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 Integrative Medicine: Childhood Allergies 
 

Selenium is an antioxidant and works synergistically with vitamin E. Give a child over fourteen years of age 50 micrograms a day during the allergy season.

The B vitamins help to support adrenal function and strengthen the immune system. For seasonal allergy symptoms, give a child over twelve a B-vitamin complex supplement each day (between or before meals) for two to three months.

Vitamin C, preferably in mineral ascorbate form with bioflavonoids, has anti-inflammatory properties. During acute flareups, give your child one dose, four times a day, for three to four days. Follow this with one dose, twice a day, for two to three weeks; then give your child one dose, once a day, for one month.


Herbal Treatment
For age-appropriate dosages of nutritional supplements, see Dosage Guidelines for Herbs and Nutritional Supplements.

Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceous) is a Chinese herb that helps to strengthen the overall constitution. Give your child one dose daily for one month before the hay fever season.
Note: This herb should not be given if a fever or any other signs of infection are present.

If your child suffers from chronic allergies, give him one dose of an echinacea and goldenseal herbal combination formula, two to three times daily, for five to seven days to strengthen his immune system.
Note: You should not give your child echinacea on a daily basis for more than ten days at a time, or it will lose its effectiveness.

Prepare a fenugreek and thyme tea. These herbs act as a mild decongestant to relieve nasal and sinus congestion. Give your child one dose of tea, twice daily, as needed.

Garlic has antibacterial properties that are beneficial in healing a chronic runny nose. Choose an odorless form, and give your child one capsule, twice daily. It can be taken in whole capsule form, or you can open a capsule and dissolve the liquid in warm water or soup.

Licorice root has a strengthening effect on the adrenal glands. Give your child one dose daily for two weeks before the hay fever season. Licorice and astragalus can easily be combined.
Note: This herb should not be given to a child with high blood pressure.

Ma huang is the original source of the decongestant pseudoephedrine (better known as Sudafed), and it is effective in relieving nasal congestion. Give your child one dose in tea form, twice a day, for up to three days.
Note: This herb can stimulate the nervous system, causing an increased heart rate and agitation. Do not give it to a child under thirteen, and do not give it after 3:00 PM.

Minor bupleurum helps to strengthen the immune system. For chronic allergies, give your child one dose, twice daily, for two weeks out of every month. Continue this regimen for three months.
Note: Minor bupleurum should not be given to a child with a fever or any other sign of an acute infection.

Nettle can be very helpful for drying out the sinuses. It can be highly effective for chronic allergies (allergic rhinitis), especially when taken in freeze-dried form. Give your child one dose, three times daily, for three to four days.
Note: Some children experience stomach upset as a result of taking nettle. If this happens, stop giving the herb. This herb should not tee given to a child under four.


Homeopathy
Homeopathy can work simply and effectively in resolving allergy symptoms. Select a symptom~-specific remedy and, unless otherwise specified, give your child one dose, three times daily, for three days. If there is no improvement, try another remedy. If you do notice an improvement, discontinue the remedy and watch to see your child's response. If the symptoms return, resume giving your child one dose, three times daily, for another two days. If the problem is not resolved, it maybe helpful to consult a homeopathic practitioner who can prescribe a constitutional remedy.

Allium cepa 30x or 9c is good for the child who experiences bouts of sneezing with a burning sensation in the nose that affects the upper lip, and whose symptoms improve in the outdoors or if he splashes his face with cold water. Allium cepa is homeopathic onion. It is for an allergic reaction similar to one's reaction to cutting or peeling an onion—red, teary eyes, for example.

Ammonium muriaticum 30x or 9c is for the child with a watery discharge that burns the upper lip and inside of the nose. There is a feeling 'that the nose is stopped up even though there is a flowing nasal discharge. This child will lose his sense of smell, and may also experience a tickling feeling in his throat.

Arsenicum album 30x or 9c helps the child who is sneezing, with nasal burning, and who feels better with hot compresses on the sides of his nose and when breathing into a warm humidifier. Restlessness, fatigue, cold hands and feet, and waking in the night with great distress are symptoms of the Arsenicum child. Often he will not only have allergies to dust and mold, but will be highly sensitive to cats as well. This child may also have food allergies to milk, wheat, or sugar, and be high-strung.

