WHOLE Living


I’m all about doing the natural thing whenever possible.  I love this post from Simple Mom on doing just that—Natural beauty and how to go about it.  Here are the tips from Simple Mom:

by Tsh on November 16, 2009

in green & frugal living

So we’ve talked about going shampoo-free, and we’ve talked about using oil to clean your face naturally. But a few of you have asked — what about the rest? What about soap, toothpaste, lotion, deodorant, and the like?

I’ll be the first to admit that going natural with my toiletries and cosmetics is new to me. This isn’t something I’ve done for years, and am just now dispensing my experiential wisdom. Switching to homemade or natural is something I’ve been doing just over the past six months, so I’m learning as I go.

I do know that the more I learn about what ingredients are in conventional toiletries, the less comfortable I am in spreading them on my largest, most porous organ. But I’m not an alarmist, so we’re doing this gradually, as we run out of the stuff we’re already using.

Here are the remaining product choices we make in our family, tweaking and adjusting as we go.

Soap

Typical ingredients for conventional shower gels are detergents, preservatives, fragrance, and foaming agents. None of these things are toxic in very small quantities, but they do enter the bloodstream from our pores, and they’re technically not necessary to get clean. So I figure — why bother using them if I don’t need them? And they’re extremely dangerous in larger quantities.

 

Many people make their own soap, but I don’t. I just don’t have the time right now. So for us, we use Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap. It’s concentrated, so just one bottle will last ages. There’s nothing in it but pure castile soap and essential oils (if it’s scented).

Once you start using pure and simple castile soap, you’ll realize the film that traditional shower gels leave. Dr. Bronner’s is cost-effective, long-lasting, and serves many purposes. My husband actually washes his hair with this instead of the baking soda and water rinse that I use.

Not only can you wash your body and hair with castile soap, you can also use it as a household cleaner, as dish soap, as a produce rinse, as laundry soap, and even as toothpaste.

Toothpaste

Most conventional toothpastes have dyes synthesized from petroleum, sodium fluoride, foaming agents (also used in engine degreasers and strong household cleaners), and a myriad of other toxins.

There’s something about the fact that it’s used in the mouth that makes me squirm when I read about the nitty gritty ingredients in toothpaste. If you’d like to learn more, head here for more information.

I recently started making our own toothpaste, and I’m still tweaking the recipe. My husband isn’t crazy about the baking soda flavor, but I like it. Admittedly, if I had access to natural toothpaste brands like Tom’s of Maine, I’d probably stick to buying that. But since I don’t, here’s the recipe I’ve tried.

 

Basic Homemade Toothpaste

  • 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons of baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Stevia powder
  • a few drops of pure peppermint extract

Mix it all together until it resembles toothpaste.

Coconut oil has a melting point of 76 degrees Fahrenheit, which means this toothpaste feels more liquidy during warmer weather. It doesn’t change its effectiveness, though.

The Stevia provides a bit of natural sweetness, making the toothpaste palatable, as does the pure peppermint extract. You could try a variety of flavors to your liking.

Right now, I’ve got this toothpaste in a small lidded jar, and I scoop out a tiny bit with a tea spoon onto my toothbrush. But you can also get empty squeeze tubes, often found among camping supplies at stores.

Lotion and Moisturizer

Caramel Pecan Double Vanilla Bean lotion from Verbena Custom Blends on Etsy.

Body Lotion

Right now I’m using a deliciously divine lotion a friend here made from me. I watched her melt the ingredients together in just a few minutes over the stove, then whipped together in the blender to make a rich, creamy lotion. She used lemongrass and lavender essential oils together, and it smells heavenly.

There are a wide variety of homemade lotion recipes; it just requires the ingredients. Most ingredients are easily found in health stores or online, so don’t let finding these things stop you. If you’d like to make your own, Brambleberry is a popular and reliable source for lotion ingredients.

Lotion is simply a mixture of water, oil, emulsifier (which blends the water and oil together so that it doesn’t separate), a thickener (the most common is stearic acid, found in cocoa butter), and a natural preservative.

