By Elayne Pearson, Disability Advocate, Motivational Speaker & Consultant
Hope everyone is having a great summer. I bet your thoughts have turned more than once to the students affected with autism in your sphere of influence. As a mom of Heidi, a young lady on the spectrum, I can tell you, summer is a difficult season with lots of open doors and windows, time on our hands and restless kids. UGH!
I hope you are staying in touch with your students’ families and perhaps this blog and matching chart will be something helpful you can pass on to them. Take care!
As a young girl, I heard experts on our old black and white television state that chemicals were a marvel of this modern era. However, my family learned the hard way that harsh chemicals also contributed to my mother’s decline in health with allergies, asthma, anxiety and more. Her sensitive system needed natural products that her body “recognized and agreed” with.
Fast forward to raising my own four daughters, my husband and I finally realized the countless chemicals bombarding our home, food, and bathroom shelves were the last thing we needed. Especially for Heidi, who was born with Down syndrome. After years of chemicals, surgeries, vaccines, and prescription drugs, her fragile system was overwhelmed, similar to her grandma. She digressed before our eyes. Heidi was eventually dual–diagnosed Down syndrome and autism. It was a heart wrenching, bittersweet and exhausting era for our family.
Our skin is our largest organ ̶ like a huge sponge ̶ drawing substances into our system. So when Heidi was a teenager, I found natural clinics and herbalists who helped me diligently detoxify her polluted body. We also nourished her brain with vitamins, minerals and oils which gradually unveiled some skills and trapped emotions like a butterfly’s cocoon.
Today, she’s grown and doing well, and we’re all staying with good old fashioned remedies that are safe, economical and surprisingly efficient. This summer we’re prepared and empowered with our natural first aid kit.
- Aloe Vera Gel – You know it cools sunburns, but did you know it also soothes scrapes and insect bites? The aloe vera plant offers antibacterial properties so it may also be used on cuts, blemishes and eczema. It can be a shaving gel, too, preventing shaving burn. Herbalists and naturopaths recommend good food grade Aloe Vera (from a health food store) to help soothe an inflamed GI tract, and it naturally contains several minerals.
- Epsom Salt – Traditionally, this was used to soak away sore muscles after strenuous work or sports. This simple home remedy is magnesium sulfate, and can also be used as a natural laxative or detoxifier. A cheap, easy way to help cleanse Heidi was having her soak in a hot bath tub with a couple of cups thrown in (for about 20 minutes). Her Bio-medical doctor recommended this safe, economical method. The magnesium is calming to her central nervous system, and the sulfate gently draws out the chemicals that tend to collect in all of us.
- Tea Tree (Melaleuca) Oil – It’s an essential oil, similar to eucalyptus, frankincense, and lavender oils. My nickname for tea tree oil is “first-aid-kit-in-a-bottle.” Many studies confirm various essential oils to have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties, plus more ̶ so it naturally helps our family be equipped against any “flu-bug” or illness. I keep a bottle in my purse, car, and emergency packs.
- Bentonite Clay – It’s a wonderful natural remedy that is multipurpose for internal and external needs. Adding a little water makes a helpful paste that is anti-inflammatory for most skin problems such as hives, acne and psoriasis. A lesser known method is internally, because over time, it can soothe GI tract complications of stomach and bowel issues. It gently detoxifies, as it binds and expels chemicals and harmful substances. We stir 1/2 teaspoon into a glass of water/juice and drink it. We use Utah’s Own Redmond Clay brand.
- Baking Soda – Years ago, “soda baths” (from the bright yellow box) helped our daughters get through the chicken pox. Making a paste by adding some water and dabbing on bug bites, hives and seasonal rashes can also reduce itching and inflammation. Baking soda baths can also help in a holistic manner, in that it may help neutralize negative, “acidic” emotions. I feel more clear and balanced after a soothing soda soak.
- Coconut Oil – Research confirms coconut oil is an outstanding replacement of unhealthy fats in our diet. I also replaced chemically-laden lotions with this cheap way to soothe peeling skin and cracked heels and remove make-up. For generations, islands families knew coconut oil is also a naturally mild sunscreen to help protect the skin from the tropical sun. It is estimated at a 10 SPF protection. As an experiment, my son-in-law used coconut oil on a day at the water park, and didn’t get sunburned.
- Insect Repellant – We use a nice spray from Whole Foods of lemongrass oil, citronella oil, and peppermint oil to banish bugs. I love that the blend is chemical-free. Mosquitoes don’t like the smell of it, but we do. And if we forget it and get bitten, a little Redmond clay with water added (creating a paste) makes a natural poultice to help draw out the irritation and soothe the itch.
CLICK HERE to download your your own PDF to print out and make your own own summertime toolkit.
Enjoy safe, happy times this season with your special loved ones. See ya around!
(These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not meant to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. IBCCES in no way endorses one methodology or treatment. Always use common sense.)
Pearson is a Special Needs Emergency / Preparedness Specialist from northern Utah.
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