Friday, November 30, 2007
This month, let's do something different. There is at least one thing in everybody's list of 'I wish I did that' or 'I wish I could do that'. It could be as simple as baking a cake or drinking 'something' or even getting a different haircut than the usual one. Or you wish you cursed. :) Or you danced. Or sang. Or asked for forgiveness for something you wish you hadn't done. Or gave somebody a piece of your mind. Or invited a new friend that you've been thinking that you should invite but kept postponing it forever. Give it a thought. There might be something that you wished you did, but never got up and actually did that. It could be out of sheer laziness or maybe a mental block. But it never got done.
So, This month, let's get outside our comfort zone and dare to do at least one thing that we want to but held back for some reason. And then make a post about it here with the label 'Theme for December' or 'Stepping out'.
Edited to add: Just wanted to clarify - This is not a long term thing - as in 'learn to play guitar' or 'start exercising' or 'will get up early from now on' or' start enjoying life more'. This dare is a one time thing. It is not required to do continue doing it for this dare, but If you wish to continue that lifelong, more power to you! :) Say, you want to dance but something had held you back all along, just close all the doors, switch on the music - something that will make you shake your leg and booty and rock on! And after that's done, think of something else that you wish you did and do that. Pick as many of your wishes as you want. And remember to post something about that. You don't have go into details if you don't want to but do share with us as much as you can and esp. how you felt.
And yes, kodi's mom, you guessed it right. This month's theme is to unwind a bit, loosen up a little and be all geared up to embrace the new year with both hands. :)
Now, Step out of your comfort zone. I double dare you! :)
Thank you, members of DMC who shared your trusted, tried and very valuable natural remedies. As Bird's Eye View suggested, those of us who would like to use them need to print them out, organize by ailment type and keep it handy at all times.
If you have other thoughts that you couldn't share or if you come across new remedies, feel free to post about it anytime. Don't forget to use the label 'Home Remedies' or 'Theme for November' so others can find it quickly.
Thanks, Sandeepa, for giving me free use of the soapbox for all of November - it was fun :)
A new month, a new theme starts tomorrow. Wonder what it is...
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Her skin gets so dry in some spots like legs,hips..she also scratches that area a lot..and because of that scabs are beginning to form.
I am using Eucerin lotion ( suggested by a friend ), but so far it does not seem to help much.
Does anyone have any advice? any ayurvedic or herbal oils etc? I am actually going to India in Dec for 6 weeks ( yay !! ), so I can get something there.
Any comments will be much appreciated. thank you all :)
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Does anybody have any tips about how to be prepared?
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Congestion and Runny nose for babies – This one is a best alternate for any medicine. When Kaju was under the weather, my Mom suggested that I use this ‘groundnut oil’ heated with garlic. I did the same, and rubbed it on her chest, nose and head while warm and bearable by the baby. She responded well for this, the next day she woke up fresh and smiley.
Indigestion for babies – This was already mentioned by another fellow mom but let me now tell how I introduced this to Kaju. Kaju was on her first solids when she was 6 months old and it didn’t set well with her. She didn’t poop for almost 2 days and that scared the *shit* out of me. My doctor at my beck and call, my mom, gave me this wonderful solution and has been the best remedy till date if I have to have kaju poop and clear her stomach. Ajwain (Omam in Tamil)– Yes the magical Ajwain. But wait, it is Ajwain water and this is the preparation for it.
Take 2 teaspoons of Ajwain (omam in Tamil).
Dry roast the ajwain in a wok or a kadai.
Once the aroma comes out, pour water to the ratio of 1 tsp: one cup.
Bring it to boil.
Once it is lukewarm, strain the water.
Take two ounces of this water and feed the baby and viola the poop comes out and you are relieved.
There will be resistance for this water from the baby, as it will be little spicy due to Ajwain, so instead of directly feeding the baby with this water, you can mix it with her solids or even formulae or your own milk and feed her the same.
Isn’t baby’s poop the most relieving factor in our life at this point?;)
Another interesting yet powerful home made remedy is the following.