You could also support homemade and buy from an Etsy shop — there are thousands of options there.

Facial Moisturizer

In warmer months, I don’t need a moisturizer with the oil cleanser I use on my face. But as the weather cools, I find I do need a touch of moisturizer in the morning. I use straight up coconut oil, easily found in major stores. A tiny bit goes a long way, and since it’s also a common ingredient in other natural toiletries, a jar of this stuff really comes in handy.

Lip Balm

Photo from Diaper Ware

There are also lots of easy recipes for homemade lip balm and salve, but I use 100 percent lanolin. Yep, it’s the same stuff you use while breast feeding. In fact, I’m still using the tube I used when I was nursing my son a year ago! This stuff lasts forever.

It doesn’t dry out my lips like manufactured wax-based products, and a little lasts me almost the whole day. Lanolin is simply an ointment secreted by wool-bearing animals to protect their coats from water. So yes, it is essentially sheep sweat. But it’s not gross, I promise.

We’ve got a guest post on the way about making your own deodorant, and later, we’ll discuss using natural makeup, so stay tuned.

Natural Beauty: Clean Skin, Teeth, and Lips

Here was another great article I found that I would like to keep on hand to have this information as we choose whether or not to selectively choose immunizations for our kids.  You can open up this PDF and save it to your computer for future reference A User-Friendly Vaccination Schedule.

Vaccinations can be such a sticky topic, one in which people are so passionate about—and often don’t even want to look at the other side (is it fear they might be wrong??).  I, as most others are, AM passionate about vaccines, however, it’s the alternatives that I’m passionate about- not supporting the pharmaceutical business that hasn’t even been fully tested (nor even willing to do so).  Anyway, I do love to read and learn up on these types of topics— I’m not trying to risk my children’s health or safety for heaven’s sake!  Here are a few sites I recently found that give great info. and even an alternative vaccine schedule (I may after all, choose SOME of the vaccines—do we really need one for chicken pox???—but just at a later time when my children’s systems can better handle them, as well as at a slower pace.)  So here is one from Generation Rescue, and I want to put their entire article here simply because I want to be able to have this information on hand, even if it were to become unavailable in the future–such valuable info:

Questioning the safety of vaccines is a taboo topic in the United States and many other countries. The pressure is on most pediatricians to always counsel that the “benefits outweigh the risks” when it comes to vaccinating children. Yet, most parents have heard about the legitimate concerns many parents have that vaccines may have triggered their children’s autism or other neurological disorders (“NDs”).

 

The growth in the number of vaccines given to our children in the last 20 years is rarely discussed in the media, despite a stunning chart like this one that shows a 260% increase in vaccines administered (were millions of children dying from deadly diseases 25 years ago? No, they weren’t.) Parents should know that vaccines are never tested for their “combination risk”, despite the fact that children may get as many as 6 vaccines in a single visit to the doctor. And, when it comes to vaccines, how can it be possible that one size fits all? What may present as no risks for one child may present enormous risks for another.

 

As a parent contemplating vaccinating their child, we would offer the following 3-point plan to try to minimize the potential risks from vaccines. (Please note that we are parents, not doctors. What follows is not medical advice, it is the opinion of parents. Anything written here should be reviewed with a qualified physician. We are not giving you medical advice nor are we qualified to do so.)

 

1. Take Precaution

 

• Consider delaying vaccines until your child is 18-24 months old.

• Do not vaccinate if your child is taking antibiotics.

• Consider no more than one vaccine per doctor’s visit.

• If you plan to get the MMR vaccine, ask your doctor to give it in three separate vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella.

• Consider giving high doses of Vitamin C (3,000-5,000 mg per day) on the day before, of, and after vaccination.

• With the measles vaccine (MMR), consider high doses of Vitamin A (5,000 IU or more) on the day before, of, and after vaccination.

• If your child experiences any developmental delays, stop vaccinating until you learn more.

