CBD has been in the spotlight lately and for good reason! The vast amount
of research that has already gone into the medicinal benefits of cannabinoids
is mind-blowing. From cancer to skin
diseases, there seems to be very little that cannabis cannot help with. And
while there is still a long way to go in terms of understanding the hundreds of
components that make up the cannabis plant, it is quite clear that there are
very few recorded downsides.
are over 100 identified cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, the most well-known
and well-researched being THC and CBD.”
It is becoming more and more difficult for doubters to argue *against*
the benefits of cannabis, considering the assortment of evidence that has been
accumulated and published. And of course, it seems like only a matter of time
until researchers find out more about the lesser-known cannabinoids that are
contained within this amazing plant!
What is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol which is one of the most beneficial compounds found in hemp (cannabis). Marijuana is also a part of the cannabis family, as is hemp which is what is being used to produce legal CBD products. While marijuana is naturally higher in THC, hemp is naturally high in CBD and very low in THC.
To keep things simple, we will discuss the potential benefits
of legal, hemp-derived CBD which is what is inundating the market as of late. CBD
oil is now being used by the masses as a safe, dietary supplement to balance body
systems in order to create health, happiness and harmony! Hemp is a beautiful plant and using it as a
medicine may be just what you’ve been searching for!
Lets’ talk about why CBD seems to do SO MUCH! When I say “CBD”
let’s assume I am talking about the multiple compounds and beneficial nutrients
found within hemp (cannabis) from which CBD oil is made.
CBD interacts with your body’s own endocannabinoid system (or ECS for short). Your ECS regulates a huge range of bodily processes like appetite, pain, mood, memory, immune system activity, blood pressure, bone density, glucose metabolism, and so much more it would be difficult to type it all out!
The fact that our endo-cannabinoid system exists
(it wasn’t even discovered by scientists until nearly 1990) may help explain WHY
we need to supplement with cannabinoids (CBD). I encourage you to research ECS on
your own and you will soon see why using CBD regularly may be a good idea for
you! The system is complex and beautifully designed to maintain homeostasis.
When we become deficient in cannabinoids, we need to introduce them back into
the body by supplementing with CBD. By doing this, the cannabinoids interact
with the receptors in our bodies and can correct imbalances in mood, sleep
patterns, hormone fluctuation, inflammatory response and so much more.
Using CBD to support your
endocannabinoid system function has incredible therapeutic potential for many
Pain and inflammation: A healthy ECS has the potential to
significantly reduce or eliminate dangerous drug dependency for chronic pain (both
over-the-counter and prescribed drugs). CBD has potent anti-inflammatory/analgesic
effects. Many people report dropping their pills altogether in exchange for
Mental health: Anxiety, depression, ADHD and other
conditions may be significantly improved when CBD is used to support the ECS.
CBD has protective effects on the liver, the cardiovascular
system, the digestive system, the endocrine system… CBD positively impacts the whole
CBD is an anti-convulsant and may to help
reduce seizures. Regular use of CBD may help gastrointestinal issues, drug and
alcohol addiction, auto-immune conditions, and many other health conditions
that we are commonly faced with today.
while CBD is working hard in your body by supporting healthy endo-cannabinoid
system responses, all that is needed from you is to sit back and let your body
do the work! You may find that you need less CBD over time, not more so
don’t let that old thinking of how some *other* medicines may work influence
how much CBD to take!
TYPES OF CBD:
Full Spectrum – This type of extract uses the whole plant to extract a “full spectrum” of cannabinoids and other constituents from hemp including trace amounts of THC. Full-spectrum hemp oil refers to when the oil extracted from hemp contains all the same cannabinoids and compounds found in the original hemp plant. Unlike isolated or synthetic cannabinoids, full-spectrum hemp oil contains an array of cannabinoids, as well as many essential vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, proteins, chlorophyll, flavonoids and terpenes. A full plant profile allows for the “entourage effect”.
This phenomenon, the “entourage effect,” results when hundreds of natural components within a plant interact together and with the human body to produce a stronger influence than any one of those components used alone. It’s a synergistic effect. Whole plant medicine!
***While the legal limit in the US is .3% THC for hemp-based CBD oil, many oils contain much less than that since hemp naturally contains very low levels of THC. Even with full spectrum CBD oil, there is little chance of any “high” even at larger doses. However, if you are subjected to random drug screenings, Full Spectrum CBD is not for you because it will most likely cause you to fail a drug test. (which targets THC)
Broad spectrum – Thisextract is the same as full-spectrum hemp extract minus the THC. While broad-spectrum oil is free of all THC, it does deliver the entourage effect, as it contains all other cannabinoids and phytochemicals found naturally within the plant as mentioned above! Since there is no THC in broad spectrum hemp oil, this may be a better option for you if you are subject to drug screenings but it is always wise to discuss this with your employer.
