Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease

Article by Angela Haldane

Q. Our 13-month-old daughter got Hand, Foot and Mouth, and now my husband has it. Your thoughts on remedies would be greatly appreciated.

A. Hand, foot and mouth disease is a common viral illness mainly affecting children under 10 years old. After 1-2 days of fever, painful blister-like sores appear in the mouth, and/or a non-itchy skin rash develops on the palms of hands and soles of feet.

The viral disease is spread by direct contact from person to person via nose and throat secretions, saliva, blister fluid and stools of the infected person. Infected people are most contagious during the first week of illness.

Be stringent with hygiene, and linen. Wash your hands frequently, especially after changing nappies. Wash surfaces, soiled items, including toys, and then disinfect afterwards.

Myrrh tincture, an astringent that is available from a herbalist and promotes healing of the ulcers, can be painted on the mouth sores with an ear bud, or diluted as a mouthwash.

Kiwiherb Children's Echinacea or the Cold Decongestant formula on my website will help raise immunity against, and shorten the length of, the illness. It would be wise for the whole household to take echinacea as a preventative measure.

To strengthen immunity, eat foods rich in zinc and iron, such as casseroles with parsley and dark leafy greens.