Via this website on many more than one occasion we were asked how we did natural family health within our family of four.
Good health starts with good food. As a family we are blessed with and spoilt by Mimi who is a fantastic chef (my wife’s mother was one too – transferable skills). Mimi can open the fridge door and dream up a delicious recipe with whatever is there. Very much in an Italian style of cooking, her secret is fresh ingredients (organic if we can buy them at a reasonable price) and by and large low glycaemic index style of foods. We are mindful of refined carbs, sugars and, instead of cooking with vegetable oils (triglycerides extracted from plants) we prefer to cook with butter, olive oil, ghee or coconut oil. Mimi delights in her vegetable garden (organic obviously) and we have apple and pear trees, and some blackberry and raspberry bushes. Our fig tree is thinking about growing figs but isn’t doing this yet. Plums come from a friends’ garden (barter).
All four of us are omnivores and we eat about 60% vegetarian meals and 40% meat or fish meals. Variety is the spice of life! Talking about life, we are particular about animals having a happy life prior to them meeting their Maker. Lamb for instance we get from a dear friend who is a smallholder who completely mollycuddles her sheep, resulting in the most incredible lamb’s meat you will ever taste. Other meats we get from Gwilym at Launde Abbey where cows roam in huge, gloriously tranquil fields. More difficult to be that certain about lineage with fish unless you catch them yourself. We are fortunate that Jenny Hobbs is a really good fishmonger in town. Mindful of water pollution, we prefer to eat deep sea fish. We love salads and potentially our favourite is Salade Chêvre Chaud (warm goat’s cheese salad). Not all the food we eat is ‘sophisticated’ (as I write this I wonder what I mean), we also love a Dutch favourite one pan meal: Sauerkraut (fermented raw cabbage) mixed with potato mash, big dollop on plate with a big sausage on top and (ideally) pheasant breast to the side; butter or gravy. Heaven on a cold day. If you didn’t know this already, protein and fat modify the glycaemic and insulinaemic responses to a mashed potato-based meal.
Mimi and I have always involved our daughters in the preparation of food. Sons would have been conscripted too! Two red plastic stools were deployed so they could reach the worktop to mix or kneed stuff or, a bit later on, cut stuff. Quite early on, we taught them to handle sharp knives (under supervision). You only have to say this once whilst cutting a bell pepper: “darling imagine if this was your finger, that’d hurt wouldn’t it? So you’ll be careful OK?!” (Dad instruction obviously). And you never rush! Our girls grew up tasting herbs from the garden, recogising foods and knowing where stuff came from (fridge hahaha). Making cooking a fun event (e.g. play Fleetwood Mac, Doobie Brothers, Eagles, Crosby Stills Nash & Young) also helped and I fondly remember daughter#2 wearing a chef’s hat whilst helping me making a Saag Bahji. Both daughters now have fled the nest and both love cooking. Daughter#1 is a professional chef and daughter#2 has made huge strides forward from student cooking. I ventured into Indian cooking from knowing jolly little about cooking anything. Our family whatsapps very often involve photos of meals and recipes. Teach them young… and teach them well.
We don’t have: aluminium pots, a microwave oven.
We do have: electric hob with a fan oven; stainless steel pots, pans & stacked steamer pans; Le Creuset pots (for my Indian cooking); pressure cooker (inherited); Braun food processor; herb grinder/blender; Nutribullet Pro (clever smoothies).
Supplements and Remedies
I love the Dr. Max Gerson MD way of healing and am fascinated by the biochemistry of nutrition. I am convinced that you should keep supplements simple. Way too many of my patients presented in clinic with carefully milligrammed supplement protocols only to get little further with their health; confirming my view that you can’t out-supplement a bad diet (inappropriate diet). We use a real-food-supplement called Juice Plus (for which I became a distrbutor) because dehydrated vegetables, fruits, grapes and berries seemlessly fit the Gerson approach. It is prepared in such a way that it is low glycaemic index. Mum and Dad get the JuicePlus Premium (veg/fruit/grapes/berries) because we shoulder the stress in the family. Daughters get the Juice Plus standard (veg/fruit). Why do they get this when we are already feeding them well? Beyond common sense belt and braces, I had read these very interesting books Dead Doctors Don’t Lie and Rare Earths: Forbidden Cures by Dr. Joel Wallach BS DVM ND (veterinary surgeon and one of the leaders in the discovery of Epigenetics) and Dr. MaLan MD MS (world renowned micro-surgeon). Then there was paediatrician Dr. Bill Sears MD further confirming our choice to put our girls on this breaching-the-nutritional-gap supplement was sensible. More of a broad spectrum of (not-man-made) nutrients is best… Cost-wise Juice Plus had a children’s research programme so the girls got theirs at a vastly reduced price. Result? Our girls were notably less affected by illness than their peers. No significant malocclusion needing orthodontics… think cost versus savings although some orthodontics you may get on the NHS. That was the basis we operated from.
