In this lesson we will continue with the subject of childhood diseases and how to cope with them to assure better health and general well-being.
: Chicken pox also called varicella after the varicella-zoster virus, is highly contagious. It is usually a mild illness
with a low-grade fever and a blistery rash. Chicken pox is most infectious the day before the rash appears. Following that, blisters appear continually for about five days,
and consequently, there will be blisters in different stages of development across the entire body : some just starting; some with heads; some turning milky; and those that
are fading and crusty. These blisters are incredibly itchy. The older the child the worse the illness. Adults can develop shingles from the same virus if exposed to a child
with chicken pox, says Dr. Johns.
During a case of the chicken pox, it is important to watch for a fever over 102 F, which can be kept down with a cool sponge bath, says Dr. Sodhi. Soaking in an alkaline bath
containing baking soda will help relieve itching, as will aloe vera applied to the rash. David Huffman says swabbing the blisters with witch hazel
works best in the case of chicken pox. One can also combine equal parst of dry rosemary
leaves and calendula
and infuse "boil in water" this mixture. Once the infusion
is cooled, it can be applied with a wet cloth by gently dabbing the child's skin where needed.
Dr. Ni will treat a case of the chicken pox with the same treatment that he uses for the measles. A seven year old boy was brought to Dr. Ni in the early stages of chicken pox by his mother. The child's own pediatrician had told the mother to simply " wait it out," but when the child ran a high fever, suffered from loss of appetite,
and experienced severe itching, she wanted to relieve the child's suffering. Dr. Ni's approach was to use herbs to induce eruptions, which has the effect of speeding the process of the disease and promoting healing. He recommended that the child be given peppermint and bupleurium as well as a prescription of 12 herbs, some to reduce
swelling, others to relieve itching, including an herbal cream.
The next day the mother, very concerned, called Dr.Ni to report that the child had broken out in spots everywhere. Dr Ni assured her that this was exactly the pattern he had expected and noted that the child's fever was down. Dr Ni's traditional Chinese method works by forcing the toxins out of the system. The mother and child
followed through with Dr Ni's recommendations and in two to three days the worst was over. In less than a week, the disease had past and the child had returned to school. Dr Moskowitz feels that often chicken pox need not be treated at all, but notes that common homeopathic treatments to relieve the symptoms and discomfort
of chicken pox include antimonium tart, pulsatilla, sulfur, and rhus tox.
: Mumps is characterized by fever and very swollen salivary glands. The glands around the earlobes are the ones most often affected; however, the sublingual glands found under the tongue may also swell. Dr Sodhi explains that with an illness like mumps, it is important that the symptoms not be surpressed
but be fully expressed so that the disease can "get out" of the body. Swelling is therefore desirable and can be encouraged by drinking "raisin water" made by boiling 20 to 30 raisins in 1 to 2 cups of water. According to Dr Sodhi, taking several cups of this mixture per day helps express the mumps, keeps the virus under control, and aids in nutrition
as many children with this illness find eating difficult. Mustard packs
on the glands may be helpful if the disease is not fully expressed. Likewise, a sandalwood pack may reduce swelling if the sysmptoms are actute and need to be controlled.
Besides letting a case of the mumps run it's course, Dr Ni prescribes herbs like dandelion
, used internally as a tea or externally ground into a powder and made into a poultice
with some aloe and applied to the lungs. This will help reduce the swelling.
In the next installment we will discuss childhood parasites.