Well, last Wednesday we enjoyed the 70* weather...then came the snow. It showed up Friday morning and lasted all day. We got about 6 inches of snow, sleet, and freezing rain. And now, all of my children have runny noses and coughs (just about all of them). However, if I use the right stuff, that shouldn't last too long.
What do you do when your children are dealing with colds? Some people run them right to the doctor, but most of the time the doctor says that they have a viral infection and you will just have to let it pass. Or they give you a prescription for an antibiotic and tell you to wait a couple days, and if the symptoms persist then get the antibiotic.
Here is what I do: First things first, I identify the symptoms: colds, coughs, and even earaches can be treated at home. We always watch for a fever, if it lasts too long we take them to the doctor. But since I have been using natural remedies, they have gotten better very quickly and haven't had to make a visit to the doctor for sickness. These home remedies work with adults, too.
- For cold, cough, and earaches, I use garlic. You can use garlic powder from your local store or a garlic capsule from a vitamin shop. I "hide" the garlic in applesauce. I take a spoon and put some applesauce on the spoon. Using my finger, I make an indention in the applesauce. I open the garlic capsule (the ones with the gelatin shell & powdered garlic inside) and put it where the indention is on the applesauce. Then I take another spoon and get a little applesauce, and very carefully cover the garlic up on the spoon. Then down the shoot it goes. I give this to all of my children, except my youngest. She is just getting to the age that I use this treatment. If you purchased powdered garlic from the grocery store, then you can use about 1/8-1/4 tsp garlic with the applesauce following the same directions.For adults and older children, you can just take the garlic capsules. Why use garlic? Here is why: it is a natural antibiotic, it calms a cough, and because of its natural infection fighting properties it actually may help you get better faster. My 3 year old daughter is prone to a cough. She will cough so hard that she "tosses her cookies", so to speak. If I get the garlic in her when she first gets the cough, it usually goes away quickly and even when the cough has progressed, she is only needs the garlic for 2-3 days. I use these dosages for 3+ years, if they are 2 years old and they will take it, use half the dosage.
- Another "home remedy" for coughs and colds is honey and lemon. You mix the honey and lemon half & half. I heat it slightly in the microwave to help it mix. You can use this as often as you need it for the cough. This treatment has worked well for my children.
- Vitamin C is also very helpful. It should be taken 3 times a day. I usually give my children the 500 mg chewable tablets (5 years and older), & 1/2 of a 500 mg chewable tablet for 3-5 years, 1/4 of a 500 mg tablet for younger (2-3 years). If your child should get diarrhea, then you should decrease their vitamin C dosage.
- Chicken soup with lots of celery, carrots, and onions. If your child won't eat the veggies, just cook the veggies well in the chicken broth and strain them out. They will still benefit from the soup. Carrots are high in beta-carotene which helps with the cold, onions have much of the same properties as the garlic, and celery is good for its cleansing properties.
- Earaches are easily treated, too. You'll need a towel for this and cotton balls. First you take peroxide and put it in the ears with a dropper. This will clean out the infection. If it is too cold for your child, then you can put a little peroxide in a medicine cup and place it in the microwave for 5-15 seconds until lukewarm. Then while you are putting the peroxide in the ears, you can heat the sweet oil (extra virgin olive oil) up in a cup of hot water for about 8-10 minutes. You put the warm oil in the ears with a dropper, and put a cotton ball in the ear to keep it from dripping everywhere. The warm oil will soothe the earache and help it to get better, but it must be warm. Cold olive oil does not have the same healing properties as warm olive oil.
If your children are experiencing symptoms of the stomach virus, stay away from these things as they will cause more stomach upset.
- For diarrhea, you can use blackberry jam, fresh or frozen blackberries, or blackberry juice (sweetened with a little sugar).
- Also for diarrhea, you can make oatmeal gruel by taking 3/4 cups oatmeal and adding 3 cups water, sugar to taste, and a pinch of salt. Cook this mixture until it resembles a thick pudding. When finished you can add vanilla for flavor.
- Dry cereal like rice chex, and saltines are always good.
- Homemade Pedialyte is also good for diarrhea, here's the recipe: 2 quarts drinking water, 7 Tablespoons sugar, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, unsweetened koolaid (optional) if you want to flavor it. This is good for diarrhea and upset stomach.
*NOTE: I am not a doctor, nor do I claim to be. I am simply a mother who has been there. I have tried every remedy that I have listed. If your child is prone to food allergies, PLEASE, please take precautions. Also, I am not encouraging you to not use a doctor, these are only recommendations and they are not guaranteed to help with all children and/or adults. If your child has experienced a long battle with an illness, please take them to the doctor!!!