There is a great deal of evidence to show that poor weaning practices – such as infant and early childhood diets based on animal products, e.g. milk, dairy products, red meat, chicken and wheat products, are one significant risk factor (if not most) of asthma. Such a diet can cause inflammation anywhere in the body, including the airways.
Animal products are naturally high in arachidonic acid and other potent mediators of inflammation. These mediators create inflammation responses in epithelial tissue, such as those that line the airways (and skin). This causes production of excess mucus (the body’s attempt to eliminate and stabilize the inflammation.)
Dairy milk causes airways inflammation and histamine release from mast cells lining the airway – causing excess mucus. The organs of digestion in an infant are not properly developed until at least 12 months of age. Giving infants foods as described here means a lot more mediators of inflammation are going to be absorbed straight into the bloodstream that would otherwise enter the gastro-intestinal tissues.
So poor weaning practices before the age of 12 months are a primary cause of this problem. The single best food to start the weaning process is pure slippery elm powder. This is a complete protein food that strengthens the immature digestive system and to which other foods, such as fruits etc may be gradually added over a six month period.
Using Slippery Elm this way creates a strong healthy digestive system and therefore a stronger immune system. Slippery Elm must be prepared by mixing to a paste with water and very gently cooked for 5 minutes. 1 tablespoon powder to 1 to 1 ½ cups water. This lasts several days in the fridge.
Beware of imitation powder – use only pure Slippery Elm Powder – Available in store.