Probiotics: natural healing

December 5, 2011 · 9 comments

Conjunctivitis or pink eye

Conjunctivitis or pink eye

This morning I woke up to two toddlers with eyes sealed shut.

Thank you daycare and your crappy food, and all the sniffley noses and congested chests and conjunctivitis that comes with it.

The miserable food at daycare is a story for another time — today I’m focused on getting my kiddos better.

My first thought was that I needed to take them into the doctor to get antibiotics. That’s the standard treatment for pink eye, and I read that the drops help them feel better almost immediately.

However, I’m always hesitant to introduce antibiotics. First, they’ve never had them. Second, I’m allergic to penicillin (as well as sensitive to a host of other drugs). And third, antibiotics cause major changes to the flora in your body and can set up conditions for ongoing illness.

We’ve had a long streak of good health (likely caused by being on the GAPS diet), so I haven’t had to pull out my natural remedies in a while. Which is my excuse for not remembering to just put some whey in their eyes at the first sign of goopiness.

I make my own yogurt at home, and strain it. I save the whey, a clear liquid teeming with beneficial bacteria, to make cultured vegetables and just to have on hand for situations like this.

There are a few ways to apply it. What I hoped to do was soak cotton balls with whey and let my kiddos relax on the couch, spa style, with the cotton balls over their eyes. I may be the only person to be surprised this didn’t work. The whey was cold, and they weren’t having it. I ended up taking a straw and using it like an eye dropper to put a few drops in their eyes. One of boys has a lot of sinus congestion, so I added a bit to his nose, too.

I also managed to squeeze a few drops of breastmilk into their eyes (I weaned my youngest son a few months ago, but I swear breasts are magical and know when breastmilk is still needed, because I had plenty for this purpose).

After a few hours, the eyes are noticeably less gunky, and the sinus congestion has improved.

I’m also watching their diet very closely: no added sugar and no starches. I’m giving them lots of whey, vegetable juice, and broth — all rich in probiotics and nutrients they need for healing.

I’ll keep adding whey to their eyes every few hours and make sure the pink eye is getting better. If it ends up being the same or worse by tomorrow, I’ll have to take them to the doctor for antibiotics, but at least I would have given it my best shot.

It’s important to remember how powerful antibiotics are, and I strongly believe in using them wisely and sparingly. With our medical technology we often forget that there are many natural remedies that work well and without side effects, so I want to do my part to spread the word.

Photo credit: comedy_nose on Flickr

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