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?

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.

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.

All Better & A Big Bump

I meant to get on the blog yesterday and post but life got in the way.

I am happy to report, that after nearly a week of being ill, Camden is fully recovered and back to herself. Early in the wee hours of Wednesday morning (shortly after I posted my blog about her fever) I wound up giving her dye-free children’s Motrin (ibuprofen) because unlike the other nights she couldn’t sleep for more than 20 minutes at a time. I knew that if she wasn’t getting sleep her body would have a very hard time fighting off whatever it is that she had. She slept peacefully (and so did I) for the rest of the night. I wound up calling the doctors office early Wednesday morning and our regular doctor was full but they were able to get us in to see a female doctor in the practice.

This is only the second time I have ever been to this practice for Camden (the first was to see our Primary Care Physician for a referral to an allergy specialist) and so I was a little wary on how we would be treated in regards to our approach to illnesses. In fact, this is only the second time I had ever had to take Camden into a doctor for an illness (the first time was when she was 9 months old for a suspected ear infection). I was completely surprised when she was not only not critical of the way we had been treating Camden over the last 4 days but was supportive. She needed me to explain the homeopathic remedies we were using as she wasn’t familiar with them (Arnica Montana and Boiron Cold Calm). She was happy to see we were giving her probiotics as well and did not pressure me into using OTC fever reducers. She was comforted knowing that I would give them to Camden if Camden was very uncomfortable or if she wasn’t resting well but didn’t try to make me feel like a bad mom for not using them, and I am thankful for that. She even went so far to congratulate me for being so invested in my daughters health-care. I was shocked. I am considering switching to her as our Primary Care Physician for not only the reasons mentioned but because she was also very kind and friendly to Camden and Camden really liked her.

She gave Camden a thorough check-up and found no signs of infection. She did suspect that Camden had influenza so we went across to the lab to do a nose culture (she didn’t lecture me when I admitted that Camden had not had the flu shot). A call the next day (Thursday) revealed that she was negative for influenza. She still had a fever on Thursday and I requested to do a urine sample to make sure she didn’t have a hidden UTI. Results came back on Friday that the urine sample was negative. So, Camden was simply the victim of a nasty virus. By Friday Camden appeared to be all better. She was eating and playing and we cautiously went out with friends for a very needed trip out of the house. By Saturday it was obvious that she was completely healed. Hooray!

And of course just when Camden is feeling all better another small tragedy strikes. She slipped in the bathroom and I hear a horrific scream. I ran to her to find her sprawled on the floor crying her poor heart out. She had fallen and hit her head on the door jam. It left a nice ugly shiner on her poor head. My poor Camden. Luckily she didn’t break the skin. I gave her some arnica and iced it. It’s hard to tell from the pictures how swollen it was.

5 Minutes after Falling

Later that night…so blue…

 

I will try to get on here later because I want to dedicate a post to our reasons for no longer using fever reducers, unless absolutely necessary and how we came about to making that decision. It was a big (and challenging) change for me. This coming from the girl who got critisized from her husband for being an advil popper when they first met. I used to get headaches all the time and I never stopped to try to figure out why I was geting headaches, I just popped an advil. Anyway, that’s what is coming next.

Entering Day #4: The Fever That Would Not Go

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I am doing my best to learn how to be a calm and stable, all knowing force when it comes to illness in my house but I confess that my nerves and confidence become a little racked when things don’t clear quickly. I have a hard time just sitting and waiting.

Camden started acting a bit whiny late morning on Saturday. She came with me on our drive to pick up raw milk from a farm not too far from our town. She mostly slept for the hour long drive there and back which was nice. We got home and she acted pretty normal while we unpacked all the milk. About an hour later, after we’d eaten lunch, she fell asleep on me in the office while I checked my email. I thought that was a little weird since she’d all ready napped in the car and she’d given up naps about 3-4 months ago. When she woke up from her nap she was a little beast. She was crying inconsolably and was pretty combative. We had dinner plans at a friends so I was worried she would not be awake enough to go. When I finally got her to calm down and was holding her I noticed she was really warm. I thought it might have been from all the crying but I decided to take her temperature anyway and it was 102.4. Drats. Dinner plans cancelled.

For the rest of the evening she was my velcro child. Every time I had to pee, she cried (and I’m pregnant, so that is often). Every time I filled my water glass, she cried. Every time I moved in a way that didn’t please her physical senses, she cried. And then she puked. I reassured myself this would be over in 24-48 hours.

Wrong. We are entering Day #4 of whiny, velcro-attached and sickly child. I feel blessed that we’ve been able to keep her hydrated with water and apple juice but up until today she had absolutely no interest in eating. Just fluids, which we’ve been pushing.