Isolate—A CBD isolate is just one cannabinoid,
cannabidiol, nothing else.This process isolates one cannabinoid (CBD) so
there are no other cannabinoids, no THC, no terpenes, proteins, fatty acids,
etc. There is no entourage effect available with CBD Isolates but this form can
still work well for your needs. A CBD Isolate (sometimes referred to as ZERO
THC OIL) is another option for those subject to drug tests.
Topicals— There are many topical applications of CBD as well. CBD can work beautifully on your skin to help relieve pain and help improve skin conditions like psoriasis, acne, eczema and wounds.
~Edibles and vape oils are common forms too.~
What to look for in a CBD oil—
With a boom in CBD production, it’s very important to look for a reputable company because there are many brands that just aren’t worth wasting your money! They are made cheaply and recklessly and can be harmful. There are many reputable companies as well! Look for one that uses a CO2 extraction method to produce their CBD oil. CO2 extraction is an expensive process that uses pressurized carbon dioxide to pull the desired phytochemicals from a plant. CO2 at certain temperatures and pressures acts like a solvent, without the dangers of actually being one. It is the most expensive extraction method and it is widely considered the most effective and safest plant extraction method in the world.
Third Party Testing
This testing ensures that you are getting what is advertised. Third
party testing can measure the cannabinoid content, (and other plant constituents),
whether or not there are pesticide residues, metal and other contaminates.
No Fillers or Artificial Ingredients
CBD extract is a concentrated product so in order to make it easy to
take orally, companies blend this potent extract with hempseed oil, MCT Oil
(which is a liquid coconut oil) or other vegetable oils in their CBD oil “tinctures”. These carrier oils are acceptable and
commonly used. But watch out for added preservatives, sweeteners, etc because
these will “dumb down” your product are not necessary. A lot of CBD oils do contain flavoring which
makes the CBD experience more pleasant! Just make sure the extracts being used are
pure and not synthetic. Mint, orange, vanilla, all of these are common flavors
used and are acceptable if you want a little natural flavor in your CBD.
Made in the USA
Look for a CBD oil company that boasts US grown and processed. We have organically
run farms right here in Kentucky, Colorado and other states. When working with foreign farms, brands lose their
transparency and quality control. And when it comes to hemp, its cultivation
environment is critically important.
With the Federal Farm Bill of 2014, state governments were allowed to
start piloting hemp farming in their individual states. In the past few years,
hemp farming has grown quite significantly in some states, including in
Colorado and Kentucky. These states have now set up a legitimate license and
certification process for its farmers to go through. The process entails
working with the state department of agriculture to ensure that each individual
farm and the hemp seeds and crops are registered. The governance by the state
programs creates an unmatched barrier to entry. The process required to obtain
licenses to grow hemp shows the extra due diligence required by hemp brands
working with farmers in the United States.
Dosage can vary widely among users. Take note of how your body has
adapted to hemp CBD on a weekly basis and make adjustments accordingly. It is
wise to start with just a few drops 1-2 times daily going up in drops to a full
dose if needed. Many people find that 3-5 drops works well for their condition
and other may need a full dropper (full dose) multiple times a day. This will
depend on what your goals are. Don’t be afraid to experiment with dosage!
Generally, CBD oil drops are taken under the tongue and held there for
up to a minute for better absorption but the drops may also be added to food or
beverages if needed.
Using CBD as a nutritional supplement can be very rewarding especially if other means have failed you. Most anyone can use CBD for health and happiness! We are just scratching the surface here with this information I have provided so I encourage you to continue your education on the subject if you want to navigate the wonderful world of CBD!
In this article, we will discuss simple ways to prevent common ear infections in children and how to treat them successfully if they do occur. If you are a parent, you have likely been to the doctor on more than one occasion because your child has come down with a painful ear infection. Antibiotics are overused, over-prescribed (dare I say abused!) and often, unnecessary.
Let me start by saying that even the
CDC states that a “watch and wait” approach to treating ear infections is
recommended. According to the
CDC, middle ear infections, “may not need antibiotics in many cases
because the body’s immune system can fight off the infection without help from
antibiotics” and a mild case “will often get better on its own without
antibiotic treatment, so your health care professional may recommend watchful
waiting before prescribing antibiotics to you or your loved one.”
