The HPV Vaccine – What Every Mother with a Daughter Should Know

I’d like to take the time to break this article down into my own words and add additional research but I am short on time and sleepy. Instead, I will copy the article directly which I think speaks for itself. This article is worth reading. It’s worth trying to understand and conceptualize the deception that goes into making people believe that certain vaccines are necessary and/or worth the risk. If I were to pick out the most ridiculous vaccine available on the market today I’d have to say that this one would be up there at the top. Please, please don’t give your daughter this vaccine without first researching the vaccine. Not only could your daughter be affected but your grandchildren.

This article came from Mercola HERE:

Once you educate yourself and know the facts about Gardasil, the truth about HPV, and the statistics of cervical cancer, it will become quite clear just how outrageously useless — and dangerous — this vaccine really is.

The FDA, in not-so-rare form, insists there’s no medical reason to be worried about the side effects of Gardasil. “We’re monitoring the safety of the HPV vaccine very carefully, and the only adverse event that causes some concern is fainting after the vaccine,” says Robert Ball, director of the FDA’s office of biostatistics and division of epidemiology.

He continues to say, “Higher rates of Guillain-Barré have been associated with the swine flu vaccine and possibly with the meningitis vaccine Menactra, but it is no more common in those who get Gardasil than in those who don’t.”

Alright. Let’s say you agree with the idea that the cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome are pure coincidence, despite the fact that they occur within days or weeks of vaccination.

But what about the deaths?

Infant deaths following Merck’s rotavirus are routinely disguised under the label SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). So what do we have when healthy teenagers drop dead for no reason? SAD — Sudden Adolescent Death? Will that be the next big thing? Will there be SAD campaigns, with physicians educating the public about proper sleeping positions until you’re well into your 20’s?

Let’s get real.

I recently read a comment online from one mother who said she’d do anything in her power to make sure her children were protected, and she couldn’t understand “the narrow-minded opinions” and “fear mongering” of Gardasil nay-sayers.

Would you rather your daughters died of cervical cancer?” she wrote.

Well, that’s just it, right there! As I will show you, the chances of your daughter dying of cervical cancer are already VERY LOW, and the possibility of Gardasil sparing them from cervical cancer is so RIDICULOUSLY LOW that no reasonable person could argue for the use of this HPV vaccine if they knew all the facts.

How Likely are You to Develop and Die From Cervical Cancer?

According to the CDC, cervical cancer used to be the leading cause of cancer death for women in the United States. However, in the past 40 years, the number of cervical cancer cases and the number of deaths thereof have decreased significantly. It is believed that this decline is the result of many women getting regular Pap tests, which can find cervical pre-cancer before it turns into cancer.

According to the U.S. Cancer Statistics: 2004 Incidence and Mortality report, 11,892 women in the U.S. were told that they had cervical cancer in 2004, and 3,850 women died from the disease. The American Cancer Society mirrors these statistics, estimating that about 3,870 women will die from cervical cancer in the U.S. in 2008.

Well. We’ve already lost 18 girls, some as young as 12, in the effort to spare them from the mere possibility of cervical cancer later in life. Others have developed debilitating and potentially life-threatening ailments within weeks of being vaccinated, and others still have had spontaneous abortions or given birth to babies with birth defects.

Also consider this: Cervical cancer usually develops in your late 20s to mid 30s. The protection period of Gardasil is estimated to be 5 years. That means, if you receive your first set of shots when you’re 10 years old, you’d need at least 2 to 4 additional booster shots to make it through your 30s. And THAT means you’ll have to expose yourself to the potential side effects of Gardasil over and over and over again.

But now to the real clincher, and I want you to read the following section as many times as you need to let this truly sink in…

U.S. statistics show there are 30 to 40 cervical cancer cases per year per one million women between the ages of 9 and 26, which is the age bracket that Gardasil targets (and was tested on).

According to Merck, Gardasil was shown to reduce pre-cancers by 12.2% to 16.5% in the general population. So, instead of ending up with 30 to 40 cases of cancer per million, per year, in that age bracket, the HPV vaccine can potentially bring it down to 26 to 35 cases of cervical cancer.

