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Measles

Why has Measles affected her hearing?

Question

My six-year-old granddaughter had measles at Christmas. It has left her with healing difficulties and her glands are still up. Is this normal? She has not been immunised and is at present taking a multivitamin and mineral tablet, omega-3 and oils and, occasionally, echinacea and belladonna for her glands.

Answer

A typical attack of measles starts with most of the symptoms of flu - catarrh, high fever, extreme fatigue, swollen glands, sore throat and body-ache. As the disease progresses, the skin erupts in small red spots all over the body. These symptoms are triggered by the virus multiplying rapidly in the tissues of the body.

In Indian traditional medicine, measles was considered a normal contagious disease of childhood. Nothing was prescribed except a careful diet rest and folk remedies. Bed rest was thought to be essential, and sheets were changed twice a day because sweating can be intense as the viral activity increases and the body raises its temperature to try to contain this. With measles' children seldom have much appetite and the sore throat makes it difficult to swallow, so they were given barley water with honey and a few drops of lemon, which was easy to digest and gave enough nourishment to keep the body active. You will find more details about the optimal diet for children. Curing sickness in my Nutrition Bible.

Neem leaves were boiled in water and the child was sponged with this infusion twice a day. Known as the village pharmacy in India the evergreen neem tree is one of nature's best antibacterial and antiviral resources and has been used for more than 4000 years. It is now being widely researched in America and India for its potential use as a herbal pesticide or antiviral agent in agriculture.

Using neem externally is beneficial (but don’t take it internally). As well as usingthe infusion for sponging down, you can apply neem oil neat to the skin during the three days or so of the acute phase.

Your granddaughter is suffering from complications following the measles attack. The virus has left the body but the sites where it once thrived are suffering from aftereffects. The glands you refer to in the throat and neck area are really lymph nodes. These are the defensive tissues that try to prevent the virus from overpowering the body. The more virulent the infection, the more enlarged they become. After the infection has subsided, they remain enlarged for a long time Massage them gently with peppermint balm or oil of eucalypatus or tea tree (put two drops of either in one teaspoonful of a base oil such as grape-seed oil). Do this every other night at bedtime for two minutes over two weeks.

Her hearing difficulty is because of a blockage of the eustachian tubes from catarrh during the measles attack. The eustachian tubes are narrow channels that originate in the upper throat area and end in each middle ear. The middle ear is a balloon like structure containing tiny bones that magnify the sound waves from the external ear and transport them to the inner ear, where nerve endings pick up the vibrations. When the eustachian tube is blocked, the walls of the middle ear collapse because no air can be pumped up from the throat. This lack of function means that hearing is impaired. The answer is to reduce the catarrh.

Here are my suggestions:

  • Avoid ice cubes, ice cream, fizzy drinks, citrus jukes, dairy and yeast products.
  • Drink Winter Tea with honey (manuka if possible) twice daily, to help clear congestion.
  • Take the Ayurvedic supplement Bioprash: one teaspoonful mixed with a little honey and water, daily for three months; this will help to reduce catarrh and boost energy.
  • Put two drops of Sinus Oil in each nostril morning and evening; the child should lie on her back and sniff the oil up, then wait for a couple of minutes before getting up and popping her ears. To do this, pinch both nostrils shut with finger and thumb, bend the head forward and try to exhale so that the cheeks blow out and the air is pushed into the ears. Do this three or four times, until the ears pop. Persevere for a week or so- Once the air reaches the middle ear, the hearing improves instantly.
  • Continue with the vitamins and minerals, but stop the other supplements.
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