Fever Reducers and The Flu

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I have written before about medicating fevers and I thought I’d revive this topic again. I just got done reading a very interesting article about the 1918 flu and the theorized link about it’s high mortality rate due to aspirin use. I think it is very important for us to heavily weigh the risks of using fever reducers. I know there have been multiple times where I myself had a very hard time letting a fever just run its course rather than intervene to help my child “feel better.”

Here is a link to the original article I wrote awhile back about FEVERS.

And here is the article that I just got done reading that I’d like to share with you. It’s worth the read.

I am going to continue doing more research on the topic and I will share my research with you when I am able to compile it together along with what you can do to safely aide the body to heal itself from the flu and other illnesses.

The link to the article is HERE, and also pasted below:

” The primary defense which the human body has, to stop the spread of viral infections is to produce a fever. The fever is not a symptom of disease, but is actually the body’s primary anti-viral immune system.”

bayer-aspirinHumans have genetically developed a natural method to defeat viral infections called a fever. With a mild fever of 101 degrees the telomers on the ends of the RNA molecule cannot attach and the virus cannot reproduce itself, and the body’s white blood cells quickly destroy the invading virus. But the modern regular treatment for a fever from a cold
or flu is to reduce the fever to ease the discomfort. This is wrong.

The traditional knowledge of how to quickly and effectively cure a common cold or flu infection due to viruses has been known worldwide since ancient times. But you are not supposed to know that. You are not supposed to know that you can quickly cure a viral infection overnight by yourself and at no cost to you. You are supposed to believe that you need costly medications and medical treatments to cure new life-threatening diseases.

Best advice: do not try to lower a fever, it is your genetically derived natural human defense against any viral infection. Stay wrapped up and warm to cause a sweat. Drink fluids to replace the water lost by sweating. And within 6 to 8 hours overnight the cold or flu is gone.  Many older doctors knew this, which is the reason for the old docs
advice, go to bed, stay warm, drink fluids. But younger docs just  out of med school have been taught there is a drug or pill to treat everything. The result of using expensive pills or over-the-counter medications to reduce the fever from colds and flu is prolonged illness, the epidemic spread of viral diseases and the unneeded deaths of hundreds of thousands each year. Don’t buy them, don’t let them in the house.

MURDER IN THE MEDICINE CABINET

PART ONE The Deadliest Killer of the 20th Century, With More Deaths Than All the World Wars, Lurks Right Inside Your House, and Threatens to Take You and Your Family. The Story No One Told You.

In 1918, a virulent, never seen before, form of influenza seemed to suddenly appear. It seemed to kill within hours, and spread around the world within days. It seemed to appear simultaneously all around the world. Its spread was faster than any then known means of human travel.

In 2004, the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization warned of repeats of such a rapid and deadly pandemic, through such variants of influenza as SARS and Bird Flu. But without knowing what caused the 1918 pandemic or how it spread, how can the CDC or WHO make such a claim? Unless they already know something they are not telling.

As yet no one has been able to identify the actual medical cause of the 1918 Flu, with only a few samples of a “bird-like” virus taken from only several cadaver tissue samples. But no sample is complete. And those are only one or two samples from among the estimated 20 to 40 million people who seemed to die mysteriously almost overnight. The 1918 Flu spread faster and was more deadly, killing more people than even the Plague and Black Death of the middle ages. Why does no one talk about it?

And even if the viral cause were identified, no one can explain the lightning fast spread of the disease. Maybe it wasn’t a disease after all. Many researchers have even looked at some world-wide phenomena, such as extra-terrestrial biology filtering into the atmosphere from outer space. Or maybe, the jet stream spreading disease-laden dust from
Asia all around the world in a matter of days. In an area of investigation where there seems to be no real facts and less logic, any “fringe theory” or “outre logic” is just as valid as any other. Maybe something about the 1918 Flu is being covered up. Something that we are not supposed to know.

Actually, there is another rather simple mundane solution to the medical mystery. There did exist in 1918 a then new technical invention by which the “disease” was spread almost at the speed of light. The “1918 Flu” as spread around the world almost instantaneously by telephone. Of course, that claim needs an explanation, and proof.

In the 1890’s an American chemist made an improvement on an old home folk remedy called Willow or Aspen Tea. It seemed to relieve the pains of old-age gout, arthritis and other assorted pains. But the evil tasting tea containing acetylsalicylic acid was so strong that it caused many people to have nausea and vomiting, along with the pain relief if
they could tolerate drinking the tea. This potion was later neutralized, synthesized and buffered, and then sold to the German Bayer company as a pain reliever.

I have researched the source and history of the name Aspirin and found no reasonable explanation has ever been found. I have found, instead, that the German Bayer company, in order to sell to both the American and European markets, used a name familiar in both markets. In America the common folk remedy form was called “Aspen Tea” made from boiling willow bark from the Aspen tree family. In Europe, the same home remedy was called “Spirain Tea” made from boiling the leaves of the common European shrub Spirae.

Both preparations were found to contain large amounts of natural acetylsalicylic acid, but unbuffered. Combining the common home-remedy folklore names Aspen and Spirain comes up with the Euro-American brand name Aspirin. My research is the sole source for the information about that unique derivation of the brand name.

The reason for the deep confusion and lack of any clear history about the trade name is that for almost a decade from 1905 to about 1915, the use of the trade name, and the source of the name Aspirin, was tied up in international courts. In the late 1890’s when Aspirin became available as an easy to use “pop a pill” replacement to the sour tasting Aspen or Spirain Teas, many people used it to relieve the pain of joint arthritis. Many users also discovered, quite by accident, a unique side effect. If you had a fever when you took the Aspirin, it also made the fever suddenly
go away. What a discovery! It appeared to be a cure for the the common cold and flu.