What that means is that you would have to vaccinate one million girls to prevent cervical cancer in 4 to 5 girls.

Further, about 37 percent of women who develop cervical cancer actually die from the disease, so vaccinating ONE MILLION girls would prevent 1 to 2 DEATHS per year, at the bargain-basement price of $360 million per year, plus potentially lifelong suffering for an untold number of women, which has no price tag.

Is this REASONABLE?

Understanding the HPV – Cancer Connection

There are more than 100 types of human papillomaviruses (HPVs). Of them, about 40 types of HPV affect your genitals or sex organs, and can cause genital warts, for example. 10-30 strains can lead to cervical cancer. The remainder can cause to skin infections and common warts on your hands and feet.

The CDC web site states that certain types of HPV can infect your cervix and lead to cervical cancer over many years. (This may be one of the reasons why cancer rates keep dropping, because there’s sufficient amount of time to treat any abnormalities if you’re getting regular Pap smears.)

It also says that in 90 percent of women infected, HPV clears up on its own within two years, at which point your cervical cells go back to normal. It is only when the HPV virus lingers for many years that these abnormal cells could turn into cancer.

Additionally, it’s important to know that the vast majority of abnormal Pap tests do NOT equate to cancer. Even abnormal Pap tests showing pre-cancerous cells of the CIN II grade clear by themselves without treatment 40 percent of the time.

And, current treatment of pre-cancers has limited the progression to actual cancer to only 1 percent. So, just like the polio vaccine, Merck’s HPV vaccine is coming out at a time when cervical cancer is already on a steady decline, and anyone who starts talking about how Gardasil has reduced cervical cancer rates in the next few years is likely talking absolute nonsense.

Informed Consent: Understand the Numerous Dangers of the HPV Vaccine

First of all, the Gardasil vaccine contains just four types of HPV out of the more than 100 strains. So if you contract one of the 96+ types that aren’t included, you’re out of luck. And, if you’ve already been exposed to one of the four types of virus in the vaccine, it doesn’t work against those either.

This means that even if you accept the risks and get vaccinated, your chances of getting some form of HPV are still very high. Whether or not the HPV virus will lead to genital warts or cervical cancer, however, depends in large part on the state of your immune system.

Gardasil, on the other hand, can damage your immune system, and can potentially lead to death. The main causes of death include blood clots, acute respiratory failure, cardiac arrest, and “sudden death” due to “unknown causes” shortly after receiving the vaccine. Again, 11 of the reported deaths occurred within 2 weeks of vaccination, and 7 within 2 days, so whatever the mechanism that induces death, it’s quick and efficient.

Other side effects include:

  • Miscarriages and spontaneous abortion
  • Genital wart outbreak, even in patients who had tested negative for HPV and genital warts prior to vaccination
  • Facial warts and warts on hands and feet
  • Anaphylactic shock
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Grand mal seizures
  • Coma
  • Paralysis

Says Tom Fitton, President of Judicial Watch, “Given all the questions about Gardasil, the best public health policy would be to reevaluate its safety and to prohibit its distribution to minors. In the least, governments should rethink any efforts to mandate or promote this vaccine for children.”

It’s also important to know that Merck has NOT evaluated Gardasil’s potential carcinogenity or genotoxicity.

There is currently no way of knowing how the HPV vaccine affects fertility, birth defects, cancer, if it can pass through breast milk, or if it can alter your genes or the genes of your future children (genotoxicity).

However, five subjects who got the vaccine around the time of conception had babies with birth defects, whereas no birth defects occurred among the subjects who received a placebo. Likewise, earlier last year when there were “only” 1,637 adverse reports, 18 of 42 women who had received the vaccine while pregnant experienced side effects ranging from spontaneous abortion to fetal abnormalities.

Also remember that you cannot sue Merck if your child dies after receiving the vaccine.

Drug companies have cleverly manipulated the government so that they are immune from prosecution. Instead they’ve made the U.S. taxpayers foot the bill for the hundreds of millions of dollars that are paid out to families of children who are harmed or killed every year from vaccines.