Two other leading lights were PhDs Ed and Patricia Kane (Johns Hopkins Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Peroxisomal Diseases Laboratory) who focussed on the crucial role of phosphatidylcholine in cellular health. They created a simple taste-test to detect (albeit subjectively) potential deficiencies in Zinc, Copper, Magnesium, Manganese, Molybdenum, Potassium, Selenium, Chromium and Iodine. Sadly there are no tests anywhere for deficiencies in rare earth minerals like Chromium, Vanadium, Gallium, Boron, Lithium etcetera. The Kane’s also manafactured a liposomal complex that includes phosphatidylcholine (PC) for memory, phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) for mitochondrial function and phosphatidylinositol (PI) supportive of brain health via neurotransmission support. That too was the basis we operated from.
What did we use when the girls got ill
Lymphomyosot, together with vitamin C, was our go-to complex homeopathic remedy for when the girls were ‘under the weather’. We always used the tablets as both girls were very happy to suck on these. Lymphomyosot promotes metabolic processes and activates lymph outflow from the tissues resulting in the elimination of toxic substances from the intercellular space: lymph drainage, antioedemic, detoxification, immunomodulatory and anti inflammatory action. Regular use of a vitamin C shortens the duration of the common cold but does not reduce the risk of becoming ill. Taking vitamin C supplements once cold symptoms have already begun has no proven benefits. That said, the combination of vitC and Lympho always worked well in our household. Click here for one snippet research.
Traumeel is the only 100 per cent natural topical pain relief that has gold standard clinical studies to show that it is as effective as topical NSAIDs for the treatment of pain and restoration of function associated with minor injuries. For the girls we again used the tablets and these were super useful for instance during teething. Traumeel gel was part of the bathroom self help bag in case a child had run into the furniture. To mitigate a chance of them becoming hypochondriacs I used to ask “is there any blood loss”, a question they soon tired of. Traumeel is made from 12 botanicals and 2 minerals to combat inflammation in a natural way. In clinic I used the Traumeel ampoules for injection in sport injuries.
Belladonna Homaccord is great for when there is a high fever. For normal fever we do not use suppressants. Because young children, with as yet not fully developed immune systems, rely on elevated body temperature to trigger cellular mechanisms to ensure that their immune system takes appropriate action against the offending virus or bacteria (e.g. NF-κB switches on the gene that produces the A20 protein which, in turn, regulates NF-κB activity, so that it is appropriately slow or intensive). That is why in our house Calpol (paracetamol and ibuprofen-based) is NEVER used. We would use Lymphomyosot, Traumeel, proper bedrest and sleep (i.e. remove smartphones and/or computers but not their books), ample of filtered water, frequently monitor body temperature. Antibiotics have never been necessary for our girls…
Viburcol is a little miracle remedy for when a child has a common cold, struggles with teething, has a mild fever or a mild (upper respiratory) infection, Viburcol offers fantastic and natural relief. When our girls were young, only the suppositories (rectal insertion) were available. Nowadays there are the monodose drops (oral drops) too. We often would team Viburcol up with Lymphomyosot just to speed healing along and everything from that basis of, pretty much, optimum nutrition (diet and JuicePlus).
