Did you know that toxins found in household products, food additives, and pesticides can "selectively target autism genes"? This means children with this predisposition are at higher risk when exposed to toxins.
As a parent, I wanted to learn what I can do to reduce the toxic load to which my autistic child is exposed. After doing my research, I'd like to share with you some tips for supporting my child, essentially the best, natural herbs for autism. I found that supporting the gut and herbal detox were powerful tools. I hope you'll read on to find out more.
What Is A Detox?
You may have heard the buzzword "detox" when looking at lifestyle change to support your child. Detoxing is a process of supporting our body as it removes toxins and heavy metals.
You can make it easier by providing your body with nutritional support. You can also do so by enacting lifestyle change, and through herbs and supplements.
First I think it's helpful to cover what you'd want to detoxify from your child's system.
Heavy Metals And Other Compounds
Autistic children have higher levels of heavy metals in their bodies. This leads scientists to believe their bodies may have a harder time removing the toxins. For example, research finds that autistic children's brains contain "extraordinarily high" levels of aluminum.
Heavy metals such as cadmium, mercury, manganese, aluminum, and copper are all found in nature and are not harmful at low levels. The problem is when they build up in the body. If your child cannot detoxify the heavy metals it can lead to brain, blood, organ, and tissue damage.
There are other toxins found in household goods that you'll want to keep an eye on. These include titanium dioxide, nonylphenol, bisphenol A, and polyhalogenated biphenyls. Processed food products also contain harmful ingredients such as phytoestrogens and aspartame.
How To Detox?
I'm sure you're feeling a bit nervous hearing just how harmful these heavy metals can be. So, how to support your child?
Luckily, we parents have plenty of tools to help us out. To detox, you can help repair your child's gut lining. Along with that, you can remove household toxins, and do a supportive herbal detox.
Preparing To Detox
Before repairing your child's gut lining and using an herbal detox, check your home environment.
There are heavy metals and inflammatory compounds found in many household items. Take a good look at the ingredients lists in foods, pesticides, and cleaning agents you keep in your home. Even skincare products and lotions contain compounds that can be downright inflammatory.
You may be feeling nervous and think you need to do something intense and drastic to help your child detox. Luckily, through lifestyle change and nutritional support, you'll relieve symptoms and see results.
Some folks may consider intense and often expensive methods such as chelation. Chelation uses chemicals to flush other chemicals, such as heavy metals, from the body. Chelation is not recommended for those on the autism spectrum.
It can be overwhelming, time-consuming, and is not recommended by Autism advocates. Herbal remedies and lifestyle changes will help your child detox without invasive procedures.
Healing The Gut
Did you know our gut has its own mini nervous system? Not only that, but scientists suggest that autism and gut health are closely linked. Children on the autistic spectrum are more likely to suffer from gut complaints.
Research links poor gut health to an increase in behavioral complaints and symptoms. Scientists found that autistic children who received treatment to heal their gut function saw a significant improvement in symptoms. Feeding your child an anti-inflammatory diet can have a huge impact on their gut health.
I like to compare our gut to a garden. In my gut garden analogy, we use diet, herbs, and supplements to help keep our good bacteria and bugs (plants) in check. We also help bring our bodies into balance so that the bad bugs (weeds) no longer spread.
If you keep this metaphor in mind, it can be helpful to think of how to support your child's gut health.
A healthy intestinal tract helps filter out inflammatory and toxic compounds. Look for a product that contains multiple healing ingredients such as sulfur-containing biotin, Methylsulfonylmethane, and calcium D-glucarate. These aid and support the gastrointestinal tract in filtering out unhealthy compounds.
As a parent, you can use minerals to meet your child's nutritional needs. Look for a product that absorbs easily so your child can utilize the minerals.
Also, look for a quality mineral product that does not contain metals such as iron and copper. Metals are often already high in autistic children.
Doing An Herbal Detox
In tandem with healing the gut, one of the most incredible things you can do for your child is an herbal detox. I found that using an herbal detox lowered complaints and symptoms for my child.
Herbs can help our body detox in a gentle, nurturing way. Larger-scale research is still needed. But, in many studies, treating Autism Spectrum Disorder with herbs shows promising results.
Which Herbs To Choose?
When you are searching for herbs to use to manage symptoms, it's helpful to have a think first about what you'd like to treat.
To detox the body, herbs such as Cat's Claw can be a great ally. Cat's Claw helps cleanse and detox the gastrointestinal tract. Not only that it encourages the right stomach flora to thrive, and lowers inflammation in the gut.
Another great herbal detox choice is Reishi. Not actually a plant, but rather an ancient mushroom, Reishi is calming. Reishi also aids liver function and works to detox the body.
Choosing the right herbal ally is also about which symptoms are impacting your child. You can try Ashwagandha, for example, for mood issues. Ashwagandha, a revered ayurvedic herb, promotes calm and lowers anxiety.
It works as an adaptogen, meaning it supports your child in lowering stress. It also impacts the body's nervous system. Ashwagandha also aids in reducing free radicals and boosts the immune system.
Detox: A Powerful Tool
I hope this post has helped you feel more confident when it comes to supporting your child. Be it through gut support or an herbal detox, you've got ways to help your child with their symptoms.
If you're interested in supporting your child with these methods, check out our detox kits and products. We have starter kits, herbal products, mineral supplementation, and more.