06/03/2010: Kathleen from Glenwood, Nova Scotia: "Significant typo re [farming] udder wash on my earlier ['cheesemaking'] reply, although the way I gave it only would have made the wash, 'ineffective'; it would have worse the other way around. (someone in the past has addressed the 'diluting issues' with Hydrogen peroxide. - Anyway,..."
Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.
Gentian Violet for Thrush
[YEA] 11/29/2008: Karen McSpadden from Virginia Beach, Virginia: "Natural Breastfeeding Thrush Remedy
In response to the issue of persistent thrush while breastfeeding, I would strongly recommend Gentian Violet. You can pick it up at most drugstores for a couple dollars and it's one of the most effective remedies in my own (frustrating and painful) personal experience with thrush. My daughter and I passed it back and forth for a while and Gentian Violet was the thing that cured it most efficiently.
You paint your nipples and the inside of the baby's mouth three times a day for three days. It's safe to use frequently. Be forewarned-- your nipples (and your baby's mouth) will be a very bright purple so plan to wear breast pads or an old t-shirt during the treatment. Also, I found that once my daughter was older-- over a year, I believe-- she wouldn't nurse from my breasts if they were purple. She didn't seem to be bothered by it when she was younger.
Whenever I have used this remedy, I have had relief from thrush and the accompanying nipple soreness.
[YEA] 11/17/2009: Mmiller from Tracy, Ca replies: "I experienced thrush with my first daughter and now my second. Gentian Violet is the way to go. As previously stated it is VERY messy. If you rub the area around baby's mouth with oil (I use coconut oil) it keeps the skin clean. Also, soak any stained fabrics overnight in one of the oxy-type laundry cleaners.I use two scoops to a bathroom sink of HOT water. It has worked every time so far however, every so often I need to soak stubborn stains two days. Wash normally after soaking."
Healing Properties of Breast Milk
03/12/2009: Christina from Minneapolis, MN, USA: "Here is an article from Mothering magazine about the healing properties of breast milk. I see that there are no posts about breast milk, that surprises me as it has been used to cure many ailments throughout human history.
Your Walking Medicine Chest
By Liz Laing
Issue 133, November/December 2005
Mother's milk is the perfect panacea for a whole host of ailments - from pinkeye to acne. Just a squirt will do the trick!
Most people know about the health benefits of breastfeeding, but few know about breastmilk's medicinal benefits. Breastmilk is sterile, antibacterial, and has many healing properties. It can be used to treat a variety of ailments and can be applied topically for eye and ear infections, minor skin injuries, sore or cracked nipples, diaper rash, sore throats, and stuffy noses. Is breastmilk an everyday cure-all? Read on and judge for yourself.
When your child gets a cold and has a stuffy nose, drizzle breastmilk into each nostril. It will thin the mucus, and the milk's natural antibodies will help fight infection. Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP, IBCLC's nationally recognized pediatrician, author, and breastfeeding authority, encourages the use of breastmilk in this way. "I recommend breastmilk as the best nose drop for babies and children with colds," he says. "The milk kills viruses on contact (sounds like a TV commercial!), and the best part is that it makes babies sneeze. The sneeze sends viruses, bacteria, dust, and more flying out of the nose at 100 mph."
Several clinical studies have shown that since each mother's milk is made specifically for her own baby, it is effective in ridding the infant's eyes and nose of viruses and germs. I have used it on my own children, and even on myself. Recently, my son had pinkeye; when I applied my breastmilk to his eyes several times a day, the conjunctivitis cleared up. A friend of mine used her breastmilk on all her family members whenever they got pinkeye, and thus for years she was able to avoid having to buy prescription eyedrops.
You never know when breastmilk will come in handy. I got liquid soap in my eye once while in the locker room at my gym. My eye was burning and extremely red, and rinsing it with water didn't help at all. I checked my purse for eyedrops but found none. Then I remembered the built-in medicine chest I carried around on my own chest. I went into a bathroom stall, cupped my hand, squirted out some milk, and bathed my eye in it. Ahhhhhh! Instant relief - the redness and painful stinging were gone. I was glad to have this option available, and felt proud that my body produces something that can be used to help heal other parts of my body. What a great way to recycle.
Besides colds and eye irritations, there are several other conditions that might benefit from the use of breastmilk. In most cases you simply express your milk into a clean saucer, cup, or bowl, then use a cotton ball or eyedropper to apply or squirt milk directly onto the area, as needed, for the desired results.
