Smart Medicine, plus Tips on Treating Poison Ivy

Back when my family had the influenza, I went to “stock up” at our local health food store. In the process, I bought a book that I’ve been meaning to blog about ever since. Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child: A practical A-to-Z Reference to Natural and Conventional Treatments for Infants & Children by Janet Zand, N.D., L.Ac., Robert Rountree, M.D., and Rachel Walton, MSN, CRNP. (Mine is the 2nd Edition)

It really is an A-Z reference…it begins with a brief history/intro of each of the following: Conventional Medicine, Herbal Medicine, Bach Flower Remedies, Acupressure, Homeopathy. It then segues into diet and nutrition, pregnancy and newborns, and home safety…

But what I really appreciate is that every possible ailment your child may encounter in life is alphabetically listed from acne to whooping cough, and all the bases are covered with treatments from the methods I mentioned above. There’s even a nifty section that explains the common Acupressure points so you know how to maximize results with this form of healing.

Let’s say your child has poison ivy/oak/sumac. The section for this ailment will tell you what it is, what the rash looks like, what causes it, there will be a detailed picture of the three different kinds of leaves. There will be a list of symptoms to watch for and when to call the doctor. The conventional method will list several options from available over-the-counter meds/ointments–basically what your M.D. would tell you…then the next section will focus on herbal treatment which, for poison ivy, would be to apply aloe vera gel to the rash, and apply calendula tincture to relieve itching and help the skin heal more quickly…the homeopathy section says to give your child one dose of Rhus toxicodendron 12x or 6cm three to four times daily, until symptoms lessen. If there’s a Back Flower Remedy, it will be listed, and a specific Acupressure treatment will be recommended. And finally, at the very end of the section about poison ivy, under “General Recommendations”, many practical suggestions follow (taken straight from the book):

  • Give your child homeopathic Rhus toxicodendron
  • Prepare an old folk remedy by making a paste of 2 TB of sea salt and 1 cup buttermilk. Apply it to the affected area to reduce itching and promote healing.
  • Soak a clean cotton cloth in a blend of 1 TB sea salt dissolved in one pint of spring water. To relieve itching, apply the compress to the affected area for fifteen to thirty minutes several times daily.
  • Cold cucumber slices applied to the affected area can help dry out an oozing rash.
  • Clothing that has come in contact with the oil should be washed in a strong detergent with chlorine bleach added.

I’m keeping this 556 page tome handy, and am in fact currently following its instructions for my toddler who seems to be having recurrent UTI problems (not medically diagnosed)…I’d much rather feed her blueberries, cranberry juice, and odorless garlic softgels than give her antibiotics, and so far so good…

Fascinating subject, and so important: preserving and promoting the good health of our children. Do you have a favorite resource to recommend?