Tag Archives: Digestion

Parietaria officinalis

Botanical Name : Parietaria officinalis
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Rosales
Family: Urticaceae
Genus: Parietaria
Species: P. officinalis

Common Names:Pellitory-of-the-wall,lichwort

Habitat :Western Europe to Western Asia and the Caucasus

Description:
Parietaria officinalis is a  perennial plant  growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.6 m (2ft in).
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to October. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by Wind.The plant is not self-fertile.

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The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires dry or moist soil.

Cultivation : 

Prefers a well-drained to dry alkaline soil in full sun or semi-shade[238]. The plant grows well on drystone walls . The pollen of this plant is one of the earliest and most active of the hay fever allergens . Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring or autumn in a cold frame. Prick out the seedling when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. If you have sufficient seed then it can be sown in situ in autumn or spring. Division in spring. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.

Edible Uses:
Young plant – raw or cooked. The young shoots can be added to mixed salads

Medicinal Uses:
Cholagogue;  DemulcentDiuretic;  Laxative;  Refrigerant;  Vulnerary.

Pellitory of the wall has been valued for over 2,000 years for its diuretic action, as a soother of chronic coughs and as a balm for wounds and burns. In European herbal medicine it is regarded as having a restorative action on the kidneys, supporting and strengthening their function. The whole herb, gathered when in flower, is cholagogue, slightly demulcent, diuretic, laxative, refrigerant and vulnerary. It is an efficacious remedy for kidney and bladder stones and other complaints of the urinary system such as cystitis and nephritis. It should not be prescribed to people with hay fever or other allergic conditions[238]. The leaves can be usefully employed externally as a poultice on wounds etc. They have a soothing effect on simple burns and scalds. The plant is harvested when flowering and can be used fresh or dried

This plant constitutes a very effective diuretic, Ideal to increase micturition. One of the best resources when it is necessary to increase the production of urine. It seems that flavonoids grants it this property besides its wealth in potassium. Two or three infusions a day of a dry couple of spoonfuls of leaves for a liter of water can be used in the following ailments when it is useful to eliminate liquid of the body ( this remedy can be substituted by herbal tincture. In this case we should take 40 daily drops diluted in water divided in three daily doses):

*Metabolic Illnesses in which the elimination of corporal liquids is fundamental, such as the obesity or the diabetes, also in the treatment of the cellulitis.

*Rheumatic illnesses, as the gout , arthritis or uric acid. When eliminating water, we expel with it all the unwanted substances accumulated in the articulations, deflating them and improving the painful symptoms associated with these complaints. The plant appears in this sense as a fantastic depurative.

*Illnesses of the urinary tract , as gallstones or kidney stones. It is very effective in the treatment of the stones of the kidney – calculous – since, when increasing the urine, it impedes the retention of the minerals and the possible formation of a stone. Equally useful to treat renal inflammations (nephritis) or those of the urinary bladder (cystitis) since the emollient values of the mucilages that this plant contains exercise a smoothing property on the body tissues.

*Illnesses of the circulatory system. CO-helper in the treatment of these affections when they are related to liquid retention, as in the formation of edemas, bad circulation, high blood pressure, etc.

Besides its diuretic , emollient and depurative properties, it is necessary to mention its pectoral properties , very useful for the cure of bronchial affections and asthma. In this case , half a spoonful of the powder of the dry leaves should be taken three times to the day .

The pungent pellitory root is taken as a decoction or chewed to relieve toothache and increase saliva production.  The decoction may also be used as a gargle to soothe sore throats.  In Ayurvedic medicine, the root is considered tonic, and is used to treat paralysis and epilepsy.  The diluted essential oil is used in mouthwashes and to treat toothache.  It is an energetic local irritant and sialagogue, and acts as a rubefacient when applied externally. Its ethereal tincture relieves toothache. The root chewed has been found useful in some rheumatic and neuralgic affections of the head and face, and in palsy of the tongue. The decoction has been used as a gargle in relaxation of the uvula. Severe acronarcotic symptoms, with inflammation of the alimentary tract and bloody stools, were produced in a young child by less than a drachm of the tincture. The dose is from 30 to 60 grains as a masticatory. Oil of pellitory is made by evaporating the ethereal tincture.

