- by Simarouba Yoga and Naturopathy Clinic
- 1 Shares
- Feb 09 2017
NATUROPATHY TO CURE COMMON COLD IN CHILDREN
Colds have a limited shelf life, usually between four and 10 days, and pretty much go away on their own. The best you can do is deal with the symptoms which, by the way, are evidence that your body is fighting the virus. One minute your child is romping around and the next, he's stuffy, coughing and whiny with the so-common cold. The fact is, your child's cold, while sad to watch, will vanish in a few days, and though you may not be able to do much to cure the cold, there are ways to ease the symptoms colds produce.
- Rest: Sleep is truly a great medicine, keeping us healthy in good times and helping us heal when sick. Released compounds boost the immune system, so encourage napping. Just don't layer on too many covers, as that can overheat your child, which, in turn, can elevate his or her temperature.
- Fluids: Keeping your child hydrated is essential to flush out germs, so push such drinks as water, fruit juices, milk, herbal teas and broth.
- Chicken Soup. The steam helps loosen congestion and the broth hydrates. Studies have also found that the chicken and other ingredients in the soup actually have an anti-inflammatory effect-a very good thing, since inflammation causes coughs and stuffed-up noses.
- Shower Steam or Warm Baths: As said, warm moist air is an effective symptom reliever, so in addition to using a humidifier, turn on the shower and let the hot water flow. The resulting warm air will help your child breathe more easily. If your kiddo prefer baths, immersing your child in a tub of very warm water works amazingly well in reducing a high temperature.
- Saline Nasal Spray: Unlike OTC decongestant nose sprays which shouldn't be used for more than three days and can actually worsen symptoms, saline nasal sprays are a simple mixture of salt and water, can be used repeatedly and can even be made at home. To make the solution, combine two to three teaspoons of salt (non-iodized) with one pint of water, and voila! You have a homemade natural remedy. Just have your child blow his nose first and then block one nostril at a time before squirting. And no blowing for several minutes afterward.
- Nasal Strips: Made for small noses, Breathe Right for Kids works by lifting up the sides of the nose and offers fuss-free, stuffy nose relief. They're especially good for getting through the night and perfect, too, for kids who hate nose sprays.
- Gargling: A post-nasal drip not only annoys, but also causes coughing and sore throats, too. Instead of reaching for medicated cough drops, though, simply mix ¼ teaspoon salt into a cup of very warm water for your child to gargle with. Though not a cure, it's sure to relieve the pain for a while and can be repeated as often as needed.
- Garlic: Garlic contains allicin, a compound which has been known to have anti-bacterial properties. The only problem you might face is getting your kids to eat it. Try mincing the garlic very finely and adding it to a light pasta sauce at dinner time to avoid its detection.
I use an herbal steam at the very first sign of a sore throat or stuffy nose for everyone in our household. It has gotten so that whenever my kids feel a sniffle or throat tickle coming on, they pull out a kitchen pot and come to me announcing their need for a steam. To use this treatment, bring a few cups of water just to boiling, remove it from the heat, add a few drops of essential oil, and then position your child's face above the pot, breathing in the steam. Make a tent with a towel over the head to better direct the steam. This treatment soothes dry noses and throats, loosens mucus in the chest and nose (so have tissues handy), and I believe it delivers the antibacterial properties of the essential oils to breathing passages.
Good herbs to try are lavender, mint, rosemary, tea tree and thyme.
Nasal Saline for Stuffy Noses
Perhaps the simplest and most overlooked natural treatment for a stuffy nose is saline. Pediatricians frequently recommend using it for babies, followed by use of a nasal aspirator. But the idea doesn't get much billing in treating older children. I think the reason is that older children REALLY don't like the idea of putting liquid up their noses. But it is so effective, I persist in convincing my children to do it. Once they experience the relief it brings, they'll submit to the treatment again. Tip the head back and put a few drops of saline in each nostril, keep it in there for a few seconds to allow it to break up the mucus in the nasal cavity, and then blow it out in a tissue.
Chest Congestion Remedies
Have you heard about the remedy of putting vapo-rub on the soles of the feet to open the lungs? It works. But if you would rather avoid using a petroleum-based product, you can use a few drops of eucalyptus and peppermint essential oils diluted in a small amount of vegetable oil instead. Rub this onto the chest, the feet, and put a little under the nose. Nursing moms can rub a small amount onto the breast to ease breathing during feeding time. Just remember that essential oils must be diluted before applying to the skin.
Herbal inhalers are simple and easy to use. You can buy one, but a homemade inhaler works just as well. Traditionally, glass vials or lined metal containers are used for inhalers to avoid altering the oil or breaking down the container. But for the brief time your kids will need it, you can use a small plastic container. Or you could use a plastic salt shaker. Stir together a tablespoon of salt and 5 to 10 drops of essential oil in the jar. Your child can then inhale the scent and it will open the nose and lungs.
Natural Treatment for Sore Throat
Traditional natural treatments for a sore throat include gargling with salt water and taking a large spoonful of honey. You can load their tea/ milk with as much honey as they will take. Herbal ice pops are a treat that will reduce swelling in the throat and a painless way to get your child to take herbs. You can also use a vaporizer in the child's room and maintain the moisture in the house with a humidifier.
Warning: Do not give honey to infants 12 months and younger, due to the risk of botulism.
Get a thick washcloth wet, wring it out thoroughly, and instruct your child to put part of it in their mouth, breathing whichever way is most comfortable (either mouth or nose). They will probably want to suck or chew on the washcloth, which is fine. The idea here is that you are delivering moisture to the throat the most direct way possible. In the morning, you will likely find the washcloth somewhere else in the bed or on the floor, but your child's sore throat will feel much better!
Never underestimate the healing power of touch! If your child is home sick, try to forget about the other chores you could be doing and simply hold them, rub their back, rock them, read to them, sing to them, and lie down and take a nap with them. Of course you will do as much as you can to ease your child's suffering, but if symptoms get significantly worse or it's been a long time with no improvement, you may need to use other remedies or make a trip to the doctor's office. Lastly, be sure to heed your intuition. If your gut is telling you something is wrong, don't hesitate to seek medical attention.
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