Taking Abby to the doctor with what we though might be chicken pox, turned out to be Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease. I almost flipped. In my mind it’s something that only dirty people get. Apparently – my ignorance weren’t so blissful.
The only place we can think of where she would have picked it up – as it’s transferred from person to person (read – body fluids – yuk yuk yuk) – is the park we went to last weekend. The place looked dodgy to say the least, but hey, you try to stop a 2 and 4 year old that just saw a slide. With her SPD she has the tendency (okay she always) to lick everything she comes in contact with. It’s a huge problem and the therapy helps ‘a little bit’ but it’s a natural reaction to her surrounding and not much more that we can do. We try to watch her all the time, but if you have kids, you know it’s impossible.
So now I have a child who’s legs and arms are covered in spots and makes me itch all over just looking at her. I feel so sorry for her. (She strangely do not have in her mouth or hands really) She had a fever last night, but seems much better this morning. She is also not sleeping very well, you can imagine having those things all over your body, you would be uncomfortable as well.
Medically there is not much we can do. We can just ‘wait it out’. We also obviously have to stay away from people for a while. So she has been inside since Thursday. Cabin fever is setting in!!
The ‘standard’ practice to deal with it is:
- Drink lots of water
- No citrus or spice food
- Lots of vitamins
Here are some tips how to fast track recovery naturally:
17 Natural Treatments for Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease
- Coconut Water Ice Cubes. Dehydration is a problem with HFMD as the sores and blisters in the mouth can make eating and drinking extremely painful. Frozen coconut water cubes can help to relieve the pain and discomfort, but more importantly, because of the high potassium levels and high electrolytes, it is the perfect way to stave off dehydration.
- Cool Foods and Soups. While chewing coarse or crunchy foods is too painful, providing healthy cold summer soups helps to ensure that the body is getting the nutrients it needs to aid in recovery from the virus. Avoid foods that are salty, spicy or acidic; some fruits may be too acidic and cause more irritation and pain.
- Rinse Mouth After Eating. To get rid of any potential irritants in the mouth, mix ½ teaspoon pink Himalayan salt in a glass of tepid water. Swoosh in the mouth, spit out and repeat. This amazing salt helps to balance pH levels, supporting a healthy immune system response.
- Oil Pulling. While this won’t work for young children, older children and adults should use coconut oil for oil pulling. The lauric acid fights bacteria in the mouth, provides a detoxing effect, and creates an environment that is hostile to viruses, including those responsible for HFMD.
- Coconut Oil. Gently applying coconut oil on the rash and blisters may help to speed healing. The antimicrobial and antiviral compounds in coconut oil can provide relief and may help prevent the spread of the disease.
- Epsom Salt Bath with Essential Oils. Long used to soothe skin and detoxify the body, a long soak in a bath with Epsom salts may speed healing and provide relief from the pain and discomfort. Try my favorite recipe, homemade healing bath salts, and soak as long as possible to reap the benefits.
- Bone Broth. To ensure that adequate nutrition is making its way into the body, sip homemade bone broth. Bone broth’s high collagen content supports healthy skin. And, during and after an outbreak of HFMD, the skin can use the boost it provides.
- Astragalus. This adaptogen herb has been shown to stimulate the immune system while inhibiting the Coxsackie and other viruses. (4) In fact, astragalus is available in tinctures, capsules, teas and topical applications at many health food stores and Chinese markets.
- Ginger Root Tea. Ginger has been used for 1,000s of years to heal wounds and ulcers. For a refreshing cool drink, take a 1-inch piece of peeled and bruised ginger root, and simmer it with a quart of water for 20 minutes. Strain and cool to room temperature. Then, to add a touch of sweetness and healing properties, mix in just a teaspoon or two of raw honey.
- Rooibos Tea. Known as a potent natural anti-inflammatory, rooibos tea can help to speed healing while fighting the virus that causes hand, foot and mouth disease. In fact, a wide range of research studies shows that quercetin, a compound in rooibos tea inhibits the IAV (influenza A), EBV (Epstein-Barr), Enterovirus and the coxsackievirus. A cup of tea a day may help to speed healing while fighting the virus. (5), (6), (7)
- Tea Tree Oil. Widely recognized as a powerful antiviral, antiseptic, antifungal and antibacterial compound, adding a few drops of tea tree oil to your favorite liquid hand soap can help prevent further spread and contamination. This amazing essential oil, tea tree oil can help speed healing during a bout of hand, foot and mouth disease. Children and women who are pregnant should not use tea tree oil.
- Echinacea. One of the most powerful and effective herbs available today, echinacea is proven to boost the immune system, provide anti-inflammatory benefits, improve skin problems, and fight infections. Some studies indicate that echinacea extracts, not capsules or pills, are most effective for immune system support. (8)
- Elderberry. Leading the pack of antiviral herbs, elderberry has been used for 1,000s of years to boost the immune system, fight viruses, aid in healthy glucose levels, and promote healthy skin. For hand, foot and mouth disease, make a homemade elderberry syrup to soothe the pain and facilitate a speedy recovery.
- Lemon Essential Oil. A natural disinfectant, lemon essential oil is also known to support immune system response, and when applied topically, it deeply nourishes skin. Add a few drops to your favorite hand soap or body wash to fight viruses and infections while supporting good skin health.
- Lavender Oil. To get a good night’s sleep during a painful HFMD outbreak, diffuse lavender essential oil in the bedroom. A randomized, single-blinded pilot study shows that diffusing lavender essential oil is an effective treatment for insomnia. (9)
- Clove Oil. One of my favorite essential oils for a sore throat, clove oil, has strong antiviral, antifungal, antiseptic, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties, making it an ideal home remedy for hand, foot and mouth disease. Mix a few drops with a teaspoon of coconut oil, swirl in the mouth for a couple of minutes to relieve the pain and discomfort in the mouth and throat. Do not use if you are pregnant or for small children.
- Licorice Root. Research shows that licorice root has broad-spectrum antiviral activity, making it perfect for fighting a wide array of viruses, including HFMD. Research indicates that triterpenoid, the active antiviral component, actually fights a wide range of viruses. Make a licorice root tea and enjoy warm or cool with a spot of raw honey, as desired to get the best results. (10)
Prevention is like any other disease – washing hands when in contact (how would you know that), avoiding contact with the person that has it and cleaning areas the person where.
So I’m walking around disinfecting everything. But trying to explain to her why she can’t push her toes in my mouth is trickier than what you might think.