Other Uses
The whole plant is used for cleaning windows and copper containers.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Parietaria+officinalis
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parietaria_officinalis
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_OPQ.htm

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Alpinia galanga

Botanical Name :Alpinia galanga
Family: Zingiberaceae
Subfamily: Alpinioideae
Tribe: Alpinieae
Genus: Alpinia
Species: A. galanga
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Zingiberales

Common Name : Greater galangal (or simply Thai galangal). The galangals are also called blue ginger or Thai ginger,Galanga Root, Greater Galanga, Siamese Ginger, Siamese Galanga, Java Galangal, El Galangal, El Adkham,hang Dou Kou, Laos, Galgant, Naukyo, Lenkuas, Galanga Maior, Grosser Galgant, Da Liang Jiang, Gran

Habitat :Cultivated in Southeast Asia, India, China and Australia

Description:
It is a perennial herb, between one and two metres in height, depending on variety. The leaves are 25-35 cm long, rather narrow blades. The flowers are borne at the top of the plant and are small, white and streaked with deep-red veining. The rhizome resembles ginger in shape but it is much smaller. Some varieties have a dark reddish-brown skin and the interior is nearly white. The rhizomes are tough and difficult to break. It prefers rich, moist soil in a protected, shady position and is drought and frost tender. Frost will damage the leaves but will rarely kill the clump. In a permaculture system it is a useful understorey plant.

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Alpinia galanga.The plant grows from rhizomes in clumps of stiff stalks up to two meters in height with abundant long leaves which bears red fruit. It is native to South Asia and Indonesia. It is cultivated in Malaysia, Laos, and Thailand. A. galanga is the galangal used most often in cookery. The robust rhizome has a sharp, sweet taste and smells like a blend of black pepper and pine needles. The red fruit is  used in traditional Chinese medicine and has a flavor similar to cardamom. ...CLICK & SEE

Known as Chittarattai in Tamil, this form of ginger is used with another root called Athi-Mathuram (Glycyrrhiza Glabra) as folk cure to cold and sore throat.

Edible Uses: 
The rhizome is a common ingredient in Thai soups and curries, where is used fresh in chunks or thin slices, mashed and mixed into curry paste, or dried and powdered. Indonesian rendang is usually spiced with galangal.

Medicinal Uses:

The rhizome has been shown to have antimalarial activity in mice.

Under the names Chewing John, Little John to Chew, and Court Case Root it is used in African-American folk medicine and hoodoo folk magic.

Alpinia galanga rhizome contains the flavonol galangin

Alpinia Galanga rhizome is used against rheumatism, bronchial catarrh, bad breath and ulcers whooping colds in children, throat infections, to control incontinence and fever. Alpinia species show promise as anti-fungals, hypotensives, enhancers of sperm count and motility. Anti-tumor and anti-dementia effects have been observed in rodents.

Alpinia Galanga is a stimulating aromatic and has been successfully employed to aid the digestive process, preventing fermentation and removing flatus. It is useful in case of dyspepsia, preventing vomiting or sickness of the stomach and facilitating digestion. It may be used in all cases in which a stimulating aromatic is indicated. It tones up the tissues and is sometimes prescribed in fever. Homoeopaths use it as a stimulant. It has some reputation as a remedy for perineal relaxation with hemorrhoids and for a lax and pendulous abdomen. It is used as a snuff to treat cold and flu symptoms. Galangal Root has also been used as a digestive aid, especially in combating dyspepsia and flatulence. It is also seen as a remedy for seasickness and motion sickness. It is used against nausea, flatulence, dyspepsia, rheumatism, catarrh and enteritis. It also possesses tonic and antibacterial qualities and is used for these properties in veterinary and homeopathic medicine. This herb has a constricting or binding effect, for example: one that checks hemorrhages or secretions by coagulation of proteins on a soft surface. It also restores, nourishes, and supports the entire body; it exerts a gently strengthening effect on the body.