Raisins – yes, soak the raisins in warm water till it puffs up and then mash the raisins with spoon, strain the water and feed the water to the baby and viola indigestion is cleared and stomach is clear This was my best bud’s mom’s remedy and it worked extremely well with Teju and also with kaju.
Rasanadhi Podi – This is an ayurvedic powder that you get in almost all the ayurvedic medical stores now a day. Take a pinch of this powder and apply it on your scalp after every hairwash.This will prevent from getting cold and my father in law has been using this powder for almost 30 years now and have started applying this for kaju as well. It helps in a great deal.
Indigestion/Gassy feeling in Adults – Fermented buttermilk is a best medicine. Relieves the pain and bloated feeling. Buttermilk along with fenugreek will also help in menstrual cramps.
Menstrual cramps: you can use the above combination of buttermilk with fenugreek and drink it frequently for menstrual cramps and also use the following preparation for the menstrual cramps.
I was one of very few unlucky ones when it comes to menstrual cramps. During my college days I have had poor attendance due to the same reason. So my mom used to do t his home made remedy of making a ball out of coriander leaves and mix it with buttermilk and made me drink from 3 days before my monthly cycle. It does not give you instant relief but on a regular basis, it has helped me by reducing the level of pain that once used to bother me very bad.
Constipation after delivery - I was heavily constipated for almost a week after kaju’s birth. This generally happens in delivery of big babies and I was no exception. Oats porridge it is and helps in great deal in overcoming constipation issues.
Castor oil – This has been savior of my life. Being in a profession that has you stare at the monitor for more than 10 hours, your eyes becomes all puffy and heat established with dirt falling of from the sides of your eyes. Even if I keep cucumbers all over my eyes, it does not really help me reduce the puffiness nor did leave freshness in my eyes.But castor oil. Just apply castor oil on your eyes and also the surrounding region for one hour or so and wash it off with warm water. Acts as an excellent coolant. But beware, if applied a lot or for a longer time, you might end up catching a cold.
Turmeric and Pepper – Excellent remedy for cold and coughs, in adult, if mixed with warm milk and drunk.
Garlic – Already mentioned, but this not just helps you control cholesterol but also is very good lactating moms. Fenugreek also helps improve the milk production in lactating moms.
Chukku Kaapi for cold– Ginger is more than a spice and yes I say ‘aye’ to this article.
Neem Flower(veppam poo)- During my childhood days I used to hate sundays, coz that is when mom used to make this rasam out of Neem flower(veppam poo). We used to follow strict 'pathiya sapadu'-medicinal food and it is used to cleanse our system.Neem flower (veppam poo rasam)rasam is prepared to help prevent worms in the stomach.It is also helpful in preventing stomachache due to constipation.
I can keep jotting down the endless natural remedies and its benefits. But the space is not enough. Thank you Kodi's mom for this wonderful theme for November.
Friday, November 23, 2007
WASHINGTON — A hidden cancer-causing petrochemical has been found in dozens of children’s bath products and adults’ personal care products, in some cases at levels that are more than twice the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s lenient recommended maximum.
Laboratory tests released today revealed the presence of 1,4-Dioxane in products such as Hello Kitty Bubble Bath, Huggies Baby Wash, Johnson’s Baby Wash, Scooby-Doo Bubble Bath and Sesame Street Bubble Bath. The tests also found the carcinogen in Clairol Herbal Essences shampoo, Olay Complete Body Wash and many other personal care products.Read the entire article here. Scroll down the article to find a complete list of children and adult's bath products and the amount of the carcinogen in each.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
I remembered a few more home remedies that we use quite often.
For diarrhoea: soak 1 tsp of fenugreek seeds in 1 tbsp home made curds overnight, and swallow it the next morning. This is something we have followed for years and it's quite effective for adults as well as children.
Interestingly, I used to eat 1 tbsp of fenugreek seeds soaked overnight in water to help me lactate better after my daughter was born.
For constipation: Give your child bananas.
