Natural Remedies for Winter Ills & Chills
Parents are at the frontlines of the longest battle in human history every winter – a battle against the common cold and flu. Every year, these “winter ills” become the greatest concern for parents of babies and small children.
What parent wants to watch their little one suffer? It can be heart wrenching to watch a child go through the aches and pains associated with a cold or the flu. At the same time, not every parent wants to pump medicine or antibiotics in their children. With the development of modern medicine, humanity is at its strongest to battle this menace. However, many parents are opting to take the natural route when it comes to remedies for “winter ills”.
Winter ailments can be tackled with a more preventive stance than a curative one. By eating healthy, bundling up when going out in cold weather, getting enough sleep, and taking vitamins, a child’s immune system can ward off sickness better. At the same time, if a child gets a cold or the flu, pumping antibiotics or other medicines that have side effects just aren’t appealing to many parents.
Should your child get a cold or the flu, here are some effective natural remedies that will help decrease symptoms and heal your little boy or girl faster.
You’ve most likely heard about treating a fever with chicken noodle soup. Now, you may think this is just something grandmothers say, but it has some viable backup from researchers. If you’re going to make such soup for your child, use organic, free range chicken, and add plenty of garlic and onion to the broth. While you’re simmering the broth, leave the chicken on the bone so that the broth gets some wonderful healing nutrients from the bone marrow. Of course, you’ll want to remove the bones before feeding the soup to your child. Now, this won’t really take away your child’s fever, but it will bring him or her comfort, and will add to your natural efforts at decreasing uncomfortable symptoms.
Treating nasal blockages
You know the bulb syringe the doctor used when your baby was born to excrete fluid from the nose and mouth? You can certainly use that to clear a baby’s stuffy nose. It may make the baby uncomfortable for a moment, but they’ll be able to breathe better.
A stuffy nose can be a horror show for parents of babies. The baby can’t breathe because of its blocked nose and finds it difficult to sleep. They wake in the middle of the night crying and some babies will have a tough time breastfeeding due to the blocked passages. A saline solution provides a readily available remedy for children. For infants, there are saline drops available. For children over four, using a neti pot can help, the solution can clear out blocked nostrils. Be sure to read the directions for making the saline solution, and always use distilled water. (NEVER use tap water, as there could be a harmful organism that could cause harm to your child.)
If your baby is really stuffed up, sometimes steam can help in clearing out nasal congestion. Although, if your child is suffering from asthma, then you should avoid using steam. Steam can be breathed in by taking a hot shower, using a steamer or even a bowl of hot water. You may want to put a humidifier or cool mist vaporizer in their bedroom too. For even greater benefits, you can use essential oils with steam. Peppermint and eucalyptus can help with sinus related problems, while chamomile and lavender can help with headaches. However, use them in moderation as their effect can be strong.
Salt and baking soda are often recommended for treating sore throats. For children four years’ old and above, gargling with a tablespoon full of salt or baking soda in warm water is a well-known solution for this. But teaching a child to gargle is not as simple as it seems. Other solutions for sore throat can be herbal teas and lozenges made from honey, ginger, licorice can also help with sore throats. Eucalyptus and chamomile are also often recommended. However, avoid giving honey for infants below the age of one to avoid risk of botulin spores.
If your child comes down with a cold or the flu, be sure that he or she gets plenty of rest. You may want to keep him home from school for several days and let him sleep as much as possible. The body needs rest when it is dealing with illness, so create a peaceful and nurturing atmosphere for your child, so he can rest easily on his way toward healing.
Try not to rush to the doctor to have your child put on antibiotics, as the viral nature of the flu and a cold makes many antibiotics useless. There are many natural homemade remedies that are very effective and have stood the test of time. Try some natural remedies the next time your child comes down with a cold or the flu.
However, if your child does not get better, or is getting worse, always consult your physician.