And even though it is nearly impossible to get one of these payments, more than $1.5 billion has been paid out to affected families already. So ponder on these stats if you haven’t already taken a firm position on the vaccine issue.

Good Example of How to Fake a Safety Study

In yet another less-than-ethical twist, Merck was permitted to use an aluminum-containing placebo instead of a standard saline placebo. Since Gardasil contains 225 mcg of aluminum, using an aluminum-containing placebo may paint an entirely inaccurate picture of its level of safety, since you’re apt to get similar, detrimental side effects in the placebo group.

In fact, about 60 percent of those who received either Gardasil or the aluminum placebo had systemic adverse events including:

  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea,
  • Myalgia (muscle pain)

Gardasil recipients had more serious adverse events such as gastroenteritis, appendicitis, pelvic inflammatory disease, asthma, bronchospasm and arthritis.

You should also know that aside from being injected with four types of HPV proteins, girls and women who receive this vaccine also receive the following adjuvants:

1. Aluminum adjuvants, which have been linked to neurological damage including multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease

2. Polysorbate 80, which has been linked to infertility in mice.

3. Sodium borate, a main ingredient in roach killer.

How To Reduce Your Risk of Cervical Cancer to Virtually Zero

The following have been shown to be associated with increased risk of cervical cancer:

  • Nutritional deficiencies, especially vitamin A and folate
  • Mineral deficiency (zinc, selenium, calcium and iron)
  • Smoking
  • Birth control use
  • Douching

It is believed that smoking has more to do with the progression of an HPV infection to cervical cancer than any other single factor, as smokers with HPV go on to develop cervical cancer much more frequently than infected non-smokers.

Cervical cancer is also well documented to be caused by an infection acquired through sexual contact. So in addition to avoiding smoking and eating a nutritious diet, it is behaviorally avoidable.

According to a New England Journal of Medicine study, the use of condoms reduces the incidence of HPV by 70 percent, offering FAR better protection than Gardasil’s protection rate of 12.2 to 16.5 percent.

As I’ve already mentioned, in 90 percent of all cases, your immune system is strong enough to clear up an HPV infection without ANY treatment. So maintaining a strong immune system is vital to beat HPV as well as any other infection or disease.
Related Articles:

The HPV Vaccine: Preventive Care or Human Sacrifice?

Gardasil — New Video Reveals Hidden Dangers

Why Use Vaccine for HPV When Green Tea Works?

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12 Babies Die During a Vaccine Trial

Twelve babies have died during a vaccine trial over the last year. So why haven’t you heard about it? Well, for one it is because the trial has been conducted in Argentina on impoverished individuals who have no resources to raise their voices. What’s more telling? The first one to break the story in the United States was a stock market investment website. The story wasn’t being told to raise red flags or warn the public, to investigate the morality or integrity of the company’s practices, or to spark further research. The article was newsworthy only from a financial perspective. To protect those who have an interest in whether or not to purchase stock from GlaxoSmithKline. Anyone who doesn’t believe that the driving force and bottom line of vaccination programs is about money is sorely mistaken.

Argentina was one of the countries chosen by GlaxoSmithKline to test the effectiveness of a vaccine against pneumonia. They use children from poor families who are “pressured and forced into signing consent forms.” Juan Carlos Palomares, who works for the Argentine Federation of Health Professionals, also known as Fesprosa, said that “in most cases these are underprivileged individuals, many of them unable to read or write, who are pressured into including their children” in these trials. Does anyone else catch the irony in that? How are those who are unable to read and write able to give appropriate consent when they cannot even read the consent forms they are signing? Why is this acceptable in another country but not in our own. This is after all an American business so why would we tolerate this type of behavior? Why do we turn our heads and shrug? Perhaps as long as the unethical business practices are not in our own back yard they are acceptable. Since GlaxoSmithKline can’t perform these types of studies in the United States or Europe, “they come to do it in third-world countries.” I find this completely wrong and I’m not afraid to say so. If we, as Americans, want and feel that a vaccine program is so life saving and so necessary to appropriate health care (which is the general consensus) then we need to be willing to conduct the studies on our own children and reform the laws to do so. But who will push forward their children and raise their hands for a vaccine trial. Would those working for GlaxoSmithKline? Would you? What does your answer tell you?