For a stuffy nose: inhale in water to which you have added a few drops of eucalyptus oil. Eucalyptus oil drops in a bowl of warm water is also a great way to keep mosquitoes away.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Some of the ones I remember from my childhood -
1. Honey to treat minor burns.
2. When you get a small cut , mix turmeric in warm ghee and put it on the wound.
3. Ajwain soaked in hot/warm water for indigestion.
I was reading some of the other posts and recalled fond memories of some of the treatments mentioned :)
Stuffed Nose: One of the most frequent problems during cold weather – for this my grandmother used to resort to a treatment called ’pathu’. This is a paste like preparation that is applied to the nose, throat and forehead and clears up blocked noses in a jiffy. There is a staining potential involved so make sure that your toddler (over 1 year) is wearing an old dress and protect the pillow cases also by laying some old towels on it. On a rough stone, rub a piece of turmeric and collect the paste on a ladle as shown. Mix a teeny bit of sunnambu (calcium carbonate? taken with betel leaves and betel nuts) with it. Heat the watered down mixture until it boils and you are left with a thick paste. When it is still warm apply on the child’s forehead, nose and throat. Let it dry up for a few hours. You can later take this off by wiping with a wet towel. It does involve some work but I can vouch for its healing power. I have tried it many times with my twin daughters and it offers great relief to stuffed nose and head colds in toddlers in the age group of 1 to 3.
Cough: For dry coughs drink a glass of warm milk mixed with panamkalkandu (Palm sugar crystals). I usually stock some during India trips but I am sure you can find palm sugar here in some of the Asian markets. For coughs accompanied with phlegm – mix a pinch of turmeric powder and add some crushed black pepper (2 or 3 pepper corns is sufficient) to a cup of warm milk. For toddlers you can skip the peppercorns and just add some turmeric powder to the milk they drink.
Mouth ulcers: This one is a constant problem in our house with hubby getting mouth ulcers very often in the winter. He is one of those types, who hate going to the doctor or taking pills. It is actually easier for me to get medications into my daughters than trying to make him take a B-complex pill. My MIL had an excellent cure for this. Manathakkali (Black nightshade –courtesy wikipedia) leaves when used along with our regular spinach in cooking is a wonderful way to get rid of these painful ulcers. It grows in abundance in our garden but is generally considered a weed here in USA. My MIL also makes manathakkali vathal (a pickled version of the green berries of the Manathakkali plant). This has a longer shelf life and can be shallow fried with a little bit of ghee and can be eaten as a side dish with curd rice. My granny’s cure for mouth ulcers is to rinse the mouth with a little bit of gingelly oil.
In her post Kodi’s Mom mentioned fenugreek seeds as a cure for menstrual pain and I use it often for that purpose. Recently I read an article about the effect of fenugreek in lowering cholesterol (elevated cholesterol levels is scary but is becoming quite common in the Indian community living here). I use it daily in my sambhar seasoning and also add a spoon of fenugreek to the urad dal/rice that I grind weekly for my idlis/dosas.
Garlic: This is another thing that is commonly found in our kitchens and is renowned for its cholesterol lowering properties. My Mom, used to add this regularly in my post partum diet as it increased milk production in lactating mothers.
I hope you find some of these remedies helpful!
Thursday, November 15, 2007
As always, please use caution and common sense before adopting any of these. If you feel wary about any of the ingredients or methods, just don't use them.
With an eye-dropper or syringe, insert a few drops of sesame oil into the nostril. It might be slightly uncomfortable for the kid, but eases congestion fairly quickly.
Constipation in infants
Typically when solid food or formula is introduced to a breastfed baby, there is some amount of constipation to be expected. I read in assorted sources, and have confirmed from personal experience the use of four P fruits - pear, prune, peach, plum. Fresh form is best...quantity varies depending on infant's age. Start with half of what you would give as a meal and adjust as required. This has been effective for my toddler too - especially pears.
Soak teaspoon of raisins in warm water overnight, and feed infant 2-3 spoons of the water the next morning. According to my mom, this has been a regular diet to all babies in my family - constipation or not, it is healthy and helps build resistance.