By 1905 many other drug companies were making acetylsalicylic acid preparations and calling it Aspirin, but they were selling it as a common cold remedy. Bayer took these other companies to court and sued over
illegal use of their trademark. Many people believe that Bayer lost the decision and lost control of the name Aspirin. Most believe that Aspirin is now a generic name such as Kleenex, Scotch Tape or Xerox. Not so. It was an odd court decision and a confusing compromise. By 1915 it was decided in court that Bayer had the exclusive use of the tradename Aspirin, if it were sold as a pain-relieving analgesic.

The court also found that the other companies could also use the name Aspirin, if in their ads and packaging, they claimed that their product was an anti-febril agent or a fever reducer. This odd court decision is still in use today. You can still buy Bayer aspirin to relieve pain, and on the store shelf right next to it is Nyquil, Aleve, Tylenol, Motrin,
Bufferin, Anacin and a whole long list of others, all containing aspirin or aspirin-like compounds and claiming to be treatments for Colds, Flu and Fever. Reducing fever was not in Bayer’s original patent claim. Bayer didn’t know in 1895 of the use of aspirin as a fever reducer and had not put that in their original trademark application.

And how does that strange court decision fit into the rapid spread of the 1918 Flu? The primary defense which the human body has, to stop the spread of viral infections is to produce a fever. The fever is not a symptom of disease, but is actually the body’s primary anti-viral immune system. The fever stops the telomeres on the ends of viral RNA from making copies of itself.

The telomeres are like a zipper which unzips and separates the new RNA copy within miliseconds, but the telomeres are temperature sensitive and won’t unzip at temperatures above 101F. Thus the high temperature of the fever, stops the flu virus from dividing and spreading. It is an immune system response which only mammals have developed to prevent the spread of viral flu infections, which mostly 99% come from the more ancient dinosaur-like earth life forms called birds. Almost all influenza is a form of “Avian Flu.” A few influenza forms come from other dinosaur-like
life forms, the modern reptiles, but these are usually classified as very rare tropical diseases, since that is where most reptiles live.

The doctors in the early 1900’s didn’t know about that, and even today few if any doctors are aware that fever is not a symptom of disease, but is the primary and only way for the human body to stop viral infections. If you stop or reduce the fever, viruses are allowed to divide and spread uncontrolled throughout the body. I have already described this process in detail in my articles posted in the Brother Jonathan Gazette in 2003, so I won’t go into detail here. Do a search on “SARS” on the Gazette and you’ll find the articles. Normally the progress of a flu is that a virus
enters the mucous membrane lining of the lungs, enters cells, then makes many copies of itself, which causes the cell to expand to such an degree that it bursts open. The new viruses then cloak themselves with a coating
taken from the old damaged cell wall, thus hiding themselves from the human body’s own T-cell antibody immune defense system. To the body’s immune system the new viruses simply appear to be pieces of the body’s own
lung tissue.

By creating a fever, the viral infection is slowed down sufficiently so that the body’s T cells can find the swollen infected lung cells, surround them and metabolize (literally eat) the damaged cell with strong acids which also breaks down the RNA viruses into basic amino acids. This effectively “kills” the viruses so that they can’t reproduce. But viruses are not living things, and you can’t kill something that’s not alive. All the body can do is destroy or dissolve the RNA amino acid chain which makes up the virus.

Not knowing this, most doctors treat the flu with aspirin or fever reducers, as a palliative treatment to ease the aches, pains, and delerium fever effects. The result is that within hours, the fever goes down and the patient feels much better. What neither the patient nor the doctor knows is that with only a normal 98.6F body temperature, the viruses are allowed to reproduce unchecked. Within 72 hours, the viruses have grown from one or two virus bodies to millions or billions. The body is now completely overwhelmed. But while taking aspirin or cold medications,
there are no symptoms or warnings of what is yet to come.

As a last resort the body tries to quickly flush the infection of billions of viruses from the lungs with massive amounts of T-cells, and fluid in the lungs to “cough out” the virus. This is called viral pneumonia. Soon within hours the patient is in the hospital. The doctors try to treat the now 105 degree fever with more anti-febril aspirins, or related medications to “treat the fever.” Then within another 24 hours the patient, suffocating and gasping for breath, is dead.

You should note that the original infection did cause a mild fever, aches and pains, which the patient “self-medicated” with over-the-counter products. For the next several days, the patient seemed to have no symptoms, but was actually growing billions of copies of influenza virus in his lungs. Then days later, the patient and doctor seem to see a sudden rapid case of viral flu infection that is now overwhelming the body. Is that what really happened? What caused the patient’s death? Was it the original flu virus, or was it the use of Aspirin to lower the flu fever which then shutdown the patient’s own immune system response? Obviously, the latter. So how did this cause the massive rapid spread of the 1918 Flu?

The Bayer court case had just been settled, and many companies other than Bayer, could now legally market aspirin to treat colds and fever. But then “The Great War to End all War” was on, and most aspirin products were going directly to the front lines in France to treat the soldiers in the diseased hell hole trenches of WWI.

The World War I medics knew that aspirin could quickly reduce a fever. If a soldier had a fever, the docs gave aspirin. Magically the fever went down, the soldier felt better and quickly went back to the fighting. Then three days later, the same soldier was back, now with severe pneumonia and died almost overnight.

No doctors then made the connection between aspirin and pneumonia death, since the trenches were filled with many other seemingly related diseases such as diphtheria or tuberculosis. Death and dying on the front line was
common, so no investigation was done. Aspirin seemed to be a god-send since it allowed sick soldiers to swiftly get right back into the fighting.

