Last winter we featured how research studies show no benefit to using over-the-counter (OTC) medication for kids. In fact, many of the cold medicines are not approved for children under four. We mentioned how locally grown honey has natural anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties to help our little ones fight off that cold. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) say coughs can last for 2-3 weeks and suggest calling a doctor if it continues beyond then. Keep in mind that cold and flu are viruses and most antibiotics don’t help them.
Since cold season is at us again, here are some gentle and all-natural home remedies to soothe your child’s cold.
Raw Honey: Spoonful of honey will help soothe a sore throat. This can be given a few times a day. Try adding lemon to dry up congestion. Caution: Honey is not safe for babies under 1 year.
Garlic: Garlic has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties that help fight off illness.Note: Getting your child to eat raw garlic or take a garlic pill is not ideal. We recommend rubbing garlic infused oil on the bottom of your child’s feet or make a garlic poultice. Sounds a bit stinky but it will help fight off that cold!
Onion: Onions are useful for healing colds. Try chopping up raw onions and place them in a bowl near your child’s head to help ease congestion while they sleep.
Homemade Chicken Stock: Chicken soup has health benefits that help boost the immune system and helps us get over colds quicker. The added heat helps to sooth the sore throat as well. Make sure the stock is high quality and homemade. Add extra onion and garlic too!
Saline Solution: Saline solution is a safe way to help ease congestion and stuffy noses. Saline solution for children can be purchased at your local store.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil: Eucalyptus helps to ease congestion. Try making your own “vapor” rub by combining a teaspoon of carrier oil (we suggest using almond or jojoba oil) and two drops of Eucalyptus essential oil. Try rubbing on your child’s chest, neck, and back nightly to soothe them.
Steam: Run a hot shower with the bathroom door closed while you sit with your child in the bathroom. Try adding a few drops of Eucalyptus oil to the water as well to help clear up congestion.
Peppermint: Peppermint helps ease indigestion and sour stomachs. Try buying all natural peppermint candies for them or adding a few drops of peppermint essential oil in water for them to sip.
Coconut Oil: Coconut helps boost the immune system and helps us recover from a cold. Try adding coconut oil to foods such as oatmeal for your child.