I personally have never experienced an asthma attack or had eczema even though I would have a compromised skin barrier due to my moderate IV. Others in my family with IV have both asthma and eczema.

I think one reason that caused my better resistance to allergens is that in the first four years of my life I was exposed to the four different *unsanitized* environments. As my parents taught in remote Anglican mission/CMS schools during my infancy my immune system was exposed to really 'wild' changes. I was born in the jungles of Borneo, Malaysia while my parents taught the Dayak natives there. In my second year of life I was in the monsoon valleys of the Western Ghats in India. During my third year, they were teaching on the savanah of Uganda and after that I was in rural Canada for 2 years. During the first three years of my life I was drinking fresh *unpasteurized* cow or buffalo milk, was washing in and consuming untreated river water, well water or rain water, and was exposed to all manner of fauna and flora. I believe that as a consequence, I have a very healthy immune system that never has allergic reactions to anything and is generally resitant to bacterial infections.

My point is that my young immune system got a real work-out when I was in my earliest development. That has benefitted me in the long run as my body is able to distinguish between friend and foe. That's what a allergic histamine reaction...when your body reacts to something harmless, like pollen or nuts, as if it is being attacked by a harmful foreign substance. Having ich children, if you try to shield them too much from bacteria and allergens early on, you will be hindering the ability of their immune systems to be able to tell what is good and what is bad and thereby encumbering them in the long run. Recent research has show that the increase in allergies and even certain auto-immune diseases in the West has some connection to the overly germ-conscious, anti-bacterial society that prevails in many Western countries. Some studies have even shown that infants who grow up around dogs or farms have much stronger immune systems and less allergies.

So while you should try to prevent bacterial infections in children, don't become fanatical in cutting all exposure to germs/bacteria. A young immune system needs this exposure to strengthen itself and fine-tune its response parameters. So let them eat dirt once in a while and limit the anti-bacterial products around the house. Germs aren't always bad.


I just googled garlic and it is indeed a natural expectorant.

I have in the past boiled black tea with ginger, coursely cracked black pepper and honey/sugar as an 'elixir' to soothe a cold. I certainly will add garlic next time.

BTW to anyone who tries the tea I mentioned, make sure you grind the pepper *coursely*...you have to be able to be strain it out before serving. It actually tastes pretty good. What the garlic will do to the flavour, I'm not sure.