An aromatic stimulant.  Has been used as a snuff in catarrh and nervous headache.  It is used for nonulcer dyspepsia with flatulence and inflammations of the gastrointestinal tract and upper respiratory trace.  In traditional medicine it is also used as a tonic for low sexual drive and as an adjuvant for diabetes and hypertension.  Somewhat similar to ginger

In Manipuri, it is known as Kanghu. The rhizome is an abortifacient. It has carminative, anti-tuberculosis and stimulant property. Ground rhizome is also used in the treatment of skin infections like eczema, ringworm, etc.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.greenharvest.com.au/Plants/galangal_info.html
http://www.indiamart.com/chandraayurved/herbal-medicinal-products.html
http://www.motherherbs.com/alpinia-galanga.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpinia_galanga
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm

http://www.gardenworldimages.com/Details.aspx?ID=148569&TypeID=1&searchtype=&contributor=0&licenses=1,2&sort=REL&cdonly=False&mronly=False

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Brickellia grandiflora

Botanical Name ; Brickellia grandiflora
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Asteroideae
Tribe: Eupatorieae
Genus: Brickellia
Species: B. grandiflora
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Brickellia grandiflora (Hook.) Nutt.

Common Name :Bricklebush , Tasselflower brickellbush.Prodigiosa,  Hamula, Atanasia, Amarga, Mala Mujer, Rodigiosa

Habitat : Brickellia grandiflora is native to western North America from British Columbia to Missouri to central Mexico, where it grows in many types of habitat.

Prodigiosa grows in canyons, along roadsides, and in sandy washes across the Southwestern United States. It ranges up to the East Cascades in Washington and Oregon down to the Valley of Mexico and as east as Arkansas (Davidow 1999). It grows between 4,500 to 10,000 feet in elevation. Commonly found in piñon-juniper to tall pine, spruce, and fir forests of higher elevations. The plant grows slowly until rain in late July and August when its growth speeds up and doubles sometimes tripling its original size (McDonald, 2002). In late August it flowers and then seeds. Because it likes to grow in sandy washes the seeds are more likely to fall into running water from the monsoons and be carried down stream to grow.  In New Mexico it grows through out the lower canyons of the Jemez, Guadalupe Mountains, Sangre de Cristo, and in the Gila and Lincoln National Forests (Moore, 1989).
Locations of Brickellia grandiflora across the United States and New Mexico.

Description:
This is an upright perennial herb growing a few-branched stem up to 70 centimeters tall. The hairy, glandular leaves are up to 12 centimeters long and lance-shaped, triangular, or heart-shaped. The inflorescences at the tip of the slender stem holds clusters of nodding flower heads, each just over a centimeter long and lined with greenish phyllaries with curling tips. The bell-shaped flower head holds a spreading array of 20 to 40 disc florets. The fruit is a hairy cylindrical achene about 4 millimeters long with a pappus of bristles.
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Medicinal Uses:
It assists in lowering high blood sugar levels in type II diabetics who are insulin-resistant. In addition, it helps improve the stomach lining and digestion because it increases not only the quality, but the quantity of hydrochloric acid that secretes in the stomach. This is important because foods that take a long time to digest often cause acid indigestion. The brickellia plant also helps to stimulate fat digestion in the gallbladder by evacuating bile from the gallbladder and bile synthesis in the liver.  A medium-strong cup of tea is taken in mid-afternoon and mid-morning.  Diet control and little or no alcohol intake supplement this treatment.  Sometimes Maturique is used to start the treatment, followed by maintenance on bricklebush.  A patent medicine herb tea called Hamula is made in Mexico and widely used in the Southwest, but its main herb is bricklebush.       In Mexico it has been known to be used in baths for acute arthritis. It can also be helpful to treat diarrhea and other digestive problems.  It may also have the potential to prevent or help cataracts in certain cases.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brickellia_grandiflora
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=BRGR&photoID=brgr_003_ahp.jpg
http://medplant.nmsu.edu/brickellia.shtm