Many of the parents in the Argentina program have tried to pull out of the program only to find that those conducting the trial “force them to continue under the threat that if they leave they won’t receive any other vaccine,” said Julieta Ovejero, great aunt of one of the six babies who died in Santiago del Estero. Not only are the consent forms often illegitimate but the families are then threatened if they change their minds about participating. Yet, there is no outrage. There is no one sitting on the Dave Letterman show telling this story. There are no capitol marches. These are silent victims because they have no way to tell their stories and would anyone care anyway even if they did? This is the untold story of our vaccine program and this is just one vaccine trial in only one country. There are many, many more.

In the end, it is only twelve babies, right? Isn’t that within the realm of acceptable deaths? What is the number of acceptable deaths that we will tolerate? Despite the deaths that have all ready occurred the program continues on and GlaxoSmithKline accepts the number of deaths as a necessary part of the numbers game. They count on you accepting that as well. In fact, they spend quite a bit of research trying to determine exactly what the number of deaths the American public will accept in order to reach a 90% acceptance rate. Keep in mind that we only have the reported number of deaths. How many side effects have occurred or are yet to occur? Will these trials be an accurate reflection of the outcome we’ll see when this vaccine makes it to the general public? Or will there be yet another vaccine fallout like the one being experienced with the Gardasil vaccine which is quickly becoming a ticking time bomb?

Take a look at the most recent Gardasil statistics, a HPV vaccine recommended for young girls and women. The statistics were gained from HERE.

The Judicial Watch Special Report, Examining the FDA’s HPV Vaccine Records, dated June 30, 2008, reviews records obtained from the FDA under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. Those records paint an even grimmer version of this dangerous vaccine, whose side effects now include:

· A total of 8,864 reported adverse events

· A minimum of 18, but possibly 20 reported deaths. 11 occurred less than one week after vaccination, and 7 within two days

· 45 cases of miscarriages and spontaneous abortions

· 78 outbreaks of genital warts, plus additional cases of facial warts and warts on hands and feet, even in patients who had tested negative for HPV and genital warts prior to vaccination

Additionally, Merck correspondence included in these records state that Gardasil has NOT been evaluated for its potential to cause carcinogenity or genotoxicity, AND, they were permitted to use an aluminum-containing placebo instead of a standard saline placebo.

Since Gardasil contains 225 mcg of aluminum, using an aluminum-containing placebo may paint an entirely inaccurate picture of its level of safety.


For reference, here is the original article on the pneumonia vaccine trial being conducted in Argentina that first appeared on TradingMarkets.com

Buenos Aires, Jul 10, 2008 (EFE via COMTEX) — HPFS | Quote | Chart | News | PowerRating — At least 12 babies who were part of a clinical study to test the effectiveness of a vaccine against pneumonia have died over the past year in Argentina, the local press reported Thursday.

The study was sponsored by global drug giant GlaxoSmithKline and uses children from poor families, who are “pressured and forced into signing consent forms,” the Argentine Federation of Health Professionals, or Fesprosa, said.

“This occurs without any type of state control” and “does not comply with minimum ethical requirements,” Fesprosa said.

The vaccine trial is still ongoing despite the denunciations, and those in charge of the study were cited by the Critica newspaper as saying that the procedures are being carried out in a lawful manner.

Colombian and Panama were also chosen by GSK as staging grounds for trials of the vaccine against the pneumococcal bacteria.

Since 2007, 15,000 children under the age of one from the Argentine provinces of Mendoza, San Juan and Santiago del Estero have been included in the research protocol, a statement of what the study is trying to achieve.

“Only 12 have died throughout the country, which is a very low figure if we compare it with the deaths produced by respiratory illnesses caused by the pneumococcal bacteria,” pediatrician Enrique Smith, one of the lead investigators, said.

