By Cathy Jameson
My husband and I have had a running joke for years. Anytime I suggest he use a natural remedy, like homeopathic drops or an essential oil for an ache or a pain, he says, "No thanks. I'll pass. I don't need any whale vomit." I reply, "Fine. More for me."
Then we laugh and laugh.
Whale vomit. I’m not sure when we started saying that since it’s something we’ve never used. I don’t think it’s something people actually use anyway. I do remember, though, when I started to hear more about using natural products for ailments. That was many years ago while scouring Yahoo! message boards. I remember being inspired by other parents who used natural products to help their children detox. I wanted to have a success story for my son, too, so I eagerly kept reading their stories. Back then, we didn’t know why my son’s behavior, demeanor and health took a turn for the worse. Before going down the medical route, I resorted to trying something simple. First, I made changes to his diet. Then, I opted to use some supplements that another parent suggested. The first ones I remember ordering were digestive enzymes. After seeing a pretty quick response, I thought I’d read more to see if other ones could help.
From basic over-the-counter ones, like vitamin D3 to ones that have to be special ordered, supplements remain part of life here.
Over the years, protocols have changed. We rotate through some things faster than others. Other bottles stay in the supplement basket on the kitchen counter unopened for weeks, sometimes months, at a time. Lately, I’ve been focused on alleviating my son’s constipation that returned. When that happens, we look at several factors, like what he’s eating and how hydrated he is (or isn’t). Some days, when it becomes apparent that we need to encourage some movement, it’s back to basics – prune juice, senna, and a stool softener. Fortunately, as things soon begin to get moving for him again, life goes a bit back to normal. I was glad for that, especially last week. Around the same time as things settled down for Ronan, I found that I needed to take care of something myself.
I’ve felt some discomfort in my shoulder that hasn’t gotten any better with basic homeopathic treatment. Instead of finding an ounce of relief, the pain started to get in the way of doing things. One day it got really unbearable. If whale vomit was a thing, it’s still not as far as I know, I might’ve considered trying it that day. I had been using a salve that had helped, and that smelled pretty amazing, but I needed something a bit stronger. That day, it was my turn to reach into the supplement basket.
Early that morning and after another terrible night of sleep (for the third night in a row), I needed to change things up. So, I grabbed the first bottle I saw thinking it was the Boswellia. Boswellia has worked wonders on other joint and bone pain in the past, and fairly quickly, too, so I prayed it would do the same for my very achy shoulder. Thank the good Lord I thought to read the label seconds before popping the capsule in my mouth. It wasn’t the bottle of Boswellia that I had grabbed…it was the bottle of stool softener! I know for a fact that that supplement would do my pain absolutely no good. Laughing at myself, I found the bottle I needed and prayed for some relief.
I slept better later that night, only waking up twice, so I think I’ll continue with the Boswellia for now. It isn’t an exact cure, but it’s doing something to make parts of life a bit more manageable.
They get a bad rap, some of those supplements, so tell us what has worked for you when you have an ache or pain that needs to be addressed. What’s your favorite go-to supplement or remedy? How does it help? And who inspired you to try it. Tell us, also, if you have a funny supplement story. One time, a long time ago, I remember reaching for a tiny amber bottle in the cabinet…thinking I’d grabbed the ear drops…but they were eye drops…my ears could see real good that day : )
Cathy Jameson is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.
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