Aloeride is what I started making for daughter#2 when she was three years old. She was suffering badly from topical eczema for which our GP wanted to prescribe topical as well as oral steroids. Hmmm… Fortunately I was able to team up with the late Consultant Gastroenterologist Dr. Ivan Danhof who was the world authority on aloe vera. Goal: to make the Rolls Royce of aloe veras for my daughter. Within a fortnight of her on Aloeride, her eczema started to improve drastically. Up to that moment nothing had touched it (common trigger food elimination, soaps, detergents, herbs, homeopathy, creams…). It was/is frustrating that we never found out why the eczema happened. The only remnants as a young adult are sensitivity to certain shampoos. As explained in About Us, Aloeride since has become a very valuable remedy for people with IBD (ulcerative colitis and crohn’s disease), DD (diverticulitis, diverticulosis), IBS and of course skin complaints (eczema, psoriasis and serious burns). None of it was ever intended…
Viburcol Suppositories natural calmative for restless infants and children
Viburcol Monodoses Oral Solution natural calmative for restless infants and children£14.70
Traumeel natural pain relief for infants and children
Lymphomyosot natural immune help for infants and children
Mental emotional health
The influence of mental-emotional state on health is massive. Stress and depression have a dramatic impact on well-being mainly through impairing the regular function of the immune system (e.g. significant reduction in chemotaxis levels of lymphocytes and neutrophils, and Natural Killer cell function) and producing a low-chronic inflammation status that favours the occurrence of infections, metabolic diseases and then some. Growing happiness in children is as fundamental as ‘good health starts with good food’. So how did we, as parents, manage ‘stress and down in the dumps’ in our children? Lead by example is a good start. Failures are not fatal, it’s the getting up after falling that is key. Choose an attitude of gratitude. Be loving always. Be clear, explain stuff as clarity avoids (stressful) ambiguity. Tough love works. Listen to understand, not to reply. Ask open questions. Get outside yourselves: enjoy the outdoors (we walked in the French Alps), do sport, make music, read books, have an animal to care for (walkies for parents, kids benefit from the unconditional love a dog gives)… it all raises endomorphines. Never take yourself too seriously (Tis but a scratch) and try to laugh a lot. Two pages that may be of interest:
Personal Growth One Step At A Time
A Mala Helps Your Brain Build Neuronal Pathways
Aloeride aloe vera for People Vegetarian Capsules ONE Pack£25.00
Juice Plus Premium all the goodness from freeze dried vegetables fruits grapes berries£69.00
Probion DAILY 150 probiotics prebiotics tablets£35.52
Questions & Answers about other remedies
Humicin In respect of the questions “With all the chemicals and toxins in the air and in some foods (*we eat organic and healthy), how long should one take the Humicin pills? Can you take it daily for the rest of our lives, or is it for periods of time only? Can I take them with a daily vitamin or should I take them alone? Could you recommend a reputable, at home metal toxity test please?”. Accumulation of heavy metals in body lipids depends on the level and duration of exposure versus detox capacity. Unless there are childhood behavioural disorders (e.g. ADHD, ASD*), Humicin would, in my view, be inapropriate for young children (unless you deploy it to capture a virus). Everyone has a glutathione pathway (crucial in phase II detoxification of heavy metals) so feed that pathway and trust physiology/biochemistry to mop-up heavy metals. Perhaps in teenagers -longer possibility of exposure- you could do a yearly mop-up, normal dosage for 30 days, take with ample water before stepping into bed. You always take Humicin on its own! I do not know of any DIY heavy metal tests.
For the broad spectrum of toxins that you refer to, it is wise to remember that a human body has 5 main detoxification pathways available: Acylation, Acetylation, Methylation, Glucuronidation and Sulphation. For these to run freely and adequately, they need macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients. The former are found in most diets, the latter perhaps not so aplenty depending on intake (omni/veggie/vegan/intolerances ; organic/not-organic ; soil location/hydroponics) and this is where a raft of nutrition-well-informed Physicians advise that you reject that false statement “supplements only give you expensive urine”. For sulphation to run, you need to eat amino acids that contain sulphur (methionine and cysteine) and also Molybdenum, B12, Folate, Magnesium, B6, SAMe, and Taurine. The JuicePlus (Premium) helps to elevate the levels of micro-nutrients. I am going to assume that there are no parasites, no candidiasis that can hamper intake/uptake. Anyway, this is why I described what type of ‘diet’ we follow (omnivore with an eye on Glycaemic Index).
*As you know, the human foetus and infants are susceptible to heavy metal toxicity passing through placenta and breastmilk due to rapid growth and development of organs and tissues, especially the central nervous system. Think upstream… in Roman times(!) it was common practice for a woman to ensure her body was ready for pregnancy, such forward planning could nowadays perhaps include a heavy metal detox. We prepare for lots of things but who forward thinks/acts for this?
Neither the author Han van de Braak BSc LicAc MCSP MBAcC (Retd) nor anybody working for or on behalf of Santé Franglais Ltd. can be held liable for any ill effects suffered as a result of incorrect or inappropriate application of the advice mentioned in this web page. The information provided is for educational or informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice or consultation with healthcare professionals.