Elm ( Ulmus fulva)

Botanical  Name : Ulmus fulva
Family: Ulmaceae
Genus: Ulmus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales
Species: U. rubra
Common Names :  Elm, Slippery , Red Elm, Moose Elm, Indian Elm

Habitat :Elm is native to eastern North America (from southeast North Dakota, east to southern Quebec, south to northernmost Florida, and west to eastern Texas). It is similar to American Elm in general appearance, but more closely related to the European Wych Elm, which has a very similar flower structure. Other common names include Red Elm, Gray Elm, Soft Elm, Moose Elm and Indian Elm.

Description
The Slippery Elm is a deciduous tree which can grow to 20 m in height with a 50 cm d.b.h.. The tree has a different branching pattern than American Elm, and its heartwood is reddish-brown, giving the tree its alternative common name ‘Red Elm’. The leaves are 10–18 cm long and have a rough texture, coarsely double-serrate margin and an oblique base. The perfect wind-pollinated apetalous flowers are produced before the leaves in early spring, usually in clusters of 10–20. The fruit is an oval winged samara 20 mm long and containing a single, central seed. Slippery Elm may be distinguished from American Elm by the hairiness of the buds and twigs (both smooth on the American Elm) and by its very short-stalked flowers.

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Cultivation

Slippery Elm grows well in moisture-rich uplands, but it will also grow in dry, intermediate soils


Medicinal Uses;

Common Uses: Abrasions/Cuts * Burns/SunBurn * Diarrhea * Pregnancy * Sore Throat/Laryngitis

Properties: Demulcent* Emollient* Expectorant* Diuretic* Astringent*

Parts Used: Inner Bark
In herbal medicine a Slippery Elm bark powder is considered one of the best possible poultices for wounds, boils, ulcers, burns and reducing pain and inflammation. The tree’s inner bark is rich in mucilage, a spongy, slippery fiber that soothes and coats mucus membrane inflammation and irritation in the throat and urinary tract when the herb is taken as a tea or infusion.

Slippery Elm is a valuable tree that has many traditional uses. The inner bark can be ground into a nutrient-rich gruel, off which one can solely survive for a short period. The bark also contains a mucilage that is used as a remedy for sore throats. Sometimes it is dried and ground into a powder beforehand, then made into a tea. Both Slippery Elm gruel and tea are said to soothe the digestive tract, especially the GI tracts of those with irritable bowel syndrome or gastritis. There are no known contraindications for Slippery Elm.[citation needed] According to Herbs and Natural Supplements: An Evidence-Based Guide, “Although Slippery Elm has not been scientifically investigated, the FDA has approved it as a safe demulcent substance.”

The bark has also been used historically as an abortifacient, first moistened with water and then inserted into the cervix. This practice became thoroughly regulated by “elm stick laws” in several US states, which forbade selling pieces of slippery elm bark longer than a certain length. Selling whole Slippery Elm bark is banned in several countries including the UK because of its ability to induce an abortion.

Babies First Food;
Slippery Elm is from the dried, powdered inner-bark of the North American Red Elm tree. Over the past one hundred years it has been used by both naturopaths and medical professionals. Its main use has been as weaning food for young babies and also as an easily assimilated and soothing gruel for the elderly.

It can be bought from most health shops in powder form. It is considered good for the baby when starting their first solids, especially if you have to start early. The mucilage, which is its greatest contribution therapeutically, is of a unique kind. It absorbs intestinal fluids but at the same time providing nutrition and in particular calcium phosphate. It is considered better than baby rice and farex[citation needed], as these can cause constipation and have no nutritional value[citation needed]. Slippery Elm is easy to digest and it very good for their bowels.

