As I write this, I am standing in the predawn darkness of my kitchen listening to my morning ritual percolate awaiting the first child to belt out a grungy like cough that will catapult me into another days’ nursing.
For many, the holidays are a joyous time. They are for us as well, however, inevitably from the over indulgence in traditional, frosted, caloric heavy delights, we ring in the new year stricken with the latest microbe wrapping my littles up in blankets, landing them on the couch, cuddling kleenex boxes or the vomit bucket. This year has proven to align with the previous few; no, I have not learned my lesson. Although my kids no longer catch every bug flying about as they did pre-healthier lifestyle, they occasionally do fall ill to the nasties, especially my youngest who still derives joy from taste testing unfamiliar surroundings, toys, and people.
Undeniably, I am one of those moms who see my children as endearing, cuddly guinea pigs placed in my home for experimental procedures, an avenue by which I express my love. I figure I can either take them to the doctor, who by definition is “practicing medicine,” OR I can run my own investigations on these God given subjects of mine.
Naturally, if a persistent fever runs too high (around 103 degrees) for consecutive days or other obvious warning signs appear (purple or blue lips from obstructed breathing, dehydration due to consistent vomiting), we do visit one who is more educated than I in the current bacteria that abound regionally.
A NOTE ON BACTERIA, VIRUSES & ANTIBIOTICS
This may be review for many, all the same, it is ever constructive to brush up on the basics. Antibiotics are effective against bacterial infections. Antibiotics ARE NOT effective against viral infections. Extended antibiotic use may precipitate a myriad of health problems.
Two considerable side effects are:
- developing a resistance to antibiotics due to the overuse of them,
- killing off all beneficial bacteria along with the bad in a person’s gut while on the prescription.
The second side effect can bring with it a host of detrimental health issues if a proper gut restoration regimen is not followed post wonder drug consumption. If you are floating in this boat, here is a well written article on how to begin healing your gut..and maybe reclaiming your sanity.
Next time you find yourself sitting aside a doctor with a sickly one in your lap, ask the simple question, “To the best of your knowledge, Dr., is this a virus or a bacterial infection?” This query will provide clarity as to what you are dealing with and very well may prevent an unnecessary prescription.
Below is a list of the weapons that will be used on my 2, 4, 6, and 8 year old (yep, they are all sick) when they awaken to day three of coughs, fevers, runny noses, headaches, and sore throats. This round of infirmities has been battered with all my arsenal holds as my beloved husband declared just hours before the first bark flew from my daughter’s throat that he had secretly planned a much needed weekend away as a family. We now leave tomorrow. Hence, my house is bubbling over with broth, humidifiers, the diffuser, the tea kettle, baths, and a bathroom converted into a steam room.
- PRAYER Always start here. Pray our Father touches our dear, sweet sickos with His Healing Hand.
- THE JUICER The internet is replete with fresh juice recipes for any ailment one might have. From colds to sinus infections to IBS, a juicer has been one of the most utilized appliances in our home.
- THE TEAPOT Upset tummies call for fresh grated ginger tea. Stuffy noses and colds are combatted with peppermint tea infused with honey and lemon.
- THE DIFFUSER
A worthwhile investment indeed. We diffuse Peppermint, Breathe, OnGuard, Thyme and Purify essential oils in rooms with the latest cold virus. Thyme works well for those whose colds have migrated south into the lungs. Peppermint clears stuffy nasal passages. Lemon & Purify cleanse the air. Lavender calms.
