Monday, April 27, 2015

Every Cloud Has A (Colloidal) Silver Lining!

The title of this post fits me to a T and holds more meaning for me than the name suggests! I am a sworn optimist and so looking for the positive is what I do but more importantly, having a range of natural remedies at hand when my kids are sick (being a need-to-be-prepared-in-every-situation type of gal) just makes me feel even more positive. Of course the pun on the word silver was the icing on the cake and we all know how much I love cake. And icing.

So, when my naturopath recently recommended a product called "Argentyn 23" to help kill any nasties in my body that were causing hives (long story, separate blog post warranted!), my mommy antenna perked up and started doing the rounds to see how I could incorporate it into my first aid box

Colloidal Silver (the word colloid means a solution in which particles, in this case silver, have been dispersed and do not settle) has been used for many, many years as a natural antibiotic. In fact, physicians used to use silver to cure infections until antibiotics were invented and in ancient Rome & Greece, people stored liquids in silver containers to prevent spoilage. Silver lost its popularity in the 1940s with the advent of antibiotics since those were easier to use and had a longer shelf life. In recent years, however, silver has regained its popularity due to the discovery of new ways to extend its shelf life and the improvement in ease of use.

Despite its efficacy, there has been a lot of controversy about using Colloidal Silver, primarily due to the fear of it causing 'argyria', a condition that causes the skin to turn blue. Fear not, my friend as this product will not turn you into a Smurf!!! My reading/research has shown that this only happens with Colloidal Silver 'imposters' and that too at very high levels of ingestion which go far beyond the recommended dosage. Always use a reputable company/brand but if you are still cautious, do not give it to your child daily as a preventative and instead limit use to when you are in need of fixing a stubborn infection. One of the biggest pros of this product is that it has no taste. When your child has high fever and dosing with garlic, GSE or even Vitamin C is hard, this is a very good quality for a natural remedy to have! You can even give "Argentyn 23" to toddlers (I would not give it to a child under 1) and just limit the dose to 1 drop a few times a day when they are really sick. I recently used it to help Z get over a chest cold and it cut her illness time in half, not to mention she took it happily vs. the garlic honey I usually give that makes her run for cover!

What I really loved about the silver though was the fact that you can also use it topically for a range of ailments. Drop a little into ears for an ear infection, a little into the eyes for conjunctivitis, put some on eczema patches to help heal the skin and I have even heard from some mothers that they used it to heal their children's yeast infections!

Leaving you today with a recycled quote from Gandhi :-)

"It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold or silver" (unless it is of the colloidal kind)

~Silvery S~

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Why, Wet Socks Of Course!

I feel like these past posts, few as they have been, have all started with an apology for not posting very often! Needless to say, with 3 kids, a full-time job and a household to run, it's been slim pickins' around here for moments to quietly sit, reflect and write. I can't even use the restroom in peace, people! Still, here I am today, sitting on my laptop among the chaos that is spring break, (seriously, who decided that kids needed that many holidays from school??) determined to pound out at least a few paragraphs of pearly wisdom. Stay with me!

We've had a bit of a rough winter on the East Coast this year. Lots of snow, chilling temperatures and to rub it all in, it's mid-April and Spring seems to be waving from around the corner and then disappearing into the shadows again. All this makes for a germ fest extravaganza that my 3-child-body just doesn't have the stamina to deal with. Oh yes, the slogan "Winter is Coming" has taken on a whole new meaning in this household which is why my most recent discovery, the Wet Socks Treatment, has me dancing up and down in joy. Yes, you read correctly, wet socks. No, that's not figurative, it's literal. No, the word wet does not have another meaning in this context. Yes, it involves wearing wet socks. Intrigued?! Read on......

Z got her usual bout of chest cold when the chill set in last November; unfortunately we were on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean and despite bringing along my handy, dandy 'tools', she was miserable and of course that meant so were we. On a side note, a cruise is the best place to be with a child that is sick because all your entertainment and food are a few (indoor) steps away :-)

Sorry, I digress. Back to the socks. Where was I? Ah yes, I tried all my faithful remedies but they all let me down. Z had high fever and the chills for a couple of days and I was getting desperate. My mind started to work overtime and I remembered reading about a treatment on several holistic blogs. The reason it was so suitable for this situation was the sheer simplicity of it - all I needed was a pair of cotton socks, a pair of woollen socks and water. If you're all out of your favourite natural remedy and you have a sick child who's miserable, this treatment is a GODSEND!


  • Run a pair of thin, cotton socks under very cold water, wring out and keep in the freezer for a few minutes or alternatively you can keep them soaked in ice cold water and wring before putting them on
  • Warm your child's feet in hot water or give them a hot bath for at least 10 minutes (this step is essential, don't skip! See below for reasoning)
  • Slip on the wet socks immediately followed by the woollen socks
  • Send your child straight to bed for the night with both sets of socks on & a thick blanket (and go have that piece of chocolate cake you so need right now, ooh try this great recipe for a mug brownie, courtesy The Pin Junkie)

In case you're wondering why you would be stupid enough to put a pair of cold, wet socks on a sick child, let me be quick to explain. The coldness of the socks activate the body's circulation so that it works hard to warm the feet and in doing so, stimulates the immune system and white blood cell count to fight whatever yucky germ it has been invaded by. Also, IT WORKS!!!! I have tried it numerous times since that awful, November day and have had success with it each time. It is best employed as soon as you see signs of a cold or flu set in and most effective when done for a few nights in a row. My kids actually ask for it now! The warmth of soaking their feet in a bucket of hot water relaxes them (you can add essential oils of lavender or chamomile to help) and they get a complete kick out of wearing the cold socks too! The coldness doesn't last more than a few minutes, that's how quickly the body kicks itself into action and it's not uncomfortable at all (trust me, my kids would be screaming bloody murder if it was).

You can try this for fever, congestion, respiratory issues - for any time your child needs an immunity boost really!

Don't be 'a wet sock',  put one on instead!


Update 4/27/15: For those of you with children under 2, you can try this method too with a slight modification! My naturopath recently gave me a handout that explained how to do the wet sock treatment with younger children. Instead of soaking your child's feet in a hot bath, you basically put on 'warming' socks first (thin socks in hot water, wrung out) and cover with the woollen socks for 5 minutes and THEN put on the cold socks followed by the woollen socks before putting your child to bed for the night. If however you see that the socks haven't warmed up after an hour or so, take them off and give your child's feet a vigorous massage to warm them up again. I can't wait to try this with K!