To make, you only need a tiny amount of powder and mix it with water, formula or breast milk. It can also be sprinkled on food to help with digestion.

Other Uses:
The fibrous inner bark is a strong and durable fibre, which can be spun into thread, twine or rope. It can be used for bow strings, ropes, jewellery, clothing, snowshoe bindings, woven mats, and even some musical instruments. The wood is used for the hubs of wagon wheels, as it is very shock resistant owing to the interlocking grain.

Once cured, the wood is also excellent for making fires with the bow drill method, as it grinds into a very fine flammable powder under friction.

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Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulmus_rubra
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail242.php

When to Start Solid Food to Babies

It is always confusing to know when to give baby solid food. When a mom notices her baby is hungrier than usual, the mom usually asks the pediatrician, “When can my baby begin eating solid foods?” Baby will know, just pay attention to the signs. Mom just has to watch and listen.When you begin feeding your baby solid foods you want to progress in a way that sets baby up for healthy eating habits. You are not only putting food into your baby’s tummy, you are introducing lifelong attitudes about nutrition. Consider for a moment that during the first year or two you will spend more time feeding your baby than in any other interaction. You both might as well enjoy it.

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WAIT 6 REASONS:-
Gone are the days when pressured mothers stuffed globs of cereal into the tight mouths of reluctant six-week-olds. Nowadays parents feed their baby on the timetable that is developmentally and nutritionally correct — as determined by their baby. Don’t be in a rush to start solids. Here are some good reasons for waiting.

1. Baby’s intestines need to mature. The intestines are the body’s filtering system, screening out potentially harmful substances and letting in healthy nutrients. In the early months, this filtering system is immature. Between four and seven months a baby’s intestinal lining goes through a developmental growth spurt called closure, meaning the intestinal lining becomes more selective about what to let through. To prevent potentially-allergenic foods from entering the bloodstream, the maturing intestines secrete IgA , a protein immunoglobulin that acts like a protective paint, coating the intestines and preventing the passage of harmful allergens. In the early months, infant IgA production is low (although there is lots of IgA in human milk), and it is easier for potentially-allergenic food molecules to enter the baby’s system. Once food molecules are in the blood, the immune system may produce antibodies to that food, creating a food allergy . By six to seven months of age the intestines are more mature and able to filter out more of the offending allergens. This is why it’s particularly important to delay solids if there is a family history of food allergy, and especially to delay the introduction of foods to which other family members are allergic.

2. Young babies have a tongue-thrust reflex . In the first four months the tongue thrust reflex protects the infant against choking. When any unusual substance is placed on the tongue, it automatically protrudes outward rather than back. Between four and six months this reflex gradually diminishes, giving the glob of cereal a fighting chance of making it from the tongue to the tummy. Not only is the mouth-end of baby’s digestive tract not ready for early solids, neither is the lower end.

3. Baby’s swallowing mechanism is immature.
Another reason not to rush solids is that the tongue and the swallowing mechanisms may not yet be ready to work together. Give a spoonful of food to an infant less than four months, and she will move it around randomly in her mouth, pushing some of it back into the pharynx where it is swallowed, some of it into the large spaces between the cheeks and gums, and some forward between the lips and out onto her chin. Between four and six months of age, most infants develop the ability to move the food from the front of the mouth to the back instead of letting it wallow around in the mouth and get spit out. Prior to four months of age, a baby’s swallowing mechanism is designed to work with sucking, but not with chewing.

4. Baby needs to be able to sit up. In the early months, babies associate feeding with cuddling. Feeding is an intimate interaction, and babies often associate the feeding ritual with falling asleep in arms or at the breast. The change from a soft, warm breast to a cold, hard spoon may not be welcomed with an open mouth. Feeding solid foods is a less intimate and more mechanical way of delivering food. It requires baby to sit up in a highchair – a skill which most babies develop between five and seven months. Holding a breastfed baby in the usual breastfeeding position may not be the best way to start introducing solids, as your baby expects to be breastfed and clicks into a “what’s wrong with this picture?” mode of food rejection.

