After writing this morning’s post about the bug in our house, I got dressed and prepared to take Raina in to see the doctor. Before we could leave, she fell asleep, and since she had been up all night I decided the doctor visit could wait until she woke up on her own. By the time Raina woke up, her jaw pain was totally gone, and in its place? Ear ache. Bad, bad ear ache. Redness inside the ear. An ear infection.
It was only a matter of time before Raina suffered her first ear infection. Aside from the common cold, ear infections are the most common affliction of young children. Approximately 95% of children have suffered an ear infection by age six (holy smokes!). And ya know what? While almost all doctors prescribe antibiotics for childhood ear infections, antibiotics actually increase the likelihood of repeat infections by interfering with the body’s natural immunological response. There are much more effective natural ways of treating ear infections that assist the body in curing itself.
So, how are we treating Raina’s ear infection? Instead of heading out to the doctor this morning, we went to our local herbalist, The Ginger Jar, where we were given alcohol-free Echinacea concentrate to be taken orally each day and instructions to eliminate all sugar, dairy and wheat (our only true challenge here is the wheat, as our children are dairy intolerant). After much reading, I’ve decided to also give Raina daily ear drops of Tea Tree Oil diluted in warm water, at a ratio of 4 drops of oil to 1/4 cup of water.
Echinacea is a lovely member of the daisy family that has always grown in my perennial gardens. You may know and enjoy Echinacea as “Purple Coneflower”. Consuming this wonderful plant can cut your chances of catching a cold by more than half (University of Connecticut studies confirmed it!). Echinacea stimulates the immune system and wards off infections. Aren’t plants amazing?
Tea Tree Oil is pressed from the leaves of an Australian tree. It has awesome antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic and antifungal properties (which just blows me away; Mother Earth provides for us well!). It’s even more effective in head lice control than pharmaceutical remedies!
Armed with Echinacea and Tea Tree Oil, I’m confident Raina will heal up quickly and be back to her chipper self in no time. Stay tuned for an update on the effectiveness of our natural remedies!
If you’re interested in learning more about the healing powers of plants and the importance of nutrition in healing, here are some great resources that have been on our family’s bookshelf for many years:
The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants by Andrew Chevallier
Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year by Susun S. Weed
Staying Healthy with the Seasons by Elson M. Haas
Staying Healthy with Nutrition by Elson M. Haas
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon