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These Are the Ways to Use Breast Milk Other Than Feeding a Baby
Image Source / Getty Images
Breast milk is the perfect source of nutrition for your child.
And, it is not only nutritious, but human milk contains other substances that keep children healthy and help them to fight off diseases and infections.
These natural antibodies found in breast milk, along with it's anti-infectious, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties, make it possible to use for more than just a source of food for infants.
There are certainly legitimate medical uses for breast milk , and hospitals use it in treatment plans for many types of patients. But, did you know that some people use breast milk in home remedies to treat a variety of minor conditions from diaper rash to bug bites and bee stings? Here are some of the interesting and alternative uses for breast milk.
Breast milk that is prescribed by a doctor and obtained through a legitimate milk bank goes through a screening and pasteurizing process to ensure it is safe.
Fresh breast milk (unpasteurized) can contain dangerous bacterial and fungal infections, such as streptococcus, staphylococcus, and candida (yeast), as well as transmit viral infections including cytomegalovirus (CMV), herpes simplex virus, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
When you place fresh breast milk into the eyes or ears, or onto an opening in the skin, it could cause complications, illness, and infection. You should use caution and common sense when considering any of these alternative breast milk uses.
Home remedies are generally believed to be natural ways to cure minor illnesses or conditions.
They are usually cultural practices, traditions, customs, or folk remedies that have been passed down from generation to generation or passed on from person to person.
However, keep in mind that there is not necessarily any medical proof that any of these treatments actually work, or whether they can cause more harm than good.
Here are 11 breast milk home remedies:
- Eye Infections and Ear Infections: In some cultures, breast milk has been used to treat eye infections and pink eye (conjunctivitis). It has also been thought to help heal an ear infection.
- Cuts, Minor Burns, and Small Wounds: Breast milk has been used for cuts, burns, and wounds to help wounds heal and prevent them from becoming infected.
- Immune System Booster: If you get sick and drink breast milk, it is believed to boost the immune system and shorten the length and severity of a cold.
- Warts: Some claim that if you put breast milk on a wart, the wart will dry up and fall off.
- Itching and Stinging: Breast milk has been used on the skin to relieve the sting and itching of insect bites, bee stings, chicken pox, poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac.
- Sore, Cracked Nipples: If you apply breast milk onto sore, cracked nipples, it is can help to relieve pain, prevent infection, and assist in healing.
- Skin Moisturizer: As mentioned above, breast milk is often rubbed on the breasts to moisturize dry, cracked nipples. But, it has also been used as a moisturizer to treat dry skin and eczema. And, some people say that it helps to relieve chapped lips, loosen cradle cap, and treat diaper rash.
- Circumcision Healing: Some parents claim that human breast milk can be used to prevent and treat infections at the site of a circumcision.
- A Sore Throat: Others say that when used as a gargle, breast milk can help relieve a sore throat.
- Skin Cleanser: In some cases, breast milk has been used to wash the skin, remove make-up, and clear up acne.
- Contact Lenses Cleaner: Human milk has been used as contact lens solution, but there is not enough evidence to fully support this claim and the College of Optometrists advises against it.
If you or your family member has an illness or infection, consult your doctor before attempting to treat it with breast milk.
First published Wed Mar 9, 2011; substantive revision Fri Apr 28, 2017
In the philosophical literature, the term “abduction” is
used in two related but different senses. In both senses, the term
refers to some form of explanatory reasoning.
However, in the
historically first sense, it refers to the place of explanatory
reasoning in generating hypotheses, while in the sense in
which it is used most frequently in the modern literature it refers to
the place of explanatory reasoning in justifying hypotheses.
In the latter sense, abduction is also often called “Inference
to the Best Explanation.”
This entry is exclusively concerned with abduction in the modern
sense, although there is a supplement on abduction in the historical
sense, which had its origin in the work of Charles Sanders
Supplement: Peirce on Abduction.