In many places - including Mexico, Russia, Africa, South America, and India - the use of breastmilk in alternative ways is quite common. One mother on a Midwifery Today online forum said, "In Nigeria, if a child has a condition of the eyes, such as mucus, we simply squirt a bit of breastmilk and it clears right up."1
Besides healing common minor afflictions, breastmilk has recently been in the news for helping to treat more serious illnesses. Adult cancer patients have been drinking breastmilk in an attempt to boost their immune systems and cope better with the side effects of chemotherapy.2 While this is not a common practice, a milk bank in California has supplied a group of pioneering patients with breastmilk for the past few years. One lucky recipient of this donor milk, Howard Cohen of Palo Alto, California, strongly believes that ingesting breastmilk daily has helped his prostate cancer go into remission.3
Donor milk is used to treat a variety of health problems. I spoke with Pauline Sakamoto, RN, MS, executive director of the Mothers' Milk Bank in San Jose, California, about some of the other ways breastmilk benefits people. "Historically, human milk has been used for diseases and health conditions of adults and children and as a superior food for babies. These folk cures have been tested throughout time. Currently, there has been more interest in the scientific community to test the components of human milk's effect on different health problems that plague us today. Hopefully, in the near future, we will validate the incredible power that our body has to promote growth, heal itself, and preserve its integrity via human milk.
Breastmilk may even kill cancer cells. In 1995 physician and immunologist Catharina Svanborg and a team of research biologists at Sweden's Lund University discovered in breastmilk a protein compound, alpha-lactalbumin (they gave it the acronym HAMLET), that selectively induces apoptosis in tumor cells.4 In other words, HAMLET makes cancer cells commit suicide. In fact, it has killed every type of cancer the researchers have tested it against. HAMLET has also been used to successfully treat virally infected warts, which were reduced by 75 percent in volunteers who received daily treatments with an ointment containing the protein. The same viruses that cause warts are also linked to cervical cancer, genital warts, and some types of skin cancer. Well, we all knew that breastmilk is powerful.
You may wonder why this discovery of a possible cure for cancer has not received greater attention. Funding is part of the problem, but slowly, in the past decade, more attention has been paid to this small laboratory in a quiet corner of the world. Even the American Cancer Society has given its stamp of approval by giving a grant to Svanborg and her team to help fund further research into their discovery.
While this type of scientific news is exciting, let's not forget the real miracle of breastmilk and its primary use. The healing powers of this liquid gold are incredible enough, but breastmilk's most amazing quality is that it gives life. No other food or substance on earth comes close to doing what breastmilk does. Human breastmilk is the ideal food for human babies. Pediatrician Jay Gordon reminds us how crucial breastfeeding is when he says, "Babies denied breastmilk during the first year of life get sick and die at a much greater rate than babies who nurse."
I am still amazed when I watch my son nurse. I know that his healthy, growing body is thriving because he is suckling the perfect food, which my body makes for his body. But in addition to satisfying this primary need, my breastmilk can help heal his body in other ways as well.
Michael Day, "Adults Turn to Breast Milk to Ease Effects of Chemotherapy," Daily Telegraph (16 January 2005); www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/01/16/nteat16. xml
"The Man Who Swears by Breastmilk," BBC News Online, UK edition (23 January 2005): http://news.bbc.co. uk/1/hi/health/4187697.stm
Catharina Svanborg, MD, PhD, "Treatment of Skin Papillomas with Topical Alpha-Lactalbumin-Oleic Acid," New England Journal of Medicine 350 (2004): 2663-2672.
Liz Laing, ACE, is a freelance writer and mother of four beautiful, breastfed children. She has been a stay-at-home mom for the past 12 years and most recently is overcoming the challenges of single motherhood. A certified childbirth educator and doula, Liz lives in Los Angeles, California."
[QUESTION] 12/19/2010: Lauren from Carlsbad, Ca: "I am currently breast-feeding a 6 month old and am taking a lot of supplements, so I wanted to see if anyone thought I was over doing it or if something I am doing could be harmful to my 6 month old. I have pretty much researched everything, but since I don't have a family practitioner to ask, I thought I'd get earthclinic users feedback.
I put 1 tbls molasses in my morning coffee and 1 tbls in rooibos tea at night. I drink 1 to 2 tbls of ACV in hot water 1-2x day and add coconut oil to toast and whatever else I cook during the day. I take a probiotic (10 billion strains), D3 (3000-4000 iu), B-complex, fish oil (1000 mg), magnesium (400 mg). I was taking a mulit-vitamin but stopped because I didn't want to overdo the iron. As a side note, my infant is perfectly healthy, calm and happy, so I can't say anything is directly affecting him. Thanks for any feedback. Lauren"
[YEA] 10/12/2009: Carrie from Woodinville, Wa: "New to nursing burning problems in breasts
Eat pineapple, 2-3 day cure. don't take the drugs.
