Alternatively Speaking: Naturally does it

Alternative medicine enthusiast Natalie Marx answers your questions: Can Alzheimer's be prevented? Are dairy products and asthma connected?

Natalie Marx 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Natalie Marx 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Natalie Marx is passionate about helping people reach and maintain their optimal level of health. As well as teaching Yoga on a weekly basis, she offers holistic advice on lifestyle and nutritional requirements, specifically tailoring programs to the individual.
Natalie believes that by following a more natural path, the human body can heal itself as nature intended.
This new weekly column will share the wonders of natural medicine, as a resource for people looking to improve their health through alternative remedies and nutrition.
Question: My granddaughter is two and, having been diagnosed with mild asthma, was prescribed an inhaler. She drinks a lot of full-fat milk, and I wonder whether she should try soya instead. I am concerned that she is on medication at such a young age. Can you suggest an alternative that may alleviate this wheeziness?
Answer: When there is some degree of intolerance to cow’s milk in children, I have found that one of the best substitutes is goat’s milk because it is more similar in nature to human milk and is easier to digest due to smaller fat globules. Try your local health food shop for a fortified goat’s-milk drink formulated specifically for one- to three-year-olds and produced from the milk of free-range goats. It should contains low levels of alpha-s1-casein, the protein in cow’s milk that is believed to be responsible for eliciting allergic reactions such as respiratory and dermatological conditions.
However, it is important to stress that it is not advisable to apply adult concepts of “food withdrawal” to growing children unless specifically instructed to do so by a consultant pediatrician.
A gentle and healing way to help relax and relieve tightness in the chest is to inhale essential oils. Frankincense (one drop) is ideal for asthma and wheezing, as it helps to deepen the breath and open the chest. Combine it with Roman camomile (two drops), again recommended for asthma and ideal for small children. Blend the drops into 20ml of grape seed base oil (avoid nut-based oil in case of allergy) and add some to her evening bath, so that it is absorbed through the skin and inhaled through the steam. After bathing, gently massage in a clockwise direction over her chest to support breathing and aid a restful night’s sleep. These two oils can also be added to an aromatherapy vaporizer when massage is not possible.
Q. My mother is experiencing difficulties with her short-term memory. I am becoming increasingly worried that this condition will lead to Alzheimer's. Can you recommend anything that will help prevent its onset?

A. Alzheimer’s is an aging disorder that affects personality, cognitive function and behavior, with short-term memory suffering first. The causes are largely unknown, though exposure to toxic metals such as aluminium may play a part. As a precaution, you could ensure that your mother does not use aluminium pans and chooses a natural deodorant that is free of aluminium (a common ingredient in conventional antiperspirants).
Fish has long been recognized as a “brain food”, and the connection between omega-3 fats and cognitive function is well documented. Evidence suggests that inflammation occurs in the brains of dementia patients approximately two years prior to their developing the disease. This could explain why omega-3 fatty acids (found in oily fish, flaxseed, hemp, canola and walnuts), which possess anti-inflammatory properties, have sparked improvements in those showing early symptoms. According to the results of a clinical trial published this year, omega-3 oils may help to slow cognitive decline in mild Alzheimer’s cases, so consuming these on a daily basis is crucial. Try your local health food store for a pure Omega 3 oil sourced from wild (not farmed) deep-sea fish, which contains naturally high quantities of EPA and DHA.
The rates of Alzheimer’s are much lower among the elderly in India than in the West, and early studies show that curcumin, an antioxidant phytochemical found in turmeric (frequently used in curry), appears to reduce Alzheimer’s-related inflammation in the brain, so include this in cooking. Inquire in your local health food store for the medicinal mushroom Lion’s Mane, it has been shown to regenerate brain tissue and keep cognitive function at peak levels. Ensure your mother takes other, simple preventive measures, such as going on regular brisk walks, inhaling fresh air deeply and keeping her grey matter active by reading and doing crosswords and puzzles.
Q. I am 57, and have had constipation for years now. I have tried several commercial brands, but would like to try something more natural. Is there anything I can take that will help me?

A. It’s all too easy sometimes to forget the health care basics. Drinking lots of water is often a simple solution to the problem of irregular bowels. You should also increase your fiber intake: eat plenty of fresh vegetables and soft, fibrous foods such as wholegrain rice and oats, which bulk out the stool. Psyllium husks are a classic way to treat constipation; they swell with water, forming a wallpaper-like solution, and are unsurpassed at loosening stubborn stools. The cheapest option is to buy loose psyllium-seed husks, available from health shops, and mix 1 tsp with 8oz of water. Drink swiftly, otherwise the mixture will congeal.
Alternatively, as you have been constipated for some time, I would suggest gently cleansing your colon.
Ask you local health food store for a Colon Support Formula. As well as psyllium, it should contain bentonite clay, which helps remove old faecal matter from your colon. Other excellent traditional cleansing herbs, include barberry and Oregon grape root, which possess mild laxative properties.
Another important remedy is Aloe Vera Juice - this can be found at all good health stores, drink one-two tablespoons daily for one month and you will notice an improved difference. 
Thought for the day:
If I'd known I was going to live so long, I'd have taken better care of myself.  ~ (Leon Eldred)
This column is brought to you as general information only and unless stated otherwise is not medical advice nor is it based on medical experiments. This column is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. For more information about specific problems, please contact a doctor.
Ask Natalie: If you have a health query and would like an alternative answer then email Natalie with your question at [email protected].