When Natural Doesn’t Seem To Work

I feel extremely frustrated.

Remember those Unwanted Guests I so eloquently described? Yep, enterobius vermicularis AKA pinworms. We’ve got them. Or, at least one of us still has them, despite our all natural anti-parasite regimen, including lots of toy rinsing, sheet changing, tush-showering, and LOTS of hand-washing (with paper towels to dry). ARGH !!!

Natural remedies work- in general. I’ve experienced that. There are too many testimonials out there to just blatantly disbelieve them. But they are gentle. They take longer. They require patience and perseverance. And, they are not cookie-cutter answers: you have to tweak it to see what works best for each individual person. That’s because natural remedies use real food or herbs, etc, to help the body do its own work. They promote life and healing (pro-bio), instead of death and sickness (anti-bio).

We used a gentle parasite cleanse, well, gently. Instead of giving our kids a full strength dose for the recommended 3 weeks that an adult would take, we gave them a half dose for only 2 weeks. We did not take into consideration the ages of our children and how that might affect the transmission of these little critters. In other words, kids somehow manage to get those little egg things spread around the house and then put their hands into their mouths constantly, which is something that an adult would be able to better control.  So treating a household with five young children, one of whom is crawling and puts everything in her mouth, should not be approached the same way as treating a single adult.  So all the while we were cleansing, at least some of us were re-infesting. Eeew.

I believe our bodies were made to be healthy, with the ability to self-regulate and heal, providing no interference. (For more on this, read “When Your Child Is Unwell: Attitudes Toward Illness“) And that when an interference is discovered or detected, it should be corrected in the way that will cause little to no harm to the body. If possible. Within limits that you choose.

Our son was hospitalized with pneumonia and took antibiotics, intravenously and then orally. Antibiotics are awful for your body, but they do have a purpose. It is possible that if he hadn’t gone for that treatment that he would have died. Obviously, that’s a limit that we were not willing to pass in the name of  “doing things naturally.” So, we allowed his body to be given toxins in order to clear up the infection that for some reason his body seemed incapable of correcting itself.

And then we began the cleanup process.

If I were more patient, we could take the natural parasite cleanse again, longer, and with a higher dosage. I am not. This parasite is so communicable that we are unable to have friends over until we are sure that it is gone. Not cool at all.

Now, once it’s gone, we MUST take steps to protect ourselves from a re-infestation. How, you might ask, would we get it again? Oh, that’s easy. PAY ATTENTION TO THIS, ALL YOU PARENTS WHO HAVE YOUNG CHILDREN YOU SEND TO SCHOOL OR DAYCARE: My 4 year old son will not be homeschooling with us this year. He will be going to preschool. With other kids. Who also don’t have the best toilet habits, hand washing habits, who put things in their mouths, and….you get it. Basically, these creepy crawlies are everywhere there are young children!

So, I’m planning to get whatever I need to get to wipe these things out. And then, we’ll continue our cleanup process. And learn to really like apple cider vinegar, garlic, cloves, and pumpkin seeds (natural anti-parasitic foods).

Here are things you can do to help keep parasites away:

  1. To avoid head lice, get rosemary oil from the health food store. Dab a drop behind each earlobe of your child as you would perfume before he goes to school each day.  You can also use any shampoo or conditioner with rosemary or tea tree oil in it; they don’t like the smell.
  2. To avoid  intestinal parasites (like pinworms), eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies. As much raw as possible
  3. Add raw pumpkin and sunflower seeds to your diet. You can add them to your smoothie or have them as a snack. The worms don’t like them.
  4. Have an apple cider vinegar drink 2-3 times a day. Have a tablespoon of vinegar (organic with the “mother” is best) with a few drops of stevia in a cup of water. It tastes like apple juice and keeps the wormies away.
  5. Eat raw garlic. I take a clove and press it, then take some of that on a spoon, covered in raw honey. The honey helps it slide right down. (Don’t do this on an empty stomach!)
  6. Add a pinch of ground cloves to your breakfast smoothie and your dehydrated granola. You don’t know how to make those? Ask me and I’ll give you the recipies.
  7. Wash, wash, wash those hands! Not just before meal times, but before bed (thumb-sucking), after waking up, after playing outside, of course after using the bathroom…..and every hour in between.

