Tag Archives: Probiotics

A Toolbox for Children and their Brains

A TOOLBOX FOR CHILDREN AND THEIR BRAINS from Beeyoutiful.com

This post by Esther Ramsey originally appeared in our Fall 2014 catalog

Being the oldest of eight children, I expected motherhood to be easy. I naively thought that I could simply fix all the problems I saw other parents facing: obviously, my child would never be allowed to throw a tantrum in a store, or throw his food all over a restaurant.

And if at just sixteen I was already able to cook dinner with a baby sibling on one hip while also correcting my math homework, how hard could it be to raise a few of my own?

I remember the leather couches of the perinatologist’s office when he told us it would be a miracle if our unborn child was brought into the world without severe mental handicaps. Part of me died that day, even though the prognosis turned out not to be true, and it started a pattern of me being given grim news and then working to overcome it.

Then my son was born two months prematurely, which started us down a yellow brick road that went something like “failure to thrive”… ”developmentally delayed”… ”speech delayed”… and ”borderline autistic”. As he got older, the diagnosis morphed into things like “sensory processing disorder” and ”ADHD” (which was an improvement, but still discouraging).

If you asked any medical professional along our journey, she would have said there was no cure for the diagnoses my son has. Oh sure, there’s therapy and early intervention, and psychiatric drugs to help mitigate the more obnoxious symptoms, but nothing you can do to actually fix it.

However, I’ve learned a lot in the nine years since sitting on those leather couches, and contrary to how I felt that day, there is a great amount of hope. Science and research have come a long way, and whether you’re dealing with a dyslexic kid who is having trouble reading and writing, or a kid with Asperger Syndrome who can recite all the ingredients from every can of soup in your pantry, don’t give up.

There is a lot you as a parent can do to help, if not entirely reverse, neurological disorders.A TOOLBOX FOR CHILDREN AND THEIR BRAINS from Beeyoutiful.com (2)

Food, Probiotics, and Digestive Enzymes

The biggest factor has always been diet. For years, research has increasingly indicated that children with any sort of neurological impairment also have compromised digestive systems.

The gut is often referred to as the second brain because it controls so much of how healthily the brain functions. For a struggling child, the brain is like a war-torn ship trying to pump water out and patch up holes in whatever way it can, and the gut is like a 20-ton octopus attached at the bottom either helping or dragging the boat down further.

Whether the culprit originally was vaccine injury, birth trauma, heavy metal poisoning, or genetics, it all tends to swirl together like a perfect storm bent on sinking the ship.

Some kids are seemingly impervious to things like vaccines, and other kids sink like a torpedoed battleship after a simple flu shot. But diet can help to repair those holes. Both GAPS (Gut And Psychology Syndrome) and SCD (Simple Carbohydrate Diet) are the big guns of the gut healing world, with more moderate diets like Gluten free/Casein free also helping.

You can’t simply patch up the ship, though. While you’re using bone broths and gelatin to repair the holes, you also need to hire sailors, and stock the ship with supplies. This is where probiotics (beneficial bacteria) and digestive enzymes (to make the most of food) come in.

Ideally, you should use a wide spectrum of probiotics and switch them up from time to time, like starting with Tummy Tuneup Jr and Toothie Tuneup, then switching out Toothie Tuneup for the stronger Gut Guardian. Add a digestive enzyme like chewable GoGoZymes and you’re well on your way to better gut health.

Cod Liver Oil

High-quality cod liver oil is the great-granddaddy-heavy-hitter of the brain world. Fish oil’s effectiveness (and CLO in particular) is so well documented that you can now buy the candy flavored gummy versions in just about any store from Costco to Wal-Mart.

Unfortunately, those probably won’t do much good, as they are more “candy” than health supplement. The amount of oil is low and the nutritional quality of the oil poor due to high temperature extraction techniques that damage the vitamins. The bio-available Vitamin A in a good fish oil stimulates the brain’s pathways to connect properly, and the EPA/DHA combo of fatty acids work like building blocks in the brain.

I noticed eye contact and verbal skills increased dramatically in my son after starting fish oil. (Pro tip: If you can’t get your kids to take it, try giving it to them via oral syringe after they’re asleep, or letting them chase it with whatever juice is their rarely-allowed awesome treat.)

