Our anti-staph regimen (for now) for Fiala, and anti-asthma for Wes

My friend Sheila turned me on to a website called Earth Clinic.  I have long been looking for a website that has homeopathic remedies that does NOT have a “New-Agey” feel, and this is by far the best one I’ve found, so far.  Even though it can be a bit difficult to navigate and wade through, I’ve found a ton of useful information on there.  People can also respond to others’ suggestions saying whether or not a particular remedy worked for them.  There are some REALLY knowledgeable contributors on Earth Clinic.  I also like that it is (almost completely) non-commercial.  In fact, they have a policy against even saying brand names.

One of the things that jumped out at me immediately is that folks have frequently reported the healing of their allergies by taking turmeric.  Now, I will admit that I have not fully researched this at all, but I have read, in the past, about the amazing medicinal properties of a component of turmeric, curcumin.  I thought it was worth a shot, especially since I am NOT liking the idea of putting my 8yo son Wesley on life-long anti-asthma meds.  Currently, he has to take Singulair for about six months out of the year to ward off daily wheezing, coughing, and asthma attacks.  Every year, we are able to identify more triggers to his asthma and then avoid them — dairy and pine are the biggest contributors — but he still has ongoing asthma problems, especially during the colder months.  I have thought, “There just HAS to be a better, more natural solution.”  Now, as far as medication goes, Singulair is less worrisome (I think) steroids:  it works by disabling a particular fatty molecule that starts the snowballing chain of reactions that leads to an asthma attack.  Still.  I don’t like the fact that it messes with his endocrine system.

Wes has already been on 30 days’ worth of Singulair this winter season.  His doctor’s office said that before they renew the prescription, he’d have to go back and see the doctor to have his asthma re-evaluated.  I don’t like this for a number of reasons:

  1. We’re in the process of changing doctors.  Our beloved pediatrician has been on medical sabbatical for more than a year (it was originally supposed to be six weeks), and every time we go into the ped’s office now, we see a different doc.  I hate that.  So, I’m changing the kids over to my doctor, who is a D.O. family doctor.  Wes has an appointment with her next week;  I just did NOT want to make another appointment with his old doctor’s office simply to get his prescription refilled.
  2. The medication is $30 per month.
  3. The co-pay for the the re-eval is an additional $30.

Now, I am willing to spend $60 on my son’s health.  However, I don’t care to perpetually spend $$ on meds and copays when I don’t really support the IDEA behind them in the first place.  Hope that makes sense.


Turmeric tastes awful, at least in concentrated form.  We’ve tried it a number of different ways, and I’ve only had Wesley taking it for five days now.  The best way we’ve found for him to take it is mixing the turmeric (about 1/8 tsp) with about 2 tsp of honey, and having him gulp it down as fast as possible.  Though he did have an asthma attack on that first day, Wesley has not had one since, and his coughing and wheezing has greatly subsided.  He told me this morning that he didn’t think he needed to take the turmeric, since he’s breathing so much better.  Uh, Wes…  Nice try.  I am hopeful that he’s breathing better BECAUSE of the turmeric.

(By the way, I spent $2.49 on a 400 gram/14 oz bag of turmeric at the Asian market.  That’s a LOT of turmeric, for very little money.)

Turmeric also has demonstrated antibacterial properties, and many folks on Earth Clinic have successfully used a turmeric paste on staph/MRSA boils and skin infections.  I tried a salve with turmeric in it on Fiala’s face and legs, but she’s just too wiggly and active;  I couldn’t get it to stick and stay.  So, for the last two days, I’m back to using Gentian Violet on the worst lesions on her face and legs.  It’s messy.  It has stained her clothes.  She looks AWFUL with that junk on the lower half of her face.  However, it (combined with daily baths into which I’ve added a cup or two of vinegar) appears to be having a positive effect on the lesions:  they’re drying out and shrinking.

As in the last couple of weeks, Fiala’s skin has profoundly worsened, I am going back to a completely sugar-free diet.  I had been giving her a little bit of honey in her morning buckwheat, and had been putting honey in my coffee… and I had started to become lax about popping a candy in my mouth — one a day or fewer — AND, even worse, I ate some caramel corn on Monday.  As a result of all of that, PLUS with the knowledge that it is likely that Fiala’s reactions aren’t JUST allergy-based, but that her skin problems are indicative of staph bacteria swarming her body… well, I’ve decided to clamp down, even though it’s hard… it’s been a long haul… I really miss sugar, and of all ingredients I’ve cut out of my diet, I miss sugar the most.  Still.  I have to begrudgingly admit that sugar puts Fiala’s reactions into a tailspin, and I am convinced that it will speed her healing if I’m militantly diligent about eliminating it.

I still haven’t quite decided if I will take blueberries out of our diets.  (Blueberries are currently our only “safe” fruit.)