That’s pretty encouraging, right?
Another form of watchful
waiting is delayed prescribing. This means
that your pediatrician may give you an antibiotic prescription, but he or
ask you to wait 2–3 days to see if your child is
still sick with fever, ear pain, or other symptoms before filling the
prescription. Having a prescription handy may give some parents peace of mind
if things do take a turn for the worse or fail to improve. I have left the doc
with a filled prescription on a few occasions and have never cracked the bottle
open. Our bodies know what to do to correct these problems and our immune
systems often do without interference!
What is an ear infection?
Middle ear infections are called Otitis Media,
and they can be caused by viruses or bacteria.
The middle ear
is the space behind the eardrum, which is connected to the back of the throat
by a passageway called the Eustachian tube. Middle ear infections can occur
when congestion from allergies or colds block the Eustachian tube. Fluid and
pressure builds up, so bacteria and/or viruses that have traveled up the
Eustachian tube into the middle ear can multiply and cause an ear infection. Middle
ear infections are the most common type of ear infection in children and
adults. Symptoms of an earache can include pain (earache), temporary decrease
in hearing and fever.
let’s jump on my list of ways to prevent ear infections from occurring in the
Prevention is key! This list will be much longer than my remedy list 😊 :
are picky, I get it, mine are too, but restricting certain foods and beverages,
especially when your child is ill with a cold or the flu is paramount. There
are many supplements to consider as well as other factors that can prevent the
dreaded ear infection.
Kids who drink juice and
dairy products get more ear infections, that’s a fact. These beverages encourage
the production of mucus in the upper respiratory system, while the sugars in milk
and juice depress immune function. This can lead to congestion in the chest,
sinuses and ears, which is the perfect situation for an ear infection (and a
decreased ability to fight it off!) Kids
should not drink juice daily especially when ill. Sugar and refined, processed
foods should also be avoided in general and especially during an illness. (even
natural, organic sweets!)
Offer fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and other
whole, nutrient dense foods to older children and BREASTFEED babies at least to
Breastfeeding has been proven
to decrease ear infections (and other illnesses) in children. Breastfed babies
have been shown to get at least HALF the amount of ear infections as formula
fed babies. Formula feeding can increase ear infection risk, especially if baby
is bottle fed lying down. If you have to use formula, be sure baby is at a 45
degree, upright angle when feeding. This prevents milk from getting from the
back of the throat up into the immature eustachian tubes where it can be a site
for infection. This is more of a risk with cow’s milk and formula feeding.
Pacifier use increases ear infection risk – for this and other reasons, avoiding
pacifier use is recommended.
Water is always the preferred
choice of beverage for kids! Herbal teas can also be given slightly warm or
chilled, lightly sweetened with a touch of local honey, maple syrup, blackstrap
molasses or left unsweetened.
Some of my favorite herbal teas for kids include chamomile, lemon balm, fennel
seed, ginger and lavender either alone or in combination. Lavender tea alone is
quite strong-tasting, so if you have dried lavender buds at home, add a pinch
to ½ cup lemon balm and ½ cup dried chamomile flowers
for a safe, stress busting tea that will also encourage deeper sleep at naptime
and bedtimes. Use 2 tsp. of herbal mixture per cup of water that has reached
boiling. Steep 10 minutes, enjoy when cooled sufficiently or store in the
fridge and give by the spoonful as needed to babies. (Adding fennel seed and
ginger to your herbal tea blend will help with colic and other digestive
problems—tip: fresh ginger is not as spicy as dried!) These herbs soothe the
body and mind which leads to my next point, addressing STRESS.
Stress in kids suppresses the
immune system (adults too for that matter!) If *you* are stressed, your child
can pick up on that and he or she can become stressed. The herbs I mentioned above
are super safe for babies and excellent soothers! I make and use a lovely
chamomile tincture that is excellent to have on hand for stress, teething,
sleep and colic! Chamomile works wonders in kids and adults! You can grab a
bottle right here (link to my chamomile tincture)
Supplement with the
appropriate amounts of Vitamin D3, Zinc, Vitamin C and probiotics daily and
especially when a cold takes hold. Be sure your child is getting adequate
amounts of sleep. I always enjoyed bathing my kids with lavender when they were
younger. Do not underestimate the calming power of an herbal bath! Every home
needs a bottle of lavender essential oil! Try blending 1-3 drops of pure,
lavender essential oil with ½ to 1 cup Epsom salts.
