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Mom's Medicine: How to Protect Your Kids, Husband, and Parents Against 100 Health Conditions and Medical Emergencies

Mom's Medicine: How to Protect Your Kids, Husband, and Parents Against 100 Health Conditions and Medical Emergencies

by Prevention Health Books for Women (Editor), Sharon Faelten (Other), Prevention Magazine Health Books
Women just like you have been in charge of their families' health care from the beginning of human history. So more likely than not you are already an active practitioner of Mom's Medicine to some extent, be it with ice packs, herbal teas, or adhesive bandages.

But do you know what foods you can give your husband to protect him against prostate cancer? How to talk


Women just like you have been in charge of their families' health care from the beginning of human history. So more likely than not you are already an active practitioner of Mom's Medicine to some extent, be it with ice packs, herbal teas, or adhesive bandages.

But do you know what foods you can give your husband to protect him against prostate cancer? How to talk to your children in order to guide them safely through the sometimes delicate issues of sex? What vitamins your father can take to improve his memory? Most mothers' knowledge about health issues has been fairly basic until now, so perhaps these things are unfamiliar to you. But it doesn't have to be that way. A mom can do many things to improve her family's health. The examples given here are only the tip of the iceberg. You will find much more in the pages of this unique book, the first to acknowledge -- and increase -- the power of Mom's Medicine.

The first part of the book describes the basic equipment and techniques you will need. The remaining four parts will show you how to treat the illnesses and health problems that most families are likely to encounter. Also included are first-aid instructions for helping both children and adults.

But no matter how good the experts' advice, it won't be of much use without a special ingredient that only you can provide: your love. So throw it in with the mixture and use Mom's Medicine every day to help your family enjoy their best health ever.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This eclectic health volume from the editors of Prevention covers a wide range of topics of interest to moms dedicated to helping maintain health in their families. Divided into five sections, the book offers tips on kids and teens, husbands, parents and moms themselves, as well as a useful general first-aid guide. While some of the topics fall under neither of the subtitle's categories, being neither health condition nor medical emergency (e.g., dating, sibling rivalry, bad grades), and other medical topics are oddly excluded (sore throats, diarrhea, Lyme disease), the collection nevertheless covers a vast range of topics. Along with standard advice provided by a variety of medical experts, the editors have also sniffed out herbal remedies such as sage for baldness, chamomile for stress, turmeric for arthritis and herbal pillows to aid sleep. Such alternative remedies differentiate this guide from standard health books, and readers seeking unique solutions to everyday health problems will find plenty of fresh ideas here. While the book takes a condescending tone toward husbands ("the hardest `children' to take care of") and perpetuates gender stereotypes and inequities (making women responsible for the healthcare of children and men), the editors deftly address the medical problems of the elderly, a topic of interest to many women who are simultaneously involved in the care of kids and aging parents. This is a handy manual that busy moms may well want to add to their family health collection; hopefully, a companion volume for dads is in the works. 22 b&w illus. (Sept. 5) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

Rodale Press, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
6.51(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.23(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

What to Keep on Hand

                                          Without instruments, a doctor(male or female) can only help so much. Certain equipment is necessaryfor diagnosis and treatment. The same applies to you as the doctor ofthe house. In this chapter, medical experts will let you know some of thebasic things you'll need in your home to keep your family membershealthy and to treat them for minor problems if they come up.


    The following items are worth keeping in your medicine cabinet.

    Acetic acid. For athlete's foot and poison ivy. Example: Domeboro.

    Alpha hydroxy products. To relieve dry skin and to prevent acne, usea moisturizer with alpha hydroxy acids. To make wrinkles less apparent,to help eliminate a double chin, and to prevent scarring, use an alphahydroxy cream. Example: Alpha Hydrox.

    Antacid. To relieve heartburn. A good choice is Mylanta, which containsa combination of magnesium and aluminum.

    Antibacterial soap. To prevent burns and open wounds from becominginfected; to treat chafing, jock itch, and boils; and to preventbody odor. Example: Lever 2000.

