PART 4: KEEPING YOUR CHILD HEALTHY
THE ROLE OF NATURE CURE IN CHILD CARE
Guest Article – Dr. Anand Gokani
Dr. Anand Gokani is a Consulting Physician and a Diabetologist, who believes in allowing Nature to cure.
The phrase “Allowing Nature to cure” is perhaps more appropriate than ‘Nature Cure’;
because actually it
is Nature that cures — we may just be able to assist the
An objective look at all the diseases that afflict
children shows us that a large number of them are self-limiting, e.g. colds, coughs, flu-like fevers, diarrhoea,
constipation, other viral fevers like mumps, measles, chickenpox, etc.
They are called ‘self-limiting’ because Nature launches
an all-out effort to recover from the disease as soon as it sets
in. In most circumstances, we need only to assist the natural
recovery process in order to effect a quick recovery.
Consider this example: A 5-year-old boy goes out for
dinner with his family. They go to a popular restaurant and
enjoy a rich meal. The child overeats, comes home and complains
of fullness of the abdomen. A while later, he complains of
a strong urge to vomit. He does vomit after a while and
brings out undigested food that smells strongly acidic. The
parents panic, and contact the doctor late in the night. The
doctor prescribes a medication on the phone to stop the
vomiting. The child is given this medication after which the
vomiting does stop. The next morning, the child gets diarrhoea,
for which he is given some more medication. The diarrhoea stops, but the child then has severe abdominal
discomfort, refuses food, and develops a fever. Now he is really
sick... He receives more medication, tests are done... After some
days of anxiety and concern, the child recovers but has lost
some weight, is cranky and weak and has no appetite.
This is an exaggerated story of what happens in every home with a child. Children are prone
to overeat on
occasions such as these. Often, the food may be stale or pungent,
which makes it toxic to the child’s system. Sometimes,
overeating and indigestion lead to the fermentation of the food,
and toxins are produced as by-products. The body recognises
this as a threat to health and triggers a rejection mechanism
in the form of vomiting — the shortest way out. When this
avenue of escape is blocked — with medication — the next avenue of escape is sought. This causes diarrhoea. When this
avenue is also blocked — again with medication — the toxins
gain entry into the blood stream where they weaken the immune
system and allow viral or bacterial infections to supervene.
When there is a viral or bacterial infection in the body, the
third line of defence — fever — springs into action.
How Could We Have Assisted Nature To Heal The Child In The Above Case?
Following the bout of overeating, the child felt like vomiting. This is Nature’s mechanism of
throwing toxic substances out of the body. With a little reassurance,
the child could have been coaxed into drinking water which would allow for easy vomiting. Two or three vomits
would have rid the body of all the toxic matter and the child would have slept peacefully and
would have probably been completely well in the morning.
In order to rid the body of poison, the body needs a
vehicle, and the best vehicle is water. Hence, adequate water at frequent intervals helps the body to carry out its
detoxifying functions very efficiently. Of course, if the symptoms
persist or the look of the child causes anxiety, you must get in
touch with your doctor.
How Nature Cures
The principle of Nature Cure is that all diseases of the
body are caused by the presence of unwanted toxic substances
in the body (toxemia) and simultaneously because of the absence of useful substances in the body (deficiency). Hence,
the logical treatment of such a condition is to remove the poisonous substances from the body and to supply all the
vital substances to it.
Nature has equipped us with the necessary tools to heal from disease. We have been
endowed with three major instincts, namely thirst, hunger and fatigue. If we can
sharpen our ability to recognise these instincts and act upon
them, we have already set the healing process into motion. For instance, when the child is sick, he loses his appetite
(so he stops eating conventional food), he feels tired (so he
rests), but he feels thirsty, so he drinks water. Often, the
child may be feeling so sick that he/she loses the awareness of
thirst or may have such marked nausea or aversion for food and
drink that even drinking water is avoided. In such
circumstances, parental intervention is required and gentle firmness
could go a long way to prevent the disease from being prolonged. (However, in the case of severe nausea and
vomiting associated with fever, abdominal pain and distention,
the child should not be forced to drink fluids and a doctor should
be consulted as soon as possible.)
Water facilitates the detoxification process. Once the poisons have left the body, the appetite
returns and he starts accepting food, which goes to replenish his
body and restore his health, strength and vigour.