Stir in 1 Tbsp coconut or olive oil, blend well and add this mixture to a warm,
not hot, bath for a soothing, relaxing bedtime soak for kids of all ages!
Soothing bedtime rituals are a great way for babies and kids to relax and sleep
soundly, and, heck, mom will also inhale that lovely lavender aroma and smile
Children exposed to second
hand smoke are at greater risk for ear infections. Exposure to tobacco smoke,
and even the residue of smoke on a caregiver’s clothes, dramatically increases
the risk of your child getting ear infections and upper respiratory infections.
Plug ins, scented fabric softeners, detergents, perfumes and candles can also
contribute to respiratory problems & allergies which can, in turn, lead to
ear infections. Free your home of these toxic artificial scents and watch
everyone’s health in the home improve!
Address known allergies immediately and try your best to get to root of
other allergic reactions. This can be a daunting experience, but quite
necessary to see improvements in health.
Chiropractic care! This could
very well be one of the most important things we can do for optimal health for
our children (and ourselves). The spine can (and does!) misalign in the upper neck and
that will affect the way the body heals. When an ear infection is present, fluid is getting trapped
in the middle ear cavity, which then creates an environment for viruses and
bacteria to flourish. The idea behind chiropractic care for ear infections is
that spinal manipulation, especially of the cervical vertebrae (neck) can help
relax the muscles surrounding the Eustachian Tubes allowing for proper drainage.
Chiropractic care also aims to restore the natural function of the nervous
system, which can benefit the health of the entire body. My 3 kids have been seen by
our chiropractor since they were babies and they are vibrantly healthy children
with very few illnesses and NONE has ever been on antibiotics for an ear
infection, or any other reason for that matter. (one exception being my
daughter when she was 4 as an experimental treatment for severe skin problems.
I will blog about this separately because not only did the antibiotics not work
for this, we learned the hard way how to heal severe eczema!)
Ask your friends and family for a great chiropractor recommendation in
your area and you will see what a huge difference it can make in the health and
happiness of your family!
Treatment Options–What’s a mom to do?
So, your child starts
pulling on her ear or tells you “Mommy, my ear hurts.” First of all, take a
deep breath and say to yourself ‘MOST ear infections go away all on their own
with 2-3 days.’ Repeat as needed!
Let’s talk about
things you can do immediately to help
the pain and inflammation decrease and clear the infection.
At the first sign or symptom of a cold or the flu, please start Elderberry and Echinacearight away. This trusted, proven remedy can nip an illness in the bud before it becomes a full-blown virus and it certainly cuts down on sick days and secondary infections like sinus and ear infections. I recommend DIY Elderberry Syrup, available right here. Making this excellent remedy is easy and it lets you control the amount and type of sweetener you choose. Much more information and instructions are found in the link provided above and you can purchase it today so you will always have it handy! This treatment is full of Vitamin C, antiviral and antibacterial compounds and anti-inflammatory relief.
Remember that all-important
bottle of lavender essential oil we talked about above? … well, this is a great,
soothing, anti-inflammatory remedy for outer ear massage. Simply make a massage
oil by adding 5 drops of pure, lavender essential oil to 2 Tbsp of coconut OR
olive oil. Store in a jar with lid. Very gently massage the outer jaw of
affected ear, including all the way behind and around the painful ear. Repeat
2-3 times daily.
Alternately, you can apply
1-2 drops of lavender oil to a warm, not hot, wash cloth and apply over the
affected ear for 15 minutes at a time as needed to reduce pain and
Garlic ear oil! If there is one thing I recommend (and use)
most often for ear pain, it is garlic ear oil. This classic herbal remedy works
so quickly that 1-2 uses is, oftentimes, all you’ll need! Garlic is a natural
antimicrobial, addressing infections of both a bacterial and viral nature. Garlic
ear oil is readily available in nearly every health food store or online or you
can make it at home. You will often see garlic combined with other herbs such
as mullein which is a lovely analgesic herb.
I like this one and
always keep it on hand. https://www.vitacost.com/herbs-for-kids-willow-and-garlic-ear-oil-drops (Willow and Garlic Ear Oil Drops by Herbs for
Kids) This remedy combines garlic with other wonderful herbs for
pain/inflammation and infection. The directions are simple and it’s always wise
to treat both ears because the infection can travel. Shake well. To warm, place entire bottle in warm water. Test on inner
wrist before using to assure safe temperature. Always use warm. Apply 3-5 drops
in both ears as needed, up to 5 times a day. Cover with clean dry cotton. Do
not use if eardrum is perforated. Ingredients:Extra Virgin Olive oil, Fresh
Garlic cloves, Calendula flower, Willow bark, Usnea lichen and Vitamin E oil.