• If your child has an adverse reaction to a vaccine, stop vaccinating until you learn more.

• Always ask to see the vaccine insert, and never accept a vaccine that uses the preservative Thimerosal (mercury). For a complete list of vaccines with Thimerosal, see the FDA’s website here. Note: most flu shots today still contain Thimerosal.

 

 

2. Consider delaying vaccines

 

In our favorite article on vaccines, A User-Friendly Vaccine Schedule, written by University of Washington surgeon Donald Miller, M.D., Dr. Miller makes a number of interesting observations including:

 

“Public health officials, however, have not proven that it is indeed safe to inject this many vaccines into infants. What’s more, they cannot explain why, concurrent with an increasing number of vaccinations, there has been an explosion of neurologic and immune system disorders in our nation’s children.”

 

And:

 

“New knowledge in neuroimmunology (the study of how the brain’s immune system works) raises serious questions about the wisdom of injecting vaccines in children less than two years of age.”

 

Dr. Miller’s recommendation: don’t start vaccinating your child until they turn two years old.

 

 

3. Consider an alternative schedule to the CDC’s current schedule

 

It really is shocking to look at the 1983 recommended vaccine schedule and compare it to 2008. Does a child really need so many more vaccines today? Quiz your doctor by asking them how many vaccines were on the schedule in the 1980s. We have found that most have no idea. Three potential alternative schedules to consider:

 

I. Listen to the Doctor (Our favorite)

Comment: Donald Miller, M.D., is a surgeon at the University of Washington. His article, A User-Friendly Vaccine Schedule, is summarized into this schedule.

II. Turn back the clock

Comment: This is the schedule from 1983. If it worked for kids then, why doesn’t it work for kids now?

III. Go Danish

Comment: Denmark is a first world country based in Western Europe. Their schedule appears far more reasonable than ours. They have also been reported to have a much lower rate of autism than the U.S. Do they know something we don’t?

 

 

A second disclaimer: Please note that we are parents, not doctors. What precedes is not medical advice, it is the opinion of parents. Anything written here should be reviewed with a qualified physician. We are not giving you medical advice nor are we qualified to do so.

 

Final thoughts and resources

 

The parents of Generation Rescue were once just like you. We trusted our pediatricians. We vaccinated our children according to the latest schedule from the CDC. Then, often times immediately following a vaccine visit, we watched our children change and descend into autism. The reason this organization and website exists is because we don’t want the same thing to happen to you and your child. Some things that we have learned that we want you to know include:

 

1. Vaccines are big business

 

As this recent Wall Street Journal article reported, Merck stands to generate as much as $2 billion in revenues per year for their new Gardasil vaccine for girls targeting Cervical cancer. For a company beaten down by the Vioxx scandal, Gardasil’s success is a very important initiative, which according to the article has caused the company to push the vaccine out the door using questionable marketing techniques while legitimate concerns about safety and efficacy still exist. (A January 2008 story that made headlines across Europe reported on the deaths of two teenage girls immediately after getting the Gardasil vaccine — we couldn’t find any U.S. media outlets that covered the story.)

 

Vaccine manufacturers are no different from other corporations: they want to sell more of whatever it is they make. Unfortunately, there is a revolving door between the policy-makers who determine the vaccine schedule and the pharmaceutical companies who make vaccines, as our own Congressional Committee on Government Reform reported in this document titled Conflicts of Interest in Vaccine Policy Making.

 

2. Vaccines have real documented risks and the U.S. Government knows this.

 

Vaccines have risks and parents are rarely told about these risks. Any pediatrician who represents that vaccines are “completely safe” is not presenting the facts. Many vaccines contain other toxic substances including ethylene glycol (antifreeze), phenol (a disinfectant dye), benzethonium chloride (a disinfectant), formaldehyde (a preservative and disinfectant), and aluminum (another known neuro-toxin). Further, some viruses used in vaccines are cultured in animal tissue including chicken albumin and monkey liver. Click here for a complete list of the foreign substances found in vaccines, and here for a sample of a poster made and sold by Dr. Tedd Koren summarizing vaccine ingredients.

