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A gentle, natural cold and cough arsenal

My whole family has been varying degrees of sick this week.

My 6 year old kicked it off with a crazy, croup-like cough that kept us both up basically all night the first night. Honestly, nothing I tried worked for her that night (and believe me, I subjected her to all kinds of crazy stuff!). Cold air from the open window alternating with the warm moist air from a bowl of steaming water helped keep the cough at bay for about 10 minutes at a time. But that was it. It was a long, long night.

The next day, I called my naturopath who said, “Yup, it’s a nasty cough that has lingered for a lot of my patients. Keep doing what you’re doing!” Not the panacea I was hoping to get from her, but...

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Hey Laura, Should I Eat my Placenta?!

In a word: YES.

In several more words: Why not? It probably can’t hurt, and it might really help you!

I am a huge, huge proponent of postpartum placentophagy, based on my own experience with it after my second birth.

The proposed benefits of placentophagy that are most often listed are:
- accelerated milk production
- faster healing
- reduced hormonal mood swings
- increased energy
- reduced postpartum bleeding
- preventative for baby blues and PPD

This is going to be a link-free post, because there’s no substantial scientific research on human placentophagy. However, the anecdotal evidence is overwhelmingly positive. Yes, you’ll find sensationalized anti-placenta articles here and...

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Snippets: Tylenol and Asthma Risks

I just ran across this article in Pediatrics magazine, further establishing the link between the use of acetaminophen and the asthma epidemic in the US.

If you or your kids are at risk (ie: have a family history of, or other significant contributing factors - like food allergies) for asthma, you would do well to find another fever and pain reducer.

In my house, we use the homeopathic remedy by HomeoLab called Kids Relief Pain and Fever Oral Solution. It doesn’t work for every single type of ache or pain (homeopathic remedies are very specific that way), but more often than not, it is just as effective as an OTC drug.

Read the full article of The Association of Acetaminophen and Asthma...

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Hey Laura, where should I buy my eggs?

I could have sworn I posted this already, but I can’t find it in my archives anywhere, so I’m putting it up (maybe again). I wrote this for a friend’s website a couple of years ago. She had just read Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, and was inspired to clean up her family’s diet. I’ve been on that path for a while already, so I agreed to be her food guru.

Now that I have my own guru website, it’s only fitting that I borrow my article back and post it here!

Clean Food is Dirty!

I have an egg dealer. I found her on CraigsList. Every week or two, I meet her at her downtown office in the middle of the workday for my goods. I slip her some cash - $2/dozen (the best...

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Snippets: Breastfeeding Resource Page

I’ll be updating this page periodically as new info comes to me. Feel free to add your own favorite links in the comments!

Pro-breastfeeding info and resources
BreastfeedingOnline: The Importance of Human Milk.

I love this article called “Nursing is more than breastfeeding and every mother can do it.” We hear so much about the nutritive benefits of breastfeeding that the emotional, psychological, and developmental benefits of the breastfeeding-type contact get sidelined. Even mamas who don’t feed their babies from the breast can still engage in a valuable nursing relationship with their babies.

PhDinParenting’s The Scientific Benefits of Breastfeeding and The Economics of Breastfeeding:...

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Hey Laura, what should I feed my ulcer?

Rumbly in my Tumbly writes:

Hey Laura, my doctor recently diagnosed me with GERD and a possible ulcer. My doctor put me on medication to begin the healing process in my stomach, but I see this as a short term plan.  I’d like to take care of it with lifestyle change as much as possible. What foods might be particularly good for my stomach, and body in general right now as it tries to heal?  Any other advice for dealing with this issue?

This article has a comprehensive overview of peptic ulcers, including both conventional and complementary treatments. Here’s a clear cut article on GERD management.

Dietary measures
Interestingly, the efficacy of “The Ulcer Diet” (ie: bland, non-fatty...

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Hey Laura, tell me about breastfeeding during pregnancy

HVW writes:

My son is 18 months old and nurses 4-5 times a day, and seems to be in the process of cutting back on his daytime nursing in the past few months. My husband and I are tentatively planning to try for #2 starting in the next few weeks. My son was conceived on the first “try” but you never know how long it will take. My goal is to nurse my first son for at least 2 years, although at this age I do not mind if I end up having to supplement some with cow’s milk or other dairy products (he does eat cheese at this time but I don’t give him cow’s milk).

I know that often pregnancy reduces or dries up milk supply. I have seen a variety of data on how many women do lose their milk supply...

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