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My 10-year-old daughter is just over another ear infection and another round of antibiotics. What can we do to prevent them from happening in the first place?
>> Ear infections really are miserable, particularly if they are recurrent. If you haven’t already I would find a good local ENT specialist to investigate why your son seems to be more susceptible to repeat infections.
Have a chat to your health practitioner about the possibility of an intolerance or sensitivity to wheat and/or dairy products, since these are often underlying issues with recurrent ear infections and middle ear issues.
In the meantime, it is a good idea to offset the antibiotic medication with some high-quality probiotics.
Most people are aware that antibiotics not only wipe out the bacteria responsible for the infection, and are certainly necessary in some situations, but they also wipe the beneficial bacteria out as well. There are a number of great probiotic brands available today — Biokult or OMX would be my top picks if you can find them locally, other good brands include, Alforex, Seven Seas, Biocare, and Solgar to name but a few.
Keeping your son’s gut health in check will not only help to repopulate the beneficial bacteria after antibiotic usage, but it will also assist in fighting future infections.
The herbal tincture goldenseal, Hydrastis canadensis, is a fantastic standby to have for treating infection. It can be used both internally and externally to treat viral and bacterial infections. It is bright yellow, hence the name, so you might want to wear gloves or apply very carefully with a dropper to avoid staining.
The tincture can be applied directly to the outer edge of the ear hole, and taken internally as directed on the bottle.
Craniosacral therapy has had significant success in both treating and preventing ear infection where it is an ongoing problem. To find a craniosacral practitioner in your area, visit the Irish Association of Craniosacral Therapists online at www.iacst.ie.
Here’s a tried-and-tested home remedy to have on hand at the slightest hint of ear trouble: Simply crush a clove of garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil and leave to stand for 12 hours (or overnight). Strain and use two to three drops of the garlic-infused oil on cotton wool and place gently in the outer ear (don’t insert in the ear canal) so that the garlic oil is sitting directly over the entrance of the ear.
Change three times daily or as necessary.
How can I get rid of my baby’s cradle cap? I’ve tried using almond oil but it comes back every time.
>> This is quite a common issue in infants under 12 months and is also referred to as seborrheic dermatitis. Fortunately, it generally doesn’t cause any pain or problems beyond the appearance (right at the very time when you want to show off your little one). Some babies are certainly more likely to be susceptible to this condition than others, with a commonly held belief that babies with less hair are more likely to have it. In fact, there is no evidence to suggest that a lack of hair is linked directly to cradle cap.
Avoiding the common allergen foods for the first year is worthwhile — for both you and baby. Dairy, gluten, and eggs are all common culprits.
What scientists have found is that biotin, one of the B vitamins, levels are often very low with infants who have cradle cap. As you may know, egg yolk is one of the best dietary sources of biotin. Since eggs are best avoided for the first 12 months, you can add liver into your diet — also a good source of biotin — or take 10mg of biotin daily via supplementation if you are still breastfeeding.
A deficiency in essential fatty acids (EFAs) can also play a role in cradle cap. You can take them in via dietary choices and also apply then topically to the scalp.
Evening Primrose Oil (EPO), borage, and hempseed are all wonderful sources of EFAs for skin health.