If you or a loved one is sick, be sure to get plenty of rest and relaxation. While you’re resting, make sure you’re staying hydrated with plenty of fluids, too. (If your breastfed baby is sick, make sure he or she is getting plenty of breastmilk.)
Crank up a cool mist humidifier to moisturize the air, especially in you’re sleeping or resting in your bedroom.
Also, be sure to drink lots of fluids while you’re sick.
Stock up on honey, because it’s helpful. When you can tell you’re at the beginning stages of a cold or flu, swallow a spoonful of honey to a couple times a day fight the germs. For an even more effective remedy, mix ground cinnamon with the spoonful of honey. I’ve been trying this along with Big Brother and Little Sister this fall. It’s a delicious remedy, and a spoonful really is all we’ve needed.
In the September issue of Parenting magazine, Dr. Alan Greene recommends using honey instead of dextromethorphan (the cough suppressant found in “DM” medications) to ease coughing. Greene writes, “The honey outperformed DM in every category, from reducing the number and severity of coughs, to improving sleep – for kids and parents.”
To soothe a sore throat, sip a hot beverage made with a mixture of honey, lemon juice and hot water. You can also try gargling with hot sage tea sweetened with honey.
If you need to clear your sinuses and get over a cough, swallow one-fourth teaspoon of ground cinnamon mixed with one tablespoon of honey. Try this remedy for three days for an improvement.
Remember, never give honey to a child who’s younger than 12 months old.
Burning the midnight oil
Once you starting using oils like grapefruit oil and coconut oil to help combat illness, you can forget about needing to stay awake all night with aches and pains.
Try massaging grapefruit oil on your lymph nodes when you notice you’re getting sick.
Add a few drops of grapefruit oil to the water in a cool air humidifier – not only can this boost your immune system, but it will also kill germs in the air.
Soothe your aches and pains by soaking in a warm bath of water, a few drops of grapefruit oil, and a few drops of coconut oil.
You can also stock up on essential oils – clove oil, lemon oil, cinnamon oil, rosemary oil, eucalyptus oil and jojoba oil – and make Thieves’ Oil. (Learn how by clicking here.) You can use the homemade concoction as a sort of vapor chest rub to prevent sickness, or to clean the air in your home with it.
It’s in the ginger
Ginger is a perfect remedy for the stomach flu because it is known to help the digestive tract. (Have you ever noticed how a sip of ginger ale can calm your queasy stomach?) You can also try cooking with ginger to help treat your cold.
For more natural cold remedies, visit Healthy Child Healthy World.
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D. Koeth says
Hilary, do you know if it matters whether the honey is raw (only filtered before bottling), or if any grocery store honey will do (heated before bottling)? I recently switched to raw, and it is much cheaper to find a local beekeeper than it is to buy raw honey from a health food store. I’ve also heard local honey can help with allergies in that particular area.
Bethany S. says
I was always told NOT to use a humidifier, especially if you have allergies or asthma. Humidifiers can actually make you sick if they aren’t maintained properly or if humidity levels stay too high. They can breed mold or bacteria that can make you sicker!
City Lover-Country Dreamer says
My oldest son suffers from a sensitive cough reflex and allergy induced asthma. The best way we have found to ease his coughing is a big spoonful of warm honey.
For me, the NetiPot is my first defense against congestion and allergies.
Denise – I’m not sure about the raw honey vs. store honey. I’ve been using raw honey … like you, I like the price difference. I like supporting local beekeepers, too. And, you’re absolutely right about the local honey helping with allergies.
Bethany – You are right about properly maintaining a humidifier! That is EXTREMELY important. As long as you change the water daily (and use distilled water instead of tap) and clean the entire machine every two to three days, they stay clean. (Then again, I can’t vouch if they help with allergies or asthma … you could try a NetiPot like Sara suggested.)
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