Giving the Brain A Chill Pill

 If you’ve ever thought your child was acting like a jet engine attached to a row boat, get yourself two things: Magnesium and Vitamin B-12. In the case of my son, it wasn’t just his body that was bouncing all over the place (although some kids are like that); rather, it was his brain, and we all had to hang on for dear life as he tore through a million thought processes nobody could keep up with.

Apparently it’s impossible to sleep at night if you’re worried the door might be opened one tenth of a millimeter more than it was the night before, which may or may not allow for a new species of dragons to be let in, because we all know mythological creatures carry around tape measures to catch ignorant parents who don’t listen when their child tells them the door needs to be exactly three inches cracked open. 

The imagination? Awesome. The million-miles-a-minute anxiety? That needs to go bye-bye. Magnesium and B-12 worked wonders for this. My kids like the blueberry-flavored Bone Ami, which has the perfect amount of magnesium for a child.

Secondary benefit of Bone Ami? It also has calcium, and I’m convinced it’s the reason my sons have crashed off a hundred playground slides and swings without breaking anything yet. Tertiary benefit? The magnesium helps with constipation, which can be another big digestive problem for kids with neurological disorders.

The B vitamins in general are important for brain support and health, with B-12 being especially crucial for children with learning disorders. Simply put, it acts as a freeway for all cell growth and regeneration in the brain. If those freeways are broken down, or filled with bumper to bumper traffic every day, then the brain ceases to function optimally.

You know you’ve got Los Angeles-level traffic problems in your child’s brain when he has high anxiety, is neurotically freaking out about the littlest things, and overall is just unhappy. It’s time to bring in the B-12 vitamins. Thankfully these also come in a dropper or chewables and are easy to get into even the pickiest child.

Essential Oils

This is a new area of research for me. (And there’s so much to learn!) Until recently, I only thought of Frankincense as one of the three gifts brought to baby Jesus, and then I found out firsthand that the essential oil is quite the superhero when it comes to saving the brain. It’s the heavy hitting oil for mental clarity, dispelling brain fog and clearing up pathways for optimal thinking. I line up all of my children and apply a dilution to their big toes and the base of their skulls.

Lavender and Chamomile are the other two essential oils in my tool box for kids. I keep the lavender oil bottle right on the kitchen counter while we do schoolwork, where I can easily rub it on frustrated temples when multiplication and division concepts just don’t make sense to little minds. I’ve also been known to liberally apply Lavender on myself because no one wants a teacher yelling about how obvious it is that two baskets with three apples in each equal six apples!

Lavender oil and chamomile oil also work great for those middle of the night woes where you can’t figure out what your child is crying about. For nightmares and unidentified ailments, I mix lavender and chamomile with coconut oil and massage their little backs and foreheads. My husband says the boys room sometimes smells like an apothecary shop when he gets up in the morning. I tell him it’s merely a warning sign that I’ll need lots of coffee that day!

I’ve since discovered even more powerful benefits of essential oil blends, and wrote about how they impacted my family here.

The Special Agents With Controversial Agendas

One of the biggest factors in autism and developmental delays is heavy metal toxicity and its evil twin, unhealthy yeast overgrowth. Usually one doesn’t happen without the other, although it’s anyone’s guess as to which comes first. Did the heavy metal cause the body to lose its ability to fight the yeast, or did the yeast compromise the body’s ability to chelate the unwanted metals? Either way, both yeast and metals need to be evicted.

This is the reason diet and probiotics were the first tools I mentioned. When you starve the bad yeast from their beloved sugar-fuel (or anything that turns into sugar), and you start feeding your child nutrient-dense food, those bad bugs freak out and die by the thousands.

As the body heals, it starts naturally flushing the mercury, lead, and aluminum that acted like a ball and chain in the brain. As the evil stuff is tossed overboard (sometimes literally, I’m afraid to say… so be ready with activated charcoal!), you have to repopulate the gut with good bacteria. Use kombucha, sauerkraut, kefir, and any other living, fermented foods that you can get your hands on, and supplement with even more strains of probiotics.

