Mar 262018

The human gut plays host to more microbes than any other part of the body, with an estimated ten million bacterial cells- and these are just the ones we know about so far. While it is commonly known that these bacteria help maintain our health by improving our digestion and absorption of food and by enhancing our immunity against infections, recent studies have also suggested that gastrointestinal bacteria may influence children’s behaviour.

Researchers from the Ohio State University studied microbes from the digestive tracts of toddlers aged between 18-27 months and found that an abundance and diversity of bacterial species is linked happy, sociable, curious and impulsive behaviours when compared with less variety and fewer numbers of bacterial species.

An interaction between intestinal bacteria and stress hormones is proposed to be the mechanism behind this. Through a complex network of nerves and tissues, the gut can communicate with the brain and influence its functions. This communication pathway is a two-way street and, conversely, the brain can influence digestive function.

What can we do to help our children grow healthy gut flora?

Firstly, say no to sugar!
And by sugar, I mean refined and processed foods. This includes canned foods, breakfast cereals, baked goods, desserts, sweetened dairy products, condiments, fruit flavoured beverages, lollies and fast food items. Instead, shift your child’s diet to include less processed and more complex sources of carbohydrates. Incorporate whole grains, lean proteins and let them enjoy liberal amounts of fruit and vegetables.

How they eat is just as important.
Have your child do their part to take some of the burden off their digestive tract;

  • Encourage your child to sit down and relax when eating, and avoid doing so at moments of stress.
  • Encourage children to chew their food thoroughly- digestion begins in the mouth.

Avoid unnecessary use of antibiotics.
Antibiotic treatment dramatically destroys the microbial balance within the gut, so keep use of these to a minimum.

Nourish their intestinal bacteria.
Invest in good quality probiotics and prebiotics. Probiotic supplements inhibit harmful pathogens from thriving and can help maintain microbial balance within the digestive tract. Alternatively, prebiotics are beneficial foods that stimulate growth of the beneficial gut bacteria. Prebiotics are health supporting and have been found to increase numbers of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria whilst decreasing counts of potential harmful bacteria. Prebiotic food sources include whole grain foods, fermented vegetables, chicory, artichokes, garlic, onion, banana and leeks.

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Sep 172015

homeopathy for children

Back to school can be a challenging time for children, leading to physical and emotional ailments which can be treated with homeopathy. This moment of enthusiasm also brings stress, and with it some diseases when the child somatises emotions.

When that happens, a homeopathic remedy can help because it acts in the body and emotions, allowing the child to release feelings that would otherwise show up as physical symptoms.


Low Immunity

For example, children who already have a low immune system are very likely to catch diseases caused by viruses. Anxiety from separating from the mother can cause breathing problems and asthma. Facing bullies can be even more difficult if the child is shy or has low self-esteem.

Usually these problems are transient and are a part of life, but homeopathic medicines can be of great help, especially if the child already is predisposed to having certain kinds of diseases. In those cases a constitutional remedy would help improve health as a whole.

It is very important that constitutional weaknesses be addressed during childhood, when the life force is very strong and responds quickly to homeopathy. Being highly dynamic (by the process of dynamization/potentization) homeopathic remedies easily penetrate the cells, supplying the nutrients they need, and stimulating the life force to achieve self-balance.

Mineral Deficiency

For example, if the child has signs of calcium deficiency (slow development, delayed or slow dentition, late walking or talking) taking supplements of this mineral is often not effective. If the child’s problem is difficulty to absorb calcium, it is unlikely that the supplement will be absorbed as well. But when taking calcium in potentized form, a positive response is very fast.

Forgetting to Drink Water

homeopathy for children

Another point to which parents should be aware of is the fact that in some schools teachers do not pay attention to the amount of water that children take, and they return home with their water and juice intact. Many children also avoid drinking in order not to go to the bathroom because it is dirty. Suppressing the natural movements of the bowels and bladder can lead to serious consequences, and it is up to the parents to demand that schools have better hygiene conditions.

Stress Signs

Signs of stress and tension can be identified in the child’s attitudes and conduct, such as nail biting, aggressive or passive behaviour, and trying to avoid certain people or places.

Take advantage of special discounts for children and teenagers

This information has only educational purposes and is not intended to treat any diseases, or replace medical treatment.

Maria Alves, DCHM, HOM
Registered Homeopath

  • Personal appointment in Toronto, or by Skype in Portuguese, English and French
  • I offer two free returns within 30 days of the initial consultation
  • First homeopathic consultation 90 minutes
  • Follow-ups 30 minutes
  • Skype consultation for acute cases – 20 minutes

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