Rising Tide


Rising Tide
Rising Tide
Rising Tide
Rising Tide
Rising Tide
Rising Tide
Rising Tide
Rising Tide
Articles
Rising Tide
Rising Tide Natural Medicine
Liam McClintock, ND, MAcOM, DHANP
Naturopathic Doctor, Master Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine,
Board Certified in Homeopathy & Acupuncture

Rising Tide

by Liam McClintock, ND, MAcOM

Allergies plague many people during the year, but especially during the summer months. Molds, pollens, and insect bites are allergens that can be more prevalent in warm and wet weather. Avoiding some other known sensitivities, such as identified problem foods or certain animals can lessen a person’s response to other unavoidable allergens. Natural supplements that can reduce the histamine response in individuals include antioxidants (such as vitamin C and grape seed extract), bioflavinoids (such as quercitin and hesperidin) and specific homeopathic medicines (based on a total symptom picture). If a person has severe reactions, they should never be without the necessary medications to prevent a life-threatening crisis.

Bruises, scrapes, and minor cuts can be effectively treated with homeopathic Traumeel or Traumed (made by BHI – Heel) to speed healing time. Arnica oil can be applied to bruises, but should not be applied to open wounds. Calendula cream is best applied to clean open wounds, and homeopathic Hypericum can alleviate the pain associated with puncture wounds or injuries in nerve-rich areas (such as fingers and toes). For any wounds that break the skin, one should thoroughly wash them and consider updating Tetanus vaccinations if they have not been received in the last 5 years.

Insect bites can be avoided by taking the necessary precautions to wear protective clothing and netting. Bug sprays and lotions can be effective if applied frequently to exposed skin. If you question the toxicity of the ingredient DEET (N, N diethyl tolumide), especially when applied to young children who tend to put everything in the mouth, natural bug repellant may contain ingredients such as citronella, pennyroyal, and eucalyptus. Itching bites can be treated with Sting-Stop lotion (made by Boerike & Tafel) or with homeopathic Ledum. I have repeatedly seen swollen lymph nodes from an insect bite disappear rapidly after homeopathic Ledum is taken, though such infections should be monitored by a health practitioner. Some of the most potentially harmful insect bites in our region are from spiders and ticks. If one sees significant local bruising in an area, with no known trauma, or a sudden spike in fever, it is best to get checked for possible lyme disease. Since the lyme vaccine is still undergoing safety studies (Reuters Health, Feb. 1, 2001), and a recent study showed no efficacy for antibiotic use after the infection is chronic (NEJM, July 11, 2001), catching the infection early is still the best treatment.

We are all familiar with Poison Ivy, but Brown Tail Moth Caterpillars are a more recent plague that can also cause severe discomfort to those who are sensitive. Avoiding contact with the plants and little critter’s hairs, and washing skin thoroughly after being around them, will reduce the itching. Wearing a dust mask or respirator while trimming trees or mowing lawns can reduce respiratory problems as a result of airborne toxins. Severe afflictions should be treated and monitored professionally, but minor rashes may be treated with homeopathic Rhus toxicodendron or Anacardium orientale (if the itching is relieved by bathing in very warm water), homeopathic Clematis erecta (if the itching is worse from bathing), homeopathic Croton tiglium (if the rash is crusty and painful or feels tight), or Histaminum (for a generalized reaction). Bathing in water that has been run through a porous sack of oatmeal or with oatmeal soap can temporarily relieve the itching. I am told that if we can endure approximately two more years of the caterpillars, they will be on the downturn in their cycle for another generation.

Sunburn is best prevented with sunscreen lotion or appropriate clothing. Women who are pregnant or who have had estrogen-positive cancers should avoid the more common sunscreens since, according to a recent study, they can act like the hormone estrogen in the body (Environ. Health Perspect 109: 239-244, 2001). Sun creams that do not penetrate the skin include titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Sunburns respond well to cool Aloe Vera gel and Comfrey applied frequently to clean skin. Vitamin C cream can help reduce the damage that repeated sun exposure does to the skin.

Spoiled food is another summer plague about which people do not often think. Any non-dried food left in the heat or direct sun can spoil rapidly, causing uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms if eaten. Cleaning hands before and after handling foods is essential. The best rule of thumb is “If in doubt, throw it out.”

Summer is an opportunity to enjoy the long days and warm weather. I hope that these few simple tips will help to ensure a safe and comfortable time as well.


Rising Tide

 









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