But sometimes those metals are stubborn and that yeast refuses to budge. The gentlest way to escalate your war against yeast and metal is to start out with diet, and then slowly add other forms of detoxification. Yeast Assassin is a veritable ninja on yeast, but it’s powerful stuff so start with a half capsule after a week of the GAPS protocol and work up from there. (Consider the Lite version, if your kids can swallow large pills.)

Chlorella binds and flushes heavy metals, but if your child’s body isn’t working properly it ends up being like a busy airport with no traffic controller: planes going everywhere with the luggage and flight paths all mixed up. Ideally, add Chlorella after your child is well past the initial detox stage and has been doing some sort of gut healing protocol for at least a month.

Even then, chlorella is somewhat controversial as it hasn’t been studied well enough to know the time frame of its chelating properties, making it a bit like trying to schedule those airplanes without a super accurate clock. A lot of people report great success with it, so I’m putting it in the toolbox even though I haven’t personally used it yet.

Last But Not Least

There’s good ol’ fashioned sunlight, or rather, one of its gifts, Vitamin D3. Recent studies show that a lot of children are deficient in Vitamin D thanks to shifting cultural paradigms and the widespread use of sun block. Kids with neuro disorders also have a harder time absorbing Vitamin D3, and research suggests they need a much higher dose than most other people.

Vitamin D3 works to moderate brain development and is responsible for the growth of neurons. Ideally I like my kids to get Vitamin D3 from playing outside, but I also give them Vitamin D3 drops not only to supplement what they’re getting naturally, but also to ensure their body has it available to use from several different resources. If I had to pick only one thing to give my children, it would be Vitamin D3. The drops are flavorless and potent, making it an easy supplement to give even babies.

Don’t Give Up

My son was re-evaluated recently for special ed, and shockingly, he’s almost all caught up to his peers. The language and social skills that were so absent when he was five are now neurotypical and age appropriate. The math and reading he once struggled to understand are now whipped through with speed (he’s still a jet engine attached to a row boat).

Esther Ramsey from BeeyoutifulIt isn’t always easy. We have regressions, and we have breakthroughs. My other sons have their own set of health challenges that keep me researching, and I’m sure my toolbox of remedies will have to grow and expand. Every child is different, and no two neuro disorders are exactly alike, but hopefully with the right tools, you can find the healing and support their little bodies and minds crave.

Esther is the mom of four rambunctious boys who keep her in a semi-constant state of insanity. When she is not coming up with creative ways to get bone broth and other nutrients down her kids, she’s a book addict who is convinced there is nothing that cannot be learned with enough research. She lives in Southern California where she thinks the ocean is nature’s ultimate spa, the sun is an antidepressant, and gardens are pharmacies.

Are there children you love who struggle with neurological issues? Share this post with a friend who might need it!

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Land of Milk and Honey, Part I

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By Rebekah Joy Anast

When God described to the children of Israel the perfect land he was going to give them as an inheritance, he did so by saying,”And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey.” (Exodus 3:8)

My great-grandparents enjoyed cornbread in homemade buttermilk as their evening meal almost every day of their life. They rounded out their breakfast with biscuits, butter, and honey. In spite of the hard labor and lack of modern miracle drugs, my great-grandfather lived to be 99. He scandalized the family when he was 96 because he wanted to marry his housekeeper (Great-Grandma had died 3 years earlier). He either had amazing genes or was eating right.

Fermented milk products like yogurt, kefir, and buttermilk are said to be the significant contributing factor of longevity in countries like Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkey. Even today in Bulgaria, many live to be over 100 years of age!

It is important to know that more than 60% of fatal diseases in the USA are related to the gastrointestinal tract (GI). A steady diet of naturally fermented dairy products protects the GI from the diseases that have become the by-products of the American diet. Conversely, homogenization of dairy products is linked to an impressive range of diseases: from autism, to irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue, and heart disease. Homogenization is the process in which the cream particles in milk are broken down and separated so that they will not rise to the top or lump together in the milk. The problem lies in the fact that the fat particles are broken down to be so tiny and “sharp” that they can now penetrate through the walls of your intestines and into your bloodstream. This results in the laceration of your arteries, cholesterol build-up, and poor circulation. Milk can be your best friend or your worst enemy.