After the Armistice of November 11, 1918 the fighting stopped and the soldiers went home. The soldiers around the world announced the good news to their families back home. Most of the low-ranked doughboys had to wait till they got back to their homebase in Kansas, or wherever, to call home They couldn’t afford the costly trans-Atlantic deep sea cable phone rates. But when the troop arrived in Kansas, the call from sergeant Tom was something like: “Hey mom, I’m coming home. I’ll see yu and dad next Tuesday in Chattanooga. How’s everybody? Oh, Aunt Esther has a fever? Hey tell her to take some aspirin. Yeah, that stuff in the medicine cabinet for treatin’ the aches and pains. Tell Esther, we used it in France. Works right away and the fever is gone. OK see yu Tuesday….”

So what does Esther do? She tries the aspirin, but the old Bayer label only says its for “aches and pains” and says nothing about fevers. She takes it and magically the fever is gone, and she feels much better, almost cured. She’s so much better, she gets out the horse and buggy to go see her sister, Lucy in Mt Carmel, where Lucy and the kids are down with the fever. Mt. Carmel has no telephones and even no roads, only the buggy path to reach the outside world. But within hours of sergeant Tom’s phone call home, by word of mouth, everybody in rural Mt. Carmel is now taking aspirin to treat fevers. Since the new information came from a soldier, from the US Army and the government, it must be true!

Within a week of the 1918 Armistice, by newfangled telephone, trans-oceanic telephone cables, and even the experimental ship-to-shore shortwave radios using Morse code, the message was flashed around the world — “Have a fever? Take Aspirin. It worked in France, it’ll work for you.” That message spread at nearly the speed of light over millions of telephone lines all around the world. The news of the “miracle cure” even spread by word of mouth within a day or so, even to places with no phones nor roads. Mysteriously, a week later, doctors round the world now had hundreds of sick and dying patients. Nobody could figure out why. The patients themselves never reported that just the week before they did have a mild fever. But it was so mild that when they took some aspirin, it simply went away. Nobody made the connection. The doctors only saw, by November 24, 1918 thousands of very sick patients with high fevers, lungs filled with fluid, and swift overnight death.

The medical profession had never seen anything like it before, nor since. It seemed to occur simultaneously all around the world and even reaching into such out of the way places like Mt. Carmel with no telephones nor roads. How could such a massive fast-spreading killer disease exist? It didn’t. It wasn’t a disease. It was a new use for an old
home folk remedy which everybody already had in their medicine cabinet, Bayer Aspirin to reduce fever.

The medical profession, at a complete loss to explain it, simply called it the “Spanish Flu” or the “1918 Flu” or many similar names. It was a mystery with no known source, so it was assigned many place names. So far, nobody has been able to prove any single pathogen was responsible. And even if they did, they still can’t explain how it seemed to spread world-wide at almost the speed of light, clear around the world within a week.

To this day there is no explanation. But, now you know. The “disease” was not a single pathogen, but many of the hundreds of similar types of flu which are always existing at any time around the world. What was different in November 1918 was the many hundreds of thousands of almost simultaneous phone calls from the millions of returning sergeant Toms saying, “…tell Aunt Esther to take the aspirin. It worked in France. It’ll work for her…” Nobody traced the spread of the 1918 Flu to sergeant Tom. Nobody made the connection.

That very same source of disease still exists today. What is different today is that cold and flu products are sold and used all year long. This results in an estimated one million deaths from mysterious viral pneumonia reported every year, but also all around the year. In 1918, the new use of aspirin for treating colds and flu all started at the same time in November, thus creating the false impression of a sudden massive onset of a new disease. Even today SARS is not a disease. It is the improper use of a brand new high-tech flu fighter called Tamiflu. The FDA approved the use of Tamiflu several years ago. In 2003 it began to be used world-wide. But how is it used?

Many millions of people around the world still self-treat their own colds and flu with over-the-counter meds containing aspirin. Those are the most commonly sold medications in the world. The patient’s mild fever quickly goes away. They forget about ever having felt sick. Then several days later the patient sees the doctor and now has a high fever, bad cough and fluid-filled lungs. The doctor, using the new CDC and WHO guidelines, treats the hospitalized “flu” patient with the new high-tech Tamiflu. But how often and at what dosage?

The doctors do what they’ve always done for the past 100 years. Tell the nurse to stick a thermometer in the patient’s mouth, increase the Tamiflu dosage by 10cc’s every hour until the fever starts to drop. Then maintain that dosage level until the patient dies. Then blame the death on some new highly contagious lethal virus. Nothing new here. It’s the same old story, since 1918. The only thing different is that they give it a new name like SARS, or Bird Flu or whatever sounds nifty and high-tech. Even today, each year about one million people world-wide die from the very same “disease” which first appeared in the fall of 1918. Has medicine, in the last 100 years, turned this “contagion” from Pandemic by Phone, into Illness by Internet? Is it the rapid and continuous spread of misinformation that is still killing millions?

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Prickly Heat Rash?

Poor, poor Garrett. Every time I look at his little face and the back of his neck it makes me want to cry. He has this awful rash that has spread all over his face, ears and the front and back of his neck. It is worse on the back of his neck but I wasn’t able to get a picture of that because he was sleeping. These pictures were taken Friday. Today is Saturday (I started this post yesterday but never finished it) and today it is looking a lot better but many of the bumps are still there. The rash is definitely made worse with skin contact, such as his head resting on my forearm when nursing. So I try to keep a burp cloth between his skin and mine. I can’t believe what a warm blooded little guy I have. He stays so warm!

I’m really hoping that this is prickly heat rash because it should clear up in a few days if it is. Otherwise I am assuming that the rash is due to an allergy to me eating dairy and I’ll have to cut dairy out of my diet. His rash looks like all the other prickly heat rashes when I googled it though.

