Sep 29, 2014

Children and sore throats

Our tonsils are the immune system's first line of defense against ingested or inhaled foreign pathogens. They play an important role in preventing infections as they trap germs and bacteria that come in through the nose and mouth. Among these is the culprit that usually causes tonsillitis and can lead to strep throat. In children who haven't reached puberty, the tonsils' immune system is much more active than in adults. Also, children have immune systems that are still developing, leaving them more vulnerable as they interact with other people.

There are simple ways to help your child stay healthy this season, and herbs can be soothing and help little throats mend and feel better. This is particularly true of herbal extracts. In liquid form-direct contact is made with the tonsils and throat as it is swallowed. 

Here are some throat friendly herbs to consider:

White Oak bark is high in tannins and calcium, this is a classic astringent herb. Astringents tighten or draw together tissue in a protective way, this is particularly true of mucous membranes such as those found in the throat.  Their styptic power, binds proteins located on the surface of the mouth and throat helping to keep harmful bacteria from invading into the tissue.

Olive leaf, Oregon Grape root and Propolis Resin can give the rest of the immune system a much needed boost in resisting the detrimental bacteria.

Devil's Claw root, and Gotu kola herb support a healthy throat by keeping inflammation in check, which encouraging healing. Gotu kola also supports tissue repair, which can help when your throat gets really raw.

Slippery Elm bark has demulcent properties which means it forms a soothing film over a mucous membrane, relieving discomfort, difficulty swallowing, and mild inflammation of the throat membranes.

A teaspoon of raw honey and fresh ginger juice in a bit of warm water makes a great homemade, daily throat support for children and adults who tend to get a sore throat easily.  If a sore throat does strike, adding lemon juice and a pinch of red pepper can help soothe and fight the infection.

Sep 12, 2014

Back to School, Back to learning!

Curious children who enjoy books and learn easily, tend to meet the first day of school with a great deal of excitement and anticipation! They are more than happy to leave summer behind to explore all the new school term offers, reconnect with friends and join the fun at recess. 

In a perfect world every child would enjoy going back to school. But in reality, many little hearts are filled with dread as the first day of being confined in a classroom nears. Little boys are often challenged by the focus and concentration needed for learning much more frequently than little girls. Fidgety and anxious, with shorter attention spans, the classroom is more of a prison for them to avoid than an exciting door into discovery.

This months Back-to-School Special includes two simple but powerful, herbal formulas to help your child enjoy learning. Natural Attention-Aid was developed at the request of a father of two who struggled with focus at work. He credits these herbs for saving his job. In the past decade, this formula has made a wonderful difference for many children.  Visit to learn more about Natural Attention-Aid, and our other formulas for both kids and adults that are popular this time of year!

Aug 28, 2014

Mornings and lunches that work

Have you ever lovingly packed a nourishing lunch for your child, only to have it come home a jumbled, slightly nibbled on mess? Maybe it's time to teach your children to pack their own lunch, freeing you to tend to the multitude of other things it takes to get out the door in the morning. Not only will it make life easier for you, your child will feel empowered that he or she is doing an "adult job". Here are a few tips that we here at MMH find make for an smooth morning exit once school begins.

Teach your children to include one high protein item: like peanut butter, leftover meats, cheese or yogurt, and two side dishes. Make a rule that at least one must be a fruit or vegetable. Children are more likely to eat food they choose.

Keep foods and lunch items low in the cupboard and fridge for your children to easily reach them.

Ask for their input on the shopping list, then as your budget allows, provide a bit of variety by buying their favorite healthy choices.

Avoid the last minute search for shoes, books, and that favorite jacket by having your children help you make sure these are in place the night before.

Joy in the morning. Tired children are grumpy children. A regular bedtime that allows for 7-9 hours of sleep isn't something to bend the rules on. Sticking to it will pay off.

With a bit of consistency these can become simple habits that make mornings work!  

Aug 19, 2014

Did you know...?

If you place a peeled garlic clove between your toes you will taste it within minutes?

We all know the importance of taking care of our bodies by choosing healthy foods and committing to regular exercise. But what about what we put on our skin? It is the body's largest organ, yet seldom thought of as a place for harmful or beneficial matter to gain access.

If it’s possible for garlic to enter and travel through your body system in about 15 minutes, then think of what else is entering our bodies through the skin! Dangerous chemicals are often found in things we use daily such as body care products and cleaning agents. Parabens found in most lotions and moisturizers can act as an unhealthy estrogen in the body, leading to hormone imbalance and may even lead to estrogen based cancers.

Sanctum products are a great choice for chemical-free and healthy bath products. From baby products to safe choices of soap, shampoo and even deodorant, Sanctum products are derived from 100% natural ingredients, which means no harsh or harmful chemicals are added. 

Essential oils are another healthy and safe solution to replace those chemical-based products in your house. To relieve dry skin, try mixing Lavender and Myrrh essential oil with a carrier oil such as Meadowfoam or Sweet Almond. The carrier oil and the essential oil will help maintain velvety skin without the harmful chemicals or greasy feeling after.

Try a detox bath by adding 1 cup of baking soda to the bath with your favorite essential oil. Your skin pH can be balanced by adding 10 drops of lavender essential oil with 1 cup of apple cider vinegar to a bath. This can ease a sunburn, and help heal acne, while leaving your skin smooth and healthy. Now that you know how quickly garlic is absorbed through the skin, why not try placing a few crushed garlic cloves mixed with coconut oil on the bottom of your feet overnight when your body needs help fighting off a flu or infection? You can get a large part of the beneficial properties of garlic without eating it.

Aug 7, 2014

First Trimester Discomforts

While the exact cause of the common discomforts of the first trimester are not entirely understood, it does seem sensible to give a new life a clean, healthy place to grow and develop. As the body's main organ for detoxification, the liver filters and stores blood around the clock.
Author and Herbalist Shonda Parker encourages getting the liver in good health by cleansing and supporting it before conceiving. Noting that fewer of the common discomforts are experienced by those wise enough to do this. However, if you are already expecting, you can still give your liver a gentle boost by using liver friendly herbs that are considered safe for use during this time or while nursing. 

LiverGlow II contains extracts of Lemon Balm, Alfalfa, Milk Thistle, Grape seed, Dandelion, Olive leaf, Bilberry and fresh Ginger to gently cleanse, support cleanse, support and nourish the liver. It may be all you need to feel better and more energized. A combination of liver friendly fresh and dried ginger root extracts can go a long way in calming the stomach during this time. Stomach Aid can be taken with LiverGlow II, it contains fennel and peppermint in addition to fresh and dried ginger extracts. Give your baby a clean, healthy place to grow and fell better as well.

Combat morning sickness...
Blood sugar levels seem to affect how sick one feels in the first trimester. Try eating a bit of protein every two hours. A few tablespoons of yogurt, 5-6 raw almonds, or half of a hard boiled egg. If you cannot keep anything down, sip on water with fresh organic lemon juice and freshly squeezed ginger juice with a bit of honey. Room temperature Sprite or Ginger Ale does the trick for some women. Maybe it’s the lemon and sugar in these that bring relief. Using fresh lemon/ginger juice with raw honey can be a healthier version that hopefully will help you feel better!