In Writing

I have long been committed to living as healthy a lifestyle as possible, preferring to prevent illness with good nutrition and exercise rather than cure it with drugs. I firmly believe that Western medicine is too eager to stick a bottle of pills in our hand instead of telling us to work out more or meditate before bedtime instead of taking a sleeping pill. So far, it’s worked out for me, having never had to take any prescription drug other than the rare antibiotic here and there. (Not to impugn anyone who makes different choices or has different health circumstances than my own – just stating a personal philosophy).

But I can’t say that my foray into natural remedies has always been easy. I’ve had to give up on eradicating marauding ants with vinegar and going for the noxious spray. I’ve taken melatonin for sleep and woken up with a raging headache.

Perhaps my scariest experience came when I inflicted a natural remedy not on myself but on my baby. My son had diaper rash one day (a fairly rare occurrence) and I was committed to not putting any petroleum-based products on him. So I scoured the internet and my natural remedy books for a solution. One book recommended egg whites. Apparently the mechanism by which it works is that it starves out any organism causing irritation and creating a barrier between the baby’s butt and the world. I liked this idea. Egg whites are the epitome of natural! So on I slathered the stuff onto my poor, unsuspecting baby.

It wasn’t long before his nether regions had turned a violent red. As soon as I saw this reaction, I stuck him under a faucet until all the egg white was off him. What the heck had happened? I called one of my wiser, older mom friends who explained that egg can be a huge allergen to babies under a year. So no with the egg whites.

I let him run around bare-butt for a while and the problem solved itself.

So… did it deter me from using natural remedies? Not exactly? But these days, if I’m looking for a guinea pig, I don’t look any further than the woman in the mirror. No more egg white adventures for me.

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