"If we hope to create a non-violent world where respect and kindness replace fear and hatred, we must begin with how we treat each other at the begining of life. For that is where our deepest patterns are set. From these roots grow fear and alienation or love and trust."
Suzanne Arms

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mastitis and raw garlic

Mastitis sucks! I mean really it does!! (and those of you who have had it know what I am talking about). It comes on quickly and knocks you off your feet!

The first time I had it was when Piper was like 6mo. I have had plugged ducts before but I knew this was different, I was feverish, achy, in the bed. I sent Charlie out for some garlic (as we were out), took it, and was almost 100% by the next morning. I have gotten it many times since then (that was 7 yrs ago) but I can usually stop it with raw garlic at the first signs of symptoms . . . of course I have to be paying attention to notice the symptoms (and with more kids I find I am more distracted, LOL).

Fast forward to when Thrace was like 3 wks old. I knew I was coming down with mastitis but we were out of town and my mother in law didn't have any raw garlic. By the time I got some I was pretty bad off. I took my garlic, popped some Ibuprofen (really the only OTC med I use, I have to be able to function to take care of the kids) and hopped into the bath (my place of choice when I am achy and shaking and feeling bad). By the next morning I was probably 90% just a little tired.

Fast forward to the night before last. I was not feeling well and was achy. I figured it was because it was late and I was tired. I had a thought "maybe I should take some garlic in case" but I don't like taking garlic unless I have to (not the best tasting) so I thought "naw, I am just tired". Well I woke up yesterday feeling the same way. I was on the phone with Charlie saying "I am just not feeling well, I am achy and my breast is sore" then it hit me . . . duh, mastitis (didn't I say I am more distracted with more kids?). So immediately I took some garlic, then ibuprofen and I felt fine so we headed to a friends house. Well it got worse after that, it came on slowly and the ibuprofen wasn't helping. I ended up lying on her sofa and then she fixed my kids dinner (with Thrace on her back in the Kozy) while I lay in her bath for an hour or 2, delirious and nauseated and waiting for myself to stop shaking and feel better so I could drive home. I call these 'episodes'. I had another one after coming home and getting the kids to bed (Charlie is out of town so I am alone here). I was in the bath and so nauseated and praying "please God don't let me throw up all that raw garlic, that would be horrible". Thankfully I didn't. But I didn't sleep well either.

This morning I was not "better" like I normally am. Garlic usually knocks this out for me but apparently this was a pretty bad case and is going to take longer. I am better than yesterday though (maybe at like 50%), just weak and a little achy (no more 'episodes' so far). But I don't need 4 ibuprofen at a time (which is prescription strength) in order to function. I am trying to rest though since that is the best thing (It is just so hard because I have a ton to do before Thanksgiving). I am still taking the raw garlic, and doing other things (like nursing a lot, using heat, massaging the area etc.). I did also mega dose A and D along with the garlic to help things along. You have to be careful about not overdosing on those 2 but if you take it for a short period it is fine and it does some amazing things. I used it with the kids once (when they had a 102 fever for 5 days) and it took all of an hour for them to show improvement. I have never had to give more than a dose or 2 so no worries about toxicity (which would be mega dosing for days on end). There is some great information from Dom (the Kefir king) here. It is nice to have it as a back-up to try for more acute issues . . . going to a dr is our absolute last resort.

Anyway, I am sure I will be fine tomorrow!

Raw Garlic

I wanted to give a bit of information about using raw garlic for ailments. It really is an amazing plant!! We have been using it for years. Maybe I'll do a whole post on it later. There are other things you can use, like GSE or colloidal silver but garlic is the first one we look to.
Garlic is antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal! So it works for pretty much everything. Charlie went a whole 18mo without getting sick when he used raw garlic at the sign of any illness. It can cause upset stomach for some people but we have never had issues. The only real caution I know of is that it is a blood thinner (which is why some use it for heart problems or high blood pressure or high cholesterol) so if you have some type of surgery or procedure coming up then it is best not to take mega doses of raw garlic. Apparently it can help with heartburn in some people, but taking it daily (even just a couple cloves a day) for long periods can cause problems like indigestion for some people too (Charlie discovered that after taking 2+ cloves a day for several months). You have to see how your body reacts. I have met a few people for whom raw garlic is too irritating, but most do just fine with it.
Garlic can also cure yeast infections (maybe I can tell you how later) and warts (have heard of taping a piece to a wart to make them go away). I cured a nasty ear infection in one of my dogs with a homemade garlic oil like 8 yrs ago. Add the herb mullein to the garlic oil is even better for ear 'issues'.
There are many more uses for garlic, and some studies done to prove it's effectiveness, you can check out the links below.