 

The CDC maintains a database called the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System or VAERS. This database keeps track of publicly reported adverse reactions to vaccines. In a ten year period (1991-2001), VAERS received 128,717 reports of adverse events, of which 14% were described as “serious” which means “death, life-threatening illness, hospitalization or prolongation of hospitalization, or permanent disability.”

 

The Federal Government maintains a National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). Between 1990-2004, the VICP paid more than $900 million in restitution to persons injured by vaccines, and they provide a list of possible injuries by type of vaccine.

 

3. There are legitimate concerns over the efficacy of some vaccines.

 

Consider the flu vaccine as just one example of where there may be evidence that the vaccine does not work:

 

A recent study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association touting the safety of flu vaccine. Nine of the studies authors had stated financial ties to vaccine manufacturers, and an additional four authors worked for the CDC. The study also stated: “It is also important to note that there is scant data on the efficacy and effectiveness of influenza vaccine in young children.”

 

On October 27, 2006, the British Medical Journal published an article also questioning the efficacy of the flu vaccine. The article noted: “Evidence from systematic reviews shows that inactivated vaccines [flu vaccines] have little or no effect on the effects measured. Little comparative evidence exists on the safety of these vaccines. Reasons for the current gap between policy and evidence are unclear, but given the huge resources involved, a re-evaluation should be urgently undertaken…The optimistic and confident tone of some predictions of viral circulation and of the impact of inactivated vaccines, which are at odds with the evidence, is striking.”

 

4. You can’t be forced to vaccinate your child or follow the CDC’s recommended immunization schedule.

 

Parents are often told that vaccinating their child is “required by law”. It is important for parents to understand what their rights are as all states offer either a philosophical or religious exemption from vaccinations. You have the right to design a vaccine program that is right for you and your child. Click here for more information.

 

5. AAP and MercuryThe American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has been perpetuating untruths about mercury for some time.  They have in many cases told the public that mercury has been taken out of vaccines since 2001.  This is not the case.  Today, 8 years later, there are still mercury containing vaccines in the pediatric and prenatal schedule.

In February, 2008 a great example of how the AAP attempted to manipulate the public into believing that vaccines did not have mercury in them was a letter to ABC trying to cancel the Eli Stone television show for wanting to tell a story about a family who won a vaccine-autism case in court.

 

The letter, written by the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics (you can view the letter here) ([ink to lettertoabc.pdf attached] calling for the cancellation of the show said:  “If ABC persists in airing the show, the AAP urges the network to include a disclaimer emphasizing: No mercury is used as a preservaitve in routinely offered childhood vaccines.”

 

At the time there were 5 vaccines commonly being used in the pediatric schedule as well as mercury containing vaccines in the prenatal schedule.

 

The AAP letter was false and even after direct communication from Generation Rescue the AAP would not retract or correct the information.  These tactics are common in communication from the American Academy of Pediatrics.  It appears they are more concerned about how to get the public to vaccinate than the actual truth.

 

Our letter to the AAP can be viewed here and the part about the mercury in vaccines is also below:

 

AAPs position about mercury in vaccines is not accurate.

In the letter to ABC the AAP wrote: “No mercury is used as a preservative in routinely offered childhood vaccinations.”

 

Mercury is still in 16 vaccines including 5 pediatric vaccines such as 3 flu shots, the HEP-B and the DtaP.

 

At best, this is similar to saying:

 

“No caffeine is used in coffee as a preservative.”

 

It is in there, just not as a preservative.  Parents are not concerned if mercury is in there as an adjuvant, or as manufacturing residue, or as an inexpensive antibacterial –they just want to know if it is in there.  Not stating that mercury is in 5 vaccines used for pediatrics is considered, by many, as deceitful.