In ancient times in Middle Eastern countries, dairy products were usually derived from goats. Fermented goat milk in the form of yogurt or kefir is the single, most powerful food therapy for the GI tract.

Here is an amazing story from Tissue Cleansing Through Bowel Management by Bernard Jensen, D.C. PhD, Nutritionist:

“John Harvey Kellogg preformed and amazing experiment demonstrating this fact. He immersed a one-pound piece of raw meat, slightly tainted, in buttermilk. The milk was changed at regular intervals. The meat remained perfectly free of decomposition for some 20 years!!! This demonstrates the efficiency of an acid medium for inhibiting decay-producing putrefactive bacteria. Soured milk is also called turned, fermented, curdled and clabbered milk. The Bulgarians call it yogurt; the Turks call it Kefir; and the Russians call it matzone.”

This is what fermented milk can do for your stomach: inhibit putrefactive bacteria! Now with modern techniques, the important bacteria can be freeze dried, encapsulated, and delivered directly to the GI in high strength doses. Nothing against yogurt, but in many cases, I prefer to take my “ferment” in capsule form as Tummy Tuneup.

Fermented dairy products are the most basic and natural form of probiotics. Probiotics are available encapsulated or powdered. I think of probiotics as being the opposite of antibiotics. Antibiotics kill all the bacteria in your GI tract – the good and the bad. Probiotics replenish your GI tract with good bacteria.tummy_tune_120_1

This year, when our whole family got a 7-day stomach flu, I sprinkled powdered Tummy Tuneup probiotics on their food at each meal. It is tasteless, but more effective than eating kefir or yogurt (and does not come from milk sources – it is completely hypoallergenic). The effects of the flu were completely negated.

I recently heard form two different mothers who suffered from severe morning sickness; they claimed that taking Tummy Tuneup alleviated their nausea. A few others said that Tummy Tuneup sprinkled in their baby’s milk bottle, or just on the breast before nursing, cleared up colic and tummy aches.

Dozens of others have taken Tummy Tuneup probiotics along with Yeast Assassin supplement to restore complete GI health by getting rid of Candida/Yeast infections they had struggled with for years.

Come to the free Merryheartmedicine.com forum to find recipes for fermented milk products, and information on all health-related subjects.

How Now? from the Cow- Spring 2008 Catalog

by Nancy Webster

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Admitted coffee lovers that we are, our family couldn’t resist naming this fall’s baby cow De-Calf, but we could just as well have called him Debt-Relief. We owe the local 4-H cattle project the first cow from my daughter’s big brown heifer since she was donated to us (the heifer, not my daughter) by the area Cattlemen’s Association. So keeping the little bull-to-be healthy from the start has been a high priority. Thankfully, his mother (the cow, not me) has done her duty since the night he was born. Unlike some animals we’ve endured, she’s blessed with sufficient maternal instincts to nurse De-Calf freely-which means he received healthy doses of colostrum during his first few days of life.

Colostrum is the nutrient-rich, pre-milk fluid produced by all mammals immediately after giving birth. It’s essential for jump-starting a newborn’s immune system-including baby humans. That’s why breast-feeding advocates encourage mothers who plan to bottle-feed their babies to nurse them for at least a couple of days, in order to impart this life-changing substance.

How Does It Work?

From observing the results of blood transfusions, health researchers about 60 years ago discovered the value of “immune response factor protein molecules.” When these key compounds are transferred from a healthy blood donor to a sick recipient, the recipient’s recovery improves. It came to be called a “transfer factor” because it was first recognized in blood “transfers” from one patient to another.

Because of HIV and hepatitis dangers, blood transfusion nowadays is a risky way to boost a person’s immune system. But a risk free way to the same benefit was discovered about ten years ago in the form of bovine (cow) colostrum. Bovine colostrum is packed with transfer factors like hydrogen peroxide and immunoglobulins (antibodies), and even though it comes from cattle, it is effective “cross-species” which means the benefits are as pronounced in humans as in cows.