5. Young infants are not equipped to chew. Teeth seldom appear until six or seven months, giving further evidence that the young infant is designed to suck rather than to chew. In the pre-teething stage, between four and six months, babies tend to drool, and the drool that you are always wiping off baby’s face is rich in enzymes, which will help digest the solid foods that are soon to come.

6. Older babies like to imitate caregivers
. Around six months of age, babies like to imitate what they see. They see you spear a veggie and enjoy chewing it. They want to grab a fork and do likewise.

Like all children there are growth spurts, babies too! There are times when they are hungrier but this isn’t the sign they need solid food. Just pay attention and is if this is a consistent behavior and more than a growth spurt. If you decide it is more than just a “hungry day” it may be baby is ready for solids. If this is the case, please remember they need breast milk and formula still!

Baby’s nutrients mostly come from breast milk or formula. It is their main source of nutrients and they still require it through out the first year of their life. Theoretically, babies can begin solid foods between four and six months of age. This is not a hard and fast rule however, so if baby hasn’t begun to exhibited signs of being ready, don’t push. Each baby is different. Here are just a few of the signs that might signal baby is ready to begin solid foods, again don’t pressure or push your child.

*Adequate Neck Control
The first thing a baby has to have is neck control. If they look like a bobble head doll, they are not ready for solid food.your baby will be able to sit upright and keep the head in position for a long time.   Your baby will sit safely when you have the proper support.

If a baby has a wobbly head they are not able to swallow anything thicker than milk and to eat solid food they must be able to swallow food thicker than milk. If a baby eats solids too soon without the proper control needed they could choke.

*Reflux and Chewing
All babies’ naturally push things out of their mouth; it is natural for babies when feeding with a bottle or nipple to push things out of their mouth. It’s just the way for baby’s to prevent themselves from choking. When the reflux kicks in they begin to stop pushing nipple or bottle from their mouths.

The “extrusion reflex” cease: Your baby will no longer use his tongue out of his mouth milk or formula.

Shall be seen chewing movements. The tongue and mouth of babies is developed while your digestive system, like their teeth.

Your baby has a good appetite.
Before a baby can actually eat they need to learn to chew and this takes place when they can push the back of their mouth where it heads south to the stomach courtesy of that swallowing reflux. It’s just a matter of time. The chewing motion is a good sign that baby is ready to eat solid food. You can’t make it happen; it comes when your baby is developmentally ready.

*Weight Gain:Weight gain your baby will be significantly noticeable.
When the weight of your baby has doubled, they could be ready for foods. A rule of thumb many doctors give mothers. This alone is not a sure sign, but when it is combined with other indicators, the solid food stage is close at hand. Pay close attention and ask your pediatrician.

* Curious about the food they eat as adults.

*Individuality
Each baby is different
. If your baby is close to six months of age and not eating solids, be patient. Breast milk and formula is adequate and there is not hurry or rush. Eating more breast milk or formula will not harm your baby. When it is time for solid foods your baby will let you know. Continue to watch for the signals and pay attention to your baby’s cues.

Starting your baby on solid foods is the beginning of lifelong eating habits that contribute to your baby’s overall health. Here are general guidelines that can help you start your baby out on the right track to a healthy life. Starting baby solid foods and feeding schedule too early can cause your baby to develop food allergies.
But this is also not very true in all cases but one must start very slowly after 3to 4 months minimum one’s baby otherwise fit for it.

Resources:
http://organicbabyproducts101.com/starting-baby-food/
http://hubpages.com/hub/When-to-start-Solid-foods-for-baby-and-Baby-Feeding-Schedule
http://www.nordoniapreschoolparents.com/guide-to-the-baby-feeding-starting-solid-foods.htm

http://www.askdrsears.com/html/3/T032000.asp

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