This treatment hasn’t failed me yet and I think you’ll love it too!
Colloidal silver is a
suspension of minute silver particles in water. A known antibiotic, colloidal
silver has been used by various cultures as a topical and internal medication
for hundreds of years. However, following the discovery of penicillin and subsequent
increase in commercially prepared antibiotics, the medicinal value of colloidal
silver was discounted. BUT, this does not lessen the value and effectiveness of
silver for bacterial infections. I use and recommend this one (link to my colloidal silver). Our family has used
it countless times for ear infections and other common ailments (like pink eye)
at home– very successfully I might add! I recommend silver to moms all the
time and they are always pleased with the results.
If you want to get geeky on how colloidal silver actually
works in the body, here you go:
According to a report
written by Richard Davies and Samuel Etris of The Silver Institute in a 1996,
there are three primary ways that colloidal silver can help heal the body.
Catalytic Oxidation: Silver naturally holds onto oxygen molecules, which readily react with the sulfhydral (H) groups that surround bacterial and viruses. In turn, this helps block the life-preserving cellular process known as cellular respiration, which is defined as “the set of metabolic reactions and processes that take place in the cells of organisms to convert biochemical energy from nutrients into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and then release waste products.”
Reaction with Bacterial Cell Membranes: Silver particles can attach to bacteria cell membranes directly and produce the same respiration-blocking effect.
Binding with DNA: Shown to literally enter bacteria DNA, up to 12% of silver has been detected in Pseudomonas aeruginosa (the most common type of bacteria affecting humans). According to one source, “While it remains unclear exactly how the silver binds to the DNA without destroying the hydrogen bonds holding the lattice together, it nevertheless prevents the DNA from unwinding, an essential step for cellular replication to occur.”
We use colloidal silver both internally and externally as
needed without the worry of unwanted side effects. AND, silver DOES NOT create bacterial
resistance like many prescribed antibiotics! Silver will not create bacterial
mutations, in fact, colloidal silver is effective in eliminating some resistant
strains of bacteria. Overuse and abuse of prescribed antibiotics is what is
creating antibiotic resistant “super-bugs!” Silver does not do that. You may come
across warnings about colloidal silver causing a condition called argyria (when
people turn blue). However, this is caused by misuse of cheaper products
marketed as colloidal silver, such as ionic silver or silver protein. True
colloidal silver isn’t capable of doing this!
When an ear infection is suspected, you can take a dropperful
of colloidal silver by mouth several times daily, and place a 1-2 drops into
the ears as well.
Breastmilk and REST
have heard stories from dozens of moms who have used their own breastmilk in
their kid’s ears to successfully treat ear infections. (pink eye, too!) It is
safe, natural, made BY you FOR your baby, so why not give it a shot if you are
a breastfeeding mother!? Just apply several drops of your mama milk into each
ear as needed (plus it’s already body temperature, how soothing!)
the power of rest during or following an ear infection. The body is working
hard to create balance and rid the body of pathogens, so rest and hydration are
always recommended during and after an ear infection episode. I settle my kids
in their bed or on the couch with their favorite movie or books, a soft blanket
and a cool drink of water or herbal tea and allow them to just be still for at
least a day after the pain has gone.
Now if you have the Garlic Ear Oil/Colloidal Silver combo, Elderberry
& Echinacea formula, and follow some of these recommendations for
prevention and treatment, you will be sitting pretty in the ear infection
department and you will no longer fear the dreaded whine…
“Mommy my ear hurts.” again!
would be remiss if I didn’t tell you when a trip to the pediatrician IS
to see the doc:
If your child seems very sick with a fever
over 102 and has other symptoms such as stiff neck, a trip to the doctor is
Doctors and experts usually recommended that
babies under 6 months old always be seen by a medical professional if an ear
infection is suspected.
If your child experiences sudden hearing loss,
dizziness or severe pain, go see the doc.
If you notice, redness, swelling or pain behind or around your child’s ear, it’s
time to see the doc, especially if your child does not move the muscles on that
side of his or her face.
If the pain has not subsided after 3 days or
if the pain is worse in day 2 or 3, see the doctor.