Her temperature fluctuates from 101-103 during the day and 102-104 at night. Neither of us have slept well. It is hard sleeping next to a portable heater. We’ve been watching late night movies to assist in sanity; Pride & Prejudice (twice) and A Midsummer’s Night Dream. Entertaining enough for me, boring enough that my sick princess will fall asleep (all though she’s been requesting to watch Pride & Prejudice again).

Today she woke up and I was hopeful. The first thing she asked for was to eat and she wanted a flour tortilla, which I obliged her to. She took 3 bites and told me she didn’t like it. It was worth a try. I took her temperature and it was only 100.5. I really thought we had it made. Until about 10am when it was back to 102. Later we tried a banana. Bad idea. She walks to me with half a piece of banana in her hand and a very familiar look on her face. I grab the puke bowl just in time. We did make some additional food progress later that night and she ate 2 small yogurts and I’ve managed to sneak some probiotics into her apple juice.

As each ticking hour passes so does my mommy poker face. The dread of worry starts to sink in and I forbid myself from googling what kind of complications could lurk behind a fever that lasts more than 4 days in a 3 year old. I try to pretend I am like my friend Lisa who could probably cure the diseases of the world with garlic and cold socks (ok, maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration). But at least I’ve learned to forgo using tylenol and ibuprofen for fevers.

And then, as I’m typing this little blog entry I hear something that has become very familiar over the last few days. “Waaaaaaaahhhhhh.” I rush into the master bedroom. Camden is crying. “What’s the matter?” She is holding her throat. “It hurrrrttttsssss”. I calm myself and collect my thoughts. What would super Lisa do? Oh yes, she would make some honey tea. So I warm up a mug of water (I nuked it – EGAD, don’t kill me Lisa!) and dissolved two spoon fulls of raw honey in the radiated water. By the time I get back to the bedroom Camden is all ready asleep. I coax her awake and get her to drink half of the mug of honey tea, which she likes but is too tired to drink all of.

I lay her back down and am called into the room half a dozen more times for re-arranged pillows, a request to go to Shelby’s house, a request for cartoons and a gripe about how both of her arms don’t fit into one of her pajama sleeves. I try to be calm and patient. I try to tell myself I should lay in that bed with her but heaven help me, four days lying in bed when you are not sick yourself quickly loses its novelty.

Needless to say, my mommy nerves are a little rattled. My confidence has waned and her new development of a sore throat on top of the fever, vomiting and diarrhea has left me needing reassurance. Off to the doctor we go tomorrow…

Garlic Soup

Just in time for cold and flu season. My friend Lisa shared this recipe with us a few months ago and I haven’t had a reason to make it until now.

Yesterday I came down with a killer cold that knocked me down pretty hard. I don’t get sick that often but with surgery not that long ago my immune system is probably still recovering from that. I also haven’t had any raw milk for about a week and a half because we’ve been gone for the holidays and that usually seems to help me ward off the illnesses around me. As I was suffering through my all over body aches and green slime congestion it dawned on me that other than popping vitamin c, echinacia, grape seed and probiotics I could probably knock this thing with some garlic soup.

So, I set off to make Lisa’s soup. I had everything I needed except for the cayenne pepper. I wound up substituting paprika instead. One garlic smelling house later I finished the soup. It was pretty darn good considering I’m not a humongous garlic fan. Lots of salt was the key for me. Next time I think I will add some steamed chopped broccoli and carrots and maybe some corn since I like really hearty soups. But I am starting to feel better all ready. Apparently garlic can do magic for your health.

Here is the recipe for anyone interested. I highly suggest it. It is also a very healthy soup.

Garlic Soup

1 TBSP Olive Oil

12 cloves fresh garlic plus another head of garlic

2 large onions

1/4 tsp dried thyme or 1 tsp fresh

2 cups chicken broth

1 pinch cayenne pepper

1 TBSP fresh Basil

Sea salt (or regular salt)

 

Directions:

1. Roast a head of garlic. For directions on doing this go HERE.

2. While the garlic is roasting. Peel and thinly slice your onions. Then peel and thinly slice your garlic cloves. Pound the cloves with the side of a large knife to more easily remove the peel.

3. Add garlic and onion to a large saucepan with oil. Cover and saute for about 25 minutes on low, or until they are cooked through and almost translucent.

4. Put the cooked onion and garlic into a blender with 1/2 cup of the chicken broth and the thyme. Puree.

5. Put puree back into saucepan. Add remaining 1 1/2 cups chicken broth. Simmer for 20 minutes.

6. Stir in cayenne, basil and salt to taste. More is better ;) Heat 2 more minutes.

7. Enjoy with crusty bread and maybe top with some cheese or add in some veggies.