This is a repost from Nov. 2011 – I still use and love all these remedies and given the season I thought I'd share them again!
I'm extremely fortunate to have been blessed with a child who doesn't get sick. He's 2, and I can count on one hand (with fingers to spare) the times he's been sick enough to actually disrupt his day. I think the reasons for that are 1. He doesn't go to daycare. And 2. I try very hard to make sure our family eats plenty of immune boosting foods and supplements since we don't do vaccinations.
Still, like most kids, Mercury does come down with some ailment or other every once in awhile. There are a few natural remedies I've tried with him that haven't worked at all. Here are a few that do!
Tea tree oil is a wonderful natural remedy for many ailments, including ear infection. It has antiviral and antibacterial properties for fighting ear infection. It also has a mild soothing effect as well. To use, add 7-10 drops of tea tree oil to a tablespoon of warm olive oil. Mix well and pour or drop oil into the ear several times a day, especially at bedtime.
I would say hold off on the tea tree oil til your babies turn into toddlers, since overdose is possible (but rare). For babies, I suggest using the gentler garlic-infused olive oil, which you can buy or make yourself. I even apply garlic oil to my son's ears at bedtime every few nights in the winter as a preventative measure.
Little ones really shouldn't get headaches, you know? Try to find out what's causing them (stress? food sensitivity? vision problems? etc.) and deal with that. In the meantime, peppermint tea or aromatherapy can help ease the pain. If you decide to try aromatherapy, I suggest peppermint for the day time or lavender at night.
Try putting a humidifier in the sick person's room, too. If you don't have one, a bowl of warm water on the radiator works. Or, have them sit in a steamy bathroom. When Mercury was a baby, he was a bit croupy and I would bring him into the bathroom with the hot shower running and it always helped.
Honey. It's both healing and soothing, plus it's pretty easy to get kids to take. You can either serve it up with a spoon, or offer warm honey water or even ginger tea with honey.
Cuts, Scrapes, Bites
Tea tree oil again. Clean the wound, put a drop or two (or whatever, depending on the size of the owie.) on a cotton ball and apply it before covering with a bandage. Lavender oil can be used the same way.
You can also use plantain to to speed up the healing process of wounds. My family refers to these as “magic leaves” due to their miraculous (!!) healing properties. And it grows everywhere!
You can place a clean leaf right on the wound and bandage over it, or prepare a tea and use it to clean the wound.
Just keep them clean. You can use that plantain tea to wash them, but don't put oils or butters on them because it will actually make it worse. After a few days (depending on how bad the burn is), when the burn isn't really a burn anymore but just a healing wound, you can use shea butter to speed up healing and help prevent scarring.
For babies and kids that just can't seem to calm down, catnip tea can be very relaxing. Add honey or juice to help it go down. Catnip is another one of those things that grows all over the place, but only harvest it yourself if you're sure it hasn't been sprayed like crazy with weird chemicals. You can buy organic catnip if you're not sure. And of course, there is always chamomile tea, which is great for babies! It's a relaxant and it also helps with indigestion. Speaking of which…
Chamomile tea or ginger tea. Ginger candies are also well-received, or you can just cut a pill-sized hunk of ginger off the root and try to get your child to swallow it if they're big enough.
For fever-related chills, ginger baths can really help improve circulation. Prepare a strong ginger tea and add it to the bath, or use ginger essential oil. If you have the essential oil on hand, you can also add it to a carrier oil for massage.
I think that about covers the natural remedies we use around here when the little one is under the weather. I'll add that I'm not a doctor – these are simply techniques that my family uses. They work great for us, and I hope they help you too. I just want you to know exactly where I'm coming from.
What about you? Have you come across any natural remedies that work really well for you and your family? Please share in the comments!
Til next time. xo