A nasty cold's been brewing in our household. Jaden was the first to get it and it was a bad one! Jericho started getting strangely fussy the other day and that's when I knew we were in for it! Surprisingly, Jericho hasn't had any bad illnesses since he had pneumonia, a year ago now. Maybe it's because he caught everything in his first year of life! Later in the even on Wednesday, Jericho became very lethargic and just wanted to snuggle. The next morning he was even more lethargic and would cry, almost inconsolably and out of the blue, saying, "Owie!!!". He slept on and off most of the day, didn't eat a thing, nursed every hour (thank GOODNESS he's still breastfeeding!) and towards the later part of the day became sort of shaky. I decided that my Mama intuition was telling me to call his doctor (our Naturopath). We took him in and SURPRISE! Jericho had his first ever ear infections! Two of them; one being pretty infected. *Sigh*
A day later our boy was mostly healed (Praise God) and we were able to get through without any pharmaceutical drugs. Here is a list of natural methods of healing our sick children.
As always, my post is NOT to diagnose or treat. I am not a doctor and am just sharing what has work for us. I'll put a * next to the ones that we did for this current illness.
All Around Immune Boosters:
*A scrupulous diet will do more for your body than any medicine or vaccine!
*Garlic! Preferably fresh.
*Probiotics* (I add these to whatever Jericho is drinking- the higher quality the better), especially if your child has EVER been given antibiotics.
*Natural, food based vitamin C* (best way to get this is through food. If you can get your child to eat, an orange or some baked yam is a yummy way to get tons of vitamin C) or vitamin C in the sodium ascorbate form (find SA online or at Super Supplements)
*Vitamin D is great for all around immune support, as well*
*Cod Liver Oil is my favorite natural source of vitamin D as well as a host of healthy fats
*Echinaccea* (you can buy children's tinctures at any store that sells natural remedies)
*Elderberry syrup* is a great antiviral and immune stimulator. Jericho's ND whipped us up a customized antiviral tincture that included Elderberry. How cool is that?!)
Cold and Flu Symptoms With Fever:
A note about fevers: fevers are the body's natural response to an invader. The higher temperature is NECESSARY to fight the illness. The goal during a fever is to stimulate a strong immune response and healing. Not reduce the fever.
*PLENTY of fluids. Preferably nutrient packed ones, such as:
*Breastmilk* (PACKED with perfect nutrition, including specific antibodies to whatever your baby is sick with! Check out the link for more info)
*Home made chicken stock* (An old time classic- and for good reason!)
*Whole fruit smoothies made with high vitamin C fruit* (sometimes I'll buy an Odwalla and dilute it a bit)
*You can freeze whole fruit juice or smoothies (even breastmilk) to make into cooling popcicles!
*Coconut water- a natural electrolyte drink that used to be given in IV's!
*Belladonna* (specifically when the child's fever is accompanied with red cheeks)
*Gelsemium (specifically when fever is accompanied with headache, weakness and dizziness)
*Hylands and Boiren (to name a few) have a variety of Homeopathics to suit your needs (I've heard especially awesome reports of Osccillicinium by Boiren.
*Allium Cepa (give at the first sign of cold such as runny nose with clear mucus)
*Pulsatilla (to be given as the clear mucus progresses to thicker mucus)
*Raw Honey* to babies over one. My sister has a friend who made her a concoction of delicious immune support by simply mixing raw honey and slivered ginger
*Vitamin D3* in an important immune booster
*Sodium Ascorbate (a type of vitamin C) has been touted as an amazing antiviral and even cancer fighter. I know of many parents who swear by Sodium Ascorbate for healing even from Whooping Cough. It's best to use this in powder form. Give your child (the amount depends on weight- click on the link for more info) enough to cause loose stools and then cut back (known as dosing to 'bowel tolerance')- Buy Sodium Ascorbate HERE.