I used to get horrible, debiliating monthly pains. Ones that would leave me close to tears. Tylenol would help but I wasn't comfortable taking it every month. So I resorted to my mother's simple and easy trick. Take a spoonful of methi seeds (Fenugreek) and swallow it whole. I treated them tablets - would gulp them down with water. Pain would usually fade away in about 15-20 minutes. If it persisted, another spoonful did the job.
Not recommended for other kind of cramps.
Postpartum water retention
This is a brilliant remedy from my grandma. Apparently, in my mother's postpartum days, new moms would recieve a dry heat pack treatment twice a day on the limbs and tummy area. It served to improve circulation and to heal muscular pain from labor. For me, the problem was bloated legs and feet for nearly a week postpartum. The doctor suggested regular walking and that would have worked, except I was so sore that I could barely put one foot after another. Here, my grandma's suggestion came handy. My mom would iron a thick terry cotton towel folded into layers and dab it on my legs and feet, reheating the towel each time it cooled. This went on for about 20 minutes, twice a day. Three such sessions, and the water drained away completely. (leaving my skin there limp and lifeless, but we will not talk abt taht! Skin was back to normal in a few days.)
Barley water is also known to ease water retention during pregnancy. Cook barley in water on open flame (not pressure cooker), once cooked, separate the water from the grain. Drink about 1/2 cup at a time. No more than 1 cup in a day. And find a spot next to the bathroom! ;)
Hope these help you or someone in your family!
One fine day, we found we had a few visitors at home - Uninvited! We were shocked to see them. ARGH! Unwanted visitors they were.. We told them politely - 'Please go away'... No, they didn't! Our manners were gone by now and we were getting restless and said 'Go away, we don't want to see you! And the guests didn't go even when we turned rude... We didn't know how else to send them back to where they came from.
Our animal instincts took over and we started killing them - one by one. Yeah, all our Indian hospitality was long gone and we killed our guests. There was just no other way. Now, Darwin may call it 'Survivial of the fittest'... we just didn't care. We wanted them gone and they weren't listening to polite requests. So, we kept killing them. And then, a few more guests of the same kind showed their heads in a few days. And yes, they were brutally murdered. We also called the apartment's helpline to send us somebody from the guest-control department and though they came and did what they could... the guests kept coming - some days they came in twos... but mostly it was a lone guest... and we kept killing. They haven't visited us for a few days now... They do seem to have all been wiped out by us. But we never know whether they will be coming again or not... I have come to a point where I can scream at the sight of anymore of those guests... Not even one.
This is why we ask your help... what would you do to avoid unwanted pesky little cockroaches coming to your home? Any sprays? Any solutions on the kitchen counter? Any natural methods? Any other ways? And if they come, how would you destroy them?
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
I have several..no actually many remedies regarding colds and flu passed on right from my great grandmothers, grandmothers, mother, mil, aunts and so on.. Everybody considers it their right to pitch in with their remedies.. Some of the remedies work ..some don't and neither of them are amused when you tell them that their remedy didn't work..
Anyways if your child or for matter even an adult is suffering from cough, what you need to do is to roast a few cloves of garlic and then mash it..and apply the paste on the throat..It does cause a relief…
For a nose block, roast a pepper corn and let the child inhale the smoke.
A spoon of honey a day is healthy for the child. And now since L is three, I mix a little turmeric powder in the honey when she has a cold or any other symptoms.
I soak two almonds the previous night and get her to eat them the next morning. This has increased her immunity. If it has to be force fed..do it..I powder the soaked almonds and mix it in the honey and make her have it.
Ginger mashed mixed with honey is also another remedy to prevent cold.
If the child has trouble sleeping because of a congested chest, mash garlic into ghee and massage it onto their chest and back before they are put to sleep.
There are more and it would take days to type it all in..
These are some of the most useful and very productive at that..
