The natural way for a healthy child
Dr. Murray Clarke
The return to school marks the major shift in every child's life-year. New friends, new learning, new teachers, a host of changes and new experiences. It is also a role of changes in season, climate, and daily schedule. Perhaps due to all of these reasons - and the major one of increased contact with lots of other children - this is the time of year when children are also most susceptible to catching whatever may be going around the school and community.
This can also be a trying time of year for parents, as they try to protect their children's health (as well as their own!). Perhaps you have wondered:
- Why do some children seem to catch every bug that goes around and others don't?
- Why do some children recover quickly while other children take a long time to recuperate?
- How can I use natural remedies and supplements to protect and strengthen my child's immune system this season?
This issue of the ChildLife Quarterly will cover all the aspects of the "Cold and Flu Season" and give you the understanding, knowledge and practical details of how to support and be naturally pro-active, during these months.
Susceptibility - who catches what?
There are always two factors involved whenever a child (or adult) catches anything:
- 1. The strength of the bug (the bacteria or virus).
- 2. The strength of the child's immune system.
These two factors determine who catches the bug, who gets what, and the severity or degree of symptoms that they may experience. All day long, all year long, we are all being exposed to germs, bacteria, and viruses. The strength of your child's immune system on each particular day and moment determines whether they will catch something or not. When any sort of flu or other virus is going around the community, almost every person will come in contact with it in some way. Generally however, only 10-15% of those who came in contact with it, will catch it and develop symptoms. The sole difference between those who caught it and those who didn't is the strength and integrity of their immune system.
This is not to say that a healthy child will never catch anything. Catching what may be circulating through the school or day-care is a normal and natural part of how each child's immune system is challenged, develops, matures, strengthens and creates protection for later in life.
Ideally, when a child does catch something, you can then immediately start with the natural immune -response formulas, their immune system will respond to the assistance of the herbs and nutrients and your child can in-prove readily and quickly. Maintenance and Prevention; how to help your child avoid catching what is going around The difference between catching or not catching what is going around is determined by the current state of your child s immune system. So how do we know what the overall strength of each child's immune system is, and what do we need to do, to maintain, improve and keep their immune system at full strength?
First, to gauge the current state of your child's immune system, look back over their last few years and think about how many times they have caught something and what it took to help them recover. How long does it generally take for them to recover- and recuperate? Have they taken, or are they currently on any sort of medications? Is their diet based on clean, organic, whole foods? How much over-processed, junk and fast foods are in their diet? Do they currently take any vitamin or nutritional supplements? By evaluating the above questions, you can get a sense of whether your child's immune system is at full, moderate or low strength. Now we can look at what can be used naturally for strengthening, prevention and response when needed.
Multi Vitamin/Mineral: There are sixteen "essential" vitamins plus the primary "essential" minerals. They are termed "essential," by the United States National Academy of Sciences (Dietary Reference Intakes, Institute of Medicine, National Academy Press. 2000,) because they are required for so many important functions within the body and )rain. Some play a more direct role within he immune system. For example, Vitamin 2 is the primary vitamin for immune unction and Zinc is the primary mineral for immune support. However, all of the vitamins and minerals are vital members within the orchestra of essential nutrients, he basic building blocks for every function n our bodies. Providing your child with a well- balanced diet and a Multi Vitamin/Mineral formula is the first step in establishing a strong foundational platform for their immune system to work from.
Give your child the Multi Vitamin/Mineral formula daily for primary support and immune function. (Sarma, K., Effect of nicronutrient supplementation on health status of school children. J. Nutrition, 2006, Jan., 22, 8-141
Vitamin C: Vitamin C has been the subject if thousands of immune function studies. Nobel prize winner, Linus Pauling was the first medical scientist to notify the world importance and many immune benefits at can be obtained by daily supplementation of Vitamin C. Daily supplementation of Vitamin C creates an extra dimension of defense and protection your child's immune defense and response capabilities.