It is kind of weird that he got this rash because I don’t dress him in a lot of clothing, just a onesie. I’ve been keeping him in only a diaper now and have given him a few baths in lukewarm water, which is supposed to help. He does sweat a lot though and prickly heat is caused by blocked sweat glands. For awhile I had used some Eucerin cream on his rash because I read somewhere that it would help with the friction that makes the rash red and “angry” and it helped a lot at first but then made the rash worse because it clogged up his sweat glands even more.

Really hoping I don’t need to cut dairy. :)

Here is my poor sweet boy with his ugly, awful rash.

UPDATE

January 26th, 2013

Dear Readers,

I think it is important to update you and say a few things. First of all, my son is now 4 1/2 years old. My son had prickly heat rash. We live in a desert and it was 105 degrees the day he was born. I was putting too much clothes on him and keeping him swaddled with a blanket and had a hat on him. His immature skin had pores that got clogged easily and he had very sensitive skin. His rash resolved within hours by keeping him out of clothes and keeping him cool and taking him into lukewarm baths with me. To this day he still sweats a lot but doesn’t get rashes anymore from sweating.

Someone stole my image and used it as an image for measles. What an awful thing to do to parents. He never had measles and has never had any type of vaccine preventable illness. We don’t vaccinate, either.

He did have food allergies later on in life but we have been able to clear up many of them with an alternative allergy therapy called N.A.E.T.

Please keep in mind that your child could have a similar looking rash and be experiencing something COMPLETELY different. All though the rash looks like it, this wasn’t hives. I am very familiar with hives as I have kids that are prone to food allergies. This does look like some of the reactions they’ve had in regards to food.

In my son’s particular case this was heat rash. I wish you the best of luck in diagnosing your babies rash and getting to the root cause.

Mothering Two: A Reality Check

When I was pregnant everyone with more than one child was kind enough to point out to me how “hard” the transition to two children would be. Some of them were even gracious enough to share horror stories with me like I had some magical undoing spell or something that could allow me to go back to having just one kid after I heard how awful it was to deal with two. Even if I had possesed an undoing spell during my pregnancy I certainly would have never even considered using it. Nah, people like me are a little too sure of themselves. I would listen to all these moms relate to how tough it was and think to myself, “I’ll be fine. That won’t be me. I can handle it.”

And to be honest we’ve been trucking along just fine and dandy. Until Monday. On Monday Camden decided to give me a run for my money and offered me a crash course in being the full time mother of two. She was unbelievably whiny all day and so I thought a nap would help. One nap down and I still had an amazingly whiny and weepy 3 1/2 year old on my hands. A lightbulb dimly flickered over my head and I brought my hand to her forehead. My hand was met with a blazing inferno. A fever. Great, she was sick. I took her temperature and it registered in at 102. Since it was a holiday, Mike was home and with his help I was able to balance the two of them fairly well. We moved Camden’s mattress into our room for the night and Mike decided to sleep on the guest bed in the office so he could get some good sleep before work.

Camden fell asleep quickly but awoke a few hours later, crying in misery. I took her temperature again and she was at 104. I decided to give her some dye free motrin so she could get some sleep since she was too uncomfortable to get any rest. Luckily Garrett was still happily sleeping on the big bed. I rocked Cami in my arms and sang her some songs. I laid her down on her mattress and was just about to climb back in bed when she proceeded to throw up all over the bed. Yuck. I tried to pick her up quickly and get her to the bathroom. The second round made it all over the tile by the sinks. The third round, thankfully, made it into the toilet. Camden was thoroughly saturated. I got her into the shower and cleaned her up and thankfully she wanted to stand in the shower for awhile. While she did that I threw all of the contaminated linens into the washing machine and had Mike put the pukey mattress in the garage (speaking of which I just realized it is still in the garage uncleaned, nasty). I then wiped down the bathroom and had Mike bring in the second mattress (we have bunkbeds) into the bedroom. This time he brought the one with the mattress protector. Go figure. What was Mikes comment when he came into the cleaned room? “It smells like pomegranate.” Um, I wish. That would be the smell of regurgitated Motrin and Popsicle.

I finally got her back in bed and said a silent prayer that Garrett had slept through it all because I’m pretty sure as helpful as Mike has been that he wouldn’t take over puke duty for me and he’s not exactly fit for being Garrett’s food source. The rest of that night wasn’t too bad. Camden was able to sleep until about two in the morning when her fever started to spike again and I gave her another dose of ibuprofen since she basically lost the first dose. Normally I try not to medicate for fevers but I knew all of us needed sleep if we were going to survive the next day.

Tuesday was my reality check. On Tuesday, I learned what it felt like to get nothing done and still be constantly busy. It was the day of trying to accomplish something over and over and over and never being able to finish it. The dishes piled up. The laundry was undone. It was the day when I realized at 3 in the afternoon that my teeth were still fuzzy and I set off to brush my teeth a half dozen times but never made it to the bathroom because of x, y, z. One of those days when I realized I was thirsty for the umpteenth time that day and that I never did get that glass of water a few hours ago. More annoying was the realization that I had a full bladder but that I could never find a spare minute to go. The house was a disaster and I was a mess but I had to just keep reminding myself that no one was screaming their heads off so that all in all we were having a good day.

By the end of the night I had a headache and my mind was numb from an all day movie marathon of animated annoyingness. I was hungry, crabby, snappy and exhausted and more than once I felt like breaking into tears.

In other words, I got a nice dose of reality and was made to eat my overly self assured attitude about mothing multiple children and accept like every other mother on this planet that I am not perfect and I will fall short of the mark and most importantly, that it’s OK. And unfortunately, it will happen again and again and again. Enter in humbleness.

