I DO NOT like child cough / cold / flu medicines. They are potentially dangerous & I feel totally unnecessary for treatment of the common cold. Most people just use them because that’s all they know... a little research goes a long way to avoiding the use of these chemicals for your children.
There are about 200 known viruses that cause the common cold. These are transmitted through air, bodily fluids & from sneezing / coughing. So, its not easy to avoid the common cold unless your immunity is very high and you are at optimal health.
A great way to avoid catching the common cold or indeed any flu is to ensure that you and your kids are rested and that immune systems are boosted daily and kept well protected through the use of herbs, tinctures, teas, infusions, tonics & the correct supplementation.
There are a few things you can use daily to boost your own and your kids immune systems as we come into the cold and flu season. This recipe is quick, easy and works beautifully to keep everyone healthy and AVOID catching the dreaded lurgy.
- Take 2 - 3 tablespoons of echinacea herb, added to 100mls of boiling water. Steep for 20 minutes then add or take 1000mg of high quality, high strength Vitamin C (get this from health food store NOT the chemist of supermarket and try to get a very high strength, high quality product). Either add the Vit C (if in powder or liquid form which is good for kids) to a glass of organic OJ or take the tablets with the OJ & echinacea infusion every morning.
The mega dose of Vitamin C in this recipe will ensure that any cold viruses your family happen to pick up won’t stick around. Echinacea is a herb that is brilliant for boosting the immune system.
Trust me - start doing this everyday and it will make this cold and flu season much easier for everyone in your household.
NB: DON’T SCRIMP ON VITAMIN C! Pay the extra for a good quality product that is high potency. The results will be worth it.
If you’re breastfeeding and worried about your bubba or even yourself getting sick, then avoid it by doing this daily all through Autumn Winter and Spring. In fact, I do it all year round just for good measure - you’ll find that you will very (if ever) get sick once you take up this regime.
Recipe Caveat: Also if breastfeeding, you may want to change to another type of juice if you find OJ doesn’t agree with your bubba’s little tummy however I find Arabella is fine with it.
- Rub some vaporub or eucalyptus oil onto the soles of your own or your children’s feet, cover with bed socks & off to bed for an early night.
** Remember that with children, everything is absorbed very quickly through the skin, and bypasses the filters of the digestive system. Topical treatments basically are going straight into the blood stream. Young children are very susceptible to harm & damage from chemical exposure. Hence suggestion of eucalyptus oil instead.
- Prepare a solution using 4 drops each of Lavender Essential Oil and Pine Essential Oil, 3 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil and 7 drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil. Use this as an inhalation in a saucepan of boiling water with a towel to clear blocked sinuses and help with loosening chest phlegm from croop (which I had EVERY winter as a child - I got an inhalation straight away that was so strong it used to burn my nasal hairs out I reckon... it worked though!).
- Also inhale vapors of this solution by putting it on a cotton ball or an aromatherapy diffuser for younger children and babies if they are phlegmey
I try to avoid running straight to the nearest Chemist to stock up on chemicals when a cold or flu hits my household.
I always have a few things at the ready to deal with it at the very first sign so it doesn’t take hold at all.
Alot of people seem to have become lazy & just think that taking a pill from the Chemist is the easiest way to deal with a cold. It may be the most easy way but certainly not the most simple. Simplicity in health denotes clean, wholesome, straightforward remedies which is what I’ll present to you here.
Print this out and leave it in your kitchen, bathroom or with your medicine chest. Then you’ll always know what to do when someone comes home with the sniffles (and you don’t have to pump your precious child full of harmful chemicals and toxins...which in turn will make them suffer longer anyway...)
If your child or baby is sick & phlegmey then ensure they sleep with their head elevated so they don’t have mucus running down the back of their throat. This will help them sleep longer & stay more settled.
Keep their fluids up. They need to be drinking one and a half to two times more fluids in a day than normal to help the body flush out the virus / infection faster. Hydration will assist the body to do its thing - that is, remove the foreign matter (i.e. cause of the cold / flu / fever).