Got any other tips to share? Send them along!

Unwanted Guests

Ever had an unwanted guest?

A few years ago we experienced the thrills of head lice. Boy, that was a hassle. Thankfully, it didn’t scar my 3 little boys too much to get a buzz cut, and I had a good friend who was willing to comb out my hair for me. Many times. But, what a hassle! Now we use rosemary oil regularly to help keep them away. It seems to work.

Last year at this time we were a little negligent lax about treating our dogs for ticks. We thought that as long as we checked them regularly and removed the ticks, that was good enough. Well, we discovered that ticks just LOOOVE to replicate in the house, and boy, are they good at it. A tick infestation is NOT a fun thing to deal with.  This spring, we did not take any chances, and have treated them with the chemicals. And, it seems to be working.

This year, we have a new unwanted guest. It’s a nasty one called Enterobius Vermicularis. Also known as Pinworm. Oh, if you don’t know about pinworm, let me enlighten you. Warning: it’s disgusting.

First, someone, presumably your young child (I’ve had 3 in and out of preschool, kindergarten, and first grade in the past 2 years) touches something that has a microscopic worm egg on it, probably at school, and puts his hand in his mouth. The egg is swallowed, and then hatches in your child’s intestine where it enjoys a nice warm place to sleep and food consumed by the child. When it’s ready, the female worm (which is very tiny, only about 8 mm long) lays eggs. Oh, this is the good part: it comes out your child’s rear end while he is sleeping and lays eggs around there. Tiny, microscopic eggs. The eggs are attached by sticky stuff that itches, so your child scratches, getting the eggs under his fingernails. And guess where the eggs go then? You got it: back in the mouth. Unless, of course, your child goes and touches ANYTHING ELSE IN THE HOUSE, like toys, etc, and then those eggs don’t go back in his mouth, oh no. They wait until someone else in the house touches that thing and gets to have the eggs for himself, sharing the love.

I know, you’re thinking THIS IS DISGUSTING! And you’re absolutely right. Want some more good news? Pinworms are EXTREMELY COMMON, and there’s a good chance that your children have them too. People often don’t experience symptoms, and they’re very hard to test for. You basically need to see one, which is tough to do.

Standard treatment is to take some nasty chemical pesticide, and treat everyone in the whole family at the same time with said nasty chemical.  We’ve tried the pesticide, but didn’t want to give something so toxic to those we weren’t sure had it. So, we probably have had this infection for ???? long without knowing it.

The good news, is now we know it. I’ve confirmed pinworms on 4 of the 5 children. I must assume that the 5th child and both my husband and I have it as well so that we can be serious about treatment. But what kind of treatment can we do without poisoning everyone? I’m not about to give that stuff to my 12 month old!

Well, we were able to get some all natural anti-parasite supplements that are safe for everyone. We are also taking apple cider vinegar, garlic, and cloves as much as I have time and creativity to prepare. And, we’re gearing up for a family detox starting next week that will leave our intestines so squeaky clean that those guys won’t even want to be there.

And as far as getting rid of the eggs….that’s the tricky part. I’m doing a LOT of laundry (sheets & towels, as often as possible), a LOT of vacuuming, and a LOT of toy washing. Yep, washing Every.Little.Toy. Sound like fun? Ha.

At least our play room will be in order by the time we’re done!

And about unwanted guests: watch this!

You can even watch the whole movie on YouTube. Here’s the link. I think I might need to watch it tonight!

Have you ever experienced a parasite? At least fleas? I know I’m not alone. Share your disgusting story here!