Baby’s Chronic Infections
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Cynthia
Posted on: May 12, 1999

I have a question about Echinacea. I went to a herb store and this is what he gave me for my 18 month little girl. Let me tell you about her. When she was born she swallowed the macoum half way down her throat but they got it all out. But from then on she has had trouble. When she was born the doctor was afraid that she would get a pneumonia from it. Well, she didn’t want to eat and we tried to breast feed her for eight weeks – we did it all. I had to hook up this tube to my chest when she would nurse and then she finally got the hang of it. Then at eight weeks she was seen by doctors and I was told from one doctor that she might have pneumonia and the other said it was RSV. She cleared up before they were going to put her in the hospital. Ever since then she has had trouble with congestion and sinus trouble and she is always on antibotics. In the fall she was admitted in the hospital for a viral infection for three days. They gave her IV liquids and a chest x-ray They haven’t helped she was just on Rynatan.

When my son gets a viral infection, she has more trouble and gets it worse and then she has to go on antibotics again. After his last viral infection, she was in the hospital and they thought it was meningitus but it was pneumonia and it and hasn’t really cleared up. Some days she has no congestion and on others she is having green pus coming out of her nose and is so congested. We run the vaporizer all the time and I am sick of it.

I guess that is her medical history. Do you think Echinacea is good for her, or can you think of something else. She is my only girl and it breaks my heart that she has had such a hard trouble with life so far. The doctors just prescribe stuff that doesn’t work that well. Is her immune system shut down from all the antibiotics? That is what the guy in the herb shop told me. Please let me know what you think. I will take any advice I can get; I am sick of spending money in the doctor’s office, plus they seem not to know what to do for her. She is my only baby girl that I have and I need her to be well.

It is likely that your baby’s digestive system needs some help. A child’s digestive system doesn’t fully develop until age 1 or 2. If young digestive system is given antibiotics, it will take longer to develop, because the antibiotics kill off the healthy bacteria which promote digestion. Antibiotics are needed some acute situations when bacterial growth is life threatening, and I recommend that you continue to consult your doctor in acute situations. I do not recommend taking a child off prescribed antibiotics. Using herbs along with the antibiotics will work.

There are possibly food allergies involved. In the undeveloped or inflamed intestine, a large protein in cow’s milk products seeps through to the blood stream causing an allergic reaction. Since 60% of the immune system is located in the intestine, an unhealthy intestine means poor immunity.

Most important is her diet. I advise that you consult a natural practitioner to discuss your baby’s diet including taking your baby off dairy products, since this is the cause of most chronic problems with children. It is important that your child’s progress is monitored. Possible substitutes for dairy are goat’s milk, rice or soy products and apple juice. Sugar products are known to decrease immunity. Fruit and vegetables have been shown to increase health and immunity, and they provide the essential building blocks for your child’s growth. All food additives are toxins to the system, and especially harmful to the young. Your best bet is to consult a health food store when buying food for your baby and read all labels carefully to ensure that it does not contain milk products or additives. Other common allergens include oranges and chocolate.

To decrease congestion you want to clear the mucous and decrease the inflammation. Wheat products, as well as dairy, are mucous forming. Rice products do not appear to cause problems with the digestive system or allergies. Use herbs which work on the lymphatics, such as Clivers (Galium aparine), Plantain (Plantago lanceolata) to astringe the mucous and prevent it from forming, adding (Matricaria recutita) to improve the digestive system and Elderbflower (Sambuca nigra) to reduce inflammation and catarrh. These are safe herbs for children.

These herbs are best taken as alcoholic tinctures, available from a health food store. The amount of alcohol in the small dosages required is not harmful. You can mix the tincture dose with a favourite drink. The dosage for 18 months to 2 years is 10 to 12 drops three times a day, which is 12 to 15 ml per week. For the herbs recommended above, the tinctures would be mixed together first, then 12 drops of the mixture given three times a day.

When the cycle of infections has been cleared and your child’s digestive system has developed you may be able to slowly reintroduce your child to dairy and wheat.

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