Seeking natural remedies for kids with a cold or flu?
I recently shared a post about how to naturally support your immune system, especially during the fall and winter months. While we try everything we can to keep our immune system and our children’s immune system strong and supported, there will inevitably times when we start to feel the impact of an invader germs.
When an illness has crept its way in, there are things we can do to fight back. Natural remedies may not be a “cure all”, but they can help reduce side effects of getting sick and shorten the duration of the illness.
Disclaimer, I am not (obviously) a doctor. My suggestions are simply those that we use in our own home and should never be taken as medical advice. I am so glad we got that out of the way so we can move on to the fun stuff, my tips!
Boosting the Immune System
Before an illness even strikes, we should diligently work to keep the immune system supported and strong. I wrote a post about this, specifically outlining natural immune supporting ideas.
Remedies for Sick Kids
When a child gets sick, there are many natural options that can be used to shorten the duration and reduce symptoms. Natural remedies can have less side effects than the alternative prescription or most common over the counter options. In my opinion, it is the natural alternative to these products that is more effective at combating not just the symptoms, but the sickness too.
I keep these option on hand in what I call our medicine bin. Since switching to natural, alternative medicines, our medicine “cabinet” has gotten smaller. We have ditched the most common over the counter drugs and found natural alternatives that don’t have the negative side effects.
Home Remedies for Children
Today I am sharing with you what is in our medicine bin specifically for our child. You can build your own alternative medicine bin overtime or as you see fit for your own family. Most of the products I shared below have dual uses, meaning I can use the same thing to do multiple jobs. It is also my personal philosophy that I don’t want to just reduce the symptoms, but I also want to help address the root cause. Here is what I keep available in our home, especially during the fall/winter season.
Elderberries to Fight Cold and Flu
Elderberry is a powerful way to fight cold and flu symptoms, but it is also a great way to boost the immune system and reduce inflammation. Other benefits are naturally treating sinus infection, allergies, and elderberries may prevent cancer due to their high antioxidant power.
You can make your own elderberry syrup in the Instant Pot or Stovetop. Here is a post I shared. I also sell Elderberry DIY kits! You can purchase a kit that has the ingredients you need to make elderberry syrup at home, you just add the honey. Here is the page about my elderberry kits!
Garlic for Colds
Garlic, especially raw garlic, is one of my favorite ways to boost my immune system. Garlic helps stimulate the production of white blood cells, which helps your body respond to and address bacteria and viruses. Garlic, like onion, has allicin which helps stimulate the immune system. Raw garlic is best to consume, as when it is cooked the allicin is cooked down.
You can use raw garlic in salad dressings or add it to pasta dishes after your sauce is cooked and warm. If you feel like you caught someone’s cooties, you can make a garlic tea using garlic and warm water. Add herbs and a little salt and it makes a savory sipping broth.
Peppermint can be used to help reduce a fever and subside an upset stomach. You can use peppermint as a tea either in warm or cold water. You can also had peppermint to a warm bath for your child to soak in. Be mindful with peppermint essential oils and always do your research before using essential oils with children. Not all oils are safe for children.
Vitamin C is powerful at helping support the immune system. I am not talking Emergen-C effervescent packets (usually make with GMO corn and sugars), I am talking vitamin C from nature.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps repair cells, heal the body, and repairs/maintains cartilage.
Foods high in vitamin c include: Guava, sweet red peppers, oranges, green pepper, kiwi fruit, strawberries, and broccoli.
You might also consider choosing a vitamin c supplement that uses whole ingredients, instead of synthetic vitamin c. C from Nature is my favorite and it includes Amla, Acerola Cherry, Camu Camu, Rosehips, Citrus Bioflavonoids. Here is a link that includes a coupon for $50 off $75 or more purchase.
Yes, chiropractic is for babies and children, too. We visit our chiropractor as a preventative and a natural remedy when our son is sick.
Be sure to find a chiropractor who specializes in infant and child care. Chiropractic care can help with misalignments in the vertebrae. A chiropractic adjustment can help with nasal congestion and correct any obstructions in the nervous system.
Chiropractic is great for preventative, as well as treatment for common colds, ear aches, or sinus struggles.
Warmth- Teas, Broth, and Soup
When the unfortunate circumstances of having a cold or illness hit us, I opt to include easily digested foods to give the body a break as it works to fight of the invader germ. For us this means removing hard to process foods like meats, grain, or processed sugars. We increase warm liquids like tea, broth, or vegetable soups. Ginger is another herb that can be added to teas or soups for warmth.
Natural Remedies Over the Counter
There are many store bought options you can use for reducing the symptoms of an illness at home. I believe for every traditional, over the counter product there is a natural or better alternative. Here are some of my favorites that I keep on hand for supporting our son when he is sick.
Long gone are the days of using over the counter cough syrup medicines like Robitussin or Tylenol. In our home we avoid unnecessary chemicals and chemical ingredients whenever we can, especially if there is a comparable natural remedy. I also believe that there are negative effects of fever suppression using acetaminophen (typically found in Tylenol). In addition to chemical dyes and sweeteners (even in the dye free version).
The alternative in our home is cough medicine made from natural ingredients. If you are unable to make your own, which is usually the case when you have a sick little one. There others store bough options that are just as good.
Before my son turned 1 and was able to have honey, we used Hylands Cough Syrup.
Cold and Flu Relief
There are many homeopathic remedies you can use to reduce symptoms of colds and flu. In the case of homeopathy, a remedy should be matched specifically to the symptom that is being displayed. Several companies have created combination therapies, where they have taken multiple remedies and combined them in to one.
For our son, I like to use the Hylands Tiny Cold tablets because they dissolve easily and the Boiron Cold Calm Drops. They are easier to give to him at his current age than the Hylands Cold and Flu Kids remedy. If you have child that is a little more cooperative with taking medicines or they older, take a look at the Hylands Liquids here or here. There is also a liquid Tiny Cold remedy from Boiron. Boiron also has a kids version of the cold calm remedy.
Immune Support Drops
I love Kids Immune Shield support drops for both myself and my son. You just add drops to water (dosage is by weight) and you can drink it or take them directly. The drops include Organic Echinacea angustifolia root, Organic Echinacea purpurea root, organic astragalus root, organic elderberry fruit, organic licorice root, organic amla fruit, organic shiitake. All of these are great for supporting a child’s immune system. Here is a link for the Immune Shield with a $50 off $75 order coupon attached.
Natural Remedies for Kids
Thank you for taking the time to read this far in my post. I think it is worth repeating my disclaimer that I am not doctor, but I share my experience from being a conscious parent. I believe full heartedly in getting to and treating the root of an illness or struggle, not just the symptoms.