As soon as the baby arrives and begins this wonderful journey called life, it is medically suggested that nature has left the baby short of its needs. Vitamin K is now strongly recommended at birth and eight weeks later in the form of an injection or as an oral form for the baby. The reason is a possible haemorrhage that has life threatening consequences. I’m not wanting to pooh pooh the methods of science but to suggest that do babies having just experienced their dramatic arrival really need an invasive needle? Surely Vitamin K has to found in a natural form in a high dose? In steps our friend and new fashion icon; Kale.
Kale, with its frilly leaves and rich colours is becoming the fashion icon of the vegetable world and has a search warrant placed on it, for being the most wanted plant in the veggie patch. Although officially a “dark leafy green”, it also comes in vibrant purples and winter whites. But the kale has more than just beauty that runs deep; it is packed with powerful minerals and fiber and more vitamins that you can possibly push into a convenient multi-vitamin pill.
Research suggests that Kale is packed with what is called phytochemicals like sulfur-containing glucosinolates and isothiocyanates that aid prevention of cancer. The clever fibres in kale assist with the absorption and remove DNA-damaging chemicals and other nasty toxins that find their way into our bodies.
As a member of the brassica family and named open-leafed plants of the cabbage family, kale has high amounts of vitamin C, vitamin A and carotenoids. Carotenoids are powerful antioxidants that may support functions of the immune system and lower the risk of cataracts in our eyes.
Kale is a superb source of minerals, principally calcium and manganese, both minerals the body requires for many physiological functions. One cup of the increasingly popular ‘Kale Smoothie’ provides the recommended daily allowance of vitamin K, which is important for healthy blood clotting and maintaining bone mass. The answer to our Vitamin K deficiencies at child birth? Of course this is no time to be presenting a new born with Kale soup but to suggest a natural remedy through Mum’s milk or a more natural form of Vitamin K than the pharmacy.
So easy to grow? For sure! Full sun, plenty of water and a high nitrogen feed. Only issues can be the dreaded aphid and cabbage white butterflies laying their eggs in the crown of the Kale. Netting with a 30% shade cloth should solve the latter problem. A watchful eye and a drop of organic Pyrethrum will solve the former. Although as winter approaches, these problems diminish with the heat. In truth, the boring brassica rogue has just turned vogue.
Once we have sorted the Vitamins needs, the next problem is to solve the nappy rash. Creams in abundance and with all the answers fall off the shelves but which cream has risen to the top of the bottle more than any other; Calendula cream.
It has been made from vegetable oil as a solid fat or lanolin as it is known, infused with the gorgeous and sweet smelling calendula flower, also known as the pot marigold. It is known to be high in anti-oxidants that help prevent skin cell erosion caused by those free radicals; it also is believed to have some anti-inflammatory properties. Calendula cream is often used to heal and prevent dry skin in addition to wound healing. It also may be used to prevent the irritation caused by skin conditions such as eczema.
The calendula flower is native to the Mediterranean and Egypt. Calendula has often been used in herbal medicine to treat skin troubles and injuries such as burns, wounds or insect bites.
I always try to seek plant based products to help with any aliments and more often than not they come up trumps compared to synthetic products.
Be it kale or calendula, it can leave the occasional turbulent road of parenthood, smoother than a baby’s bottom.