Vitamin C should be given on a daily basis support and give extra protection for your child's immune system vitamin c supplementation and common cold symptoms; factors affecting the magnitude of the benefit, Med Hypotheses, 1999,, Feb 52 (2) 171-8)
Colostrum: Colostrum is nature's number to food for restoring, strengthening and regulating immune function. Provided by the mother, colostrum is the first nourishment given to the newborn baby through breastfeeding. For the initial 36 hours after the birth, colostrum is provided by the mother, only after that does the breastmilk begin to flow. The reason nature set things up this way is because colostrum contains and provides all of the immune peptides, co-factors and information that is required for initiating and supporting the development of the immune system in the newborn baby. Nature's wisdom supplied in the first food for every child, indicates the profound importance of the immune nutrients found in colostrum for supporting healthy growth and immune function. If your child has been catching things too easily or taking too long to recuperate then give Colostrum with Probiotics on a daily basis for a few months to help strengthen and support their immune system. (Protective potential of colostrum against prospective influenza viruses. J Trop Pediatrics, 1990, Apr; 36 12) 94-5)
By providing the above supplements to your child on a daily basis, you will be proactively supporting and strengthening their immune and natural defense systems. This is the best way to protect and support your child during this winter season.
- Maintenance and Prevention Program Multi Vitamin/ Mineral; give daily according to label dosage and age.
- Vitamin C; give daily according to label dosage and age.
- Colostrum with Probiotics; give daily according to label dosage and age.
At the first sign when and if, your child starts to show signs of catching something then the most important action is to start giving them the natural formulas that can help support their immune response and natural defenses. A part of growing up for all infants and children includes being exposed to new and wider environments at each stage of growth. As this process takes place each child's immune system comes into more contact with many and varied challenges. This is a part of how the immune system develops and grows stronger, by confronting these challenges and learning how to overcome and defend against each new situation.
Renis, H. Antiviral activity of calcium elonclate. Antimicrobial Agents Chemother, p.167-172, 1369
Fleming, H. Isolation of a bacterial inhibitor from green olives. Appl Microbiology 18, 856-860, 1969
St Johns Wort, is known by many to assist in mood and mind, but historically and traditionally has been widely used to support and enhance immune responses. Avato. P Extracts from St Johns Wort and their antimicrobial activity. Phytother Res, 18(3), -232, 2004
Jacobsen .1. Pharmokinetics, safety and antiviral effects of Hypericin. a derivative of St Johns Wort. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 45121 517-524, 2.001
Larch Arabinogalactan, this polysaccharide derived from the bark of the Larch tree, is found to provide support for a wide spectrum of immune responses and activity.
Kelly, G. Larch arabinogalactan; clinical relevance of a novel irnnwne-enhancing. polysaccharide. Altern Med Rev., 4121, 96-103, 1999
Silver (colloidal), this trace mineral is utilized in this formula to provide extra immune support.
Searle A., The use of colloids in health and disease. Constable & Co., London, 67-111, 1920 Powel J., Our Mightiest Germ Fighter. Sci Digest, Mar., 67-60, 1978
Zinc (citrate), another trace mineral which is actively involved in supporting effective immune response.
Hulisz D , Efficacy of zinc against common cold viruses, an overview. J Am Pharm Assoc., 44(5) 594-603, 2004. Eby G., Reduction in duration of common colds by zinc gluconate, Antimicrob Agents Chemother, 25(1) 20-24, 1984
Together these herbs and nutrients provide a very complete and effective formula for protecting and defending the body.
Immune Response Program
Vitamin C: Always start giving 3x daily at the first sign, for extra immune response. Continue the increased Vitamin C dosage until all is clear and recovery is complete. Continue to use Vitamin C until all is clear and your child's mood and energy are completely back to normal. At that time, continue to provide the forrsciurac for another too days to chance of any reoccurrence.
Echinacea: is another one of nature's c;peat r-nrnune and defense herbal suhrcance-,s Echinacea can be used to help prevent arici give extra protection or also to help clear conditions once they have started.
Dosages: For extra protection and defense, give Echinacea once daily on an ongoing basis. When used more often, give 3-4 times daily for up to 10 days and then take a 1 week break.
Echinacea can be used in addition or preventatively at the suggested dosages.
Every time your child successfully heals by using these natural remedies, their immune system learns to perform the task that it was created for and will grow stronger. Everything is cleared and protection created for the future. Just as we grow stronger and wiser through experience so too does a child's immune system.
This season start pro-actively with daily supplementation of:
These suggestions provide the natural way to support, encourage and assist your child's immune-system this season.