I've been slowly accumulating more natural and healthy alternatives to the standard OTC medicines out there, so I want to share some of my favorite items below. As always, these remedies don't take the place of proper sleep, rest, nutrition, and exercise! It is difficult to tell when a homeopathic medicine is working b/c it is not filled with lots of sugar or alcohol or things that have immediate and dramatic effects, but I have felt the difference and seen it in my children.
When everyone around you is getting sick and you just want to bolster your child's immune system, try Elderberry syrup. You can try it for adults, too:
Boiron Cold or Flu Calm
When the first symptoms of a cold or flu appear, pop a few of these tablets (follow specific instructions). Boiron offers homeopathic remedies for both cold and flu. I found mine at Trader Joe's.
If your young child has a runny nose and they are pre-disposed to getting ear infections, try garlic drops. When my eldest daughter was still a young toddler she got multiple ear infection and suffered from the antibiotics b/c the bacteria were developing resistance. Then a friend told me about garlic drops, and since I started using them we have never had any ear infections!!! Alhamdulellah. If a young toddler or baby has a runny nose, I simple give one or two drops, two or three times a day, to help prevent an infection from developing in their under-developed ear canals. This has been one of the BEST natural items in my medicine cabinet!! You an also make your own in a pinch, following these instructions: http://
When the little ones have tons of mucus and congestion, I bust out my nose frida. A good friend introduced this one to me as well, but I was skeptical at first. I was concerned that I'd be ingesting some of that stuff, but I was assured that no such thing would happen. Instead, I had the satisfaction of watching all that wretched material exit the little nostrils of my uncomfortable children, this leaving them less at risk to developing a nasty sinus infection up there. Before I used it, I would spray some saline nose spray in each nostril first. You can't use the nose frida too often b/c the membranes of the nose are quiet delicate and you don't want to agitate it too much.
If you have a cold or flu, try Umcka. It will help your body heal faster, not just mask the symptoms. Dr. Christiane Northrup of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom mentioned it in one of her books as a wonderful natural remedy. Its safe for pregnant and nursing mothers, which makes it wonderful to have on hand!
And now for essential oils.
Coughs & Congestion
When someone is stuffed up or has a cough, I mix 2-3 drops of eucalyptus essential oil with about a tablespoon of carrier oil, such as jojoba or coconut, and rub it on the chest and the soles of feet. (Never use essential oil undiluted! Never leave them within reach of children. Never ingest them unless you have consulted a professional, they are powerful and can cause damage internally!)
When my children have a virus, I mix 2-3 drops of four thieves essential oil (also known as on-guard) with a tablespoon of carrier oil, and rub it on the soles of the feet, or pit a few drops on a tissue so they can just inhale it. This mix has cloves, lemon, rosemary, eucalyptus, and cinnamon in it.
When my children have a fever, I use lavender essential oil, or peppermint, in the same way described above (mixing with a carrier oil), and apply it to their feet and the base of their spine. A few drops of lavender oil on their pillow helps them sleep at night, especially if they aren't feeling well and are restless.
A diffuser might be excellent for using some of these! I don't have one so I just put a few drops of the desired oil straight into my inexpensive cool mist humidifier.
Additional items to keep on hand, especially if you have young ones:
Toddlers are bruise magnets! The sharp corner of the wall or the pointy edge of the table--those are what I notice first when I enter a new space. The are the first things my kids' heads are likely to contact as they start running around. Keep this little homeopathic tube on hand to treat bruises and achy muscles, it helps them heal faster and deal a bit with the pain!
This natural detoxifier is important to keep on hand as a first aid for poison control! It absorbs whatever toxin your child may have ingested. I suggest buying a bag of loose charcoal, and not the capsule, so you don't have to mess around with the capsule (I know my kids would not swallow such a capsule). In case of emergency, mix a bit with water and squirt it into your child's mouth using those little medicine syringes that come with fever reducer meds. It is DEFINITELY messy if you decide to go with the loose, powder form instead of the capsule, but that is just my own personal preference. (The bonus is that you can use it for other health and beauty fixes).
I hope these items help you as much as they have helped me! :)