During the past year, while sorting out Cookie’s allergies (now wheat/barley/rye, egg, peanuts, some tree nuts, plus sensitivities to dairy and soy), we have been going to our Naturopath Dr. He worked wonders on my girl. Like everyone, I wanted fast results. I wanted to be able to tell some of my family that this natural thing was the way to go – look how fast it’s working! But speed isn’t necessarily the best indicator. Everything that we did was helping. But the body isn’t healed instantly. As our dr. explained to me, the body heals from the inside out (most important organs first) and from the top down. The fact that most of the eczema problems in the last several months were confined to her feet was a good sign! Skin being the outermost and feet being the lowest part of her body – she was healing!
Before I get to what we’re currently doing, I wanted to share one of the crazier things we had to deal with. You never know who might be feeling – like I did – that my child was the only one. If nothing else, I want to give someone else encouragement that it can get better. It’s been exactly two years since the food allergies began and I have shed many tears over my little girl’s situation. I have felt frustrated, scared, lonely. What on earth can I feed her? I’m scared to give her anything or take her anywhere. How can I help her feel better? Believe me, I’ve been there – and sometimes fall back there again. There is hope but there’s also a lot of trial and error which is scary when you’re talking about your child.
We tried many homeopathic remedies. Most of them worked…some didn’t. Here’s one that did.
We went through one weird stretch this summer when Cookie would break out in hives from water. Water! I really thought I was losing my mind – the hives had to be from something else. But every time I put her in the bathtub (no matter the temperature of the water) her skin would be red and covered in hives within a couple of minutes. My only thought was that it had to be a new allergy/sensitivity to the additives in our city water. As it happened, we had an appointment scheduled with our naturopath the week after this started. He didn’t seem to think it had anything to do with the additives in the water but just something else her body was fighting with. He had me get rhus tox, a homeopathic remedy, that’s made from the poison ivy plant. It is used to help with some skin disorders, particularly those that have itchy, red, swollen skin and skin that is prone to scaling. (Another of my disclaimers here! I’m not a doctor – medical or naturopathic – so please check with a dr. before trying these on your own. I’m not giving medical advice – simply sharing my experience. Ok, carry on.) I gave her three of the little dissolving pills right before putting her in the tub. The first time I tried this she still had a few hives after being in the water so I gave her another dose of pills while drying her off. After that, one dose before getting in the water was all she needed to keep from getting hives. That lasted for about three months. I put her in the tub one day and forgot to give her the rhus tox first. No hives! Her body had worked through that little issue and water hasn’t been a problem since.
So we now have her gut working pretty well, her infected skin cleared up (though the eczema persists), and hives outbreaks still occurring but not constantly. She’s still not sleeping well and she’s pretty much living on Benadryl. I know that that can’t be good for her. Diphendyramine, the active ingredient in Benadryl, can cause drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth, excitation, agitation, and low blood pressure. I knew I had to get her off of it but because she was still breaking out in hives and itching, I didn’t know what else to do to give her some relief.
I began searching online for natural antihistamines and what I found changed everything for me. Again and again, I was finding essential oils (EOs) in my searches. I had a few already that I had purchased for my homemade cleaning products. As it happened, I had the three that I had been reading about – lavender, lemon, and peppermint.
I mixed them together in a little prep bowl in equal amounts with a bit of olive oil as a carrier (it was all I had). I rubbed it on the bottoms of her feet every time I changed her diaper and right at bedtime. As I said before, I wanted fast results. Well, the results weren’t as fast as Benadryl but after a few days, I noticed that the hives and itching had decreased a lot. After a couple of weeks, I was only putting the oils on her feet at bedtime to keep her from scratching in her sleep (which she did a lot).
The last time Cookie had Benadryl was four months ago! I now use the oil blend only when she needs it. I apply the oil (now in a roller bottle with jojoba oil) directly onto the hives and on the bottoms of her feet if she’s scratching a lot. Within a few minutes – about the same amount of time it takes for Benadryl to start working – her scratching stops and the hives are gone.
Here’s my recipe for the Allergy EO blend:
10 drops lemon
10 drops lavender
10 drops peppermint
Add to a 10mL roller bottle and fill the rest of the bottle with a carrier oil of your choice
(A carrier oil can be any vegetable-based type oil. I personally have used fractionated coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, and sweet almond oil)
Here’s a bit of what I have learned about these three oils. Lavender, as you might expect, is calming. But it’s also antiseptic, analgesic, anti-depressant, anti-rheumatic, anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral to name just a few of its properties. Lemon, I knew from making cleaning products, was anti-bacterial and anti-microbial. Peppermint, it turns out, also has analgesic, anesthetic, antiseptic, and antispasmodic properties. Combined together, these three work together to form an amazing antihistamine.
The discovery of EOs for health benefits has forever changed my life! I’ll talk a lot more about EOs in upcoming posts – my learning process, what they are/how they are made, how I have used them. I’m still learning and loving them!