 

What could have been written is something like “Mercury has been removed from many routinely offered childhood vaccines.” Or “Childhood mercury exposure from vaccines has been reduce by 65%”

 

The Truth About Mercury In Vaccines 

 

According the FDA’s website outlining vaccine administration for children (1) there is up to 300 picograms of mercury in the DtaP shot (Tripedia by Sanofi Pasteur, listed as the third item from the FDA website screen shot below)

 

and 25,000 picograms of mercury in one of the pediatric flu shots (Fluzone by Sanofi Pasteur)

 

and another pediatric flu shot has 12,500 picograms of mercury (Fluvirin by Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics Ltd)

 

and a third pediatric flu shot by the same company under the same name is said to be preservative free but has trace amounts of mercury.  The exact amount does not have to be published if they are under 100 picograms but in this case but trace amounts of mercury are higher than trace amounts allowed in orally ingested items but  in this case is being injected in a child.  How toxic this is may be debatable, but what is not debatable is that there is still some mercury in the vaccine.

 

Additionally the Hep-B vaccine has up to 500 picograms of mercury (Published in table 2 outside the pediatric section in of the FDA document but labeled for use for “pediatric/adolescent” use).  This vaccine is used in pediatrics as well.

 

If I was responsible for public relations and messaging for AAP I would be concerned that saying there is no mercury in vaccines would cause a liability to the AAP if the child gets hurt by the mercury in the vaccine.

 

A family was recently awarded millions of dollars in one of the first cases in federal vaccine court related to vaccines and autism.  That is just one case.  (It is not publicly known but there are 12 other cases.) I do not believe the AAP wants this type of liability for inaccuracies or not telling the entire truth about vaccines.

 

According to the FDA, other mercury containing vaccines (some of them used in children and pregnant or perspective mothers) include the DT vaccine (two of them by Sanofi Pasteur, Inc.), the DtaP vaccine (Tripedia2 Sanofi Pasteur, Inc), two TD vaccines (Mass Public Health and Sanofi Pasteur), the TT (Sanofi Pasteur), the Hep B (GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals), the Hep A/Hep B, (GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals), the Japanese Encephalitis (Research Foundation for Microbial Diseases of Osaka University), and the Meningococcal (Sanofi Pasteur) (1)

 

In summary, there are 16 vaccines with mercury including 5 commonly used in pediatrics and all of them commonly used multiple times throughout the lifetime of the individual.

 

Many of these vaccines are also injected into perspective mothers who, studies show, can pass mercury down to the child through both her umbilical cord and mother’s milk.

 

Pregnant women and breast-feeding women are also marketed the flu shots and that mercury can be considered a pediatric exposure (at least prenatal) since it is passed to the gestating or breast fed child.

 

 

 

 

Articles:

 

1. Attempts At Eradicating Infectious Diseases Are Putting Our Children At Risk

National Vaccine Information Center

By Barbara Loe Fisher, President, National Vaccine Information Center

 

2. MMR and the Simple Truth about Autism

Age of Autism Blog

By Dan Olmsted

February 7, 2008

 

3. What Did the CDC Know and When Did They Know It?

Age of Autism Blog

By Mark Blaxill

December 13, 2007

 

4. The Age of Autism: Pox — Part 1

By Dan Olmsted, UPI

April 19, 2006

 

5. In the Wake of Vaccines Mothering

By Barbara Loe Fisher

September-October 2004

 

6. Vaccines: The Overlooked Factors

Autism Research Institute

Bernard Rimland, Ph.D., President, Autism Research Institute

 

7. DAN! Vaccine Guidelines

Autism Research Institute

 

8. Putting Toddlers At Risk With Mandated Vaccines

American Association of Physicians and Surgeons Online

By Jane Orient, M.D., Executive Director, American Association of Physicians and Surgeons

9. Congressional Investigation of MercuryUS Rep. Dan Burton is the Senior Member on the Government Oversight and Reform Committee.  He has led a congressional hearing on the safety of vaccines with a focus on mercury in health care products including vaccines. 