Coughs and Congestion:
*Raw honey* can coat an inflammed throat and be very soothing
*Raw ginger is a dirt cheap natural cough inhibitor
*Traditional Medicinals has an arsenal of teas to help with coughs. I've heard great stuff about "Throat Coat" for helping with coughing
*Eucalyptus oil applied to the chest, bottom of feet or under the nose can help relieve congestion. You can add it to your humidifier, as well.
*Prop your child's head up at night for better rest. This can help with cough as well as stuffy nose symptoms.
*Wet or Warming Sock Treatment* (this is great for ANY inflammation or fever)
*A few drops of olive oil with garlic juice* (add mullein oil for even more benefits! I actually purchased a mixture of these three items at Fred Meyer. You can warm it a bit if you choose)
*Breastmilk* (just squirt it on in!)
*General immune boosters listed above (make sure your child's immune system is prepared for battle!)
*Homeopathic Pulsatilla is effective in treating ear infections
Stomach Flu or Food Poisoning:
*Breastmilk (besides the nutritional benefits, such as probiotics, it provides tons of comfort!)
*Probiotics, probiotics, probiotics! You ideally want a mixture that includes L. rhamnosus, S. boulardii and L. Reuteri. These have been proven to be the most effective strains in healing rotavirus infections. Your standard P.B. (they usually contain acidolphilus and bifidobacterium bifidum) will also work.
*Fermented, nondairy foods such as sauerkraut (probiotics!), water kefir or Kimchi. These would likely be best given as a preventative when the entire family is already sick and after the storm has passed a bit. I believe food based probiotics are your best bet for making sure your gut is populated with plenty of good guys!
*Bentonite clay mixed however you can get your wee one to take it (we ended up using applesauce) will bind to the toxins in the gut and dispose of them.
*Raw honey for babies over the age of one (I have a friend who healed her stomach flu by eating coconut oil mixed with raw honey! Hallelujah!)
*If possible, forgo store bought electrolyte solutions which are full of artificial ingredients and sweeteners. Use either coconut water or make your own. Here's a recipe for a homemade solution:
4 Cups of Water
2 TBSP of natural sugar, raw honey or sweetener of choice
1/2tsp sea salt (we use Real Salt as it has all of it's natural minerals intact)
1/2tsp baking soda (aluminum free, if possible)
Find other recipes HERE.
*Arsenicum Album (give at the first sign of vomiting and diarrhea- especially if it comes on in the middle of the night)
*Podophyllum (this remedy typically corresponds to watery, stinky diarrhea that fills the diaper)
*Ipecacuanha (for repeated vomiting)
Am I missing anything? Feel free to post your tried and true illness remedies in the comments section!
***If your child is prone to recurrent ear infections or infections of any type, please seek help from a Naturopath or another health care provider trained in whole-body healing. Illnesses weren't meant to settle in children's ears and a healthy immune response should prevent this from happening repeatedly. When you start giving antibiotics for an ear infection, you kill off the healthy bacteria that live in the intestines. This ultimately lowers your immune response allowing for more often and more pathogenic illness to take hold (thus causing even more infections). My husband is a classic case of the antibiotic- recurrent ear infection circle. He ended up needing tubes put in his ears and his hearing isn't all that great to this day. To put a halt to the vicious cycle, in addition to seeking professional help, start a daily regimine of immune support. Reestablish the gut flora by given quality probiotics, eating probiotic rich foods (kefir, coconut kefir, kombucha, fermented veggies are all great examples). Make certain your child isn't Vitamin D deficient. If s/he is, begin giving vitamin D3 supplements. If you're breastfeeding and your child is under 6 months, simply make certain you're getting enough probiotics and vitamin D yourself. These benefits (and more!) will pass through you milk).A GREAT, food based source of vitamin D is Cod Liver Oil. You can purchase this at nearly any store. Fermented, high vitmain C.L.O. is much more potent but also more expensive and can only be purchased online.