In Santiago del Estero, one of the country’s poorest provinces, the trials were authorized when Enrique’s brother, Juan Carlos Smith, was provincial health minister.

According to pediatrician Ana Maria Marchese, who works at the children’s hospital in the provincial capital where the studies are being conducted, “because they can’t experiment in Europe or the United States, they come to do it in third-world countries.”

“A lot of people want to leave the protocol but aren’t allowed; they force them to continue under the threat that if they leave they won’t receive any other vaccine,” said Julieta Ovejero, great aunt of one of the six babies who died in Santiago del Estero.

Fesprosa’s Juan Carlos Palomares said that “in most cases these are underprivileged individuals, many of them unable to read or write, who are pressured into including their children” in the trials.

According to Fesprosa, “the laboratory pays $8,000 for each child included in the study, but none (of that money) remains in the province that lends the public facilities and the health personnel for the private research.” EFE

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For full details on Glaxosmithkline Plc Adr (GSK) click here. Glaxosmithkline Plc Adr (GSK) has Short Term PowerRatings of 4. Details on Glaxosmithkline Plc Adr (GSK) Short Term PowerRatings is available at This Link.

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.

The Great Debate: The Fever

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There is nothing like a high fever to send a parent into panic mode. They call it Fever Phobia and it is real. This phobia is often fueled by myths and misinformation in regards to fever and it’s relation to seizures and brain damage. Common cultural beliefs and practices as well as pharmaceutical advertising also plays a role in how Americans view fever.

There are essentially two schools of thought in regards to the treatment of fever. Get rid of it and Let it be. The “Get rid of it” school of thought tends to operate on the basis of either a. they believe the fever to be dangerous or b. to avoid suffering or of course c. both. The “Let it be” school of thought argues that fever is your body’s natural way of coping with infection and to inhibit that process may prolong or exacerbate the infection your body is attempting to fight.

I grew up in the “Get Rid of It” category and have recently subscribed to the “Let it Be” category all though it is sometimes easier in theory than in practice. I will explain my shift and the reasons why I changed my perception and also link to some information but first I must preface by saying I am not a doctor, have never and will never be one. I don’t practice medicine. I practice motherhood. I am not an expert and I don’t give expert advice. I share my motherhood opinions and experiences and mine are not somehow elevated above yours, I only share them for those who are interested. If you need a doctor, see a doctor.

I don’t remember my parents ever being panicked about fever but I’m sure like most American mothers that my own mother worried over our fevers. I do remember taking fever reducers, like most children. As an adult it was an automatic reaction for me. Got a fever? Take some tylenol. I preferred ibuprofen, much faster. Then off to work you go, can’t have any sick time after all. Working in a call center for 5 years, I can not tell you how many people showed up looking like death. Americans are very interesting people in that regard. We tend to have no sacredness in terms of our body and it’s fragility’s (or it’s awesome abilities). If it can’t manage on its own then by golly there’s got to be something I can take that will get me going. We take fever reducers for fevers, cold pills for colds, sleeping pills for sleeping, anti-anxiety meds for anxiety, etc, etc. In America we treat the symptoms.

A fever is not a problem, it is a symptom. It is a symptom that your body is fighting off an infection. Fever is the body’s natural response to any infection. Infections can thrive at our normal body temperature but as the temperature rises it makes it very difficult for the infection to thrive and thus gives the immune system the ability (and time) to fight off the infection (usually taking 3-5 days, also the duration of most fevers).

When we reduce a fever we are eliminating our bodies natural defense mechanism and make it harder on our immune system to fight off the infection. It can actually make the illness last much longer than it would have, had the fever been left to do its job. This is sometimes why parents who have been giving their children Tylenol for a few days believe their children to be better (after all they are running around and eating like normal) and so they send them off to school or preschool only to have the child return home that afternoon, after the medication has worn off and the fever has been given enough time to rise again, just as sick (or sicker) than they were before. That is because fever reducers never take away the illness and they don’t make it go away faster either, they simply mask it. They trick your body into believing it is better.