See also the entry on scientific discovery, in particular the section on discovery as abduction.
Most philosophers agree that abduction (in the sense of Inference to
the Best Explanation) is a type of inference that is frequently
employed, in some form or other, both in everyday and in scientific
However, the exact form as well as the normative status of
abduction are still matters of controversy.
This entry contrasts
abduction with other types of inference; points at prominent uses of
it, both in and outside philosophy; considers various more or less
precise statements of it; discusses its normative status; and
highlights possible connections between abduction and Bayesian
You happen to know that Tim and Harry have recently had a terrible row
that ended their friendship. Now someone tells you that she just saw
Tim and Harry jogging together. The best explanation for this that you
can think of is that they made up. You conclude that they are friends
One morning you enter the kitchen to find a plate and cup on the
table, with breadcrumbs and a pat of butter on it, and surrounded by a
jar of jam, a pack of sugar, and an empty carton of milk. You conclude
that one of your house-mates got up at night to make him- or herself a
midnight snack and was too tired to clear the table.
This, you think,
best explains the scene you are facing. To be sure, it might be that
someone burgled the house and took the time to have a bite while on
the job, or a house-mate might have arranged the things on the table
without having a midnight snack but just to make you believe that
someone had a midnight snack.
But these hypotheses strike you as
providing much more contrived explanations of the data than the one
you infer to.
10 Ways to Improve Your Brain Health
There are lots of crazy claims out there about how to become more intelligent or train your brain to be smarter or healthier—but what many people do not know is that many of these have actually been properly scientifically investigated, and some fairly persuasive evidence does exist for many of them.
In light of that, here are 10 ways to help you reach your full intellectual potential and improve your brain health, with each of the ten suggestions having at least somewhat respectable evidence in their favor. As we work our way down to number one, we will be considering techniques that are backed up with harder evidence.
10. Quit Smoking
Not smoking is one of the first steps you can take to improve your brain health. But smoking is not just any old bad habit. One Archives of Internal Medicine study published in 2010 followed 21,123 smokers from 1978 to 2008. Those people who smoked more than two packs of cigarettes a day had twice the rate of dementia when they were older.
This was true even when the researchers controlled for other factors that could explain the results, such as education level, race, age, diabetes, heart disease and substance abuse. Those who smoked between half and one pack a day had a 44 percent increased risk of developing dementia.
Even the lowest level of smoker had a 37 percent increased risk.
The good news is that those people in the study who used to smoke but stopped had no increased risk of dementia and had normal brain functioning into old age.
9. Have Good Relationships
One particular form of memory that we practice in relationships of all kinds is known as “transactive” memory, a concept first developed by psychologist Daniel Wegner in 1985. This is a form of memory in which we become an expert in one particular type of information and often have sole responsibility for it.
For example, at a party, your spouse may be excellent at remembering someone’s job and taste in music once he is introduced, but he may be close to useless at remembering faces and names even if he has met someone before.
So couples often work as a team, with each being relied upon to be expert in their area of talent. While each partner may struggle without the other, together they appear to have no problems at all remembering anything in social situations.
In this way, each partner benefits from the relationship in never feeling forgetful and always knowing what to say.
And it turns out that the more diverse your friends are in type, the more they challenge you to think creatively. They provide you with information you would not normally have and they give you different perspectives on everything. Your friends, figuratively, keep your mind open.
8. Think Positive
There is a well-known effect in the psychology of education referred to as the “Pygmalion effect”—after the Greek myth Pygmalion—whereby teachers, often unknowingly, expect more of particular children, who then in turn strive to meet those expectations. This effect is so well known that is referred to by psychologists as the Rosenthal-Jacobsen 1968 finding (after the two psychologists who first discovered it).
What this research suggests is that if we set high standards for ourselves and are helped believe that achieving them is possible, they become possible. On the other hand, children who are made to feel that there is little point in them trying to reach high standards give up easily and do not reach their potential.
