The Big Green Parenting Experiment

raising a healthy family in a toxic world

natural bee sting relief!

This is SO cool! I love learning new things!

Yesterday Schy and I were out and about. We made our big trip to the consignment shop and then we decided to pop in on the husband/daddy for lunch since we were in the neighborhood. We had about 45 minutes to kill so we stopped at a nearby outdoor shopping plaza to walk around. We happened upon this great shop called Ten Thousand Villages and went inside to check it out. As I reached for this super cool toy that looked like a little paper person pedaling a bike when you pushed it along the ground, I was STUNG by a BEE! I was so extremely startled that I jumped and flailed and frantically shook it off of my thumb. It was probably pretty funny to watch, actually. That bee had the nerve to land on Schy’s leg so I swatted it off and stomped on it! I don’t normally stomp creatures if they’re not bothering me, but I was terrified! This thing was after us! And Schy already has enough going on with her crazy allergy purple blotch hive rash all over her. We did NOT need one more thing with her right now.

I felt so violated. I looked at the remnants of the bee on the ground, picked up Schy and fled the scene. I haven’t been stung by a bee in years. And call me a wuss, but I forgot how bad it hurts! Within the hour my thumb swelled up and was sore and itchy and just generally really uncomfortable. I poked at it and looked at it all night. When I woke up this morning it was the first thing I had noticed. The swelling was even a bit worse. My skin was so tight that it hurt to bend… and the itch! Almost unbearable.

I googled natural bee sting treatment to see what I could find. I came across a website called vegetable gardener that claimed to have 12, yes 12, natural bee sting remedies. Number one on the list…. GARLIC! I went for this option because I always have it on hand and I always love to find new uses for garlic. It’s healing properties are so amazing. I pulled a fresh clove of garlic from our CSA out of the refrigerator, crushed it with a large knife and removed the peel. I pressed it onto the sting and walked around for the next 10 minutes with my thumb sticking out, trying to balance my odoriferous garlic sting treatment. I felt a difference within the first minute! It seemed to throb a bit for a minute but then, like magic, the stinging sensation was gone. By the end of the 10 minutes my skin was not nearly as tight and I could bend my thumb again! Unbelievable. Is there anything that garlic CAN’T do, really? This remedy gets one garlicky thumbs up from me!

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Here is a complete list of the 12 remedies on vegetable gardener:

  1. Garlic cloves
  2. Lavender essential oils
  3. Baking soda & water
  4. Peanut butter
  5. Plaintain
  6. Calendula flowers
  7. Bee balm
  8. Basil
  9. Onion
  10. Honey
  11. Parsley
  12. Apis Mellifica

The site lists more details for each. It also states that what works for one may not work for another so there are no guarantees that the garlic will work as well for you. Hopefully you can avoid having to treat a bee sting in the near future, but at least now you have a plan. And it’s always nice to have some natural remedies on hand with little ones around!

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tiny tummy vs. cow’s milk

Ever since Schy’s birthday, I have found myself saying “it’s tough to be one” when she gets a little cranky.  But it seems lately that it actually has been kind of tough.

It all started the other day with a diaper rash, which is pretty atypical for Schy. We cloth diaper, which eliminates chemical and irritant exposure through her diapers and we are pretty good about changing them often so she isn’t in a wet diaper for long. We were keeping an eye on the rash, but there hadn’t really been any change. It’s not huge, just 8-10 spots, but they did look a bit blistery. Fortunately, it didn’t really seem to be bothering her.

When we woke up yesterday, there were small pink spots all over her belly and lower back. They were out of the ordinary, but there were only a few. We decided to keep an eye on those, too.  Schy was acting like herself, didn’t have any sort of fever and the spots didn’t seem to be bothering her. Of course, they were bothering me. By the evening they had spread so we started to think back to the past week.

We had just introduced cow’s milk this past week, following her one year appointment. Everyone I know has started their baby on milk at 12 months so I didn’t even give it a second thought. It’s milk, for goodness sake!  Milk can’t be bad for a baby!  Well, we’re thinking that maybe it can.  For the first few days, she didn’t really know what to make of it.  She loves cold drinks, so I think that the flavor and consistency just threw her off.  She tried a few sips each day, but generally let them fall right back out of her mouth.  But on Thursday, we gave her a cup after dinner and she pounded it!  No exaggeration.  She pounded.  So we gave her more.  She had just a few more sips and then decided that she’d had enough.

The next day things started to go downhill in the diaper department.  I didn’t think anything of it.  It happens occasionally.  But by Saturday, we were looking at full-blown diarrhea and now a spotty rash on the tummy.  Hmmmm… is it a coincidence?  We figured that we would just wait out it, get through Sunday and call the pediatrician on Monday if there was no change.  Of course today, Sunday, we woke up with full body hives.  I caved and called the doctor’s exchange.  Although I’ve gotten better over the last year, I am still a pretty new, first time mom.  I know that all of you seasoned mama’s are probably shaking your heads out there.  I know, I know.  Call me paranoid, but this little girl is my life!  By my description, the doctor on call confirmed that she had hives and instructed us to give her Benadryl so that the reaction didn’t worsen.  She said that they could be caused by anything, soap, sunscreen, food, etc.

Looking further back, Schy had reflux as an infant.  I eliminated milk, whey, casein and most soy products from my diet since they tend to be the most common irritants.  It helped dramatically.  During this time, I had switched to almond milk and never went back because I liked it better and I generally felt better while I was consuming less dairy as well.  So, we’re  thinking that she may [still] have a sensitivity to milk.

Naturally, this got me thinking.  Does she NEED cow’s milk?  Is this just one of the many things that we as mom’s do because “it’s just what you do”?  I’m sure there are plenty of other sources from which she can obtain her dietary fats, calcium and vitamins.  Based on the way that I felt after cutting out dairy, I am beginning to question the need to drink milk at all.  Keep in mind that this is a new epiphany for me and I haven’t done any research or consulted my pediatrician yet.  But I do intend to.  I know that plenty of people with milk allergies and intolerances, not to mention vegans, thrive without the stuff.

I am just thankful that this is a minor reaction.   I know that food sensitivities can get pretty ugly.  I also know that many children outgrow such sensitivities so hopefully she’s one of them.  But my wheels are definitely turning, so for now I’ll look into alternatives and see what I can find.  As long as she is healthy, I really don’t care if she ever drinks milk.

Right now, we hold the cow.

To be continued…

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