The link below is to the report his committee published after a three year investigation about how vaccines and mercury in vaccines is likely to play a causal role in neurological disorders including autism.

Mercury in Medicine: Taking unnecessary risks

 

 

Books

 

1. What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Children’s Vaccinations

By Stephanie Cave

 

2. A Shot In The Dark

By Harris Coulter

 

3. The Vaccine Guide: Risks and Benefits for Children and Adults

By Randall Neustaeder

 

 

 

Links

 

1. National Vaccine Information Center

2. Vaccination News

3. Vacinfo.org

 

I found a great blog from The Whole Child: An Integrative Pediatrics Blog today and LOVE this idea.  With cinnamon having natural antibacterial properties (see Care2 for even more details), and the cold and flu season coming, our family needs all the help we can get.  I will definitely try this out.  See an excerpt from the blog below:

The Secret of Thieves

The NY Times “Really?” column today profiles cinnamon oil as a natural antibacterial, part of my home-made essential oil hand sanitizer recipe modeled on the infamous “Thieves” blend.  What is this “Secret of Thieves”?

Props to Young Living Essential Oils (YLEO), the company that has popularized “Thieves” as a natural alternative to chemical alcohol-based sanitizers.  Their blend is a patented mixture of cinnamon bark, clove, lemon, rosemary and eucalyptus oils.  I have adapted this blend of oils for use as a DIY hand sanitizer, adding 1-2 drops of each oil (but 5 drops of the lemon oil – or grapefruit or orange, if you prefer) to a small dispenser bottle filled with filtered water and 1 tsp aloe vera gel.  We use it at the Whole Child Center and it’s been the feature of my last 2 Earth Day presentations at my children’s school.   We even made a cute how-to video.

Thanks to Care2, here are a list of the most contaminated with pesticides produce items.  This helps us who can’t afford to buy everything organic to know what to avoid, or is okay to buy conventional.  Here you go:

What to Avoid in Spring Produce

“What a world-gone-crazy time it is when you can write “produce” and “avoid” in the same sentence. In my version of paradise we don’t need lists to tell us what not to eat because of pesticide contamination, thanks to a spiraling out-of-control food system. But here we are, with the newly published 5th edition of Environmental Working Group’s (EWG)  Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides, which includes the latest government data.

You have probably seen the guide before; it lists 47 popular fruits and vegetables in ranking of pesticide contamination and helps you know which produce to buy organic, and which conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables are okay if organic isn’t available. An EWG simulation of thousands of consumers eating high and low pesticide diets shows that people can lower their pesticide exposure by almost 80 percent by avoiding the top twelve most contaminated fruits and vegetables and eating the least contaminated instead.

According to EWG, every year new research is published demonstrating the toxicity of pesticides to human health and the environment, often at doses previously declared “safe” by the pesticide industry and the government. As acknowledged by the U.S. and international government agencies, different pesticides have been linked with a variety of toxic effects, including nervous system effects, carcinogenic effects, hormone system effects, and skin, eye and lung irritation.

Ideally, for the environment, we’d all choose organic all the time. But for many that’s not realistic, so this list can be very helpful in guiding you to make the healthiest choices available to you. You can download the full list of the 47 at EWG. I have compiled a cheat sheet here of what to look for in your spring produce shopping. The rankings are listed in the parenthesis. Out of 47 items tested, 1 is the most contaminated and 47 is the least.

Buy Organic or Don’t Buy: Five spring items with the highest pesticide loads
Strawberries (6)
Lettuce (9)
Carrots (11)
Spinach (14)
Potatoes (15)

Aim for Organic, But Conventional Will Do: Four spring items with the lowest pesticide loads
broccoli (35)
sweet peas (41)
asparagus (42)
onions (47)

If you can shop at a farmer’s market, remember to ask the vendors about their pest management philosophies. Many farmers are unable or unwilling to file for organic certification but still practice organic, or almost organic, methods. It can be a good way for safer eating without the organic label.”

