Favorite Natural Cold remedies
When one of my kids tells me they have a sore throat, I jump into action! I have learned from past experience that the faster I get natural remedies into them, the better they work. I like to “hit viruses hard” so they don’t turn into something ugly like bronchitis or a sinus infection.
Here are some of my favorite immune boosters and virus killers. These natural cold remedies can boost your immunity and help you to fight off infections.
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One of the first things I get out when one of us starts to feel we are coming down with something is Beekeeper’s natural propolis throat spray because it helps with sore throat pain and it starts fighting the cold. The propolis spray can be taken all the time to keep immunity high.
Then I give them one of my favorite anti viral and anti bacterial herbal remedies-Echinacea Goldenseal Plus. This can be given 3-4 times a day. The dosage will vary based on weight. I take two full dropperfulls, but would give half that dose to a child who was around half my weight. I would use a different herbal tincture for a small child. (My children aren’t small anymore-they are both teens.)
This herbal tincture can be taken up to two weeks.
I also make sure that any child who is struggling with an illness has their daily dose of cod liver oil. Cod liver oil is full of immune boosting Vitamins A and D. Vitamin A is super powerful for warding off illnesses and/or making them less severe. As an added bonus cod liver oil can help prevent cavities.
I like the Rosita brand of cod liver oil and the Garden of Life brand. Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil is completely unrefined and produced under the total absence of heat, a process that protects its nutritional value. It is real Norwegian cod liver oil that is fresh, raw & handcrafted from wild livers using a very rare ancient extraction technique which uses nature to separate the oil from its liver. No chemicals, solvents and mechanical devices are ever used during the extraction process.
Garden of Life cod liver oil isn’t as good as Rosita, but is a good cod liver oil and is much cheaper. Garden of Life cod liver oil doesn’t contain synthetic vitamins (many cod liver oils do). Garden of Life also has a high vitamin A content. If the Rosita brand isn’t in your budget, you might consider getting the Garden of Life brand.
I give the cod liver oil in some water with lemon juice and honey to help mask the flavor. I make sure they have eaten before I give them this because it could make their tummy hurt if it was taken on an empty stomach. Of course, cod liver oil is great to take all the time to keep immunity high.
I also make sure that my kids take vitamin C-they can take this all the time, but I make sure they have it if they are fighting something. Vitamin C is a great immune booster and cold and flu fighter. I like the liposomal form because it is easy on the belly and it is very absorbable-this means it works great! The directions on the bottle of vitamin C say to consult a physician if you are under the age of 18 or pregnant etc. But, I feel fine with my teenagers having a dose of vitamin C. Use your own discretion on this one.
I also make up a batches of this “Nature’s Flu Shot“. It is a drink made from lemon juice, pineapple juice, and some spices and herbs. I think this drink has made a big difference in my youngest daughter staying clear of illnesses. I give it to her often, especially when she has been out and about a lot. She only has to drink 1/2 cup a day. I would have her to drink it more than once a day if I thought she might be coming down with something.
I made mine from high quality bottled lemon juice because I can keep that in the house and I don’t often have fresh lemons in the house. I also don’t add quite as much cayenne as the recipe says, because cayenne is very strong! My daughter also waters down her “Nature’s Flu Shot” because it is a strong drink. Check out the Nature’s Flu Shot recipe here.
I give this to my older teen (young adult). I honestly haven’t researched this for kids so I can’t make a recommendation there. Astragulus is known for helping those with low energy or adrenal type problems. It helps the body cope with stress. It also keeps the immune system strong.
Astragulus is anti-inflammatory and protects the liver and kidneys. You can see some more benefits and scientific studies here. Astragulus can be used for months safely-how long is somewhat dependent on the dose. Many people like to take it during cold and flu season.
If my daughter complains of ear pain-especially in one ear-I would suspect an ear infection trying to take hold. For that I like to use Mullein Garlic Oil. I have found this to really help ear pain and/or infection.
