Right now I’m exhausted. Three days ago my healthy eight month old kitten suddenly fell ill with a fever, very ill. A quick trip to the vet for fluids and an antibiotic shot, and I stayed up all night feeding basic hydration solution every hour or two with a small medicine dropper. He kept trying to get up and move, and getting him back in his bed wasn’t easy. Along with that I hardly had time to pay attention to my tea. I drank a lot of it just to stay awake, and found myself thinking about dehydration. First off, a recipe for a base re-hydration solution:
Basic Hydration Solution
1 quart water (946 ml)
1 tablespoon white sugar (12.5g)
1 tsp table salt (6g)
Shake or stir and decant into a bottle. Keep refrigerated. Daily, a cat requires liquid at about ¼ cup or 60 ml per 5 lbs (2.26 kilos) of body weight. So that means about 2 tsp (20 ml) dose every hour or two for my 10 lb kitten (yes he’s a big boy at 8 months). I used a small medicine dropper and put a bit at a time inside his cheek so he could lap and swallow without choking. Anyway, this is a basic recipe and no different from Pedialyte at the stores, but without the preservatives and cherry flavoring. I tasted it myself and didn’t taste much of anything. It works for people too, you can add a bit of fruit juice to make it taste like something.
Green Tea and Dehydration
People turn to green tea as an addition to a healthy lifestyle, and this can include copious amounts of exercise. Drinking a lot of green tea and sweating can dehydrate a person of minerals. Some of the sheng puerh teas I drink cause profuse sweating.
I’ve noticed that I’m somewhat dehydrated when I wake up and my back hurts. Drinking a bit of water before getting up helps put some fluid around my spine and I feel much better. Tea is a diuretic, and along with a prescription diuretic I might need to replace minerals.
This is one of the first minerals lost in dehydration. Stores have so many “energy” drinks today, as well as “electrolyte” replacement drinks, but so few have any potassium. The best way to get this is from foods like
1. Avocado—the highest potassium food item.
2. Sweet potato—next in line.
I’m not big on avocado myself. Avocados don’t grow in my climate so any we get here tend to be small, hard and yellow. Bananas and potatoes are further down the list, even behind cow’s milk for potassium. Sweet potato is an easy choice.
Sweet potato Fries
1 large sweet potato (serves 2)
1 teaspoon of olive oil (about 5 ml)
Salt and pepper to taste.
Scrub the potato, peel if desired and slice into small long julienne “fries” about 1 cm or ¼ inch in width.
|Cut fries in bite size sticks.|
|Don't skimp on the oil, you need it for browning.|
|The key to great baked fries is don't let them touch another fry.|
Magnesium is lost through sweating or diuretics. This is one of the few minerals which is absorbed effectively through skin. My sister turned me on to magnesium oil spray. It’s easy to apply after a shower, and she taught me to spray it on the front of my lower calves (legs).
|Magnesium Oil Spray|
My kitten scampered off with the sprayer top.
Of course I didn’t put any of this on my kitten. I didn’t find out what caused his high fever. He wrestles hard with my big Maine Coon cat, so maybe he got an injury or had a virus. Luckily after just 24 hours, my kitten got up and his fever broke.
Iron is not necessarily lost through dehydration or green tea, but I mention it because tea pots are one way to supplement trace amounts of iron. This is very important for women, so I want to write a little here.
A century ago before iron-rich foods were readily available, women struggled with persistent anemia. Anemia is one of the first diagnoses and tests doctors performed back then. Doctors checked for and assumed anemia in menstruating women because most women had it. Nowadays with the food distribution system, doctors no longer even think to test women. My doctor found I had persistent anemia from a blood panel when she wasn’t even looking for anemia. Doctors don’t think of it when they see what appears to be a healthy young woman in the office. Yet actress Brittany Murphy died at age 28 or so from a cold and walking pneumonia. She wasn’t taking large doses of medication, but the autopsy found anemia. Her blood and body had no strength to fight the infection.
Iron-rich foods are ever more expensive, and many people are foregoing red meat for either health or philosophical reasons. Women at both sides of the economic spectrum might not get the iron they need, either because they can’t afford iron-rich foods or choose to not eat them. I did not care for red meat much in my younger days after growing up on a heavy red meat diet, so clearly I wasn’t getting enough iron in my diet when I got an anemia diagnosis. An iron supplement was an easy fix.
A tea pot like this one from potter Inge Nielsen is made with iron-rich clay. The interior is not glazed.
|Tenmoku glaze iron-grog clay pot|
by Inge Nielsen, Etsy
My kitten started eating again and drinking water. He thinks he’s well enough to play hard, but he’s still a little wobbly on his back legs. I stayed up with him another night to hand feed him wet food and make sure he was drinking water on his own before I slept. Now I’m very tired and somewhat dehydrated myself! He wants to be on my lap all the time now, he is just so happy to feel better. I’m $100 poorer, but at least I have my healthy kitten back.
Yes, those are tea crocks behind him.