Activators for Kids Health

“Activation is supplying the body with herbal remedies and foods which give the body’s energy a boost so that it will be able to complete the healing process. …we merely supply raw materials and an environment which supports the body in doing its own healing.” —The ABC Herbal by Steven H. Horne

When my kids are starting to show signs of possible sickness, we do a few things to help their little immune systems fight off whatever is attacking it. One of these things is using “activators.” There are many different ones you can use, but some of the easiest and least “hippie-ish” are: peppermint, elderberry, chamomile, ginger, cinnamon, and garlic.

Peppermint: Straight peppermint is an excellent activator and children can drink it as a tea, warm or cold. Buy bulk peppermint at the health food store and make into a tea. Strain and add a few drops of stevia or honey (optional). You can also use some Peppermint Essential Oil or Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Castile Soap in a hot bath or shower and make sure you lather it on their lymph nodes- under their armpits, on their chest, on the neck (making sure not to get it in their eyes…. oh does it burn…) and leave it on for a little bit until it “feels cold” as my child says. This can clear up congestion once it sets in and even prevents it from ever forming into anything significant at all!
Ginger: Great as a “tea,” same as with peppermint. Grate or cut off a few small pieces, put in boiling water and add a few drops of honey.
Elderberry: Of course you can always make your own glycerite, but if you’re not into that, you can buy Elderberry tincture or Elderberry syrup at the health food store. Or buy the whole elder berries and add to oatmeal, pancakes, etc…
Chamomile: Helps to settle the stomach and calm the nerves.
Cinnamon: Add to foods
Garlic:  add to foods (guacamole), crush, mince and swallow with water or honey on a spoon (just a little at a time to prevent a tummy-ache). Do a garlic enema (Puree a clove of garlic in a little water. Strain it into an emptied out disposable enema bottle. Use enema, repeat as necessary. Easiest way to get raw garlic into a kid when they are sick and/or constipated!)

A Closer Look: GARLIC

We are a garlic family. When we are sick, our first go-to remedy is garlic (and yes, we stink when we use it… but at least we’re not sick often!). When our son is sick, or becoming sick, we have him swallow raw crushed and minced garlic (we call it “hot honey”- we coat it in honey on a spoon and he swallows it). We have been doing this since he was 1 and it has proven to shorten the life of many colds and most times even stop them before they really start! We use it in many different medicinal ways. It is an incredibly complex and underestimated herb that the Creator God has given us for our benefit and our pleasure (after all, what would cuisine be without it?!).

Garlic is an antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic, antiparasitic, antiprotozoan, antiviral, antifungal, anthelmintic, immune-stimulating, hypotensive, diaphoretic, antispasmodic, and a cholagogue.

Garlic is a well-known culinary herb. It is the most powerful herb for the treatment of antibiotic-resistant disease (followed by Grapefruit Seed Extract). No other herb comes close to the multiple system actions of garlic, its antibiotic activity, and its immune-potentiating power.

When the bulb is bruised or crushed, garlic produces a byproduct compound called allicin. Allicin is not in an untouched clove of garlic. The amino acid in an ordinary clove, alliin, comes into contact with an enzyme, allinase, and produces a conversion to allicin. Allicin is produced when garlic is finely chopped or crushed. The finer the chopping and the more intensive the crushing, the more allicin is generated and the stronger the medicinal effect. Allicin starts to degrade immediately after it is produced, so its medical effectiveness decreases over time. It should be consumed within an hour of crushing.

Clinical studies have repeatedly shown that garlic is active against strains of bacteria that are highly resistant to antibiotics. Unlike many herbs, garlic is directly effective against viruses. Garlic is perhaps the most extensively tested herb in the world; in vitro, in vivo, and human trials have shown its powerful effectiveness against bacterial and viral infections agents.

For stimulating immune function and for lowering blood pressure and cholesterol counts, garlic works well either raw, cooked, or encapsulated. For treating active bacterial infection, garlic should be consumed either in uncooked whole form or as juice.

Raw garlic or its juice kills bacterial infection in the gastrointestinal tract as soon as it comes into direct contact with the organisms. When used as a douche, the garlic juice (or even a garlic clove inserted) will kill bacterial infection. When used in nose drops, the garlic covers the surface of the nasal passages and sinus and kills off infection there. When used on athlete’s foot and surface skin infections, its action is sure and rapid.

Garlic successfully treats the four strains of bacteria that cause most of the world’s dysentery. It is also effective against meningitis and viral encephalitis. Garlic activates the immune system to help protect the body from infection and when infection occurs, to stimulate the immune system to attack invading bacteria more effectively. Beyond this, it has also shown repeatable and impressive clinical results in the treatment of heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cancer, stress, fatigue and aging.

If only one herb could be used to combat an epidemic spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, this would be it.

How to take it: 

  • Fresh cloves: Eat 1 clove up to 3x a day for prevention. The cloves may be crushed, then minced, and mixed with honey for palatability and to reduce nausea.
  • Fresh juice: Juice the bulbs as needed. Take 1/4 to 1 teaspoon as needed. (Though an entire bulb produces little juice, it is exceptionally potent. The best approach is to start with 1/4 tsp. in a full glass of tomato or carrot juice and work up from there. This amount, each hour is a good way to get a large quantity of garlic juice into the system.)
  • Capsules: 3 capsules 3x a day as preventative. During acute episodes: up to 30 capsules a day. (Some practitioners feel that garlic in capsule form is as effective as fresh or juiced cloves. Others insist that it is most effective when using fresh, either raw or as juice. We prefer to use fresh- it is cheap and I am confident that it is the most potent it can be.)
  • Tincture: 40 drops up to 6x a day.
  • Food: Lots of it in everything. Increase during acute episodes.

Side Effects and Contraindications: 
Nausea, vomiting. Caution must be exercised; the quantities used should be small (repeated often) and increased only as the body shows no signs of adverse reactions (nausea). You won’t die if you take too much, but you will want to.