This itself (the tricking of the body) can extend the illness. Take a moment and think about it. When you have a fever you generally feel awful. You don’t want to eat. You don’t want to walk around. The only thing you want to do is lay down and rest. It is your bodies way of telling you to slow down. It allows your body to conserve it’s energy into healing and not to be distracted with physical exertion or even digestion. Our bodies are intelligent. They were designed that way. When we circumvent that design it can have negative effects. People tend to run themselves ragged on fever reducers because they are cutting off their bodies messenger system and they do activities they never would have considered because they feel better, when in fact they are still just as sick (if not more) as before.

To see the effect in action you need only to watch your own child. In small children the change seems much more dramatic. My husband and I had to giggle after we gave our daughter a dose of ibuprofen. She had been a very sad looking thing with a high fever of 103. She was only content to lay on the couch and watch cartoons and sip water and apple juice. She wasn’t very interested in holding conversations and snapped at us when she did. Within 10 minutes of her ibuprofen she began chatting. At 20 minutes she sat up and was giggling and being silly and making jokes. At 30 minutes she was up off the couch and looking for a game to play. At 45 minutes she was literally running circles and trying to play chase with us. We had to beg her to sit down and not run and countless reminders that she was still sick fell on deaf ears. I’m sick? I feel fine. Let’s party!

Most parents once presented with the information that a fever is actually a good thing intuitively trust this knowledge. It makes sense, it is logical. What most people struggle with is the concept of comfort and the opposite of that, suffering.

No one (certainly not anyone reading this blog) wants to see their child suffer or to be in discomfort. We spend each and every day helping our children to avoid such situations. So when it comes to the idea of leaving a fever to act on it’s own, resulting in suffering, it can be very counter-intuitive. Part of this is simply our protective nature as a parent and even the common denominator of being a human and having empathy. However, I believe a large part of this is cultural and generational. We live in a world/culture/society that constantly sends us the message that we must never be upset, in pain, or to do without. If we are without we should have what we desire immediately. There is no such thing as waiting. We are told to live for the here and now. We must always have answers and if we don’t have the answers someone else must have the answer and they must share it with us. If it can be thought of, it can be done. If you can’t do it now we will find someone who can.

We may believe that we don’t fall prey to these notions but they are very ingrained. To activate this cultural/societal tendency simply mention to a general audience that you do not medicate a fever or cold, or suggest that you are planning on a natural birth. Suddenly you are masochistic, a sadist, or if it is in relation to your child you are negligent and cruel. It is very hard for people to conceive of pain and suffering as a matter of life. A matter of experience. A matter of fact. To go into this topic in depth could result in a novel and I’m sure they all ready exist. It isn’t my point. My point is that inevitably all humans will suffer and that not all suffering is bad. Not all suffering is cruel. In some ways to suffer is to know you are human.

Can it be taken too far? Yes, of course. Are there times a fever should be medicated. Yes, I believe so. In my own short lived “Let it be” experience I medicate a fever if my child is overly miserable and natural attempts (a lukewarm bath, less clothing, more clothing, a cool washcloth, a back rub, snuggling, etc) doesn’t help. I also medicate a fever if my child is unable to get any sleep. Sleep is very important when you’re ill. My own child will not sleep on her own when she is ill and both my husband and I are perfectly comfortable in allowing her to sleep with us when she needs it. In her most recent illness on night 4 we chose to medicate her fever because it had been wearing on her for 4 days and she had a rough time sleeping on the 4th night. The medication allowed her to get the deep sleep that her body needed.

Being a parent is about making judgement calls. Use your own judgement. Reduce a fever if you feel your child needs the comfort, however don’t reduce a fever just for the sake of reducing a fever unless your child has other underlying medical reasons that require it.

Most of the time a fever, in and of itself, is harmless. There are always exceptions. You need to know the signs to look for and be willing to contact medical help (the ER, your doctor, etc) when necessary.

A fever in a very young infant is always a cause for concern. A child who displays the following symptoms warrants a call to the doctor. The following (text in italics) is copied from Dr. Sears website. Treatment measures refer to giving the child acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin).

