The Mommy Doctor series continues today with Part 5! (Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 if you need to catch up.) Today, I will give you some natural methods for fighting those nasty chest colds and the dreaded fever.
I have always heard that kids are most afflicted with chest issues. I guess since everything is so little in there, it hits their tiny lungs harder. Seeing your child coughing until they vomit is no fun, and all you want is for them to have a break. So, what do you do? If you are like me, the first big chest cold your child got, you sent your husband out at 11 o’clock at night to get the best children’s cough medicine. Only he retuned empty handed. While standing in the children’s medicine aisle researching, he found that no cough syrup is recommended or considered safe for children under the age of 6 (or rather for any of us.) So, what options are considered safe for your family?
While my kids are sick, we will take books and a portable DVD player in the bathroom to sit on the floor as a hot shower runs and fills the room with steam. It helps to open up all their little airways and loosen mucus. I do it as needed, and it helps every time!
Yep, I am mentioning it again! Garlic in any form is amazing! Cook with it, eat it raw, make a poultice, etc. To read more about all the ways garlic can help, read my post on Cold and Flu remedies.
My favorite chest / cough oil is RC. It helps immediately. Another oil I use is Thieves. It is a great anti-viral and anti-bacterial that will kill what ever is growing. It got the name “thieves” because it is the oil blend the French Merchants would rub on themselves before robbing the house marked with the Black Plague. If it is strong enough to battle the plague, it will knock out a chest infection! Others that are good are peppermint, Raven, and oil of oregano. I always dilute these oils with organic virgin coconut oil when using them on my children. Each one has a different dilution ratio and area to put it on the body. (Please don’t ever use essential oils without researching them for yourself, using the highest quality EO’s, and using them in the way you feel most comfortable.)
Local Raw Honey
This stuff is amazing and tastes good too! A teaspoon of honey will do great things for a cough! I spread it on a waffle or mix it with a “special” tea! My daughter will even ask for it straight off the spoon. Just remember that it is not safe for children under one year due to a risk of botulism.
And, now, onto fevers…
I am not really sure why fevers hit in the middle of the night to disturb sleep for everyone in the house. It really is a mystery! The first time my baby ran fever, 4 months at the time, I panicked. I know that fevers are the body’s natural defense, but she was miserable and so was I. I always have to remind myself that fevers are safe and actually are helping our children recover more quickly. The last time my baby ran fever, I couldn’t find the thermometer and I was thankful. I was able to focus more on keeping her comfortable and cool, rather than worrying that it had gone up a tenth of a degree in an hour.
Remember that a mild fever is 101.5-104. Only at 104 is it recommended to do something to reduce it. I am not suggesting that you let your child suffer or ignore a fever. I am simply showing you how we have turned a fever into something bad when it is not. I typically will start trying to reduce a fever when my kids are visibly uncomfortable or they (we) are losing sleep. I also don’t take my child to the doctor for a fever unless I do not know the origin (no visible symptoms like a runny nose or cough) or it has lasted more that 2-3 days. Most importantly, I try to keep them comfortable by offering ice chips and popsicles, cool compresses, and lots of snuggles. So what can you do help reduce a fever naturally?
You do not want to put your child in a cold bath, as it would be awfully uncomfortable considering how warm they are. Just around our normal body temperature is what is recommended. It will help pull their temperature down to a more reasonable level.
It sounds silly and I’m not really sure how it works but it does! I slice a potato a little smaller than the bottom of my child’s foot and about 1/8 inch thick. I put it in her sock and her temperature starts coming down. I leave them in there while she sleeps, and she rests well! Funny but worth a try!
This is similar to the potato but for a different reason. Onions are an anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal. When you put slices of onion on the bottoms of the feet, it will pull the onion juice up to kill off whatever is causing the fever. You won’t see the results as quickly as the potato, but know that you are fighting the illness as well as the fever. Onion is very strong and actually will hurt the skin so only leave the slices of onion in the socks for 10-15 minutes. Never put it in their socks and then put them to bed.
Peppermint is a great essential oil if you are comfortable using it but there are some contradictions. The reference guide I use, Gentle Babies, says it is safe so I have used it on my children. I dilute it with coconut oil and rub around the navel. Again, I urge you to do your own research when it comes to what essential oils are safe and how to use them.
Apple Cider Vinegar
If you ask your grandma, she will probably tell you this trick! Soak a washcloth in apple cider vinegar and place on the feet, head, or chest. You will see the fever come down as the vinegar works to fight whatever may be causing it!
Be sure to look out for the next installment of the Mommy Doctor. I will be discussing natural things we can do for things that affect our baby’s skin.
Disclaimer: This post is 100% my personal opinion based on my personal research. I am not a medical doctor. However, I confidently stand by my beliefs and opinions, and I hope that this post will encourage you to do your own research on the topic. When in doubt, please always consult a pediatrician.