Natural Kids Cold Remedies
The colds and flus are coming in waves these days, having seen many in my office already this fall, so I ‘d like to help parents support their kids through the season when they are sick:
- Colds: look for remedies with Echinacea, Astragalus, grapefruit seed extract that are safe for kids. Small amounts of oregano oil can be effective as well. Limit all sugars that suppress the immune system and add extra vitamin C (2-3000mg day), Vitamin D3 (up to 5,000IU day), probiotics, Zinc and Selenium to keep the body fighting. Dairy elimination also helps reduce mucus production.
- A runny nose, sinus congestion: easy treatments include vaporizers at night (add eucalyptus essential oils), and wet sock treatments: cold wet socks covered by dry wool socks while in bed to help pull circulation to the feet and away from the sinuses.
- Coughs: coughs need relief so try tepid teas with honey that can soothe the throat (ginger, mullein, licorice, lemon). Nim Jom herbal cough syrup can be found at the drug store and can soothe a dry cough and throat (base is honey). Drosera is a common homeopathic cough remedy. Essential oils, like peppermint, thieves, eucalyptus, or rosemary, can be diluted with olive oil and used as chest rubs (check dosage and safety with age of the child).
- Ear infections: middle ear infections stem often from sinus congestion, which has spread to the ears. Allergies are often present and causing your child to be prone to these infections, therefore, should be investigated, dairy is common. In acute infections see a health provider as a remedy may be needed.
- Sore Throat: keeping the throat soothed is essential: try slippery elm lozenges or Echinacea throat sprays. If your child is old enough to gargle add a large tsp of salt to a few ounces of water and have them repetitively gargle with it; it’s antimicrobial and soothing. Cold smoothies can feel good and unpasteurized honey also can relieve the throat (not under age 1). Kali Mur is a common tissue salt.
- Aches and pains: homeopathics can be an alternative to start with before moving onto Advil, try Traumeel or Arnica 30CH homeopathic.
- Fevers: loose cool clothing, lots of water, and tepid (not cold) baths are always important. Remember the fever is their immune system fighting the infection so it is not necessary to suppress the fever unless it is over 104 F, or they become extremely lethargic, irritable, or dehydrated. If your child is running a fever but is playing normally; hydrate and watch and wait before reaching for the Advil. If fever lasts for more than 2-3 days, then getting a second opinion is always warranted. A common homeopathic is Belladonna 30CH.
- Stomach flus: these are fortunately typically short lived so the primary focus here is staying hydrated. Try to get small steady amounts of water into them between vomiting or diarrhea episodes. When ready, first try electrolytes as this will help them feel better. Try coconut water, Emerg-C powders, etc. (think Gatorade without the high fructose corn syrup or sugar).
Whenever your child is sick it’s important to support their systems as much as possible. Most all infections are initially viral, meaning antibiotics are not warranted; however, if the infection Is persistent for several days, they become overly dehydrated and lethargic, seem to be getting worse after a period of recovery, or they have a history of severe infections in the past, seek medical attention.