Red Raspberry Leaf Tea – What Every Pregnant Woman Needs


Red Raspberry Leaf Tea is an herbal tea that should be in the kitchen of every pregnant woman and even those who aren’t (it’s actually good for everyone).

I should preface this post by saying that I was not a fan of tea, herbal or otherwise prior to learning about Red Raspberry Leaf tea. I have never, ever cared for tea and have never found myself compelled to drink it because every time I’ve tried it I thought it was nasty. I am also LDS (Mormon) and we don’t drink caffeinated teas in general so it wasn’t until I became pregnant again that I discovered herbal teas (which are completely acceptable from an LDS perspective). I have to admit that drinking herbal teas still takes some getting used to for me. I am finally starting to actually enjoy the earthy taste of the Red Raspberry Leaf tea (which tastes NOTHING like raspberries, by the way) and it is actually something I am starting to find comforting. I also find it easier for me to drink it iced and with a fresh orange squeezed into it rather than drinking it hot. So, without further adieu please take the time to read about this fascinating herb and all that it can do for you and your family.

History of Red Raspberry Leaf:

Red Raspberry Leaf (RRL) is a pale green leaf produced by the Raspberry plant. The use of Red Raspberry Leaves dates back to ancient Greeks and Romans and has a rich history of being used to treat a wide variety of ailments. Some of the illnesses that they used RRL to treat include: the flu, gum disease, rubella, upset stomach, hangover, diarrhea, fevers, vomiting, menstrual problems, inflammation, etc. The most popular use of Red Raspberry leaves is for pregnancy.

Red Raspberry Leaf Use in Pregnancy:

Many of the complications during pregnancy can be traced back to the mother’s diet, which typically lacks in vital nutrients and minerals that she so desperately needs during pregnancy. Women wise to these needs have recommended herbal tonics during the childbearing years for thousands of years to help both mother and baby experience a healthy, normal pregnancy and birth. Herbal tonics are both safe and effective and they help to improve overall health and prevent any major problems from developing. They also boost the supply of vital minerals and vitamins, increase energy and improve uterine tone. It is important that herbal tonics (teas) be used regularly. Like exercise, they provide far less benefit when used sporadically. That is not to say that it won’t provide benefit if taken on occasion but to reap the full benefits herbal tonics should be taken at least 5 days a week.

One of the most important herbal tonics to take during pregnancy is Red Raspberry Leaf. This is not tea made from raspberries. It is an herbal tea made from the leaves of the raspberry plant. Red Raspberry is the best known, most widely used and safest of all uterine and pregnancy herbs. Most of the benefits that are attributed to Red Raspberry Leaf tea are traced to the nourishing source of vitamins and minerals found in the plant and to fragrine (an alkaloid which gives tone to muscles of the pelvic region and the uterus itself).

Beneficial Vitamins and Minerals Found in Red Raspberry Leaf:

-Rich concentrations of vitamin C

-Vitamin E

-Easily assimilated calcium and iron

-Manganese and magnesium

-Vitamin A

-Vitamin B complex

-Many minerals including phosphorous and potassium

How Red Raspberry Leaf Helps the Pregnant Mother & Baby:

The increased vitamin A intake, in the form of carotenoids of RRL can aid the women’s immune system as well as facilitate healthy skin and bone development for the baby. The Vitamin E helps to promote better circulation in the mother whose blood volume dramatically increases during pregnancy. RRL contains an easily assimilated form of calcium. An increased availability of calcium is necessary in controlling nerve response to pain during childbirth and in aiding bone development in the baby. The presence of fragrine allows the uterus to contract more powerfully and effectively during labor. The high vitamin and mineral content helps to replace those that are lost via blood loss in delivery. The alkaloids that are present will also aid in toning the uterus after birth as it returns back to its usual size.

Other Pregnancy Related Benefits of Red Raspberry Leaf Tea:

-It increases fertility in both men and women (drink for a few months while trying to conceive).

-Prevents miscarriage and postpartum hemorrhage by helping to tone the uterus thus creating a relaxed (atonic) uterus.

-Eases morning sickness

-Reduces pain during labor and after birth: By toning the muscles used during labor and delivery RRL eliminates many of the reasons for a painful delivery and prolonged recovery. It does not, however, counter the pain of pelvic dilation.

-Assists in the production of plentiful breast milk

-Can help make labor faster: RRL works to encourage the uterus to let go and function without tension. It doesn’t strengthen contractions but it does allow the uterus to work more efficiently

-Studies show that women taking RRL have a reduced incidence of artificial rupture of membranes, forceps delivery or cesarean

Other Uses for Red Raspberry Leaf:

-Treating the common cold or flu (Treat with a RRL fast. Drink only the tea while your symptoms persist. Once your symptoms are gone return to eating fresh fruits/vegetables.)

-Treating sore throat

-Treating diarrhea (Drink 6 cups a day to treat diarrhea)

-Regulating a menstrual period and decreasing heavy periods (Drink 2-3 cups per day. After 2-3 months you should obtain a regular cycle.)

-Treating Acne: It can act as an astringent on irritated skin by tightening the top layers of skin which effectively reduces secretions, relieves irritation and improves tissue firmness.

-Can be used as a mouth wash to soothe mouth and throat irritations

-Can lower blood sugar in those suffering with diabetes (Those with diabetes must take care not to take RRL in too high of doses or it could actually cause their blood sugar to drop too low).

Possible Side Effects:

Red Raspberry Leaf has been used for thousands of years and is notoriously safe during pregnancy. From the studies that have been done, no side effects were found. Anecdotally, very little side effects have been reported with its use but like all things, side effects are possible and it is not always best for everyone. The following side effects may be possible:

– Mild loosening of stools

– Nausea

– Some doctors recommend not using RRL during the first trimester or limiting yourself to one cup per day. From my own experience, the advice of my midwife and the experience of my friends we have all taken it during the entire pregnancy without any side effects. But again, you are responsible for your own health and if you are concerned seek advice from your caregiver.