Hence, in order to cure disease, one has to remove the toxins and replace the vital
understanding helps us to assist Nature in performing the task
effectively and restoring health.
Nature Cure is a gentle, sure and effective way to heal
in most cases, but there are occasions when, along with the natural means, one requires the help of medications.
Medications, in such circumstances, are necessary only
in small doses and for a shorter duration. The means
available to us in Nature Cure are diverse and all-pervading. They
are available everywhere and they are almost free of cost.
Hence Nature Cure can be used by anyone at any time.
The means are Sunshine, Water, Air, Earth, Fire and a
host of combinations thereof:
— Sunshine provides
warmth to the body and triggers the release of its hormones. It is vital
for the maintenance
of good health. In Nature Cure, sunbathing has been given a lot
of importance in restoring health. The best time for
sunbathing is the early part of the morning or the latter part of
the evening when the sun’s rays are warm but not as harsh
as the mid-day sun.
— Water is
one of the best cleansing agents and hence is the most important tool in healing from any sickness.
Bathing in water, cold and warm sponges.
Drinking enough water.
Enemas are a very useful adjunct in internal cleansing. However, some precautions are necessary. An enema should never be given by an inexperienced person. It
must not be given when intestinal obstruction is suspected or if there is a suspicion of an intestinal
infection. Enema should not be given in high fever such as seen in typhoid fever. It should never be
given with hot water. The temperature should be the same as room
temperature. Forceful introduction of the enema tube could cause very serious damage.
Whirlpool baths, jacuzzis and hipbaths are some of the other uses of water in Nature Cure.
— Air is of paramount importance in healing. Breathing exercises and physical exercise are
good ways to
optimise our air intake. The ability to breathe correctly helps in
providing the body with adequate oxygen that is so necessary to
heal from disease. Yogic breathing exercises help to train
children to breathe correctly and also provide an impetus for
enhanced lung function. Yoga is an extremely versatile science
that could augment the physical, mental and spiritual growth
of a child. However, these exercises should be done under supervision.
— Earth is
used directly in the form of mudpacks and indirectly by cultivating it for all our various fruits,
vegetables, nuts, grains, sprout brans and other foods.
— Fire is
used to create warmth and also helps to cook our food to make it easier to digest.
All these elements are used alone or in varying combinations to provide the basis for optimum healing.
Toxemia And Deficiency
The key words are toxemia and deficiency. They cause disease.
Toxemia is caused by toxic foods — like the excessive
use of white sugar, refined salt, refined wheat (maida) — and all
products made with these, including cakes, chocolates, icecream, pastries and sweets, salted snacks, bakery products
and other confectionery. Fried foods, spicy foods,
alcohol, tobacco, tea and coffee also contribute to the spread of toxins
in the body.
Additionally, in the presence of constipation, toxins
are produced by fermentation in the intestines.
Deficiency is produced by using refined foods, e.g.
refined wheat, white sugar and salt, tea, coffee and highly
cooked food. Food cooked in the microwave oven is both toxic
and deficient. (If you use a microwave oven, do check the temperature of the food or milk before
you use it. The
food can be too hot for the child even if the container or
the feeding bottle feels cool to the touch — The author).
Detoxification And Replenishment
Detoxification and replenishment heal disease.
Detoxification is done by the optimum use of water and foods like fruits, vegetables, coconut
water, honey and
Replenishment is carried out through food that
detoxifies, water, earth, fire, sunshine and air.
Help Nature Help You
Nature cures, Nature cares, but the condition it lays
down for us is that it works only if we work and live in
accordance with its laws.
Acting in accordance with the laws of Nature not only
helps one to keep healthy but also helps to heal in sickness.
There are times when medications are necessary, times when some permanent damage has occurred, or times when the load of
infection or poison is overpowering the body and time is precious. In such circumstances, medications, drugs, and
surgery have proved life saving. If, along with medical treatment, the principles of Nature Cure
the quality of health accrued is far better than when
Natural laws are flaunted completely.
The important thing is that Nature Cure is not an
exclusive science. It is all-encompassing. It can work in
conjunction with Ayurveda, Homoeopathy, Allopathy or any other
science of healing. What’s more, at times, it works even in
spite of these sciences.
11 February, 2013