As a Naturopath, I am always looking for effective treatments and ideas to keep our wee ones happy and healthy with as little fuss and if possible, with minimal trips to the Doctor. So here are some of the tips and tricks that I have used in clinic and for my own family over the years.
Autumn is a time of change and is often a challenge to children as they come indoors and have to deal with a change in tempo, temperature and all the immune and stress challenges that come up in their little busy lives.
First and foremost, it’s always best to start with the basics. Food, sleep, and a routine that works well for your individual needs as well as for your family.
Good food. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it needs to be real food. I won’t enter into what you should or should not eat here as there are simply too many opinions and options and everyone must make their food decisions for their family. If you do need help in doing this, then there are a great number of excellent avenues to consider … Social Media Groups, Mothers Groups, Naturopaths, Nutritionists, etc. who are all just itching to help you. But for me, I would just say, make sure it’s good, fresh, seasonal and with plenty of variety.
Why Seasonal Food … When a local product is in season, there should be an abundance of it which usually means it’s less expensive. It also means that it should have been picked recently and not come from long storage. It tastes better too. In addition, it’s fairly well accepted that seasonal eating is healthier, as properly stored and transported in season produce will be fresher and therefore retain many more nutrients than those that have been picked to early for storage, treated, and sent long distances after harvesting. The longer a food is stored, the more loss of flavour and moisture … it’s just not as tasty. I’m sure we can all recall at least one time that we’ve picked up a piece of out of season fruit that looks great but tastes like cardboard.
And best of all, you don’t get sick of eating the same foods over and over as you get variety all year long.
So let’s eat what’s in season this Autumn and take advantage of the best quality, best priced and most nutritional produce you can. Your family and your taste buds will thank you for it!
Seasonal Autumn Foods:
Apples, Broccoli, Cabbage (red and green), Capsicums, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Garlic, Kiwifruit, Kumara, Leeks, Lemons, Mandarins, Mushrooms, Onions, Oranges (in some areas), Parsnip, Potatoes (for most of year), Pumpkin, Radishes, Rhubarb, Silver beet, Spinach, Spring onion, Sprouted beans & seeds (all year around if you sprout your own), Squash, Swedes, Turnip, Watercress and Yams.
Don’t forget that many foods are picked and snap frozen at the height of season too – frozen veges and berries can really add flavor and nutritional value to your meals.
So chop them and eat them raw, make crunchy coleslaws; create soups, stews and amazing broths. Dazzle the taste buds with fruity deserts. Autumn is the time to eat wholesome warming foods.
COLD AND FLU RECIPES (FROM THE PANTRY)
Lynette’s wicked cold and flu brew: (for teenagers and adults)
Into a shot glass place; 1 teaspoon each of crushed garlic, ginger and Manuka honey. Add lemon to taste and cover with nearly boiling water. Throw the whole lot down 2-3 times per day to encourage the body to healthy immune activity.
This is best taken at the onset of any sore throat or feeling of a cold coming on.
Peel and chop onions (red onions are best) cover with some natural honey. Simmer for 10 minutes, then strain and use as cough medicine. Take 1 tsp hourly or as required.
Alternatively place one chopped onion in a bowl, Spoon honey over the top and leave to sit. After a few hours a liquid will form with the honey and onion juice, take 1 tsp hourly or as needed.
BEST TIP EVER:
To stop a tickly cough in the night … roughly chop a raw onion and place in a bowl near the head. The fumes from the onion lay down on the throat and soothe that cough. This helps you to get more sleep, and sleep is needed for a healthy immune response.
Another tool that I use in clinic and at home is my Homeopathy Kit. Homeopathy is a safe and natural way to address symptoms as soon as they arise which can mean a speedy return to health and less medical visits. Kate, our in-clinic Homeopath has some great information below.
Homeopathy for changes in Autumn
The changing of the season is well known for bringing up coughs, colds and sore throats so I will give some recommendations, but first, some of the ideas behind homeopathy, for those who are new to it.
When treating a condition, it will fall into one of two categories: acute or chronic. There are specific definitions but generally acute means short term, say a cough and chronic is long term, eczema or asthma for example. So with a cough, you would take all the symptoms down, including what makes it better or worse. A cough that sounds like a barking seal, is croupy and it wakes him in the night with a suffocating feeling would be Spongia. Even with acute remedies, there is often a related mind symptom, like “irritable” or “clingy”.
For chronic conditions, the consultation is much longer, normally over an hour and takes in many facets from that person’s life. I will ask about childhood illness, any trauma in their life and their relationship with their family even if their chief complaint is gout, for adults clearly, or anxiety with a teen or child. The remedy will be a one off dose normally, so the patient will take it and then not have to think about it again until we check in with them about 4 weeks down the track.
Autumn Focus: Croup
Croup does seem to come up around the changing of the seasons, so it would be worth a look at a few remedies and which symptoms they help with. I have already mentioned Spongia; Aconite is for symptoms that come on suddenly, your child will be anxious and restless. One cheek may be red and the other one pale. The cough is dry and croupy.
Children who may need Hepar-sulph will have a very sore throat and be hyper-sensitive to pain. They are dissatisfied with everything. The cough is barking or whooping and can come on after exposure to cold.
Drosera has violent fits of coughing, when they can barely breathe. The dry, croupy spasmodic cough can end in gagging or vomiting. It feels like they have got crumb or a feather in their throat.
Finally, Ipecac has nausea or vomiting with a loose cough and possibly a nose bleed. They will have great difficulty bringing up mucus.
It’s a good idea to have a think about what kind of cough your child normally has, so that you can be ready before it strikes.
To make things easy, we have a kit of these remedies with an easy to follow guide on which remedy to choose, should you feel the need.
We hope you get through the Autumn in good health!
For more information about Natural Medicine please find us at www.myremedy.co.nz or phone us on 09 486 2175.