If you have kids, you know that they get sick – it is simply an inevitable part of life! They bump their heads and have tummy aches, too, and rely on us as parents to help them to feel better. Given that these minor ailments occur rather regularly, it is so important to have some tools on hand to use to help your kids to get back to feeling like themselves again after each time they trip and fall, cough, sniffle, or simply feel under the weather.
When I first became a Mom, my family health care toolbox was fairly basic – Tylenol and a few typical remedies for childhood ailments. I quickly learned that these tools where not nearly enough! Now, fast forward ten years and two more children, I have added some excellent items to my toolbox that help to keep our whole family healthier and out of the doctor’s office as much as possible. Since we prefer to use natural remedies before trying traditional medicine, I first spent time researching and then began using each of these practical and natural home remedies for many common ailments. The ones listed here are easy to keep on hand to help get our kids back on their feet again and back to school, too. After nursing one sick child back to health using some of these tried and true tools this week, I knew that it was time to share them, as they have helped us get through many tummy aches, flu bugs, colds, and bumps and bruises. My hope is that they will do the same for you!
Cold and Flu Remedies
Where there are kids, there are colds, and since science has yet to find a cure for the common cold, I have found the next best thing – an over the counter zinc gluconate and zinc acetate remedy, which you take every three hours. Not only do your symptoms improve, but the cold goes away much more quickly. They are recommended for children who are old enough to let a wafer dissolve in their mouth, usually around age three. If your child is younger than three, there are many combination homeopathic remedies available as well, but they simply alleviate symptoms rather than shorten the duration cold. Every bit helps, and the two in combination pack a good punch for older children with colds. I especially like using homeopathic remedies with kids, as well, because the doses are low enough to be safe, but yet they remain effective at helping to get rid of sicknesses. What about the flu? The one flu remedy we always have in the house is called Oscillococcinum, and it can take a fever down in hours and help to calm the aches and chills that often accompany the flu. Oscillo, which it is often called, has been used in France for over 40 years and is extremely effective at relieving flu symptoms quickly. Both of these remedies are often available at your favorite drug store, and many even carry a generic version. Additionally, you can also count on a pot of chicken soup, honey and lemon for coughs and sore throats, eucalyptus oil baths, and lots of rest to help your kids feel better, too!
Every child gets an upset stomach, and having a simple solution on hand puts my mind at ease. When a child has a stomach ache from eating to much or just doesn’t feel well, I rely on a homeopathic remedy called nux vomica. It works wonders for everyone in our family, even the dog! Sore bellies often go as quickly as they came when we use this remedy, thankfully. It is even useful for the stomach flu, as it helps the body to rid itself of the virus more quickly. Another simple stomach ache solution is a drop of food grade peppermint oil in a bit of honey or brown sugar taken with a spoon. Just like Mary Poppins said, a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, as the sweet flavor lessens the strong minty flavor of the essential. Alternatively, you could put a few drops in a cup of tea, sweetened or unsweetened. This works best for a queasy or nauseous child (and Moms with morning sickness, too!).
Bruises and Sore Muscles
Bumps and bruises are part of growing up, and it when they happen, the tears make every parent wish for a way to make the pain go away quickly. When our kids slip and fall, we always reach for arnica montana in gel form for bruises, sprain or strains, and sore muscles. We also use it as a homeopathic remedy to take by mouth for scrapes and cuts, as it aids in pain relief and trauma. The cuts and scrapes are often then covered in a bandage using calendula ointment, as it is soothing and aids in healing naturally. Icing bruises and sore muscles is another way to ease the pain, but when it comes to toddler head bumps, who can keep an ice pack in place long enough to help with the pain? Instead, rub a bit of the arnica gel on the bump and let your little one get back to playing, which is what they all want to do anyway!
No one ever wants to get sick, so illness prevention is always a great place to start. In our family, in addition to eating well, staying active, spending time outside on nice days, and making sure to wash our hands regularly, we also take some basic supplements to maintain good health. They have worked wonders this winter, which has been our healthiest in years! Here’s what we take and give our kids: liquid vitamin D, acidophilus, fish oil, multivitamins, calcium, and immune support tonics as needed. We like elderberry syrup, echinacea, and colloidal silver for an extra immune boost, but these should only be taken for 10-14 days at a time to remain effective. For a simpler all-in-one immune support boost, you can also simply use an immune support combination tincture available in your local health food store.
Are you new to natural health care and homeopathy? If so, here is some information and some tips– homeopathic remedies are extremely safe for all ages and are simply highly diluted forms of natural substances that help your body to heal itself. They are safe for all ages and can easily be taken by young and old. The remedies come in pellet or tablet form and dissolve easily under the tongue or in the mouth. It is usually recommended that you take two tablets or pellets eat time you need a dose, making sure to take a drink of water before and after and avoid citrus fruits within a half an hour of taking them. One does is often enough, though the product packaging will advise you about further doses, as needed.
Hopefully these tips will come in handy for you and your family as you aim to finish off the winter of 2014 staying healthier and happier, naturally!
~ Heather Katz