5 Pesticide Foods to Avoid

1. Peaches. Conventionally farmed peaches are number one because so many pesticides are needed to grow them. Plus, their skin absorbs much of it infecting the flesh with carcinogenic chemicals that far outweigh the peach’s natural health benefits.

2. Apples. Apples are often grown in mid-western states where they are not native and as a result have not developed natural defenses to predators. Because of this, they are treated with many harmful pesticides that seep into the peel. You can always peel your apples but will lose a third of the nutrients and some of the flavor.

3. Sweet Bell Peppers. This vegetable has the highest likelihood of containing multiple pesticides, as many as 64 found on a single sample.

4. Celery. As this vegetable has no skin, the pesticides are absorbed directly into the plant. Scrubbing doesn’t help so it’s best to only buy this fresh and organic.

5. Strawberries. Their skin doesn’t absorb as much as a peach but because they are small, we don’t often wash them as carefully as we should. According to the The Organic Trade Association more than 371 pesticides are approved for use on U.S. strawberries and because they grow so close to the ground are also subject to the chemicals used on soils.

Umcka– it’s a clinically-proven, infection-fighting herbal remedy that is now at our fingertips to help shorten the duration of sick days.  It is used for acute and chronic infections of the respiratory tract, which includes the common cold, bronchitis, tonsillitis, & sinusitis.

What is it?!  It’s a South African geranium root (Pelargonium sidoides), or “Umckaloabo,” which has been used for hundreds of years by traditional South African tribal healers to remedy colds and respiratory infections, but was first introduced to the Western world in the 1890, and has recently become increasingly popular.  I discovered this remedy from my Vitamin Cottage e-Newsletter, and am so intrigued!  I hate taking medicine if I can avoid it, but when the kids or I are sick, it really takes a hit on our social lives!  We miss Church, Bible Study, Mops, Story Time at the Library, play dates—and then especially in the Winter, I feel like I have to limit our social outings to keep our health in tact (especially if there’s an upcoming event we have to attend).

And now, with all of the talk of kids not taking cold medicines, and the effects of overusing antibiotics and then becoming ineffective (not to mention how terrible they are for your body!), a natural remedy sounds fantastic!  Anything I can give my kids without chemicals, pesticides, or antibiotics—I’m all for.  After all, God made our bodies to HEAL THEMSELVES!!!  Why would we limit our bodies from enabling them to do this?!  Anyway, I digress…

So, you may be wondering what happened when researchers performed clinical trials with humans?  Well here are the results:

“Great infection-fighting results. Numerous studies have proven the effectiveness of Umcka. For example, a study using 476 subjects compared Umcka to a placebo in supporting adults with acute bronchitis. Bronchitis is most often caused by a virus, not bacteria; therefore, antibiotics are ineffective against it. It is characterized by thickened mucus in the chest, coughing, inflammation of the bronchial tubes, and a whistling sound during breathing. Using Umcka significantly reduced the severity of symptoms, such as coughing, headaches, and chest pain. The amount of work missed due to the illness was also shortened by two days. Side effects, such as gastrointestinal upset, were slightly more common with Umcka than with the placebo; however, overall the few reactions (less than one percent) experienced were very mild.

Another study using 143 children, aged 6 to 10, with tonsillitis, found similar results. After four days, the symptoms experienced by those taking Umcka decreased almost four times as much as those on the placebo. Those taking Umcka had far better symptom-relief from swelling of the throat, tonsils, and lymph nodes, difficulty swallowing, fever, painful limbs, and headaches. The investigators found freedom from symptoms or marked improvements on day four in almost 90 percent of those subjects using Umcka, while only 17 percent of those taking the placebo had similar results. In fact, a quarter of the participants taking Umcka experienced an improvement after one to two days. The researchers concluded that Umcka is effective, well tolerated, and safe for the initial treatment of non-streptococcal tonsillitis.”

Next time I see the first signs of my kids coming on with a cold, I think I’m going to race to the store for some Umcka!

Here’s to HEALTH, Wellness, and Le Dolce Vita!!!