- ESSENTIAL OILS
Melaleuca is useful against ear infections and sinus infections. Breathe (doTERRA’s respiratory blend) mixed in a carrier oil and rubbed on chests and the bottoms of feet assists in opening airways. Peppermint can be used to clear the sinuses as well as calm tummies. Thyme is great for coughs that are beyond just drainage as well as sinus infections. Onguard (doTERRA’s protective blend) as well as Lemon boost immune systems. Lavender works well to calm fussy, agitated children as well as aiding the body in healing ear infections. When using essential oils, please do the research to find a high quality brand that can be taken internally, used topically and aromatically as not all oils can. Regulation on oils in the U.S. are very slack. Here is an article written by a momma more motivated than I regarding essential oils and kids. Naturally, if you choose doTERRA for your health needs, why not sign up with me? 🙂 Maybe then my husband will cease from rolling his eyes at the monthly oil delivery. I digress…
- HOMEMADE CHICKEN BROTH
It is flat out brilliant to have a jug of this in the fridge year round. A couple gallons kept on hand during the fall through spring months proves mighty useful. Making soups from scratch with homemade broth is yummy goodness for the heart, belly and mind. My kids drink it straight when they are sick. Oh, the sweet memories I am instilling in my children. Here is an article discussing scientifc data supporting chicken soup consumption when feeling under the weather.
- THE HONEY POT & CINNAMON
Raw honey comforts coughs that often rack little bodies. Also, drinking tea with fresh squeezed lemon or Lemon essential oil and honey is great for sore throats. Having a child eat a teaspoon of honey mixed with cinnamon helps boost an immune system, calms indigestion and can clear sinuses. Surprisingly, my kids do not cringe at this concoction. Here is an aritlce describing the benefits of both.
Cinnamon alone soothes upset stomachs, relieves colds and the flu. Oatmeal (made with oats soaked for at least 24 hours to break down the phytates) slathered with honey and cinnamon is the breakfast of champions during this season.
This fruit is an immune enhancer, antibacterial, and an antiviral. When mixed with warm water and honey and ingested regularly can assist in reducing fevers. Combine one cup of warm water and one teaspoon of salt with the fresh juice of a lemon and gargle for sore throats.
- GINGER ROOT
This knotted looking wonder clears various channels in the body such as the sinuses and throat. Ginger is most popular for its ability to calm a rumbling belly. Morning sickness comes to mind…ugh…
- THE OTOSCOPE
A big investment, yes. However, the cost of an otoscope is less than a standard office visit to a traditional doctor. If you have more than one child, it’s worth it. Hey, register for one for your next baby shower!
- GARLIC EAR DROPS
Garlic Mullein Oil is used for ear infections. It can be purchased at a health food store. This one alone has saved us multiple trips to the walk in clinic.
- OTOPLEX Two years ago we did battle a stubborn ear infection that resisted all my charms. We received Otoplex as an alternative to an antibiotic from a naturopath in town.
- MOTHER’S EARTH SYRUP
This liquid was also prescribed to us by the naturopath the same bleak morning of the ear issue after battling a very angry upper respiratory infection for countless days. It does work more slowly than an antibiotic. Howbeit, sometimes instant healing from an antibiotic is more detrimental to the overall health of a child than if the slower, more holistic path is taken.
- COTTON & WOOL SOCK TREATMENT
Now, this is my children’s favorite procedure (dripping in sarcasm). But it works. If you would like to undertake the implementation of this lung clearing, fever reducing remedy, click here for instructions. I have not tried this with my two year old.
- GARLIC Sweet garlic. In the past, when I noticed the first signs of illness, I would take this lovely herb straight up in a juice or crushed up on toast. Sadly, I witnessed my hubby moving farther away from me during these days. Correspondingly, when we are fighting illness now, I saturate our meals with garlic. Here is a an article describing the specifics on garlic’s healthful properties.
In addition to these tools, we avoid sugar and dairy as much as possible. Translation: No sugar until mommy goes on a binge that is discovered by the kids.
It should be noted there are many other natural remedies not listed here. For example, the mustard pack or a carrot poultice. If these names entice your curiousity, google away. 🙂 This list is merely the remedies I personally have found to be helpful in alleviating symptoms and speeding along recovery.
As I sit here, I am trying to remember the last antibiotic we used with one of our children. I can remember one in the last four years or so. My eldest battled a crazy infection that I learned two days after we began the antibiotic at a routine dentist appointment that she had an abscess tooth from a teeter totter accident. Before that, I cannot remember the last prescription we filled.
Lastly, here is a picture of the trifecta of fun my kids ingest daily to keep things in order internally.
Let me know if you choose to apply any of these remedies to your children with success. It would warm my subject’s hearts to know they have not suffered in vain.