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Home > Newsletters > April 2009 > First Aid Kit for Children


By Andrea Thorpe, L.Ac.

As a practitioner of natural medicine, I am a true believer in naturally assisting the immune system to protect and defend the body against pathogenic attack. I also believe antibiotics and antipyretics are valuable, life-saving drugs. However, I do not believe in using them repeatedly to fight conditions that can be resolved with natural therapies first. Each time your child naturally fights off a cold, flu, or an ear infection, the foundation for a stronger, more effective, immune system is being built. Here are some useful, natural childhood remedies:

FEVER is the body's first line of defense against the attack of a pathogen. When the body's temperature rises, viruses and bacteria can be literally 'cooked' and killed. Your first concern is to keep your child as comfortable as possible without jeopardizing the therapeutic effect of a fever. Use a mentholated oil, such as the Tao of Wellness Tonic Oil or Olbas Oil. Apply to the skin on the top part of the child's back, and gently scrape with a spoon until the skin becomes red. This technique is called guasha and is part of the TCM pediatric treatment protocol. Guasha helps release heat and fever and will help your child feel more comfortable. If the fever persists for more than 48 hours or rises above 103-104 degrees Fahrenheit, please consult with your child�s pediatrician immediately.

EAR INFECTION - If you suspect your child has the beginning of an ear infection, try using garlic and mullein oil. Gently warm the oil in a spoon and place a few drops of it in your child's infected ear. Then seal the ear with a little cotton wool. Also, use some Olbas Oil or Tonic Oil to massage the area behind the earlobe to open the Eustachian tubes that help the ears drain. Massage down the neck with even strokes. If this treatment does not relieve discomfort within 24 hours, you may need to resort to antibiotics.

COLDS AND FLU - Watch for the first signs of an impending cold, such as a scratchy throat or a headache. If you cannot bring your child in to see a practitioner, assist your child with some Cold & Flu capsules. This formula is easy to administer and should be given at the first signs of a cold to support a healthy functioning immune system. An increased dose of antioxidants such as Vitamin C, beta-carotene and zinc will further boost the immune system.

SPRAINS AND BRUISES - The Tonic Oil, with eucalyptus, wintergreen and fennel essential oils, has traditionally been used to stimulate and activate the flow of energy and blood. It provides relief from minor aches and pains. Rub it on for headaches, sore or stiff neck and shoulders, muscle pain, back pain or joint aches. Another excellent option is Arnica, a homeopathic remedy that can be administered either as a cream/gel or orally as sugar pills.

RASH / BURN / SKIN IRRITATION - For this I recommend having calendula cream and aloe vera gel in your medicine cabinet. I hope this helps your little ones.

Andrea Thorpe, L.Ac.

Andrea comes with extensive experience in Chinese Medicine. After graduating from King's college London with a degree in Languages and comparative literature, she completed the program of Traditional Chinese Medicine at the London School of Acupuncture and TCM. Andrea continued her education with two separate trips to China studying at both the Hangzhou and Nanjing Schools of Chinese Medicine. Upon her return to Europe she focused her practice on orthopedic, pediatric health and substance abuse. Working in both England and Gibraltar Andrea worked both in private practice and within the English National Health Service.

Andrea came to California in 2003 and completed a Masters degree in Chinese medicine at Yo San University, she graduated with high honors. Fluent in both spoken and written Spanish, Andrea is the mother of two beautiful boys and lives with her family in Silver Lake, she is the newest fellow at the Tao of Wellness.

This Month's Articles

April 2009
Volume 7, Number 4

4 Feng Shui Tips for Financial Health

First Aid Kit for Children

Acupuncture’s Role in Supportive Housing

Recent Research

Ask The Doctor

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