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Herbal medicine is the use of plants and other materials from nature to treat disease and promote health.

Chinese Herbal Formula

Virtually every culture in history has had some form of herbal medicine.  The first archeological evidence for herbal medicine goes back 60,000 years to a Neanderthal burial site in a cave in what is currently Northern Iraq.   Knowledge of plants has been integral for the survival of humankind.  Awareness of poisonous plants to avoid has obviously been necessary for our survival.  But the discovery of plants beneficial for not only humans but the animals in their care has been a long and valuable tradition.  A written collection of healing herbs and natural substances is called a Materia Medica.  There are thousands of  listings of natural healing allies including those listed in the Chinese Materia Medica.


Twin Cranes Newborn Hats

Being trained as a nurse, I was taught that because the scalp is such a relatively large patch of skin, newborns lose heat easily. So in the medical realm, newborns with hats has always been a staple, especially if babes are born prematurely. But times they are a-changing, and many moms do not see hats as important. There may also be some suggestion that leaving the hat on a baby while sleeping alone may be somewhat of a risk.

For many years, it has been a precious creation of mine to present my hand knitted baby hats to pregnant acupuncture patients getting close to delivering.They have always enjoyed choosing the right color for girl, boy or unknown gender on the way. It makes my heart sing to make these hats, but I do understand it may be placed on baby’s head for a photo shoot, then be put in a drawer during real life.

But that’s okay. It is the intention, the gratitude, as well as the wonderful time I spend on them, which count the most.

Following is a post on Cafe Mom, a really fun and balanced website for parents (and grandparents!). Here is a segment of this post which helps to decide about the use of hats for newborns:

“Indoors, a hat is not strictly necessary,” says Hannah Chow, MD, a pediatrician at Loyola University Health System, adding that the best temperatures for babies indoors are between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

Outdoors, there are a couple factors to consider: heat loss through the head, and protecting your baby’s head from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays. “I’d probably say under 55 degrees consider a hat for warmth, over 75 for sun protection,” says Dr. Chow. But between these extremes, baby can probably go hatless.

When in doubt, just use your best judgment. “If you are cold, the baby is probably cold and needs a hat,” says Dr. Burns. Also keep an eye on the baby if he gets fussy or his face is flush, since it could mean that he is too hot.

Bottom line: Don’t automatically stick a hat on your baby without considering the season, temperature, and whether you’ll be exposed to sun or not. If you decide after all this to skip the hat, don’t let anyone make you doubt your decision. ~ Judy Dutton


March 2017
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