Saturday, October 1, 2011

Supporting our Immune Systems Naturally

These are the notes from a Conscious Parenting Meeting on 11/8/11. It is a collection of everyone's ideas. We are a group of passionate parents who have done lots of reading and gathering of information on lots of things related to parenting. This is a collection of the ways in which we help our children and ourselves have the strongest immune systems in a natural way. Of course don't take our ideas as gospel. Do your own reading, enquiring too! The following are individual comments and contributions and are not a professional opinion (not to say they're not valid!), please take from this whatever you feel is beneficial.

  • Keep foods natural, fresh, and wherever possible source locally. Ideally growing your own fruit and vegetables enables you to know exactly what has gone into the growing process and assures you of freshness.
  • Cow’s milk is now highly processed and has now lost much of it’s original goodness. Raw milk is much better for you.
  • In Dunedin there is a source of raw milk in Dunedin that I'm sure you can learn about if you ask around.
  • Oat milk and Soy milk (not GM) are good alternatives.
  • Antje -just tried hemp milk and love it!! Very healthy and delicious (not cheap though)
  • Avoid dairy products when sick. Oat milk or Rice milk good alternatives during this time. Increase protein, ie; eggs.
  • Certain foods give more nutrients when cooked, eg; tomatoes.
  • Use a wide variety of grains and rice in the diet – buckwheat can be used in baking as well as cooking, amaranth, quinoa, millet, polenta, couscous, buckwheat... Soaking overnight helps with digestion. Great in muesli.
  • Use a wide variety of nuts and seeds – can be soaked overnight and more readily digested – great in muesli.
  • Lots of green leafy vegetables – Kale has a very high nutritional value and is easily grown in the cold Dunedin climate.
  • Fruit smoothies are a great way to eat/drink a variety of fruit, especially for children who may not like to eat different types of fruit in its original state. Using a blender cut up any kind of fruit you like, put in a large spoonful of LSA (Linseed, Sunflower & Almond crushed up), add a few spoonfuls of yoghurt, water (enough to get the consistency you like), blend all together.
  • Nuts – eat a variety of whole nuts (not salted peanuts) – a small handful a day, eg; walnuts, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, almonds
  • Seeds – eat a variety of seeds per day – can be soaked overnight for easier digestion, used in baking, put into meals (cooked or uncooked). → HEMPseeds are the best! found a source to buy them as they can’t be sold uncrushed and for human consumption in nz. so when it says, they are for feeding to your animals, that’s only cause they can’t be advertised for eating ourselves:
  • Beans, Pulses, Sprouts – all good.
  • Cacao Beans/Powder – great for antioxidants. Must be raw!
  • Protein from other sources other than meat – Goji berries, beans, eggs.
  • Oils – Hemp seed oil and Linseed oil are high in Omega 3. Other good oils are coconut oil, flaxseed oil and fish oil (make sure it’s tested for mercury). Omega oils: best one by far to take orally is Flaxseed. You can't (afford) or take Coconut or Hemp in large enough doses and Flax is actually better for you.
  • Coconut – for the monolaurin - coconut milk or cream can be used in baking instead of cows milk. Drinking Whole coconut’s milk good for you. Eating coconut also beneficial, whether shredded or whole.
  • Garlic – best raw, pressed in a mortar first and left for 10 minutes before use. Better to mix with a little olive oil and put on top of food rather than cook with it. Hummus is a great source of this raw garlic and kids who have grown up on it love it!
  • Onions, leeks, red peppers – all good for healthy immune systems.
  • Sugar (not naturally occurring in fruit etc) suppresses the immune system. Avoid where ever possible. Dates and fruits such as apples and bananas are very sweet and can be used as a substitute in cooking/baking. Stevia can be used as a substitute for sugar and can be bought already prepared or you could grow your own plant (see notes at end). Think this is about $25/kg at the Health Food Store. Apparently much sweeter than sugar so you don’t need to much!
  • Honey and bee products – bee pollen, royal jelly. Check for bee allergies first!