This is a good infection fighter. My daughter can drink just plain apple cider vinegar and water. But you can add some honey to it if you need some sweetener. You don’t have to drink much to get the health benefits-I recommend a Tbsp. of apple cider vinegar for around 2 cups of water.
Honey can help relieve sore throats and coughs. It is great for adding to natural remedies to make them more palatable. I like to use this Nature Nate’s raw honey for health benefits and taste. If I want something with even stronger healing properties, I use Manuka honey.
Manuka honey is especially good for digestion, immunity and healing sore throats. To get the greatest benefit from Manuka honey, look for a UMF rating of 10-14. This should be clearly labeled on the jar.
Children under 1 year old should not consume any type of honey. It can be dangerous for them.
If one of my kids has an upset tummy, I make them some ginger tea or black tea. Both of these can help calm tummies. If your child needs the tea to taste sweet, add a little honey. Usually if I can get a little tea into the sick person first, they are more open to eating (which also helps with the nausea or upset tummy-if the tummy is from a cold type virus. If the nausea is from a tummy flu, they probably don’t need to eat.)
To make ginger tea, you will need either fresh or dried ginger. I use dried ginger since I don’t have to worry about it going bad. I add some dried ginger and water to a pot. I bring it to a boil and then turn it down to a simmer for a few minutes.
11. Fever Breakers
This is one area where I do give a non natural remedy-Tylenol! Here are a few things I consider before giving Tylenol-Does the child feel really bad? If they are only mildly uncomfortable or have a low grade fever with minimal discomfort, I will let the fever do its thing-a fever is actually helpful for killing off viruses and can help recovery come quicker. I have had pediatricians to tell me not to give tylenol too often-as in every 4 hours on the dot. In other words, not all fevers are dangerous. If you are unsure if your child’s fever is serious, you can always call your pediatrician. Some fevers can be serious.
If you want to try some natural remedies for a fever, try yarrow or goot. Yarrow is a herb that is helpful for fevers. Goot is a salve you can rub on your child’s feet. It can also be helpful for getting rid of fevers.
If my child is feeling really badly, I will give them tylenol. I am more likely to give Tylenol if it is night so that she will sleep well. I try to give natural remedies away from the Tylenol, because I am careful of interactions. In other words, usually I have already given the natural remedies during the day, and then I give tylenol at night if I deem that it is needed for sleep or relief. Some natural remedies can interact with drugs. Though it is unlikely, I err on the side of caution.
How to feel confident in using natural remedies
As a disclaimer, I want to add that each sickness needs to be evaluated separately. You know your child best, and it is up to you of how best to treat each sickness. If you want more confidence in treating illnesses with natural remedies, you may want to get the book Mommy Diagnostics. This book can help you to tell if your child has a minor illness or something that may warrant a doctor visit.
I think this book does a good job of telling you warning symptoms to look for-for instance, it helps you to know what a cold looks like versus a more serious illness. It taught me a lot about the different kinds of infections (viral and bacterial).
Mommy Diagnostics has a lot of information about smaller children. My children aren’t small, and I don’t have to think as much about what herbs or supplements would be safe for them. If you do though, I would definitely recommend this book.
cold Remedies in Pregnancy
Pregnancy can make things more difficult when it comes to using cold remedies. Many medications are contraindicated during pregnancy. Some natural things are also not safe. Shonda Parker has written another book called the “Naturally Healthy Pregnancy“. This book can help you have a lot more confidence in using natural herbs and supplements during pregnancy.
This book answers all the questions about nutritional and herbal medicine for optimum health during pregnancy. Shonda Parker has a balanced approach to herbal and traditional medicine. She gives detailed information on what remedies are safe during pregnancy.
Natural Remedies are Safe and Effective
I love using natural remedies for getting rid of colds and other yucky symptoms! Though there is a place for Tylenol and other drugs, many times natural remedies are safer and they have the added benefit of strengthening your immune system so that you get sick less often. An ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure!
* Disclaimer: This post is not medical advice. I am not a doctor or medical professional. I share only from my own experiences and research. Consult your own practitioner before making changes in your diet or supplements.
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