Diluted organic orange juice is a good one as its full of Vitamin C. 50 / 50 OJ and water for younger kids however older ones (from say age 7 and up) probably prefer to have straight OJ without water.
Berry juices are also good so look for things that have acai, goji, blueberry or Forest Berries because all berries are packed full of goodies. Some more than others of course but in general berry juice is sweeter than OJ (great for fussy kids) and is a great choice for flushing out colds and flu.
NB: If your baby or child has the chills then serve all fluids slightly warmed where possible.
If you’ve got kids with sore throats then don’t give them solid foods. I personally stick to fresh squeezed juices of fruit AND vege, soups, broths and teas until my throat is no longer sore or scratchy.
Fluids are extra important for flushing out a virus riddled system and are far easier for little bodies to digest - make everything easy on their little bodies so that the body can concentrate on whooping the virus’ butt & getting it outta there!
These are a list of remedies from everyday ingredients you’ll probably find in your pantry. If you don’t normally stock garlic, ginger, lemons then I suggest you start before winter comes along.
Lemon / Lemon Juice:
Lemons and lemon juice have been among the top choices for colds / flu treatment for years. Its simple and easy for kids of just about all ages. Add 1 part fresh squeezed lemon juice to 4 parts warm water. Stir in a teaspoon of organic honey to sweeten and have them take this 3 - 4 times daily.
Honey is great for sore throats and is a wonderfully therapeutic remedy for cold and flu sufferers. For children, take a teaspoon of organic local honey (local honey is made from local pollens so will be more useful to your body than a foreign honey however not vital) & drizzle with fresh organic lemon juice. Have them suck on this several times a day to help soothe a sore throat.
Make sure they clean their teeth afterwards!
Now, personally I slice up the garlic cloves into tablet sized pieces and down them with a large glass of organic OJ. If this isn’t possible with your younger children, then you can make them a garlic soup instead. Take 3 - 4 cloves of chopped garlic & boil them in a cup of water. Serve this to your kids twice daily as a warm broth. This will help open up sinus passages and assist in bringing down a fever.
If they won’t drink it as is, you can add a little home made or organic chicken broth for flavour & a few veges. Basically, make it an actual soup & they will soon tuck in (especially if they have a sore throat).
Alternatively you can use 5 drops of garlic oil (which you can make yourself if you wish by infusing several heads of chopped garlic in a top quality organic extra virgin olive oil over the stove on a VERY low simmer for about 30 mins) to a tablespoon of onion juice diluted in a cup of warm water. This is very effective (though quite smelly) for kids also.
Chopped ginger added to a cup of boiling water with lemon juice and honey is a VERY good cold remedy for children and adults alike. Obviously, young children will need to have it cooled for some time & babies can be given this via teaspoon or medicine dropper. Its mild, full of Vitamin C & helps with upset tummies, fever & blocked sinuses.
Personally I eat the pieces of ginger for good measure however this is a personal preference.
Herbs to have on hand before winter sets in well & truly (coz its been DAMN cold this year so far and we’re only in Autumn!) are:
- Elderflower or elderberries
- Garlic(as mentioned above)
- Olive leaf extract
- Rose hips (these are JAM packed with Vitamin C - one is equivalent to 3 lemons worth of Vit C)
Supplements you can use should also include:
- VERY STRONG Vitamin C (1000mg per tablet if possible)
- Garlic oil capsules (if your kids hate garlic or can’t swallow larger tablets)
So, how to use all these?
Well, echinacea should be used in a tincture and given by dropper full under the tongue 3 - 5 times daily. HOWEVER if you’re uncomfortable with giving a tincture because of the alcohol base, you can add it to a juice or broth or make an infusion with water instead.
Echinacea Infusion: Steep 1 - 3 tablespoons of echinacea herb in boiling water, allow to cool and either serve it in organic OJ or another berry juice. Alternatively, use just the echinacea herbs in a VERY strong tea & give it that way via teaspoon.
