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Thursday, March 9, 2006

Using Simple Remedies for Sick Children (and Adults)

These comments are shared with you as a story of what our family has done. It is not meant to prescribe for you.

1) Insist on lots of rest. Help your child feel as comfortable as possible, but in a resting position. Don't allow books, games, or TV that will stimulate the body which produces stress on the immune system.

2) Simplify and lighten the diet. Lack of appetite is natural and remember that it takes the same energy to digest a meal as it takes to ride a bike 5 miles, so don't feed unless hungry and then only small portions of food without much fat or protein.

3) Give plenty of water, especially if there is fever. A child with a fever must be pushed to drink at least a small amount of water or herbal tea (1/4 to 1 cup) each hour or two. Water is needed for the body to 'flush out' the dead bad guys.

4) Address any infection that might be present with the appropriate treatment. Treatment will be quickest and easiest if you begin at the first signs of illness, but you can begin using the herbs at any time during the course of illness.

We've used herbs for our family. We keep an Herbal Medicine Chest of our favorite products on hand. We have personally followed the above guidelines. We would give only water, watered down non-citrus juices, and herbal teas to drink and withdraw food for 24 hours. We would set the timer hourly, through the night if necessary, to feed the soldiers of the immune system. They are fighting a war with the virus or bacteria present that is causing the illness, so they need to be given ammunition on a regular basis or they will lose the war.

Often people lose the battle when using herbs and nutritional remedies because they administer them just a few times during the day, while trying to maintain the normal schedule without enough rest, and eating foods that weaken the immune system even further.

It takes a common sense approach to make herbs work and also common sense to know when to go beyond using herbs. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Read more about herbs and children

Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Center for Food Safety Concerned About Mad Cow Disease

Beginning in the 1970s, the meat rendering industry began processing dead, dying, disabled, and diseased animals for use in livestock feed--and pet feed--as a way to increase the protein consumption of cattle, pigs, sheep, and poultry (cattle can get the disease by eating less than one gram of diseased meat and bone meal fed to them as a protein source).

For over 30 years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Agriculture have been flirting with a mad cow disease epidemic. The public has largely been kept in the dark about regulatory decisions leading toward this potential public health catastrophe and even about the dangers associated with eating contaminated meat and meat products.

Tissue from infected cows' central nervous systems (including brain or spinal cord) is the most infectious part of a cow. Such tissue may be found in hot dogs, taco fillings, bologna and other products containing gelatin, and ground or chopped meat.

Humans who eat contaminated beef products are at risk of contracting the human version of mad cow disease known as new variant Creutzfeld-Jakob disease (vCJD). The disease slowly eats holes in the brain over a matter of years, turning it sponge-like, and invariably results in death. There is no known cure, treatment, or vaccine for TSE diseases.

Despite the adoption of additional safeguards following the discovery of mad cow in the United States, the FDA still allows the risky practice of recycling animal offal into feed: ruminant animals (cattle, sheep, goats, deer) are fed to non-ruminants (pigs and poultry), and these non-ruminants are rendered and fed back to ruminants. Such practices are banned in Britain and Europe. Also, in spite of the wake-up call the FDA and the USDA recently received, only a small percentage of slaughtered or soon-to-be slaughtered cows are tested for BSE in the U.S. By contrast, Britain tests 70 percent of its beef cattle and Japan tests 100 percent.

So far, none of the vCJD cases diagnosed in the U.S. have been linked to domestically-produced beef, but this fact may have little bearing on the reality of the situation: the disease has a long incubation period and few dementia-related deaths in the U.S. are investigated. Creutzfeld-Jakob disease is not yet a reportable disease with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Center for Food Safety seeks to make CJD a reportable disease so occurrences can be tracked, and to plug the loopholes that still exist in FDA and USDA regulations, i.e., require testing of all cattle over 20 months of age and ban all animal products from feed.

Visit their website for further resources and information on Mad Cow Disease. This is a preventable disease so be informed. It seems our governmental agencies do not have our best interests at heart. The Center For Food Safety.