from the American Journal of Pediatrics describes something called Eczema Vaccinatum, a rare but potentially life threatening reaction to the smallpox vaccine.
If you scroll down to the Abstract they recommend that children with a history of eczema or any other skin disorder should not be vaccinated. Even if there is a history of eczema in the family they should not be vaccinated. And if a sibling is vaccinated they should be kept completely away from the infant for up to 21 days.
Skin rashes, hives, eczema and psoriasis are becoming more and more common in children. I have seen a definite generational trend which I believe is due to an imbalance in the gut bacteria.
There are four major channels of elimination in the body: the bowels, bladder, lungs and skin. The bowels primarily eliminate food waste, waste from the lymphatic system, and whatever the liver has cleansed from the blood. The kidneys and bladder handle cellular waste as they clean the blood. The lungs handle any waste that can be converted to a gas, like carbon dioxide. And the skin eliminates waste as we perspire. If any one of these elimination channels are weak, slow, or overwhelmed... the waste material is reabsorbed into the body and has to find another way out.
Eczema is a result of waste material being passed out of the skin that was never meant for the skin! These irritating substances come with inflammation, itching, and redness as the immune system works to get rid of it.
An infant has a very porous digestive tract. That is why large immune components from mother's milk can transfer immunity to the baby. But if the mother has a lot of waste material in her blood and the resulting immune response - her milk will contain those inflammation promoting immune components. This results in what I call "breastfeeding eczema". The baby's body is having an inflammatory response due to the waste in the mother's blood.
And if the infant is formula fed, eczema can still result because they are not getting the beneficial immune components or colostrum in breastmilk but instead getting soy, high fructose corn syrup, genetically modified ingredients, and a whole host of other things never meant for a baby's sensitive digestive tract.
Where does this excess amount of waste come from? The digestive tract. Due to an overuse of antibiotics over the last two generations, the gut bacteria normally found in a healthy digestive tract are being displaced by yeast and pathogenic forms of bacteria. Combined with stress, poor diet, and now superstrains of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics... we've got a real big problem on our hands. These pathogens convert even the healthiest of foods into chemical waste. There is a river of toxicity flowing from the gut into the rest of the body and overwhelming the body's elimination channels.
Gut dysbiosis is the underlying cause to a whole host of problems including: Colitis, Crohn's, Food Allergies, Eczema, Psoriasis, ADD, ADHD, Autism, Anxiety, Depression, Auto-Immune Disorders, Celiac's, Acid Reflux, Allergies, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, Urinary Tract Infections, Asthma.... the list goes on and on.
An infant who has eczema is immune compromised and immune compromised children should not be vaccinated nor exposed to others who have been vaccinated. In my opinion, children with any sort of digestive problem at all should not be vaccinated. Any child with any of the above diseases or symptoms is immune-compromised due to a lack of good bacteria in their digestive system. That vaccination may be the last straw that puts their body into a state of crisis. Only healthy children should be vaccinated. And if they are truly healthy... why vaccinate?
Kathryn Doran-Fisher is a Traditional Naturopath, Certified GAPS Practitioner and owner of Elder & Sage.