CaIcarea carbonica 30x or 9c benefits the child who is pale and sweats alot, especially around the head, and is sensitive to drafts. Swollen glands may accompany this child's runny nose. He may have digestive problems as well. This child may have gone through teething and/or reamed to walk later than friends or siblings.

Euphrasia 30x or 9c, which is homeopathic eyebright, is good for the child with burning tears and a nonacrid nasal discharge. Often this child will develop conjunctivitis along with his allergies. He is very sensitive to light and prefers to stay indoors in a dimly lit room.

Give Hydrastis 12x or 6c to the child who has a thick yellow or yellow-green discharge from the nose. Very often mucus will form crusts around this child's nose. Hydrastis is homeopathic goldenseal.

Natrum muriaticum 12x or 6c is for the child who complains that the inside of his runny nose hurts or burns. This child will have thick mucus, may have a sore or pustule between his nose and upper lip, and his lips will be dry and cracked. He likes—perhaps even craves—salty foods.

Pulsatilla 30x or 9c will help the child who feels much worse in a stuffy room and better in the cool, open air. This child prefers to sleep with his window open. His nasal passages are congested and dry at night, with a nonirritating yellow discharge during the day. This child often has a fair complexion, blond or light brown hair, and blue eyes. children are good-natured, compliant, and adhering, of course, when they suffer with allergies. Pulsatilla is homeopathic windflower (anemone). Por the child whose moods and symptoms change like the wind, homeopathic windflower works wonders.

Sabadilla 30x or 9c is helpful for the child who experiences spasmodic sneezing with a lot of nasal discharge and a peculiar itching of the nose and soft palate. This child will want to scratch his upper palate. Exposure to flowers often increases the itching and sneezing.

If your child has had a runny nose since receiving a vaccination, give him Thaja 30x or 9c, twice a day, for two days. This is for a child who is sensitive to cold and humidity, and has a tendency to develop warts.

If none of the above remedies seems to match your child's situation, there are homeopathic combination formulas available that may be useful.


Acupressure
For the locations of acupressure points on a child's body, see Administering an Acupressure Treatment.

Four Gates helps to calm the nervous system.

Gallbladder 20 helps to relieve head congestion.

Large Intestine 4 helps to relieve head congestion.

Large Intestine 11 reduces the severity of allergic reactions.

Large Intestine 20 clears the nose and decreases sinus congestion.


General Recommendations
A child over twelve can take pantothenic acid (Vitamin Bs) during the hay fever season to prevent the onset of allergies (you can also try giving it during an attack to help lessen the symptoms). Give your child 100 milligrams, three times a day, for three to four weeks.

Choose and administer an appropriate homeopathic remedy.

Give your child nettle to relieve sinus symptoms.

Give your child vitamin C with bioflavonoids, beta-carotene, garlic, and evening primrose oil.

Saline nasal irrigations are valuable for a child with a chronic runny nose. Use the procedure described under NASAL SALINE FLUSH, and suck out the mucus with a bulb syringe.

Because allergy symptoms can take a wide variety of forms, from headaches to bedwetting, you may wish to consult other entries in this book that address your child's particular symptoms.


Prevention
If possible, keep your child from coming into contact with plants that cause an allergic reaction, especially during their pollination seasons.

If animal dander causes a reaction, keep pets outside. Above all, do not let them inside an allergic child's bedroom.

If your child suffers from chronic allergies, look for environmental factors that may be contributing to the problem. Eliminate all possible allergens, such as dust, molds, cigarette smoke, and wood smoke. It may be necessary to eliminate feather pillows and household items that collect and hold dust, such as stuffed animals, rugs, draperies, and even upholstered furniture.

Check for and eliminate foods that may be the source of a hypersensitivity or allergic reaction.

Give your child astragalus to strengthen his immune system.

Visit a homeopath for a constitutional remedy for your child.

Provide your child with a smoke-free environment. If you smoke, please quit. Children with allergies are especially vulnerable to the effects of secondhand smoke. Wood stoves can also be a source of respiratory irritation.

Dosage Guidelines
Diet
Herbal Medicine
Homeopathy
Bach Flowers
Acupressure
(Excerpted from Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child ISBN: 1583331395)
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 About The Author
Janet Zand LAc, OMDJANET ZAND, O.M.D., L.Ac. is a nationally respected author, lecturer, practitioner and herbal products formulator whose work has helped thousands of people achieve better health....more
 
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