There’s usually no need to run to the doctor if you have these natural remedies on hand. Colds are caused by viruses which cannot be treated with antibiotics. Fevers are effective infection fighters.
12 Natural Cold Remedies --
1. Moist air makes breathing easier, so if you have a dry house (especially if you heat with wood or forced air) you should have a humidifier running, especially where the sick child sleeps. Drops of Eucalyptus oil in the water can be helpful along with a eucalyptus rub on the chest and bottom of the feet.
2. During the day, make a steam tent with steaming water in a large pot and drops of eucalyptus oil in it for the child to breathe.
3. For chest congestion, which is worse upon waking, have your child lie face down on a bed or couch, with his or her head hanging over the side. Cup your hands and firmly pat the child’s back up and down (over the lungs) to help loosen the phlegm and encourage him to cough it up and out.
4. Take Ester C several times per day, up to 10,000 mg per day depending on age. Crush in honey for young children, one-year-old and older.
5. If raw garlic can be tolerated, it is highly recommended. Pieces of fresh garlic cloves can be swallowed whole like a pill and followed by drinking water or juice. Or, mince raw garlic and put in a spoonful of honey 3 times per day. Garlic pills also work, but don’t seem as effective as raw.
6. For earaches, steep sliced garlic in olive oil for at least 20 minutes. Mash, strain and cool. Drop garlic oil at a comfortably warm temperature into the ear canal. Have the child lay still several minutes before sitting up (wipe off any runoff from the ear). Place drops in both ears 2-3 times per day. If there’s sinus congestion, start this immediately.
7. Olive leaf extract is an excellent supplement that can be bought in capsule or drops. It is considered to be anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and antibiotic.
8. Slippery elm, licorice and marshmallow root (herbs, not candy) are soothing to mucus membranes and can be purchased in capsules or teas.
9. Make homemade cough syrup of raw honey, apple cider vinegar and garlic is effective.
10. Drink lots of water with fresh lemon juice.
11. Twice a day, wipe down all commonly handled spots in the home with a disinfectant spray.
12. Other helpful resources: motheringherbs.com and the book, Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child are excellent sources of information.
Important Notes: Honey should only be administered to children one-year-old and older. When pregnant or nursing consult a midwife or other natural health care provider before taking herbs.
Heidi Miller is a homeschooling mama of 9 children and 7 grandchildren. She lives on a farm in NW Alabama and enjoys gardening, reading, animals, meeting new friends and learning new things. Feel free to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.