Making Water Kefir – Bumps on Skin – Stress in Young Children – Breast Milk Causing Tooth Decay – Poor Blood Flow Causing Rash – Soothing Cream for Eczema
My inbox runneth over with questions from readers wondering – What would Emily do? – about Real food and holistic health topics. I’ve created this Q&A to get your questions answered and for other folks to benefit from the answers too.
Who am I to know the answers to your questions?
I’m a holistic-minded mom, a sometimes beach bum, a real food foodie, a curious health researcher, and I’ve been practicing holistic and Chinese medicine for over a decade. That said, the answers here are only my opinion, and shouldn’t be construed as medical advice.
If you read something here and have your own wisdom or opinion to add, by all means, please leave a comment so we can all benefit from your experiences and perspective.
Okey dokey! Let’s dive in…
Question 1: Making water kefir
I've been making water kefir since the fall. I've been using filtered water with a pinch of sea salt and molasses. I've read filtered water is not good because kefir grains like mineral rich water. I'm not comfortable with the tap in my town. Until a couple weeks ago my kefir was great, lots of bubbles and carbonate with second fermentation. Then it just stopped; no more bubbles, no carbonation. My grains look fine. Do I need more sugar? What could I be doing wrong?
Hi Sarah, thanks for your question. I would use filtered water, and then you can add a few drops of trace minerals back into the kefir. Water kefir grains need calcium, magnesium and potassium (along with other smaller but vital trace minerals) to thrive. You can get trace minerals here.
Question 2: Bumps on upper arms
Alexandra needs to know…
I discovered your website a few months ago and you have quickly become my go-to for ideas and suggestions about my family's health and eating.
My older son, who is 12, has had bumps on his upper arms since he was a toddler. I also have them, but my son's have become quite severe. I am looking for suggestions on underlying causes and treatments to get rid if them, for both of us. Thanks for any advice you can impart or light you can shed…
Hi Alexandra, I am glad Holistic Squid has been helpful to you and your family. What you are describing sounds like Keratosis Pilaris. Here is a post all about it and also outlines 4 important steps to clearing this up.
Question 3: Relieving stress in young children
Michelle needs some suggestions…
Our 6 yr old daughter has mild tics when stressed–that's what our family doc thinks is the root of the tics. She jumps a little in her seat, makes small voice tics & clears her throat. This started last year with full time kindergarten, a new baby brother, and a chaotic family household of six.
We have her on Natural Vitality Kids Calm liquid multivitamin (because I read magnesium helps the nervous system?). Also she gets a chiro adjustment from time to time to try and help. We eat mostly organic & we stay away from overly processed foods. Are there any other suggestions you could make to help her little nervous system not overload so much?
Hi Michelle – I would suggest that you work with a classical homeopath who can determine a course of constitutional treatments to address the root of her nervous system imbalance without causing more stress. These treatments aren’t cheap, but the effects are usually long lasting.
To support these treatments, I would recommend making sure her diet is focused on nutrient-dense, gut healing foods. Even though it doesn't seem like her symptoms are obviously related to digestive health, leaky gut is typically an underlying cause of a stressed nervous system.
First make sure you are following most or all of these dietary principles.
Then, read this post to learn more about leaky gut.
Question 4: Breast milk causing tooth decay?
I am just an hour south of LA. I recently took our almost 2 year old to the dentist and he has decay from breast feeding at night. They want to crown his front 4 teeth, and other procedures. Do you recommend any holistic dentists? I don't want to put him out and have this done if it is not necessary!
Hi Nalia, thank you for your question. It's my experience that conventional dentists tend to overestimate the amount of dental work that is actually necessary. I prefer to assume this is out of insufficient training, rather than greed. That said, I definitely recommend that you make the effort to get a second opinion from a trusted holistic-minded dentist.
I highly recommend Sherry Sami. She is a fantastic holistic pediatric dentist in West Hill, CA and well worth the trip regardless of where you live. (Many of her patients fly in from out of state to see her.)
For adult dental needs, I recommend, Glenn Sperbeck, a traditional, yet holistically-minded dentist here in Los Angeles.
Additionally, I highly recommend that you read Cure Tooth Decay to make sure your family's diet is supporting optimal dental health.
Question 5: Rash from poor blood flow
I have been diagnosed with venous stasis dermatitis. Other than the medical treatments, are there any holistic ways to treat this? I was told there is no cure from my foot doctor.
Hi Tim – I would suggest taking a comprehensive holistic approach to improve blood flow to the lower legs. Try yoga with gentle inversion postures, get acupuncture, and find a Chinese medicine practitioner. as Chinese herbs can also help to treat the root of the problem.
Question 6: Soothing cream for eczema
Do you have any suggestions on essential oils or a DIY anti-itch cream that we can use for our 18 month old son when his skin flares up due to eczema? We have your e-book and have made changes to his diet as well as added certain supplements which have helped greatly, but on occasion we need something to offer him some relief when he has an unknown flare up.
Hi Leah, thanks for your question. While The Eczema Cure and all of it's information is indeed essential, there are times when you simply need itch relief while the skin is healing from the inside out. In my experience with patients, readers, and my own kids, the most effective topical cream is tallow balm. You can make it yourself, or you can buy it online. Otherwise, a second choice would be shea butter – you can get it here.
Got questions about real food or holistic health and wondering W.W.E.D.?
If you have a question for me, please first use the handy dandy search bar at the top right-hand corner of this site. If that doesn’t give you the answers you need, email [questions at holisticsquid(dot)com].
I can’t guarantee that I will get to every single question, but I will do my best (with a priority for questions that will serve the most of the Holistic Squid community).
Also, keep in mind that I cannot and will not give you medical advice over the internet. It’s inappropriate and unethical. If you want my medical opinion about a health or nutritional issue for you or your child, I take virtual patient consultations on a limited basis via phone or Skype. You can find out more about my distance consultations here.
Got answers not included here?
Please leave them in the comments below!
Samantha Riley says
I have a really simple and silly question for you 🙂
I was wondering what you would recommend for a good tooth paste? I’ve had the hardest time finding a good healthy toothpaste that doesn’t have carrageen in it. I know carrageen isn’t the worst thing in the world but i like to avoid it at all cost. I’ve gotten to the point I’ve considered making my own toothpaste.
Emily Bartlett says
Hey Samantha, I’ve included your question on our questions for these q and a posts.
You’re in southern ca, right? Can you suggest a good costco for Organics? I’m from northern ca and the costco up there is amazing but when I came down here all I could find was wilted organic lettuce and up 2% milk. Such a bummer! I’m ordering as much as I can from thrive but I still need some things from Costco! Thanks!
Emily Bartlett says
Hi Leah, unfortunately I don’t normally use Costco so I’m not sure if there is a good one near you. I would suggest you try out abundantharvestorganics.com.