6 Natural Remedies for Children
Every family makes their own choices about how to approach fevers, earaches, and simple colds, but many aren't aware of how many supportive options can help quickly and comfortably bring us (and our children) back to health.
My children grew up taking homeopathic remedies. They needed them more often when they were younger since, as they've grown, the fevers and colds come less frequently... but I still keep a supply handy just in case.
Homeopathy helps support the body's natural healing and balancing functions. For instance, we consider most fevers a good thing, rising to fight off harmful pathogens before they can further infect us. Allowing a fever (within safe parameters) to "ride out" with support can help restore health faster than when we stop the fever with drugs.
What I like best about homeopathy is that is it all natural, derived from plants and minerals.
Even though they've been in use for around 200 years, most of these natural remedies are not yet approved by the FDA, so we do suggest to learn more about homeopathic remedies from a trained homeopathic professional or naturopathic doctor.
Dosages vary per person and this treatment does require a lot of oversight and awareness about your child's condition—so please plan to regularly check in on how their body is adjusting in real-time.
Homeopathic remedies are sweet like sugar and melt under the tongue. For best results, refrain from food/drink for 30 minutes before or after ingestion.
Here are some suggested alternative care options for you to consider adding to your family's home health arsenal. The first two are my "family favorite" homeopathic remedies that I still take everywhere we travel, stash in the car, and stock at home for me and my children to use as needed.
1. Belladona, 30c
At first onset of a fever, take 3-4 pills every 30 minutes until the fever reduces slightly. This supports the body to "do its job naturally" with the support of the remedy to keep the fever from spiking to dangerous levels.
2. Arnica, 30c
Arnica is best used at first onset of physical or emotional trauma, including bruises, surgeries, or emotional shock. Take 3-4 pills every 30 minutes until you feel a slight relief, then taper the dose and lengthen the time between each dose. (Arnica also comes in a topical gel, perfect for healing bumps and bruises.)
3. Gua Sha
Gua sha is an age-old tradition meaning to "scrape away illness," and involves using tools such as bian stone, jade, ox horn, or spoon with lubricant lotion or oil to scrape and rub parts of the patient's skin repeatedly in one direction. According to TCM theory, this serves to "activate blood circulation and dissipate blood stasis."
For fevers and colds, you can try gua sha by rubbing a spoon along the back with lotion or oil until red dots appear on the skin. This should not be a painful experience, and the red marks will go away within 20 minutes.
An advanced acupuncturist can relieve fevers by quickly inserting and removing one or two needles in the right points, and treat other discomforts and symptoms to support healing. Check with your acupuncturist if this is a skill they are knowledgeable in practicing, and if they treat children too.
5. Rest, Warmth, Ease, and Ginger
This ought to go without saying and yet, we skip over it so often: In illness, the body needs us to slow down, get off social media, avoid EMFs and WiFi, and help foster rest with nourishing foods and warm liquids.
One of our trusted remedies is a good ol' warm foot bath, infused with fresh ginger. To begin, boil water with fresh ginger and let it steep to infuse. Once the water has cooled enough to not burn the skin, but is still warm enough to pull the body's heat downwards, place the child's feet into the bath. This drawing down of heat in their body will give their head some relief, while the ginger energizes the body's systems to keep fighting off any invasive ailments.
6. Nourishment and Love
Fevers can dehydrate us quickly, so encourage your child to drink room temperature plain water, lukewarm teas, or breastmilk frequently and eat refreshing foods that can help cool from within.
- Breastmilk, when available, is a terrific natural remedy to help fight infection and bring down a fever.
- Light and fresh ginger, lemon, and honey tea is packed with healing properties and soothes sore throats or coughs.
- To cool the body, try elderberry, chrysanthemum, and honeysuckle teas, as well as fresh fruits like melons, persimmon, strawberries, watermelon, and cantaloupe.
- Good old chicken soup always comforts the soul, in sickness or in health. Better yet, a chicken broth congee (rice porridge) is filling and easily-digestible. Oatmeals with no dairy or refined sugars are another healthy and comforting way to nourish when someone you love is under the weather.
- A cloth soaked in cold water, applied over the forehead can help reduce the severity of a fever, and can be repeated to sustain the cold temperature.
And of course, the best source of comfort is from a child's parent or caregiver. Even though they might push you away due to their body's discomfort, they still soak in the loving comfort around them.
We hope these tips offer you comfort and assurance, knowing that when your child is under the weather, there are many naturally supportive options to help their bodies do what they're best at, healing from the inside out.
And remember, your allopathic (conventional medical) treatment option is always a phone call away, so if a child's fever spikes above 100.4 and cannot be managed with over-the-counter treatment, and/or does not reduce within 48 hours, please do consult your pediatrician. Our homeopathic recommendations are not meant to be a replacement for western care, but a complement to it.