Natural Remedies For Colds And Flu
Cut out cow’s milk and dairy products from your child’s diet if you suspect they are coming down with a cold/flu as these foods enhance mucous production and limit its ability to disperse.
Cooling Foot Compress
A cold compress that has been soaked in water containing a few drops of lavender or peppermint oil can be wrapped around your child’s feet, which may reduce fever symptoms.
To bring down a fever more rapidly, add 2 drops of lavender oil to a bowl of tepid water. Using a face washer or soft cotton cloth, sponge your child’s neck, forehead, arms, hands, legs and feet with the solution.
Is a fantastic natural decongestant and can be used in a vaporiser, oil burner or dabbed on a cotton ball and placed in your child’s pillowcase.
Thyme is an excellent decongestant for the nose and lungs. 4 drops of thyme essential oil can be added to a humidifier or aromatherapy burner. Fresh or dried leaves of the herb can be added to a bowl of hot water for older children who know how to inhale steam in this manner.
- Ginger: Is cleansing and increases perspiration.
- Chamomile: For promoting sleep and relaxation.
- Sage: For decongestion and fever reduction.
- Lemon Balm: For decongestion and fever reduction.
These teas should be made fairly weakly and can be sweetened with honey (a great antibacterial in itself) or apple juice. In smaller children and infants they can be given in teaspoonful doses over a period of a few hours.
To reduce fevers, a weak tea made from spearmint or raspberry leaf (both available commercially at health food stores and supermarkets) can be given. Add 2 teaspoons or 1 teabag to 2 cups of boiling water, steep for 5 minutes, strain and cool. The teas can be sweetened with a little honey or add flavour with a few drops of lemon. For infants under 18 months, dilute this tea again 50:50 with cool boiled water or juice and give it to your child in a dropper or bottle, If you child won’t drink the tea, you can replace with pure frozen fruit juice bars.
Ginger promotes perspiration and helps eliminate chills. Place a 1cm piece of peeled and coarsely grated fresh ginger root (this amount is equivalent to 2 teaspoons) in a teapot or bowl and pour over 1 ½ cups of boiling water. Cover and allow to stand for 5-10 minutes, allow to cool to warm and add a dash of honey and a couple of drops of lemon to taste.
Lemon has antibacterial properties and its fresh scent will clear the air and head. 2-4 drops can be added to a humidifier or burner or fresh lemon can be added to water for a refreshing and soothing drink.
OLD FASHIONED REMEDIES
- Cool sponging/compresses.
- Tepid bathing.
Both these methods are very effective and you can add a few drops of lavender oil or a tablespoon of vinegar to the water to heighten its effect.
Sweat, Sweat, Sweat
Perspiration should be encouraged in the early stages of a cold as it cleanses and rids the body of infection (except when fever accompanies). Wrap children warmly in bed, give them hot baths and teas (Observing your children when doing these things can lead to the correct Homeopathic medicine – e.g. do they kick the covers off in bed?, do they feel better after a warm drink? etc.).
Salt Water Gargle
For older children who can gargle, a salt-water solution will help soothe a sore throat that may accompany a cold or flu. I teaspoon of salt can be added to a cup of warm water, stir it to dissolve the salt and gargle. This can be repeated up to 3 times per day.
Prop Up The Cot/Bed
Placing a pillow under one end your child’s mattress will enable them to sleep slightly elevated to enable them to breath and relieve congestion more readily.
Drink for the Sniffles
Mixing honey into a cup of warm milk is a good bedtime remedy for little ones with the sniffles who find getting to sleep difficult when they are not well.
To clear the nostrils of infants and children, using a tissue or cotton bud, being careful not to push too far in. In infants this is best done before feeding to ensure suckling and breathing at the same time is not difficult. If you are breast-feeding, you may like to add a drop of water or vegetable/olive oil to a small quantity of breast milk and drop 1 drop in each nostril to help them to unblock.
Refreshing Lemon Drink
A cooling lemon drink can be given to children with a fever. Slice 6 lemons and place them in a large jug. Sprinkle with 400g of sugar and pour over 500ml (2 cups) of boiling water, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Cover, refrigerate and stir occasionally. The mixture can be diluted in more water if desired and given to your child when needed.
If your child is too nauseated to sip water or any of the teas/drinks suggested, give them ice cubes to suck on – at least they will be maintaining their fluid intake to some degree.
The following supplements can be used to prevent or lessen the symptoms of colds and influenza. Dosage depends on age and weight so always check with a qualified practitioner or at least read the manufactures instructions on the label.
- Vitamin C: for its anti-inflammatory, immune boosting/antioxidant qualities.
- Zinc: Increases immune system function.
- Beta-carotene: Helps clear mucous membranes as it boots vitamin A production.
- Garlic: A natural antibacterial/antiviral/antibiotic.
- Echinacea/Goldenseal: Increase and support the immune system and are natural antibiotics.