Where to Buy It?

Red Raspberry Leaf can be purchased in tincture form (alcohol based), capsule, pre-bagged or in loose leaf form. I recommend loose leaf form because you are most likely to get the best absorption and it is the cheapest form but for those who can’t stomach the taste capsule form is a good alternative. You can buy the loose leaf tea from most health food stores or online.

Some Online Sources:

Compleat Mother: Loose Leaf

Frontier Herbs: Loose Leaf, available in Organic and in Regular

StarWest-Botanicals: Capsule Form

Red Raspberry Tea Blends:

Red Raspberry Leaf can also come in a blend with other herbs and these are great. The additional herbs have their own benefits and they also complement and enhance each other. My own midwife has her own special blend that she uses and sells through her herbal store. She sells two kinds, what she calls a Full Time Pregnancy Tea (to be used during entire pregnancy) and a Six Week Tea (a blend you use for the last six weeks). All of these other herbs have their own benefits but this post would be much too lengthy to elaborate on them. You can easily make your own blends by purchasing the herbs separately or you can buy a prepackaged blend. There are many prepackaged blends on the market as well.

You can order from Sherry’s store, if you wish, and she can ship it to you. She is based in Oregon and her store is called Naturally Yours. Her phone number is 541-575-1241 and the address is 135 West Main St., John Day OR 97845

Sherry’s Full Time Pregnancy Tea:

Organically grown: Nettles, Comfrey, Lemon Grass, Alfalfa and Raspberry Leaf

Last Six Weeks Pregnancy Tea:

Organically grown: Red Raspberry, Partridgeberry, Shepherd’s Purse, Spikenard Root, Nettle, Comfrey, Alfalfa, Blessed Thistle, Peach and Peppermint

How to Prepare the Tea:

If you’re anything like me and you’ve never made tea before the whole thing can seem a bit confusing. So I will post directions for those who were in my shoes. If you bought the tea in loose leaf form (meaning you have a bag full of herbs sitting in front of you) you can either make it one cup at a time or make it in a larger quantity. If you’re going to drink it hot stick to one cup at a time. If you’re like me and prefer it cold it is easiest to make it in a batch. You can sweeten it with honey or sugar if you like or some prefer to squeeze in a fresh lemon or an orange.

If you’ll be making one cup batches you will need something to put the tea in. A reusable tea bag works well or you can buy a little tea infuser (they only run a few dollars and you can buy them in kitchen departments or stores).

One Cup Directions:

Boil some water and pour a cup of boiling water into a mug. Let cool for just a moment (so you don’t burn the tea leaves) and place 1-2 tsp of the tea into the tea infuser or tea bag. Put the infuser or bag into the hot water and steep (let sit) for 10 minutes. Remove tea infuser or tea bag and you can sweeten the tea if you like (honey or sugar). I prefer omitting the sweetening part and I like using fresh squeezed orange. Some people like lemon.

Batch Directions:

Boil a quart (4 cups) of water in a pan. Once the water is boiling remove it from the stove and add 4-6 tsp of tea directly to the water and stir. Put the lid on the pan and let steep for at least 10 minutes. The longer, the better. Overnight is fine. When you are done steeping you need to strain the water. I use a mesh colander. Take a pitcher, put the colander over it and then pour the liquid/herb combo into the strainer. The herbs will stay in the strainer and the tea will be in the pitcher. I like to fill my pitcher with ice and squeeze fresh oranges into it. You could also sweeten it or use lemon, etc. Put in fridge and enjoy.

How Much Should I Drink?

That is going to depend on who you talk to. Some doctors/midwives recommend a maximum of one cup per day during the first trimester. Others suggest 1-2 cups throughout pregnancy and increasing to a quart (4 cups) a day during the last six to twelve weeks. Personally I did about a cup a day throughout pregnancy and am trying to get a quart in a day now that I am in the last six weeks. Consult your own caregiver, do your own research and do what feels comfortable to you.

SOURCES:

Herbal Allies for Pregnancy Problems

Red Raspberry Leaf Tea, Herb & Extract Benefits

Wikipedia – Red Raspberry Leaf

The Benefits of Red Raspberry Leaves

What is Red Raspberry?

Kegel and Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

UPDATE:

I wanted to update everyone and let them know how much I think drinking RRL helped my labor and delivery. I had my son at home and it was about a 9 1/2 hour labor which doesn’t seem very short to some people but compared to my 56 hour labor with my daughter it was heaven. But more important than how long labor was, was the fact that labor was amazingly easy. Don’t get me wrong, it was hard work and everything but it was completely manageable. I never got to the “wall” where I didn’t think I could do it. My contractions and labor progression was steady. In fact, labor could have been much shorter but I sat on a birthing ball for the beginning of labor (rather than walking around and squatting) to try and slow it down to make sure my midwife was there for the birth (she had to drive across the state to make it). I never felt out of it during my contractions and I was able to stay completely present. I actually didn’t believe my midwife when she told me it was time to push, I made her check because I couldn’t believe I had all ready made it though transition. I had my 11 pound 3 ounce boy at home without a tear and it was a wonderful experience. I believe many things contributed to the success of my pregnancy, labor and delivery but Red Rasbperry Leaf Tea was definitely a vital part of that. You can read the birth story HERE.

 

UPDATE 2:

I just wanted to update and state that I had my 3rd child in May 2012. He was also born at home, as a water birth. I drank red raspberry leaf tea throughout my pregnancy and had the quickest most effective labor yet! Labor was 2 hours from first contraction until he was born. Still hard to believe coming from the mom who had a 56 hour labor with her first child. I know that the tea helped to contribute to my healthy, complication free pregnancy despite the enormous stress I was under (going through a divorce).