Healthy cells make hydrogen peroxide on their own to regulate metabolism and fight off invading pathogens, but sick cells need the reinforcement colostrum can provide. The immunoglobulins go after and stop a microorganism called cryptosporidiosis, a cause of severe diarrhea. Children and adults with acute or chronic diarrhea can be helped by taking a small, white capsule of colostrum such as Beeyoutiful’s Colostrum Transfer Factor.
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How Does It Help?

Although cancer cells are always developing in our bodies, our immune systems usually kill them before they spread and do damage- unless we are weakened or unhealthy. Most of us are compromised in some way these days because of diets “rich” in processed and over-preserved foods, so colostrum is a vital supplement to fortify your body. If you already have cancer, colostrum is a powerful ally in the fight. It contains phytic acid which inhibits iron from reaching and nourishing cancer cells. It also isolates and starves fungi and viruses which would otherwise thrive on the iron in your system.

I’ve wondered if this colostrum factor accounts for some of the health differences between my younger sister and me. Our mother bucked the bottle-feeding trend of the time and nursed me, but when little sister was born less than two years later, our by-then overwhelmed mother kept her on a bottle from day one. Throughout our early years and into adulthood, I have never been sickly, but my sister, who fell victim to seemingly every stomach bug and cold that swept through our elementary school, is now a breast cancer survivor and suffers from frequent sinus infections and bronchitis.

Recently on a family trip, our five-year-old son’s chewing gum fell out of his mouth onto the floor of a gas station restroom. Before we could stop him, he’d popped the gum back into his mouth and managed a couple more chews! The next morning he woke up with a low-grade fever and severe diarrhea which continued for two days straight. On Day 2 I remembered the anti-diarrheal ability of Colostrum Transfer Factor, and since he can’t yet swallow a pill, every two hours I opened two capsules into a bit of yogurt or applesauce which he ate happily. By Day 3 his stool firmed up and the diarrhea stopped! Although Beeyoutiful gave it a happy ending, this story now tops the list of absolutely gross things one of our eight children have done.

How Do You Change the Past?

Researchers believe the benefits of colostrum don’t end with infancy. If, like my sister, you or your loved ones did not get the benefit of colostrum as a baby, Beeyoutiful gives you a second chance!

While an organic, natural diet, free from processed foods, is the ideal protection against disease, you’re probably all too aware of the difficulty of achieving exemplary eating patterns. I, for instance, know my family’s weakness for cookies (and did I mention coffee?) and how Real Life throws my healthy cooking intentions out the window more than I’d like. I’ve worried over how we would fare if an epidemic swept our country like the Ebola outbreak in Uganda a few years ago. Fortunately, studies suggest that taking colostrum offers hope for stopping communicable diseases-whether Ebola, bird flu, AIDS, SARS, or the host of new antibiotic resistant illnesses on the rise.

Consider the diseases that can be combated with colostrum, according to Joseph B. Marion’s book The Anti-Aging Manual: campylobacter, Candida and E. coli, clostridium (botulism), food poisoning, helicobacter pylori, listeria, rotavirus, salmonella, shigellosis, and streptococcus. Marion also explains that colostrum counters leaky gut and irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, ulcers, chronic fatigue, diabetes, autoimmunity, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and cancers, and that it may even inhibit schleroderma, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis.tummy_tune_120_1

Notice that many conditions in Marion’s list have to do with intestinal function, and bear in mind that colostrum is a form of probiotic, the opposite of an antibiotic. While antibiotics can disrupt digestive functioning because they kill all bacteria-good and bad- probiotics balance the effect. So if you have to take an antibiotic, you might want to offset the downside effects with a probiotic. In addition, if you are a frequent user of NSAID drugs like ibuprofen, your stomach will appreciate the acid neutralizing powers of colostrum. Try alternating Beeyoutiful’s Colostrum Transfer Factor with Tummy Tuneup.

Rapidly approaching 50 and feeling my metabolism slow down, I’m encouraged by what the book Prescription for Nutritional Healing offers: “colostrum can boost the immune system…It may also accelerate the healing of injuries, increase vitality and stamina, and have an anti-aging effect.”

So whether it’s the offspring from a 4-H heifer or cows in general for providing a proven health helper like colostrum, to our bovine friends I say: We owe you!

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