I dread when my kids get sick. The crying, fussiness and sleep deprivation is enough to drive me mad. Having one child in school and sending another to daycare means I’m in a constant war zone against mutant viruses. While I appreciate modern medicine and the many benefits it provides, I very much prefer to try something natural first.
Whenever I am sick, or my kids get sick, I typically call my mom to confirm I am following remedies that have been passed down to us from older generations. Here are 6 of my favorite at-home natural remedies:
- Garlic. It is a natural antibiotic that is both anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. Taken raw will help you beat most illnesses.
- Onion. Did you know that a sliced onion aids as a decongestant? My grandmother swore by this! She would say, “the onion pulls the virus out.” Yes, that’s the old wives tale analogy. The scientific fact: the sulfur in the onion draws out mucus and fluids in the body. Just slice an onion and place it on a plate near the bed. The smell may not be pleasant but it sure helps to break up the mucus.
- Chamomile. This is my favorite comfort tea. Not only is it great for tummy aches, but it’s also good for insomnia. Steep 2-3 bags of organic chamomile in hot water, soak up a cotton cloth in the tea, wring it out, and place it on your little one’s tummy. Just make sure it’s not too hot first! Leave it on there for 10 – 15 minutes. (If your child is 5 years old or order they should be able to drink a cup of tea, but ask your doctor first.)
- Oatmeal. Besides the fact that it’s my favorite breakfast food, oatmeal is full of fiber that helps fight off bacteria! It is also great for relieving dry and itchy skin, which both of my kids suffer from. I grind a cup of oatmeal until it’s very fine, add a half cup to the bathtub (best to do while the water is running) and mix. You can soak in the tub for 15 minutes and repeat 2 or 3 times a day.
- Lemon. It’s full of vitamin C, which can help reduce the duration and severity of symptoms if you already have a cold. Add it to water or tea for a natural and yummy boost!
- Honey. It is a natural immune booster and works wonders for stuffy noses and scratchy throats! You can combine a teaspoon of honey with a teaspoon of lemon, microwave for 30 seconds and drink.
Other items you should have on hand to help get you and your family through cold and flu season:
- Vicks VapoRub. This is my immediate go-to when I start feeling congested. Did you know you can place it on the bottoms of your feet? Put some socks on and you will be sound asleep. You can do the same with your little one. I would recommend you get the infant kind or better yet, the Honest Company sells an organic Breathe Easy Rub. Did I mention they sell medicated pads for a humidifier? AMAZING!
- Bean Bag Heating Pad. Not only does the warm bean bag help with cramps and body aches, but it can also help your little one when they have a tummy ache or an earache. Simply warm up the bean bag in the microwave (I made my own with beans and a sock but you can buy them anywhere), wrap it in a towel and place it on their tummy or sore ear. You can also use a hot water bottle in lieu of a bean bag.
While I firmly believe in these remedies, it’s always best to call your doctor first. Modern medicine is amazing but so is mother nature. Just don’t forget the most important home remedy of all, a little TLC. A momma’s love goes a long way.
Do you have a favorite natural home remedy?