I do really recommend Sherry Dress’ teas. She makes them in bulk from organic herbs and she has a few different blends each made for specific stages of pregnancy. She has a Full Time Pregnancy tea, a 6 week tea that you take for the last six weeks and a postpartum breastfeeding tea. Her store is based in Oregon and is called Naturally Yours. You can order by phone at 541-575-1241.

Groundhog Day?

Anyone remember the movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murphy? Well, my life seems to be stuck in a loop hole and I couldn’t help but remember that movie.

Some sort of 24 hour stomach bug is going around in our house. It started with me last Friday feeling absolutely nauseous. I thought it was pregnancy related since I felt fine otherwise. I wound up taking a 4 hour nap and going to bed early and the next day I was fine. On Saturday after Mikayla threw up we realized it was a stomach virus of sorts. She only threw up once and recovered fairly quickly afterwards. Sunday no one was sick.

Monday we begin the loop. We are getting ready to go to the Playground of Dreams (really, that is what it is called) so that the kids can play at the water park feature and afterwords we were going to have a picnic. I was putting the car seat in the car when Cami opened the garage door and said, “I forgot that throw up was supposed to go in the potty.” Ugh. Not a good sign.

I walked inside and she was trying to clean herself off in the bathroom. Right in front of the bathroom door is a pile of regurgitated breakfast. I decide to clean her off first since it is in her hair. I shower her off and get her a new change of clothes. I went to put on a movie for her to watch and have her lay down to rest and as I’m walking into our room I notice another pile of unmentionable waste at the entrance to the master bedroom. Apparently she went looking for me first. I step over it and lay her on the bed and order her to be still (she all ready wants to go outside and play) and relax so that I can clean up the mess.

I go to the kitchen to get towels to begin the decontamination process and happen upon a more disturbing scene. In the middle of the playroom sat the rocking horse and I am sad to say that the horse and surrounding floor was adequately bathed in Cami puke. So gross. I quickly determine what happened. She was rocking away, puked, got up to go look for me, puked again, tried to make it to the bathroom and puked again. Nice.

I did my best to wipe up the messes with towels and then I just laid a fresh towel over the top of each pile so the kids wouldn’t walk on them because we didn’t have any spot carpet cleaner. I called my friend Shelby to see if we could borrow her carpet shampooer.

As if the day couldn’t get any worse I started to notice myself getting really hot. I walked over to the air conditioning unit to make sure it was turned on and was befuddled by what I saw. The air conditioning was on but it wasn’t working. It was 80 degrees inside and rising. Just peachy.

So I call Mike at work and he calls the company that we have contracted to take care of our air conditioning/heating and they send someone out. The a/c guy comes to our house and determines that the problem is the little unit in the house. He informs me we’ll need over $300 big ones for the part and to install it. Beautiful. I call Mike back and put him on the phone with the a/c guy. They determine that my husband, Mr. Fix It, can simply purchase the unit and install it himself which will save us $200. Very good news. So a/c guy leaves the new unit here writes us a bill and departs. Mr Fix It comes home and installs the new unit and it begins working again. Hooray!

Miss Pukey was fine for the rest of the day and played and acted like normal. The kids settle in for bed and all seems well.

This morning we decided to get ready and go to the free movie that they show at the local theater and then plan on getting together with some friends to play and also to go visit Emeth and the new baby. The girls ate breakfast and we were all getting dressed and ready to head out the door. As I’m checking my email before we depart I hear a disturbing splatter behind me. I turn to see Camden standing in front of the bathroom door surrounded by a fresh pile of puke. Nooooooooooo. I waddle as quickly as I can and lift her quickly into the bathroom and wipe her up. I then throw her into the bath because she has puke in her hair, yet again. While she’s bathing I get out the carpet shampooer that Shelby so kindly lent us and begin cleaning the mess. I finally get both her and the carpet cleaned.

As I’m sitting on the couch pouting about spending another day at home not being able to see our friends I notice that I am yet again hot. I walk over to the a/c unit and to my dismay it is yet again 80 degrees in our house. Seriously? I hope someone finds this funny because I certainly do not. Now we are waiting for a/c guy to come back and in the meantime I am sulking and sweating and hoping that this can be fixed without having to sell one of our children which is about the only thing left I have to sell on eBay.

This Too Shall Pass

At least that is what I keep telling myself. When Mike comes home from work now and politely asks me how I am doing (and even when he doesn’t ask) I morbidly inform him in an almost inaudible whisper, since my voice is nearly non-existent, “I think I’m dying.” Now obviously I know that is not true. I know there could be a million things worse with me but man, this SUCKS.

Sunday night I woke in the middle of the night with a horrendous sore throat. Monday morning it still hurt really bad but started to feel better once I got up and brushed my teeth, etc. In fact, I was feeling good enough to go to Emeth’s house and have a nice day with my other mommy friends and gorge on Red Veggie Curry and Sunbutter Brownies (yeah, we are living the hard stay-at-home-mommy life over here). Around 4 o’clock I started to crash. My throat started throbbing, my head started to ache, I knew I needed to get home. When I got home I decided to check my temperature and it was a little over 101. Ugh. I drank lots of water, took lots of vitamin C and probiotics and passed out on the couch. Mike was sweet and in a rare moment of thoughtful husbandness (he really should be getting a reward chart or something these days, he keeps shocking me) brought me a plate with fresh cut apples, cheese and an english muffin, without even being asked. Seriously, who put this man here and can I keep him? A call to my midwife helped reassure me that it was most likely viral and not strep throat. I decided to get some grapefruit seed extract to help my throat. Mike looked all over for it (look! another good deed!) and couldn’t find any of it in Pasco so I asked my friend Emeth if she would grab some for me at the Health Food store the next day. I took a spoon full of raw honey before bed and that helped a lot too.