Do not wait for the mastitis to go away by itself. Contact your health care provider immediately for treatment with antibiotics that are safe for you and your baby. It is very important that you continue nursing often during this time. Your milk is not infected and will not harm your baby. Also, complete the entire treatment of antibiotics (seven to 10 days) so the infection does not come back. Consider contacting a lactation consultant to teach you how to prevent mastitis from happening again.
No no no, just pineapple canned works too not just fresh"
[YEA] 06/01/2010: Shannon from South Park, Pa replies: "I had a clogged milk duct for two days, with a fever and all...since this is my fourth child, I am accustomed to soaking it in warm water for about 15 minutes, massaging it, then immediately feeding my child, and that has always worked for me. This time it didn't. I read about the pineapple remedy on this site, happened to have a pineapple on my counter, so I ate a fourth of it, thinking "It couldn't hurt."
Much to my surprise, the clog gradually got smaller and less painful throughout the day. By morning, it was completely gone. Thank you so much Earth Clinic! I was afraid I'd have to go on antibiotics and stop breastfeeding (although they may now have some that are "ok" to take while breastfeeding?)."
06/02/2010: Kathleen from Glenwood, Nova Scotia replies: "I've been reading some of the recent posts [I only recently found Earth Clinic], came upon this one from a recent mom, and thought it might provide a good opportunity to address a few 'milk-related' issues I've noticed here,[as a recent reader] and elsewhere, where 'milk'/'dairy' have apparently had quite a wicked reputation for awhile now -
We have milking animals, -due in large part to one of those childhood 'fascinations'-that just never quit, I'm speaking of the one that comes when a toddler first asks, 'what's curds and whey?', and the answer received just doesn't 'pass muster', so that it's years -maybe years and years- before they ever even get to, 'what's a 'tuffet'?' I don't precisely recall how it went in our house, long ago, but I think it went something like this. 'curds and whey' means 'cheese'. [I LOVED cheese]. 'How do you make cheese??' to which, the busy young mother of the toddler replied: 'Oh, no one MAKES cheese.' which put it, for me, in the early years of Religion scholarship, in the same category as 'manna from Heaven', and/or 'grace' [another mystery]...as what Mary might be 'full of...' but let's leave this, or we'll never get to the clogged milk duct' or the 'milk is bad' posts, and it's vital that we do. 'vital' being the operative word here, because in fact, milk is VERY LINKED TO 'LIFE', 'TO 'HEALTH', -and it is a rather recent a 'modern' phenom that it now seems to be doing quite the opposite.
When you understand how cheesemaking works, you'll quickly see why and how this is happening in the world of our epoch, which is a very sick, very impaired bio-eco-system, biosphere, and why environmental problems are now so widespread, that life-giving milk ...is now being blamed! In fact, the problems are occurring because the human body is at the perfect temperature for cheesemaking, and acids both environmental acids, and dietary acids- quickly leach calcium from the bones, essentially creating a 'cheese-like' bloodstream. Many of the most prevalent toxins (sulphur dioxide -'sour gas'-, and many of the chemicals used in the oil industry --'ring compounds' -- like the benzenes - compound the problem, by almost acting like a 'salt','on top of AllThis' and then, on top of that, we've got the individual problems associated with 'fat', -in anything to do with 'milk' and 'cheese', we're talking about 'butter fat' which is the cell-loving, wonderfully permeable stuff that makes babies grow and by the way, -die, which is how we learned about AllThis here, under the 'Cloud' of targeted Pollution that quickly took out the finest youngstock.. But that's another Long Story, and you just want to know about 'clogged milk ducts' which, of course, can move on to abcess/mastitis ['things don't flow'conditions..] ll related to 'cheesemaking', as just described. [I apologize if this is sounding complex, or worse, incomprehensible, because it's actually very very simple].
Our bones need the calcium we get from 'dairy'; babies NEED 'butterfat', as do all animal young, in order to grow. What we have to know how to do is to regulate the 'cheesemaking' that is done in our bodies, constantly, as a response to environmental and dietary acid levels, so that the bloodstream can continue to flow, and 'breathe'. This isn't as difficult for adults as it is for youngsters. Adults can and should cut down on butter fat, which soaks into the cell walls [which is why it's so great on lobster, and potatoes] use olive oil, instead [which doesn't do this, and thus cuts the risk of sudden 'inflammation']. And if you use mostly already-soured milk, you'll be at much lower risk for the sudden changes wrought by environmental acids [and they can be very sudden, with widespread, dramatic, and ill effects] on bone-level calcium. You need to keep the body's 'cheesemaking' pores, inside and out, clean. Vinegar and lemon juice are very very useful for this, and outside, I know of nothing better than 3% foodgrade hydrogen peroxide. In fact, this is the first year I've used this in warm water [probably fifteen parts water to 1 part 3%hp, but this is approximate; I'm not going to say I measure it at 5 o'clock every morning], in a wash of the udders, before and after milking [other years, we've used iodine, but they stopped making the product we've long used, so we just happened to switch to 'what we had'] and this is the first year along with dietary changes that now include vinegar and whey in their diets- this is the first year I haven't seen even one of those little 'milk duct clog bumps' SO, I would advise:
-see if you can get a reading on the butterfat content of your own milk, and try to adjust this, if it's too high, a real favor for both you and your infant.