Olive Leaf Extract again is similar in flavour to the echinacea tinctures so you may want to give it in a glass of organic OJ. Organic or home squeezed OJ is good because the flavour is strong & hides a lot of other not so nice flavours.
Herbal Virus Fighter Infusion: An infusion of 1 tablespoon each of rosehips and echinacea, a dash (like a quarter teaspoon) of peppermint herb (you can use an organic peppermint essence if you don’t have the herbs because its mostly for flavouring) and some catnip in boiling water. Allow to cool a little & take every 2 -3 hours.
This herbal infusion will get rid of fever, help with headaches, settle an upset tummy, build up immunity, increase potassium which is lost through sweating from fevers, help induce deep & restful sleep & destroy any virus or infection.
You can also make a syrup or honey for more fussy kids who won’t drink an infusion.
Elderberry syrup is very easy and quick and great for colds. Take 1 part dried elderberries add to 2 parts water (so 1 cup elderberries to 2 cups water) and allow to simmer on stove until reduced by half (about 30 minutes on low heat). Add in 1 cup organic honey, stir & store in the fridge. Give 1 tablespoon every day to avoid colds & 2 - 3 tablespoons a day if already sick. Doesn’t keep for every - make a new batch every 2 - 3 weeks or when necessary.
Home made nasal spray: Ever noticed how a swim in the ocean makes you feel better when sick with a cold? This is why...
This recipe is basically weak saline solution (use 100mls boiling water with 1 teaspoon of organic sea salt that has been left to cool) is also very helpful in cleansing blocked nasal passages & opening up the sinuses. Bacteria can grow in this solution so make a fresh batch every day and don’t keep for more than 24 hours. Store in a tightly closed glass jar.
You needn’t spend money on addictive chemical nasal sprays as this works very well. Use either a medicine dropper (followed by a long hard sniff) or an old nasal spray bottle with pump that you’ve washed out.
Nasal Cleansing for Babies: For babies you can use the home made nasal spray solution above with a bulb syringe to help suck the mucus out of bubba’s nostrils (which will help them sleep & feed). Tip their heads back, insert 20 drops of solution into each nostril one at a time then use a bulb syringe to suck the solution and mucus out after a minute or two. Expel the mucus into a clean tissue. Repeat on the other nostril and every 3 - 4 hours or as necessary.
So here is a quick, easy recipe to make your own vapor rub from pure, wholesome and all natural ingredients.
30 grams (or 1 ounce) of natural organic beeswax
1 cup (exactly) of organic almond / grapeseed oil (or a high quality organic olive oil that is not to smelly)
4 drops each of Lavender Essential Oil and Pine Essential Oil,
3 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil
7 drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Melt the beeswax in a large bowl over a saucepan of water. Add exactly one cup of oil and the inhalation infusion above (using organicessential oils; 4 drops each of Lavender Essential Oil and Pine Essential Oil, 3 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil and 7 drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil - all these are available at your local Health Food stores or online).
The beeswax may start to solidify again when you add the oils so keep stirring over low heat until it is all liquid once again.
Pour the liquid solution into pre-prepared glass jars or tins with airtight screw top lids (wide rimmed jars or shallow tins are best to make it easy to get your fingers in there). Allow the salve solution to set. It should not be runny, it should set to a firm solid consistency. If not, throw out & start again following instructions EXACTLY & adding a little less oil.
That’s it - you’re done!
Your very own, home made vapor rub which is totally natural, totally healthy & free from all chemicals.
Use in place of store bought vapor rubs; rub on soles of feet under bed socks, use as chest, neck and back rub, use in inhalations with boiling water under a towel, use in infusers / steam vaporizers etc.
So there you have it - a tonne of tried and true home remedies that will help your family sail through the winter unscaithed.
Love & smiles from a beautifully snoozing snoring bubba,
The Eco Mum xo