In the morning, I have also been mixing up a tonic, of sorts, for Fiala.  She normally drinks water throughout the day and in that water, I daily empty a probiotic capsule.  In addition to that, this past week, I’ve been adding 1/8 tsp of turmeric, 2 droppersful of colloidal silver (250 ppm strength), and a little stevia to make it somewhat palatable.  From Fiala’s reaction, I would say that she prefers her “plain” probiotic water, but she’s drinking the tonic.  When the cup is about half gone, I top it off with more water.  By the end of the day the orangey-yellow color from the turmeric is about gone.  Even if it’s not totally gone, I’m satisfied that she’s consumed most of the tonic, and we start the next day with a fresh cup.

Now, I’m not 100% certain that any of this has a super-dramatic effect on her health, but I’m just doing the best I can to eliminate the bad stuff in her body (bacteria, viruses, allergic reactions, etc.) and supply it with the best opportunity to get as much nutrition from her food as possible, and to re-populate her intestines with good bacteria.  (As I write that, I hope that the probiotic and the turmeric aren’t canceling each other out!  Curcumin has been studied particularly for its effects against staph;  I hope it doesn’t kill the good bacteria, too.)


I’ve also been soaking her binkies in vinegar water, making sure she has a fresh bath towel (normally, we use the same towel for the whole week), changing her clothes and bedding frequently…

I still haven’t heard back from Elizabeth, my doctor-friend.  And, I’m still breastfeeding — haven’t switched Fiala over to goat milk.  But, as soon as I can get up to Trader Joe’s to purchase some some, I’ll probably at least try her on it.


About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on December 31, 2009, in Allergies, Babies, Family, Interesting Websites, Medical Stuff, The Kids, Total Elimination Diet. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Have you tried http://www.abchomeopathy.com/ for actual homeopathic remedies? I find that to be very helpful since you can type in the primary issue “headache” and then check the boxes that match the symptoms to narrow things down. I use this and compare against my books.

  2. Ugh! I clicked “say it!” after composing a comment and there was an error!!

    Anywho, the Little Guy was on goat milk for about 6 months and he did well on it. The ped. was a little concerned about its effect on his B levels, but he acted fine enough that she never ordered blood work to check them.

    I look forward to hearing about the turmeric experiment! Wouldn’t that be something??

  3. KJ,

    have you tried raw goat’s milk? I know alot of people have betetr reaction to that than pasteurized or powdered…

    sounds like you have some new great ideas! the vinegar idea is genius!

    • I would LOVE to have raw goat’s milk. It’s ILLEGAL in Arizona. Can you believe it? The only way to get it is to buy a milk goat, or to buy a “farm share” of a goat — where you partially own a goat, and do your own milking. If Fiala tolerates goat milk well, I may consider it… otherwise, I’m outta luck on the raw idea.

  4. Well Karen, if anyone can be militantly diligent its you!
    Selling goat milk isn’t technically legal in Idaho either but you can purchase “pet milk”. I used to own two goats for that purpose. We sold shares to two families and had enough for all of us. At least since Fiala is now over 1yr she may tolerate it better than when she was really little. My little girl has now switched from raw to canned (bummer, a $$ decision). She was constipated for the first two or three days but now seems fine. The raw never did that to her. 😦

  5. I like the earth clinic site as well. Manuka honey works wonders on staph, but it IS very messy. If you worry about the botulism spores, you can buy a medical grade one that’s been irradiated, but I bought mine off the shelf at Whole Foods. It is our #1 choice for “antibiotics”. Case in point: Last week my 8 y/o shows her foot to me. Ick…pus filled lesion from a thorn or something, with a red streak about 4 inches long straying from it. We washed it well, got the thorn (?) out, and I put the magic Manuka honey on and by morning the red streak was gone and it healed nicely. At least Fiala is older now, so you don’t have to worry about her getting sick from the honey (now the carb/sugar issue is still there).

    • I do similarly with YS Organic Super-Enriched Honey. It’s not manuka honey, but it does still have strong antibiotic properties. However, it never worked on Fiala’s skin, though I regularly use it for other skin problems (took a painful blister/burn on my 3yo’s finger down to NOTHING overnight, recently).

      By the way, per my friend Elizabeth, I’m currently using bacitracin ointment on Fiala’s raw spots (legs & face) and plain Vaseline elsewhere else. Bathing her every other day. Everyone in the family is swabbing the inside of their noses w/ bacitracin 2x/day. I have a doc appt for Fiala on Monday w/ my own doctor (a family doctor — a D.O. — I really like her!), and Elizabeth and she might put their heads together. I’m also back to keeping a very detailed food & results diary…. Elizabeth is graciously making herself available via phone and e-mail for any questions I may have regarding Fiala. I’m also fasting from the internet just to spend more time in prayer about the whole thing, and not to protect myself from fear and misinformation from over-reading…. I’m currently responding by e-mail — my home e-mail addy, which I think you have, Jill. But, I won’t be going back online or to the blog for the next three weeks.

  6. For Raw milk… check realmilk.com, here’s their AZ links for resources: http://www.realmilk.com/where1.html#az

    You can get it in AZ!!!!

    Also, have you looked into fermented kefir? Water kefir or juice kefir can be a good (soda like) way to get good bacteria into your bodies.

    Good luck… its so hard when the kiddos aren’t doing well.

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