-add things [aplenty!] like vinegar and whey and yogurt [in place of milk] and add brewer's yeast to your diet; baking soda and molasses are also useful. In fact, anytime a milker has a problem here, I drench her with whey, molasses, vinegar and baking soda, and 'fizz it outta there'..
-gradually [it's hard to do this 'cold turkey'] replace all the the fats you use presently with olive oil. For the past ten years, we've used only olive oil, with butter, now, only rarely, and really, the benefits are noteworthy.
I'm rather busy here, but I will try to post our very easy recipe for 'curds and whey' over the next couple of days. The addition of whey to the diet -well, you'll consider it a 'Moment', when you first begin to use whey in your cooking and baking, and it's as easy as it is 'heart-y', beneficial.
I'm sorry if this isn't too easy to grasp. Looking it over, I'm thinking that if I said this to a child who asked: what's 'curds and whey'? or, 'how do you MAKE cheese'? ...they'd probably run the other way and say to their own youngster, eventually ' no body MAKES cheese'..
Well, in fact, *every body MAKES cheese*... and believe me, it's in your very BEST INTEREST to know as much as you can about how it is done.
06/03/2010: Kathleen from Glenwood, Nova Scotia replies: "Significant typo re [farming] udder wash on my earlier ['cheesemaking'] reply, although the way I gave it only would have made the wash, 'ineffective'; it would have worse the other way around. (someone in the past has addressed the 'diluting issues' with Hydrogen peroxide. -
Anyway, with 3% hp, I use one part hp to 5 parts water; with 35% hp, I use one part hp to [more conservatively here, because you don't mistakes with this product] approximately 15 parts.
The point I had wanted to make is that hp is, in our recent experience, superior to an iodine wash in this procedure -and for daily use, I think the same thing can be said for us -"
12/01/2008: Ted from Bangkok: "A mother is depleted of iodine, magnesium and especially vitamin D3 during breast feeding. I prefer to just supplements these with kelp, magnesium chloride (or magnesium citrate) and 10,000 i.u. of vitamin D3 to raise the immune system. Sometimes a mother is low on cobalt and molybdenum, where cobalt comes from vitamin B12 injections or sublingually. Molybdenum is obtained from a chemical supplier in form of sodium molybdate, and it also helps greatly night blindness, a condition I sometimes have myself. If a small budget is available by you, it helps to get some hair mineral analysis to see what you are deficient in. Lead and mercury is relatively high in United States, as manufacturing standards try to produce any foods below 10 ppm, while safe levels is deemed to be below 2 ppm. So there is an 8 ppm dangers here that the mainstream authorities is overlooking. Further food processing with added heavy metals doesn't count, so it may well be over 10 ppm of lead and perhaps much higher mercury then they actually anticipated. What is most interesting is common metal toxicity at least from my water faucet is that most faucet systems are brass, (especially the inside) which is bad news while the exterior of the faucet is a nice chrome look. It's bad news because they are the major source of copper and zinc, which causes alzheimer and not just the aluminum.
One other thing that mother might be more deficient in is colostrum and taurine. Colostrum increase the mother's immunity and is transferred to the child. Taurine is essential in baby's nutrition and I believe mother should be given some taurine supplement as a result, such as 500 mg x 3 of taurine a day, at the very least."
Cystal : "I am struggling along with my 7 week old daughter to get rid of nipple-yeast in me/thrush in her. I plan on cutting out as much sugar as possible and caffeine and have been giving Acidophilus to both of us, but would like more safe methods to try while nursing. My main concern is how natural remedies may affect my breastmilk. We have also been using Nystatin, but this only seems to work temporarily and if I don't use it constantly(every couple hours), the yeast acts up and I have sore nipples again and my daughter's thrush returns fully. Help, I'm desperate. Seeking a cure."Replies
05/12/2007: Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Dear Crystal: You need a relatively mild remedy so that the milk won't effect the baby adversely, which needs a bit of of modification for treatment of yeast thrush in general. However, for most nursing mothers, they will often need vitamin D3 at least 1500 i.u. to 2500 i.u. per day being a resonable dose. Since vitamin D is generally causes high serum calcium, some magnesium supplements well balance out the calcium and magnesium ratio."