In one study, by social psychologist Arronson and colleagues in 2001, members of an educationally disadvantaged community were taught to believe that it is possible to become more intelligent.
The children from that group showed improved mathematical ability compared to a matched control group of children who were not encouraged to raise their expectations of what is possible.
In other words, positive attitude counts!
7. Get Quality Sleep
The brain does not shut off when we are asleep. There is a lot of work going on while you sleep—and much of it involves consolidating the learning that took place during the day (see work by Walker, Stickgold, Alsop, Gaab, & Schlaug, 2005).
Psychologists have long understood that our dreams, for example, are really just a reflection of all the work our brains are doing trying to make sense of all the information we have been taking in but have not yet fully interpreted and made sense of.
So if this is true, you really can solve problems and make of sense of things by “sleeping on it.” On the other hand, if you do not sleep properly, you can lose the benefit of your learning experiences. You also will not learn as well the following day.
Adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night to benefit fully and perform at their cognitive peak each day.
However, this method of keeping your mind sharp only makes number seven because there are now some scientific doubts about the importance of what is known as “sleep consolidation” (see work by Vertes in the journal Neuron, 2004).
6. Eat Well
There are quite a range of food ingredients that are good for your brain—as well as no end of marketing experts who will try to sell you the extracted ingredient in pill form or added to yogurt. But the truth is that many food components can increase our mental functioning.
Ginkgo Biloba (extracted from the Ginkgo tree) has good effects on memory.
Vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, some berries, and the omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish (and some grains) appear to improve memory and overall brain function, as do green teas and protein in general.
Protein, which we take in through meat, eggs and beans and peas (pulses), contain high levels of amino acids, such as tyrosine, which in turn cause neurons to produce the very important neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine, which are associated with mental alertness.
The evidence is getting clearer on the effects of healthy diet and breast-feeding for an increased IQ.
Mothers who breastfeed their babies for more than just a few weeks provide them with essential omega-3 fatty acids that are not universally available in baby formula (though mandated in the U.S.).
The same essential oils are also found in fresh fish, so kids fed plenty of fresh food and grains—including fresh fish from as early as possible—have higher IQs than kids fed on formula and processed food.
Perhaps the best evidence for this comes from a gold standard, randomized controlled trial published in the journal Pediatrics by Helland, Smith, Saarem, Saugstad, and Drevon in 2003.
That study compared the IQs of children fed on omega-3 enhanced milk formula compared to those who were not.
The researchers found that the IQs of the omega-3 fed children were several points higher at four years of age—long after milk feeding had stopped.
benefits of breastfeeding – NHS
It's never too early to start thinking about how you're going to feed your baby. But you do not have to make up your mind until your baby is born.
Some of the benefits of breastfeeding are:
- your breast milk is perfectly designed for your baby
- breast milk protects your baby from infections and diseases
- breastfeeding provides health benefits for you
- breast milk is available for your baby whenever your baby needs it
- breastfeeding can build a strong emotional bond between you and your baby
Formula milk does not provide the same protection from illness and does not give you any health benefits.
Breastfeeding has long-term benefits for your baby, lasting right into adulthood.
Any amount of breast milk has a positive effect. The longer you breastfeed, the longer the protection lasts and the greater the benefits.
- Breastfeeding reduces your baby's risk of:
- Giving nothing but breast milk is recommended for about the first 6 months (26 weeks) of your baby's life.
- After that, giving your baby breast milk alongside solid foods for as long as you and your baby want will help them grow and develop healthily.
- Breast milk adapts as your baby grows to meet your baby's changing needs.
Myth: “It's not that popular in this country.” Fact: More than 81% of women in the UK start breastfeeding, and 17% of babies are still being exclusively breastfed at 3 months.
Myth: “Breastfeeding will make my breasts sag.” Fact: Breastfeeding does not cause your breasts to sag, but pregnancy hormones can stretch the ligaments that support your breasts. Wear a well-fitting bra while you're pregnant.