With 2 sick babies this week I was forced to revisit my arsenal of go to remedies. j came down with a nasty cough, and Baby a followed shortly after. Both of them added runny noses, and well, there are just a lot of germs swirling around my house right now. I am not thrilled. Baby a is still EBF, so I am all she’s got…literally. j is running off of his own immune system.
I am pretty calculated about what goes in, on, and around our bodies. I believe in a whole foods approach. Which means, we use some supplements, but heavily depend on our nutrients, vitamins and minerals to come bioavailable sources, mainly foods. (Bioavailable = that the nutrient is able to have an active affect on our bodies. Depending on a supplement’s source and form, our bodies may not be able to integrate it properly. For that reason I tend to lean towards what I call a “whole foods” approach, and trust only specific companies and sources for vitamin and mineral supplements. By “whole foods” I mean foods without labels.)
For this particular rodeo I took a 3 pronged approach:
In: For the family members who can eat we pumped up the vitamin C; fruits, veggies and spices (lemon, greens, tumeric, cumin), garlic, onion, elderberry, echinacea, honey and oh yes, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. I will work on getting the Dal recipe that I make posted soon. It incorporates lentils, lemon, turmeric, cumin, garlic, onion and the whole family will eat it. In the mornings I serve warm lemon water with honey, and after breakfast and dinner a teaspoon of elderberry syrup.
On: I use the Maty’s brand chest rubs, Baby variation for a, and the vapor rub version for the bigger kids. We finish the days with Epsom salt baths and onion socks. The Epsom salt baths are a little treat for our bodies. Baths help you sleep better, and the salts soothe achy muscles. I like to use a couple of drops of essential oils (3-6 drops) in the water too. The oils combined with the steam opens up airways. Just keep the bathroom door closed to help the steam build up.
Around: We diffuse essential oils throughout the day and night. I also firmly believe in sunshine and fresh air. I like to open the windows to let in fresh air and sunlight (and let out germs trapped in over night). Sunlight kills germs and refreshes us. I like take the kids out for walks. I think it is important for them to get the fresh air, and vitamin d.
Here is a run down of staples that we use. The products I purchased on *Amazon are linked. (These are the direct links to the products from where I ordered them. I would never list a source that I don’t use myself.):
- Elderberry syrup (here is the link for the dried elderberries – I make a batch of syrup when I think one of us is getting sick, or to bolster immune systems before trips)
- Rocky Mountain Oils (RMO) Breathe Ease
- (RMO) Immune Strength
- Essential Oil Diffuser – This is not the fanciest diffuser you have ever seen, but in my experience you can’t beat this product for its value. It diffuses well, and all of the lights can be turned off if you are a vampire like me and insist on a DARK room to sleep in at night.
- Maty’s Baby All Natural Chest Rub / Maty’s All Natural Vapor Rub The baby one is quite mild and noted for 3+ months. I use the vapor rub on everyone but a.
- Onion socks. OK, this stinky remedy sounds strange and I have yet to find actual scientific studies that back up this smelly option, but from what I have read onion farmers dodged the plague, and well, if it was good enough for them, it is good enough for me…and I swear that my kids feel better the morning after. I am not sure how, but it seems to magically leach germs out of them. And some science was once considered magic, so again, I’ll take it. Feel free to try it and PLEASE let me know what you think. (The room will smell like onions, but I would rather air out a room than watch my nuggets suffer, AND be woken up 18,000 times in one night by sick babies.)
- Garlic: This anti bacterial power house can be incorporated into meals (soups, stir frys…etc). If your subjects are older you can finally chop a clove and offer it in a spoon of honey. I find this works best on a full tummy.
- Manuka Honey – I bought ours from Trader Joes. Thrive Market sells one (love them), and most reputable health food stores should carry a variety. Because this is honey, its a no no for babies. Manuka honey is a product of New Zealand and has immune boosting properties. It comes in various ratings. 10 + is anti-bacterial, 16+ is superior and has an increased potency.
- Epsom Salt (BTW this is a 19 lbs bag…)- I toss a handful into a warm bath. It relieves stress and helps detoxify the body. Plus the kids think its a special treat and feel like royalty when I sprinkle it in.
New to the arsenal:
- Maty’s Children Cough Syrup I have used Maty’s rubs, but the syrup was new to me. I dosed j with it twice and he coughed less each time. I tasted it and it is thick (kind of the point) but pleasant. To me it tasted like butterscotch. j had to be coaxed a bit but took spoonfuls on both occasions. I would definitely use it again. Please note this syrup has honey in it and should not be used for babies under 1 year old.
Suddenly on paper this looks kind of like overkill, but played out, my kids basically get a detox spa week when they are sick and thats OK with me. They LOVE the baths, and the little rituals of potions and smells. Even though they are sick and its definitely a bummer, it makes me happy to be able to make them comfortable.
I AM NOT A DOCTOR. THIS POST IS INFORMATION ON HOW I TREAT AND CARE FOR MY FAMILY. ALWAYS UTILIZE COMMON SENSE AND CONSULT YOUR OWN DOCTOR.
*There are affiliate links in this post. If you click through and purchase directly from theses links I may make a small commission at no additional cost to you.