I thought sleeping would go over well. Sleeping sucks. It gets worse at night. My throat was dying, my head killed and I still had the fever. In the morning I woke up coughing green slime. By around 10 o’clock, Tuesday morning, the fever went away and all though my throat was still sore and my voice was now gone, I was feeling a bit better. Better enough to do a bunch of laundry, take care of 3 kids and make a double batch of goulash (in our house that equates to spaghetti with macaroni noodles baked with cheese on top). By mid-afternoon Emeth was ever so kind to bring me the grapefruit seed extract. I put some drops in water and gargled it. It was very bitter. Around 5 o’clock I started to crash again. I noticed that I had some bad neck pain, the sore throat began to hurt again in full force. At least the fever was still gone. Mike was sweet enough to read Cami her bedtime story and he only made fun of me a little when I drooled all over the pillow when I fell asleep on the couch.

Tuesday night was not any better than Monday night. The symptoms get worse while I’m sleeping, as if being six months pregnant isn’t challenging enough on sleeping. This morning (Wednesday), I felt like I was hit by a truck when I got out of bed. My neck was killing me and I’ve lost most of my range of motion. My head aches, my sinuses are congested and I am constantly hacking up nasty green slime and of course my throat feels like I am swallowing shards of glass every time I swallow and my voice is gone. I’m glad my fever is gone or I’d be worrying myself over viral meningitis. I also have a bigger urge to cough all the time but it is a dry unproductive cough that makes my throat hurt even more. Mike was super sweet (again!) and made dinner tonight. Granted it was just waffles but he did it without being asked and he was kind enough to take Camden outside with him the moment he got home.

So, that is my unedited, woe is me post in all of its whiny glory. Apologies to those who actually read it all. LOL.

Changing The Tide: AAP to partner with DAN!

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In a very pleasing announcement yesterday on World Autism Day the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) announced that they will be partnering with Defeat Autism Now! (DAN!) in order to more efficiently diagnose and treat children with Autism. It is one of many pleasing partnerships that the AAP is making that is sure to change the tide in getting parents and their pediatricians to be better able to assist one another and to get them to be on the same team, so to speak. I can just hear parents of autistic children shouting for joy over this announcement. Something I’m sure many of them thought they would never live to see the day when this occurred. It also makes me wonder what the ramifications on this type of partnership will be on insurance companies that often refuse to cover treatment for DAN! doctors. With the AAP and DAN! working in partnership I could see the possibility of change in that regard, as well.

Ironically, in the not so distant past, DAN! was viewed with very little regard and often ridiculed and touted as medical “quacks” for their approaches to the treatment of autism despite the countless children that had benefited from DAN! research and treatment.

You can view the article at the American Academy of Pediatrics and it is also pasted below. I learned about this announcement through Adventures in Autism. DAN! is a program that the Autism Research Institute offers. You can also visit the Autism Research Institute to learn more about the DAN! program.

ARTICLE HERE:

AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS RECOGNIZES WORLD AUTISM DAY


For immediate release: April 1, 2008CHICAGO – The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) supports World Autism Day (April 2) as a way to bring together groups that are committed to finding the causes of, and successful treatments for Autism Spectrum Disorders, which now affect an estimated 1 in 150 children in the United States. Thousands of children, parents and families are coping with what can be a devastating diagnosis with lifelong consequences.

Pediatricians care for children with autism and their families every day. They are passionate advocates on behalf of these families and recognize that autism is a significant challenge to the health of the nation’s children. Pediatricians emphasize that early diagnosis is critical. The AAP promotes regular screening for autism at the appropriate well-child visits, as well as treatments tailored to meet the needs of an individual child. In 2007, the AAP published the Autism Toolkit, which includes clinical guidance to help pediatricians identify and manage children with autism, to refer them to therapeutic services, and to provide parents with information and resources. The AAP also offers a host of resources for parents on its Web site, Autism Health Topics Page.

“We know many parents are searching for answers,” said AAP President Renee R. Jenkins, MD, FAAP. “The AAP has supported research into the causes of autism and will continue to do so.” Pediatrics, the Academy’s peer-reviewed, scientific journal, has included dozens of studies on the associated factors, management and impact of Autism Spectrum Disorders.

The AAP recognizes the best way to address the needs of children with autism and children overall is through a partnership among pediatricians, parents and researchers. The AAP has met with leaders of advocacy groups, such as Autism Speaks and the Autism Society of America, which include parents of children with autism. Most recently, the AAP met with representatives of Defeat Autism Now! (a program of the Autism Research Institute) in an effort to facilitate communication between pediatricians, parents and researchers about the diagnosis and treatment of children with autism. All advocates for these children agree that further research is needed regarding causes as well as safe and effective treatment.

“We are pleased the AAP reached out recently to Defeat Autism Now! in order to better understand the treatments and interventions that we have found beneficial to children with autism,” said Stan Kurtz, executive council member of Defeat Autism Now! “We are full of hope that this is the beginning of a thoughtful partnership that will further explore factors that might cause or contribute to autism, as well as examine safe and effective treatment approaches for families coping with this condition.”

For more information about autism, visit www.aap.org.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults.

The Autism Research Institute (ARI) is a non-profit organization established in 1967 that fosters scientific research on autism triggers as well as diagnostic, treatment, and prevention methods. Through its Defeat Autism Now! program, ARI provides research-based information to parents, clinicians, and researchers worldwide, through its Web site (autism.com), call center, parent groups, conferences, science-based publications, and think tanks.