Teething Tea

My 7 month old son has been teething like crazy lately - poor guy is up crying several times each night, chomping at the bit and obviously in a great deal of discomfort. It goes without saying that we are also in great discomfort listening to him and going without sleep ourselves. Morning comes and he is his happy, joyful self again! I came across a recipe for Teething Tea that I’ve been trying the past couple weeks. I drink it myself as I’m breastfeeding him - but you can also give the tea directly to the child by bottle or dropper, and it may work faster that way, too. It tastes very yummy. I also make a pitcher of this tea for everyone at home that has a spoonful of raw honey added to it and my 3 year old calls it “Calming Tea” :) A great staple for toddler tea parties. Lemon Balm, Catnip, Chamomile & Lavender are all soothing herbs that calm irritability and relax the nervous system so it is calming in a true sense, and also good for cooling inflammation. 

Teething or “Calming” Tea:

2 Tbsp dried Lemon Balm

2 Tbsp dried Catnip leaves

2 Tbsp dried Chamomile flowers

2 Tbsp dried Lavender flowers

Place 1 tbsp of mixture into mug or glass jar with 1 C boiling water. Steep for 15-30 minutes (the longer it steeps the stronger it will be - also for very fussy babies try using 2 tbsp per cup). Have mom drink the tea (if nursing) or give to baby via bottle/spoon/dropper 1 oz at a time throughout the day. You can also soak a thin wash cloth in this tea, chill in the fridge, and give to baby to chew on - that’s a big hit! This tea is very safe to take over long periods of time. 

We also use Camilia homeopathic medicine and silicone baby spoons in our house for teething. What about you? Do you have a favorite remedy I’m missing out on?

Are there herbal alternatives to Ibuprofen? Yes!

I think I could be pretty confident in saying that just about EVERYONE throws back a couple of Advil on occasion. For pain, injury, surgical recovery, headaches, arthritis… people take it for so many reasons and almost without thinking whether there might be a better solution to their pain. “Just take some Advil!” I know that phrase was commonplace in my home growing up and many others, I bet. Advil certainly has its place in your medicine cabinet - but I wanted to let you know about a few other herbal approaches that deserve similar status. Here are my favorite herbal pain relievers that really work when taken properly:

1. Turmeric Root + Ginger Root: Turmeric and Ginger are relatives of each other and both have big anti-inflammatory properties. They can increase circulation and relieve pain due to inflammation. Turmeric needs to be heated to release its healing benefits  - so use them both in cooking and warm teas for best results, or take as a supplement.

2. Corydalis: Corydalis (or Yan Hu Suo, in Chinese pinyin) is an herb tuber with amazing pain-reducing potential. It invigorates blood, and has been researched to eliminate pain due to inflammatory or injury related causes. Researchers from UC Irvine identified the active compound dehydrocorybulbine (DHCB) in Corydalis which holds special promise for those with persistent, chronic pain. Because of its strong circulatory properties, don’t take it during pregnancy.

3. Fish Oil: Fish oil can also ease the inflammation and pain caused by many chronic conditions. The Department of Neurological Surgery at the Univ. of Pittsburg did research demonstrating equivalent effects in reducing arthritic pain of ibuprofen vs. omega 3 fatty acids in their trials! Their subjects took between 1200-2400 mg of fish oil per day.

4. Boswellia: Boswellia is known as Indian Frankincense. It contains active components which help reduce inflammation and pain, & can be taken as a supplement as well as used topically.

5. Magnesium + Epsom Salts: Magnesium helps to relax stiff or spasmodic muscles and improve circulation. In addition to taking magnesium orally, there are topical forms as well as the traditional Epsom salts added to a bath; both absorb easily through the skin and can be quite effective for reducing muscle pain.

There you have it! Next time you are reaching for that Advil out of habit, ask yourself if it’s time to invest in some of these natural products for your home medicine cabinet instead. :)