How to take garlic
What we do is at the sign of illness, we take 2-4 cloves of garlic. You can take more if you feel you need it. I took 6 yesterday. It is imperative that it is raw, that is the most potent. Pills or cooked garlic in food may be OK for daily maintenance, but it won't stop an illness. And crushing it helps it to work better, so you want to chop it up or chew it. I can't handle chewing it so what I do is chop it in little pieces and throw them on the back of my mouth and chase it down with some full strength grape juice. I hardly taste it. I have heard of others who do take it other ways. Here are some ideas
  • Chop and swallow like I do, with a strong drink like grape juice
  • Chop and swallow with a spoon of honey and water (honey is also beneficial)
  • Chew cloves with a piece of bread (helps with the burn, my friend does this)
  • Chew cloves with apple slices (supposedly it hides the taste and burn)
  • Crush and mix with butter or oil and spread on bread or toast (remember to keep it raw)
The way I take it, it usually takes about 3-4 swallows per clove. I prefer to do it at night, so I am not burping up garlic, but if you are really sick, it is best to take it throughout the day. Yesterday I did 2 cloves in the morning, 2 in the afternoon and 2 at night. I took 2 this morning and will take 2 more tonight.

Garlic is our natural antibiotic. I have not been to a Dr for an illness in, geez, probably 15 yrs. The kids have never needed a Dr or had any abx either. Charlie hasn't in probably 15 yrs too. I haven't needed to use garlic for the kids. I usually do nothing first and let things take their course. You can make garlic lemonade. Make sure not to boil the garlic, just steep it in the hot water. My kids didn't like it when they were really little but I bet I could get the older ones to drink it now . . . especially if I added some ginger!

You can find more information on garlic used through history click HERE and for info on many other uses and studies go HERE

5 comments:

  1. I agree about all the great uses of garlic, it is miraculous. I've found, though, that if I have more than one raw clove at a time I get very nauseous (and THEN Iearned that raw garlic is used to intentionally induce vomiting.) So I just have to go really slow and make sure that I take it with food. My favorite is to take fresh, homemade bread, spread with a mixture of one clove of minced garlic mixed with honey, and eat it greedily. ;-) This helps with the taste and ensures that I'm not putting garlic in an empty tummy. Yum!
    Since I discovered that my tummy can't handle much raw garlic I've been upping the amount I use in cooking and trying to add it in near the end of the recipe so that more of the raw goodness is retained.
    Thanks for this great info, Kelley!
    Mary

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  2. another really incredible natural remedy is the homeopathic phytolacca. It works superfast and is brilliant

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  3. Just wanted to say thank you for posting this...I have had mastitis i don't know how many times now and i'm tired of taking antibiotics because they don't work all that well for me. Last night i felt it coming on and jumped right into bed. Still felt bad this morning so i did some research and took 5 cloves the same way you did. Gratefully it didn't upset my stomach. Sadly, the red ring on my breast is still growing. Luckily i don't have the flu symptoms like i normally do, but my breast is in pretty bad shape. I'm going to take more garlic and hope in the morning all will be better. thanks again

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  4. Noelle, I find that even after my flu like symptoms go away, I still have a red and tender breast (usually with a hard lump, which has been as large as a lemon) for a few days. Same goes for if I am able to prevent those symptoms with garlic early. You need to work on unplugging that duct. When baby nurses massage it from the outside towards the nipple. Also, if you can lean over baby while he nurses (with your breast hanging down and baby's chin towards the lump) that helps a ton. Go to www.kellymom.com and search mastitis. She has the best BF info on the web!!
    HTH,
    Kelley

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  5. I have been using raw garlic for years! The pills are over heated garbage and just don't work. It works for my sinus issues, and really anything at all. If you take a couple of cloves it will help you sleep at night as well.
    You might want to take high doses of vitamin C when you feel anything coming on. The reason for this is that humans are the only animals that don't make our own vitamin C in our bodies. You can't really od on it, you'll just get the runs. But you should take 2000mg a few times a day if you are unwell. Especially, if you are nursing, you should supplement your diet with Vitamin C everyday. Vitamin C is crucial in curing all illnesses, more so than any other vitamin.
    I get these amazing emails from the Orthomolecular Medicine New Service. They have done a lot of research on Vitamin C. If used properly it has cured polio and cancer. I have a few of their articles on my blog. www.thecountrywoman.blogspot.com Just go to the categories on the left side and pick vitamin C to read them.

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