    Antihistamine. For eczema, poison ivy, and motion sickness.Example:Benadryl.

    Baby powder. To relieve rectal itching and to prevent various skinproblems such as blisters, boils, and chafing. Generic brands are readilyavailable.

    Calamine lotion. For itchy skin caused by poison ivy or sunburn.Generic brands are readily available.

    Colloidal oatmeal bath. To relieve itching caused by sunburn, rashes,shingles, and psoriasis. Example: Aveeno Bath Treatment.

    Cotton swabs and cotton balls. For applying medicines topically.Generic brands are readily available.

    Cough medicine. For a productive cough (one that gets rid ofphlegm), use a brand containing guaifenesin, such as Robitussin. For anunproductive cough (a dry cough that keeps you up at night), use abrand that contains dextromethorphan, such as Robitussin DM.

    Decongestant. To relieve a stuffy head caused by allergies, a sinusinfection, or a cold. Our experts recommend brands that contain pseudoephedrine,such as Sudafed.

    Elastic bandages. For treating knee pain, sprains, tendinitis, andbursitis. Example: Ace bandage.

    Fiber supplement. For occasional use, when eating foods high infiber doesn't relieve constipation. Metamucil, which contains psylliumfiber, is a good choice. Taken with meals, a fiber supplement can alsoprevent overeating.

    Hydrocortisone cream. For itching and inflammation caused byrashes, poison ivy, or razor burn. Generic brands are readily available.

    Nasal spray. For a stuffy nose, use one containing oxymetazoline,such as Afrin.

    Pain medicine. For headaches and minor pain. Because certain painmedications are better for certain conditions, you should keep three differentkinds on hand: acetaminophen, aspirin, and ibuprofen. For example,you should give acetaminophen rather than aspirin or ibuprofenif your adult "patient" has an ulcer, an earache, or pain associated with abruise or open wound. You should also avoid giving aspirin if your lovedone has a fever or gout. But if your loved one is having chest pains thatmay be from a heart attack, having him chew one aspirin may help savehis life.

    To know what pain relievers to give to children, ask your pediatricianor see the specific instructions in the chapters that recommend them.

    Pepto-Bismol. For a stomachache, diarrhea, or nausea. The pinkstuff's active ingredient, bismuth, is also available in generic brands.

    Petroleum jelly. To treat chapped lips and psoriasis and to preventscarring, chafing, saddle sores, and hangnails. Generic brands are readilyavailable.

    Thermometer. To take a temperature to determine whether yourloved one is running a fever.

First-Aid Kit

    You should also keep a well-stocked first-aid kit on hand so thatyou're prepared for any emergency. Here's a list of items to get your kitstarted.

    Antibiotic ointment. To prevent blisters, burns, cuts, and other openwounds from becoming infected. Example: Polysporin.

    Butterfly bandages. To keep the edges of a wound together.

    Disposable latex gloves. To wear whenever administering first aidto another person to protect yourself from picking up diseases such ashepatitis and HIV.

    Face mask. To wear when doing cardiopulmonary resuscitation orwhen giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

    Hydrogen peroxide. To clean an open wound or to use as a mouthwashto disinfect irritated gums.

    Ipecac syrup and activated charcoal. For treatment after swallowingcertain poisons.

    Reusable, instant-activating ice bags. For icing injuries.

    Rubbing alcohol. To sterilize tweezers before using them.

    Saline solution for contact lenses. To moisten sterile gauze used tobandage a broken bone that breaks through the skin or to wrap up a severedappendage so that you can take it to the hospital and possibly haveit reattached.

    Sterile gauze. To bandage open wounds, burns, blisters, and corns.

    Tweezers. To remove dirt or debris from an open wound, a tick thatis attached to someone's skin, or a splinter.

Vitamins and Minerals

    For adults, a multivitamin serves as an insurance policy, says CathyKapica, R.D., Ph.D., professor of nutrition and dietetics at Finch Universityof Health Sciences/Chicago Medical School. "It doesn't excuseone, however, from eating a well-balanced diet."

