Every parent I have met so far has definitely made this request to me at some point or the other:
“Can you please do something to increase my child’s immunity?”
To this question I normally reply, yes homeopathy will definitely boost your child’s immunity and if they are receptive enough I add one another thing:
“Stop drugging your children unnecessarily.”
In today’s world of preventive medicine and quick fixes, we never let the body fight its own battles. Have you ever wondered why do we get symptoms when we are sick? Any symptom is a positive indication that the body is building up its defense mechanism. Fever is one of the main tools the body has to fight against any infection or inflammation (be it bacterial/ viral/ parasitic/ allergic etc.). Increased body temperature is stronger than any antibiotic in killing the micro - organisms and that too without producing antibiotic resistant mutant strains. Similarly, vomiting is a way the stomach clears its toxins after indigestion or diarrhea is a way of clearing toxins in the intestines after an episode of food poisoning. As you can see, the body has created ways of eliminating harmful organisms and toxins and we do nothing but block each and every outlet religiously. How is this not pulling your child’s immunity down?
We start Crocin (Calpol/ paracetamol) even before the fever has set in. The moment the child has a couple of vomiting episodes, we rush to give an antiemetic (anti-vomiting medicine). It takes just 2-3 loose stools for the parent to panic and start giving anti-diarrheal medications. We give antibiotics even for a viral infection, which even the pediatrician knows well enough that it makes no difference. A very good general physician I know once told me this: “A viral fever in a child will settle in a week with medications and in 7 days without medications!” What an awesome way to express the pointless use of medications in today’s world.
Let me not even get started on the deluge of supplements and “health drinks” given to these children. They are just filled with synthetic substances with no real food or nutrition in them.
Since we never test children for actual deficiencies, it is very easy to overshoot the requirement causing symptoms of toxicity which neither the parents nor the doctors are aware of. One has to be especially careful about fat soluble vitamins (Vit A, Vit D, Vit E and Vit K) because they are not excreted by the body and stored in the body-fat and keep accumulating over the years. When we obtain nutrients from food, the body balances the absorption according to its requirements. On the other hand, when we burden the body high concentration of supplements, a lot of it is passively absorbed by the body and there is no regulatory check on it. Funnily, many of the symptoms of being vitamin deficient/ vitamin excess overlap and it is sometimes impossible to say which is which without testing.
Finally let’s come to the main issue here. All drugs/ supplements are chemical molecules that require clearing from the body. This definitely puts load on the liver and kidneys (because they clear most of the toxic load from the body) making it weaker for other functions. Also let’s not forget the elephant in the room here:
Antibiotics not only kill the bad bacteria but they also wipe out a large part of the good bacteria from the system. The longer the antibiotic course more is the damage to the system. It can take the body up to 2 years to repair the damage done by one antibiotic course.
So how can we stop drugging our children?
1. Wait and watch: Not all illnesses need treatment. Sometimes there is fever, cold or indigestion for a day/ two and the body recovers. So let the body do its best first before even interfering.
2. Do not give fever medications unless the fever is very high. You can try using natural techniques like sponging, wet cloth to head, homeopathy, etc to manage the fever in the initial stages. For more on this please visit my blogs: Embrace your Fever! and supporting through fever naturally
3. Do not suppress any sign of elimination like vomiting or diarrhea. As I say, “let the body throw it out” Unless the diarrhea is every hour and extremely distressing, do not take any drastic measures. Keep the child well hydrated (with liquids or electrolyte solution) and just let the body do its work.
4. Do not give supplements unless there is clear indication of deficiency that cannot be met through food alone. Even in such cases give the supplement for a short period till the deficiency is managed, then shift a healthier diet for better nourishment.
5. Use homeopathy for acute illnesses. Homeopathy is a wonderful tool to manage acute illnesses in children without resorting to drugs/ antibiotics. It is safe, gentle, effective and without side effects.
6. Select a good pediatrician who is mindful about prescribing drugs