  • Herbs – use regularly rather than just at the time of sickness. Great as herbal teas. Many people have commented that Artemis Virogone has been really effective for them. The Immunoboost tea is also good for regular use. Conscious Parenting has a wholesale account with Sandra at Artemis! We do regular orders.
  • Probiotics – good for gut maintenance. Especially good at time of illness or after a course of antibiotics. Apparently even breastfed babies/toddlers can have some extra in times of illness.
  • Most may not know that plain, unsweetened, organic yoghurt is one the best sources of probiotic around.. you can even have it if sensitive to dairy. It can be taken 3tablespoons per day.. I give it with my crushed LSA and flaxseed oil to my 2year old when he is needing some. Plus its a good way to get oil into him.
  • Blood Group Diets – diets based on blood group types. Certain foods affect different people in different ways and may attribute to various health issues. This is not a new concept and was studied by a doctor in the 60’s.
  • Honey: good quality honey is actually anti-microbial so works as an attractive sweetener for food and can be taken as a medicine. Anti-oxidant honey can me made with Thyme (or bought) and is great for when you are sick
  • Allergies – suggested that the body needs to ingest the allergen to recognize whether it was a food or not. Alicia – could you elaborate on what I have written please.
  • Supplements: Some people believe that it is really hard to get everything we need from our food these days. Even on an Organic, wholefood diet our body has to content with some many more chemicals than it ever has that a greater source of antioxidant is needed to combat this. High quality supplements are difficult to find in the shops and are expensive. If you choose to use supplements high quality ones are the only ones worth considering. Supplements made from the whole plant/ food form supplements such as camu camu for vitamin c etc.
  • Colloidal Silver: This is basically silver water. It has been used extensively in the past. It is an anti-viral, anti-bacterial remedy. Can be used in the eyes for conjunctivitis. Can be given to the quite young – need to ask in Health food shop who it is ok for. You can also buy a machine and make your own colloidal silver!
  • Homeopathy: Also been used for hundreds of years. Based on the idea that ‘like’ verses ‘like’. So if you’re bleeding you take a remedy that induces bleeding and they cancel each other out! Classical homeopaths believe there is a remedy for each of us that supports us in healing ourselves. Many CP families use homeopathy. Barbara Ward and Sue Fitzgibbon are two homeopaths in Dunedin who come with recommendations.
  • Olive Leaf extract: Anyone know anything about this?
Suggested reading – How to Raise Healthy Kids in spite of Your Doctor by Dr Mendleson. Some good information on the Ask Doctor Sears website too.
At the meeting it was asked where Stevia plants could be bought from. Did a google search and found the following from Kings Seeds.
Botanical Name: Stevia rebaudiana
Sugar Herb. An exciting breakthrough in natural sweeteners. The leaves of this plant are 20-30 times sweeter than cane sugar but with extremely low calorie levels so it gives the user an intense feeling of sweetness on the taste buds but with no increase in blood sugar levels. Stevia is a sub-tropical, frost sensitive perennial that is ideally suited for growing as a kitchen pot plant. Use the leaves directly for sweetening hot drinks or alternatively sprinkle leaves in salads, cereals, over meats and with cooked vegetables to enhance flavour. Seed needs light to germinate so sow on surface or only lightly cover. Grow on, in a light, sandy soil with good drainage and do not over water. Plants can be left outside during summer but must be brought in before the temperature drops below 10°C. Protect from wind and frost.
Tender Perennial; 20-25 degrees; 7-10 days; 30cm height; 15cm apart; 2; Transplant; 15 seeds; Culinary.

This recipe is great for over winter.. (mucus is one of the biggest causes of lowered immunity)
Mucous reducing vinegar
To a 1 litre preserving jar add chopped;
Cayenne pepper
Fill the jar with apple cider vinegar
It says one litre of vinegar on recipe about a tablespoon of ginger, garlic, horseraddish and onion, and a teaspoon of cayenne that should do it- as long as its covered you should be good.
Dose 1dsp to 1tbs 3-6 times daily. Can add honey.

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