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
As Kodi's mom said The November will be chilly and will come with cold and coughs in children as well as in adults.My daughter and my hubby are suffering with these problems.My mother in law knows home made remedies for almost everything.She told me some for cold and cough.These will help controlling it.
1)Cloves powder:Shallow fry the cloves in a pan or keep the in microwave for about 2 minutes.Powder them finely.Give this, just a little bit ,with a drop of honey for kids every morning when they are suffering from cough.It really helps to control cough.You can give this children from 9 months.
Adults also can take the clove directly without use of honey for cough.Just chew one clove if u are getting severe cough.It really gives a better feeling.
U can see some more uses of cloves HERE.
2)Allam(ginger) Pulusu:This is the recipe for adults and kids as well.It has to be taken with white rice when it is very hot in the morning time as break fast.
Coriander seeds....1 tbsp
Grind all the above to a paste.
Tamarind juice.......1/2 c
- Heat 3 tbsp oil in a pan.Fry the paste until oil comes out.
- Add tamarind juice ,turmeric and salt.
- Boil with the tamarind juice for 15 minutes or until the tamarind juice evaporates to half.
- take it off from the stove and Serve hot with white rice as told above.
3)Vamu java(ajwain rice): this is another recipe from my MIL for controlling flu.
- Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan .add garlic cloves
- fry them for a minute.Add chopped onion,green chilly,curry leaves and ginger.
- When the onion fried add ajwain and fry for 1 min.
- Now add the rice flakes ,water.Cover and cook until the rice flakes are cooked well.
- After that add salt and tamarind juice .
- Cover and cook for more 5 minutes.
Remove from the stove and serve hot with a tsp of sesame oil on the top.It has to be taken as a a break fast.These all will really help control the cough which comes from cold.
To all the moms...Take care of your kids and yourselves from the whether changes.
Friday, November 9, 2007
Well, there's another issue that we don't often hear about - thanks to the powerful toy industry lobbying in America, consumers are kept in dark and we become victims of consumerism. This one's about the use of legal toxins such as Phthalates.
This article discusses Phthalates in toys and how California is the only state in the country to pass a bill prohibiting the sale of phathalate toys.
Consumer Products Safety Commission, CPSC is the government agency that regulates the industry. They regularly update on their website, all the toys that have been recalled. Here's the list so we know what's been recalled so far:
Didn't know modern day evil (narakasura) could come in the form of toys in order to hurt our children. Let's try and stay enlightened this Diwali on the various forces of evil around us so we know best how to protect our children safe and healthy! Hope you all had a wonderful Diwali! :-)
Desi Momz Club aka DMC gets a mention in the The Telegraph
Please remmeber we need more Kids Recipes for Kids Food Fest. Every Saturday post kid friendly recipes please. More details HERE
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Four years ago, when my son was a few months old, I was visiting my relatives in Bangalore when he developed a streaming cold. I didn't want to give him allopathic medicine without his regular paediatrician's advice, and somehow I have never found homoeopathy to work for me - too impatient, I guess. My atte ( mama's wife) came up with something that literally dried up his cold that same day. It's so simple too, and works wonders on small babies. Just take 1 tsp of milk, put 3-4 strands of saffron into it, heat it and leave aside for a little while. It will thicken and turn yellow as the saffron is absorbed. Just apply this to your infant's nose periodically. The runny nose will stop in a couple of hoursw. After a few hours, out will come a big sneeze, and that's it!
My dad's side of the family used to brew up a tasty kashaaya for coughs, and given that I almost always had a cough, bronchitis and asthma when I visited them as a child, I sure had a lot of this. Interestingly, I recently discovered that many of the ingredients used are found in ayurvedic OTC cough mixtures:
Boil together - a few leaves of tulsi, 1 inch piece of ginger, 1 few cloves and whole black peppers, 2 inch piece of cinnamon bark and a 1 inch piece of atimadara ( jyeshtha madu - called licorice root in English) - in a litre of water. Keep it simmering for a good 10 minutes after it comes to a boil. Serve it hot ( and if serving to adults, adding a tot of rum won't go amiss:)). It really soothes the throat, and tastes good. If you like, you can add a spoon of honey to this mix for older kids, though the licorice root adds sweetness on its own.
