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Ear infections are something that children and babies can suffer from periodically. Some children tend to be more prone to them than others. When an ear infection does strike, it is definitely not fun.

The first ear infection that I had was when I was in college. I was miserable and had to sleep on the infected ears overnight because it was a Sunday and the pharmacy closed before I could get my prescription filled. My sister, on the other hand, had recurrent ear infections as a child.

As a parent, my first child got ear infections each time that she cut a tooth. Many babies have this problem and find themselves on one round of antibiotics after another. I've never liked using antibiotics for myself and only use them when necessary. I'd read that many times ear infections will clear up in babies and children on their own. In fact, many pediatricians do not give out antibiotics for the majority of ear infections.

However, each time that my baby stopped eating and cried when i laid her down, I knew that I needed some help. I would take her to the doctor and sure enough, she'd have yet another ear infection. They'd give me a prescription for antibiotics for her to take for at least a week or two.

Knowing that antibiotics destroy the good bacteria in your intestines, I would give her acidophilus (the good bacteria that occurs in your intestines) every day to help her intestines to stay balanced and healthy. Despite giving her the acidophilus, I did not like having to give her antibiotics every time that she got an ear infection. The antibiotics also took a couple of days before they really started working. So, for a couple days I had to give her Motrin around the clock to take away the pain of the ear infection so that she would eat and sleep.


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A Natural Cure

Giving my baby antibiotics along with Advil around the clock was not the best solution. I came across information that told about a natural cure- using olive oil with garlic in it. Garlic is known to have natural anti-septic and anti- inflammatory properties. You can either prepare your own garlic olive oil ear drops, or you can buy them at a health food store. I've bought mine from a website online called Vitacost because they have a good price on them.

The first time that I used them on my daughter, I was skeptical. I didn't know
if they'd really help that much. I was floored because my daughter immediately felt better after just the first dose. She was able to eat and sleep right away without any added pain relievers. When she took antibiotics, it took a couple days before the medicine took effect. I was so shocked that this natural remedy worked so quickly. In fact, one night she woke up during the night crying because her ears were hurting. I put the ear drops in both ears...VOILA- she fell back asleep instantly.

I know mothers cannot bear to see their children in pain. Mothers also want the remedy that is the healthiest for their babies and the quickest. These garlic oil ear drops do both- they work quickly and are a completely natural remedy. 


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Tips and Tricks

When using any kind of medicine, there are always tips and tricks that can make the process much easier. Below are some tips that I've found from personal experience.

  • Temperature- The ear drops should be at body temperature. If they are cold or hot, it will hurt the delicate tissue inside the ear. There are some different methods of warming them. You can warm some water in a mug (the water shouldn't be hot but should be pretty warm) and submerge the bottle of drops into the water. Or, you can put the container under your underarm or between your legs to get them warm.
  • Travel- If we go anywhere overnight, I bring our ear drops with us. Even though  you can find them at most health food stores, it's much easier to have them on hand if you need them.
  • Entertainment- Depending on the age of the baby or child, they will need some entertaining to hold still long enough on both sides to let the drops work their magic. 
  • Babies- If your baby is nursing, you can try to put the drops in while they're nursing. If that bothers them, then you can use a toy to entertain them as you cradle them on their side. You can walk around, bounce them, dance and sing, or pretty much anything that works to keep them entertained enough to stay on their side.
  • Children- Once the child is old enough to hold still, it is much easier to keep them still and on their side. With my daughter, I will read to her or let her watch TV.

Conclusion 

All parents want to cure their baby or child of ailments quickly, especially one that can cause tremendous pain. Finding cures that are natural and don't have harsh side effects is a gift to parents. Not only are these natural cures quicker and healthier, they are also friendlier to the wallet. 

If you're skeptical about this natural cure for ear infections, I was in the same place years ago. Now, I am incredibly thankful that I stumbled upon this natural remedy, which was just the beginning of my journey with natural remedies. 

Wishing good health and wellness to all my readers- big and small
 
 
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Do you find yourself wishing you could drink milk but have a lactose intolerance? Maybe you are just interested in a healthier option than that store-bought milk. Making your own almond milk is actually very easy, fast, and is very healthy for you.

Following is a step-by-step guide to making your own almond milk.

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Step 1: Soak almonds for 6 hours or overnight in filtered water.
* Be sure to cover the almonds with extra water because they will swell as they soak.

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Step 2: Drain and rinse the almonds after soaking.

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Step 3: Transfer the almonds into your blender and add filtered water.

* Most recipes call for 1 cup of nuts and 3 cups of water. I choose to put in twice as many nuts and as much water as I can fit in the blender. Once the milk is made, you can always add water as you drink it.

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Finished almond milk to be drained in the nut milk bag. My blender is full to the brim as you can see in the picture.

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Step 4: Place nut milk bag inside of a pitcher and pour some of the blended almonds in. Take the bag off of the pitcher and squeeze the bag slowly to get the milk to drain into the pitcher and to keep all of the almond pieces inside of the bag. After squeezing all the milk out, pour the milk into your milk container (an airtight one is best).

* You can use a cheesecloth instead. However, if you do, you will regret not buying a nut milk bag and may never try making your own almond milk again. It takes a looooooong time and is a pain. I did the cheesecloth method the first time and immediately got online and ordered a nut milk bag. My second time making almond milk with the nut milk bag was much easier and faster (thus more enjoyable).

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Step 5: Empty the almond meal from the nut milk bag onto a pan lined with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and let the almond pieces dry for an hour or so.

* Break up the chunks and spread it out to allow for faster drying.
** If you increase the temperature of the oven to allow for faster drying, the almond meal will cook instead of just drying.

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Repeat Steps 4 and 5 until all of the liquid in the blender has been processed into almond meal and almond milk.

When doing a double batch (2 cups of almonds before soaking), it yields a full 39 ounces (airtight container on the left) and then a good bit more in the pitcher on the right.



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I highly recommend the airtight container. I bought it on Amazon (the Bormiolli Rocco Frigovere Jug with Hermetic Lid). I will probably end up getting the larger size as well. I wanted to make sure that it worked well before getting the larger one.

As the almond milk sits, it separates out and you have to shake it well. If you don't have an airtight container, it would be impossible to shake it accordingly.

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Optional: Add sweetener

If you look at the ingredients on the store-bought almond milk, you will see a lot more than just almonds and water. In fact, unless you buy unsweetened almond milk, it will have added sugar.

We use a lot of Stevia in our house because it is natural and has zero calories. It does not spike your blood sugar and is much better for you than table sugar or any of the artificial sweeteners.

Instead of adding Stevia to the whole batch of almond milk, I add it as I go. When I pour a glass of milk, I add in a couple of drops of Sweet Leaf Vanilla Creme Stevia, and I can adjust the sweetness to the person's liking.

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This is the almond meal that dried in the oven for about an hour at 200 degrees. You can check it every 15 minutes or so and stir it around a bit. You may want to break up any chunks when you stir it around.

After it appears to be dry, take it out of the oven. Once it is dry and cool, you can stick it in a coffee bean grinder (or a Vitamix if you are lucky enough to have one of these) and grind it some to turn the almond meal into almond flour.

Conclusion

If you've looked at the price of almond flour, and don't mind spending a little bit of time to make your own, you can take almonds and make two healthy products- almond milk and almond flour. Sounds like a win-win situation to me. Whenever i can save money and eat/drink a healthier and junk-free product, I jump at the chance.