    One caution: Make sure that the multivitamin you choose for yourman does not contain extra iron, says David Meyers, M.D., professor ofinternal medicine and preventive medicine at University of KansasSchool of Medicine in Kansas City. Most men get too much iron intheir diets already, and excess iron has been linked to higher risk of heartdisease and cancer in men.

    For each nutrient that follows, listed as well is the Daily Value establishedby the Food and Nutrition Board, which is the minimumamount one needs of each nutrient every day to stay healthy at the mostbasic level. Throughout this book, our experts recommend getting morethan the Daily Value for many of these nutrients to help in healing, tocombat fatigue, and to prevent illnesses such as heart disease.

    In addition to a multivitamin, you might want to consider makingsure your family eats foods that are good sources of these vitamins andminerals to help them reach the optimal amounts recommended by ourexperts.

    Calcium. Builds strong bones and teeth. Daily Value: 1,000 milligramsfor people younger than 65 and 1,500 milligrams for peopleolder than 65. Food sources: milk, yogurt, and cheese.

    Magnesium. Involved in metabolism and nerve functions. DailyValue: 400 milligrams. Food sources: meats, poultry, dairy products, cereal,and dark green leafy vegetables.

    Vitamin C. Strengthens resistance against infection and helps formcollagen, which fortifies blood vessel walls and forms scar tissue. DailyValue: 60 milligrams. Food sources: oranges, cranberry juice, cantaloupe,broccoli, red and green peppers, pink grapefruit, and kiwifruit.

    Vitamin E. Combats heart disease and certain cancers. Daily Value:30 IU. Food sources: vegetable and nut oils, sunflower seeds, wholegrains, wheat germ, and spinach.

    Zinc. Strengthens immune system, helps in the healing of woundsand sperm production. Essential for brain function. Daily Value: 15 milligrams.Food sources: red meats, poultry, eggs, and oysters.


    Among the healing herbs that our experts recommend throughoutthis book are the following:

    Aloe. For burns, including sunburn, and to relieve rectal itching. Analoe poultice can draw a splinter to the surface of the skin. Aloe verajuice can also help relieve constipation.

    Arnica. For sprains and muscle soreness, and to speed the healing ofbruises as well as other injuries due to trauma.

    Calendula. Also known as garden or pot marigold, this herb is effectivein treating blisters, canker sores, chafing, and razor burn.

    Chamomile. To help settle an upset stomach and to relieve gas.

    Echinacea. Also known as coneflower, echinacea strengthens the immunesystem and helps fight off colds, ear infections, flu, pneumonia,and perhaps even Lyme disease.

    Ginger. Contains anti-inflammatory properties that make it usefulfor people with arthritis, bursitis, or tendinitis. It can also help relievegas, diarrhea, nausea, motion sickness, allergies, bad breath, and hiccups.

    Ginkgo. Improves bloodflow to the brain, keeps you mentally sharp,and elevates your mood. May help relieve impotence, depression, backpain, and absentmindedness.

    Ginseng. May boost energy and libido. Can help relieve stress,burnout, and impotence.

    Goldenseal. To help fight ear infections, pneumonia, and a cough associatedwith a cold. It can also ease the pain and speed the healing ofcanker sores and gum ailments.

    Kava. To relieve muscle cramps, muscle soreness, and restless legsthat keep you up at night.

    St. John's wort. For moderate depression, seasonal affective disorder,and fatigue associated with mild depression.

    Saw palmetto. For frequent urination or incontinence caused by anenlarged prostate.


    Keeping the right stuff in your kitchen can keep your familyhealthier. Here are a few foods that our experts suggest keeping in yourrefrigerator and pantry.

    Bananas. To help relieve diarrhea and muscle cramps. Eating potassium-packedbananas as part of a regular diet can also help relieve thepain associated with sciatica and can even help bring down high bloodpressure.