Over the years I've tried a variety of strange home remedies for my asthma, and found that many of them do provide at least temporary relief. One really bizarre thing that worked quite well was having black tea with salt. Another recipe from my ajji's kitchen was roast garlic. I remember her bedtime concoction for my coughs used to be hot milk with haldi and a tsp of ghee, which used to help me make it through the night.
Of course, the age-old remedy of steam inhalation is something that helps adults and kids with coughs and colds. I was really scared about my ability to be able to hold my child securely enough over boiling water so our doctor came up with an easy solution. We now just plug in an electric kettle filled with water under my son or daughter's bed, and make sure the doors and windows are tightly shut. All we have to keep watch for is that the water doesn't evaporate away!
Friday, November 2, 2007
Ever since I became a mom, I have found myself reading Mommy blogs, and it was then that I discovered DMC - I love it. I joined last month, then grew cold feet and told Sandeepa that I would stick to being a reader - but I changed my mind again, and thankfully, Sandeepa hasn't thrown me out yet, so here I am :D
More than anything, I look forward to advice and tips from all you experienced moms out there. And I hope I can contribute my mite too!
Thursday, November 1, 2007
I picked the theme for this month to represent a snapshot of what most parents, at least those living in chilly climates, might be battling with this month, thanks to the aforementioned oscillating weather.
Hint: Itchy throat, stuffy nose, rising body temperatures, ear infections...
Yes, yes, all these make their ugly appearance around this time and so I have decided to label November as the season to be sniffling!
Not at all pleasant. Yet, not at all avoidable. Especially among kids, and all the more if the kids are in contact with more kids.
If we can't avoid it, can we make it any easier on them?
That is the intent with which I picked the theme for November - Alternative Medicine.
So we can share remedies that offer relief to the common cold/cough. Remedies that go beyond conventional, doctor prescribed or OTC medications. It can be anything from herbal concoctions, natural non-invasive treatments (like steam inhalation), Grandma's potions(paati vaidhyam) - anything that you've used in the past to success.
Don't forget - food is medicine too. Regularly adding certain foods that are rich in Vitamin C to your kid's diet helps them build immunity year long. What foods do you consider medicinal?
And finally, medicine for the soul - laughter, music, meditation, prayer. Have you used any of these to help you or kids during downtime? Have they worked?
While cold/cough/flu is the primary 'illness' this season, your posts don't have to be restricted to just that - relief for any common ailment in kids/infants - eg: constipation, indigestion - are also welcome.
Oh, and, if there are medical doctors (or doctors' wifes ;) ) and skeptics in the audience, I would love to hear your perspective...what do you think of alternative medicine? Do you practice it outside of your profession?
The intent of the theme is for us to share our experiences, not as advice, but as a compilation of resources. For the benefit of parents who want to look beyond allopathy. And since these tips will be based on personal experiences, it will go unsaid that whoever adopts these remedies will do so with common sense and precaution.
With your active participation, we can make the November dicussion a resourceful guide for all parents. (Then, Sandeepa can find a publisher, print it as a book and make us all famous ;))
Here's to a Healthy November! and To a United Battle against the Germs!
I don't have very many recollections of traditions that we had in our home as I grew. There were some little little things of course, but nothing, that stands out in my mind in the regularity of tradition. I guess perhaps, that I why, I chose this theme for DMC's October. I was curious how you would all react to this theme and what you would have to share by way of it. And it has been just wonderful. Reading each of the lively accounts, rich in warm memories, and love. Of togetherness and happiness. It was really nice. And it made me a little bit more resolved to start something of my own with the small family unit that I have here under my care. So, thank you all for bringing about this little change in me through your recollections and stories. Thanks for taking the time to think, and look back, and write it all down and share it here. And for making this theme work.
I guess this officially closes DMC's October discussion. And I am sooo... looking forward to what's in store for us in this confusingly warm and getting chillier November!