  • High fevers of 104 (40 Celcius) or higher that don’t come down to 101 or 102 (38.3 to 38.9 Celcius) with the treatment measures below.
  • Lethargy – this means more than your child just isn’t acting right or laying quietly in your arms. Lethargy actually refers to your child being limp, lifeless, unresponsive, or won’t make eye contact.
  • Irritability – this means more than just fussiness. A truly irritable child will cry for hours with minimal verbal interaction, and is almost impossible to console.
  • Meningitis – symptoms are high fever, stiff neck or pain in the back of the neck, vomiting, headache, bright light hurts the eyes. Before paging your doctor, you should also look up any other symptoms your child has, such as cough, vomiting, rash, etc and read those guidelines to determine your best course of action.
  • It is also important to know that if you give your child fever reducers and they are still acting seriously ill then it is important for you to contact your doctor. For example, no amount of fever reducer (trust me, I’ve had it) will get a person with pneumonia to feel better. However, a minor illness with a high fever, can be almost completely alleviated (symptom wise) with a fever reducer. It isn’t necessarily how high the fever is that you should be concerned about but with the child’s behavior when the fever is reduced. If you can’t reduce the fever (and you are trying) you need to seek medical help.

    And lastly, all though admittedly the risk is probably very small, there is the possibility that these common medications are not as safe for our children (or ourselves) as we now view them to be. For example, in 2007 cold medicine was recalled for children ages 2 and under because of possible life threatening side effects. It is the reality of the situation that we sometimes don’t learn about very dangerous side effects from various drugs, both prescription and non-prescription, until after the fact. In my own situation, I sometimes wonder if my daughter’s exposure to numerous doses of infant tylenol while her immune system was still very immature has anything to do with the dye sensitivity that she now displays. It obviously can not be the only factor since millions of children consume the red dyed tylenol and not all of those children experience sensitivities to dye. But it has made me wonder if there is any connection at all. For those concerned, both Tylenol and Motrin offer dye free versions of their fever reducers. All though you may have to call a few stores to find it.

    All in all, I am choosing to adopt the “Let it Be” attitude when it comes to fever. I don’t refuse fever reducing medications without exception but I do greatly consider the pro’s and con’s before choosing to circumvent the bodies natural coping mechanism. Like many other positions that I hold when it comes to medicine it is that modern medicine is a tremendous blessing when used with judgement and discernment and can sometimes be nothing short of a miracle but not all things modern in medicine equates to good medicine.

    *Natural comforting methods NOT to use with a fever. The following comfort/treatment methods have been passed down and are NOT recommended to be used:

    -A cold bath or a very hot bath. Use lukewarm water.

    -Using rubbing alcohol on the skin

    -Over bundling or underdressing. As a general rule of thumb keep the child comfortable. If the child is cold give the child a blanket. If hot, dress lightly. Do not make the child to shiver or to purposefully sweat.

    -Forcing the child to eat against his/her will. Refusing the child food against his/her will. (If you’re worried about what he/she can tolerate try bland toast or crackers first). For sensitive tummies consider the B.R.A.T. diet (bananas, rice, applesauce & toast).

    **Natural ways to comfort your child during a fever:

    -Plenty of rest and lots of fluids

    -Lots of attention and affection, cuddling, back-rubs, singing etc.

    -A lukewarm bath

    -A cool washcloth on the head

    -Quiet activities such as reading to your child, doing a puzzle, watching a movie/television, drawing, etc

    -Homeopathic remedies (I’ll let you research these on your own)

    -Soft music

    -If nursing, allow your child to nurse on demand. This may be more often than normal during an illness. Many babies/toddlers nurse a lot for comfort when ill.

    -Anything else that brings your child comfort and creates a calm environment

    LINKS REGARDING FEVER:

    * Dr Reynolds: Myths & Facts about Fever

    * Dr Jay Gordon: Dealing With Fever

    * Dr Bob Sears: Fever

    * Dr Jeffrey Snedecker: Childhood Fever – Friend or Foe?

    * Think Like A Doctor: Is Tylenol A Good Thing?