    Cayenne pepper. To help relieve congestion, a stubborn cough, asore throat, and bad breath. Cooking with cayenne on a regular basis canhelp lower cholesterol.

    Chewing gum. To help relieve bad breath, dry mouth, heartburn, andeven an in-flight earache.

    Chicken soup. To unclog a stuffy nose and to slow the body's phlegmproduction. Homemade chicken soup would be better, but condensed,canned chicken soup does work.

    Fish. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna,herring, and sardines may relieve depression, skin rashes, and eczema.They can reduce the pain and stiffness of rheumatoid arthritis and mayprevent and even reverse heart disease.

    Flaxseed oil. To help relieve constipation, dry skin, eczema, andrashes. Also available in seed and supplement form.

    Garlic. Can help fight off colds and flu as well as athlete's foot, relievesa nagging cough and diarrhea, and helps lower cholesterol, makingyour blood less likely to form dangerous clots. Of course, fresh garlic isbest, but if you're worried about repelling your friends and coworkers aswell as vampires because of garlic's notorious odor, fear not. Odor-freegarlic capsules are readily available.

    Hard candy. For a sore throat or hiccups.

    Honey. To help relieve constipation, heartburn, a sore throat, badbreath, and even a hangover.

    Horseradish. To relieve congestion.

    Lemon. To soothe wasp stings or to get rid of body odor. It is also aningredient in remedies recommended by our experts to relieve a cough,a sore throat, bad breath, and hiccups.

    Milk. To relieve and prevent muscle cramps, to prevent kidney stonesfrom forming, and to soothe sunburn. Just make sure that your familymembers are drinking fat-free or low-fat milk so that they're not cloggingtheir arteries or putting on extra pounds.

    Olive oil. Use as your regular cooking oil for a healthy heart.

    Orange juice. To help curb nicotine cravings, prevent kidney stonesfrom forming, and help soften the stools of those with diverticular diseaseof the colon.

    Sports drinks. To prevent muscle cramps, replenish fluids lost duringa bout of diarrhea, or prevent symptoms caused by inflammatory boweldisease. Gatorade is one brand to try.

    Vinegar. White vinegar as a remedy to soothe wasp stings, aseardrops to help dry up moisture and stop any itching, and as a soak toget rid of foot odor. Apple cider vinegar as a digestive aid to ease heartburnand as a rinse to fight dandruff and dry hair.

    Wheat germ. To help restore coenzyme [Q.sub.10] levels in the hearts ofpeople with angina and to relieve restless legs that wake you up in themiddle of the night.

    Yogurt. For an energy boost to relieve that early-afternoon slump.Eating yogurt is also a good way for those who are lactose intolerant toget their calcium. They generally can tolerate yogurt because the lactoseis digested by the live bacteria found in most yogurt.

Other Helpful Items

    The following items don't fall under the other categories but are recommendedby experts elsewhere in this book for problems that yourfamily is likely to face. So add these to your in-house doctor's medicinecabinet.

    Art supplies. To work through emotional and psychological problemssuch as bad dreams, a midlife crisis, and envious feelings. All youor your loved one needs to give art therapy a try is an unlined pad ofpaper and some colored pencils or markers.

    Date book. Keeping better track of one's appointments and schedulingweekly chores can help change bad habits such as sloppiness,chronic lateness, and absentmindedness. It can also help when one istrying to kick an addiction. And if sexual desire is down, you can trysetting a date for sex. Maybe you and your husband will discover thatit's a real libido lifter ... and the one appointment that you're mostlikely to keep.

    Heating pad. To speed the healing of bruises and to relieve back orneck pain, arthritis pain, heartburn, or an earache.

    Humidifier. To keep skin and nasal passages moist, especially duringthe winter months. It will help relieve dry mouth, dry skin, eczema,bronchitis, laryngitis, and nosebleeds.

Excerpted from Mom's Medicine by . Copyright © 2001 by Rodale Inc.. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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