The season of colds is here. Are you ready for it? Sleepless nights, a runny nose, racing to the store because you've run out of medicine, irritability... you know how it gets. But don't get me started when our kids get sick. It's more hectic and you know that after they get better, you are next. But I've got you covered. Here are a few little tricks my mom did when my brother and I got a cold, that I now put to use with my kids.
1. No dairy, sugary or processed foods
Sugary and processed foods are deprived of the nutrients that the body needs and they prolong the cold. Your immune system needs no distraction as sugar causes inflammation. Dairy has a naturally cooling effect, it increases mucus production and it can also trigger inflammation.
2. No cold drinks
While the immune system is down, cold liquids will make your body work extra hard to bring it to the right temperature. Try to offer warm water or tea.
3. Drink water (camomile tea)
Cold and flu symptoms like a runny nose and sweating, often accompanied by a fever, increase the amount of water your body loses. Drinking water helps you compensate for all the fluids and electrolytes while loosening mucus and helping relieve congestion. It’s all about restoring your moisture levels and flushing all the bad stuff out of your system.
Camomile is the most ancient medicinal herb known to humankind. It is commonly used for hay fever, inflammation, reducing menstrual pain, helping with sleep and relaxation... so have that one always available.
4. Ultimate cold potion
Slice of ginger grated and squeezed a few drops
A drop of lemon juice
A bit of honey
Add all the ingredients on a wooden/plastic spoon and take it three times a day. Ginger is awesome to take before a meal as well. If your little one is not used to ginger, start with just a drop of ginger juice. In our family, there is no discussion regarding medication. Noah is all about "Why's" and "How's", so once he asks all his questions and we patiently explain, it is easier for him to take it. We lead the way, and he takes it like a champ.
Here are some facts about these magic nature-given ingredients:
Ginger encourages perspiration and therefore can be used to treat feverish conditions. It also calms the digestive system, soothes mild nausea, and speeds up digestion. It helps with reducing gas and bloating.
Raw honey has antibacterial properties. It soothes sore throat and can soothe respiratory infections. It also makes the magic potion more flavorful and easy to eat for kids. Pay attention when buying in-store honey; most of it is pasteurized. This process kills unwanted yeast, removes any crystallization, and improves shelf life, but it also destroys many beneficial nutrients. When preparing, eating, or serving raw honey, make sure not to mix it in hot tea, water, or cook it. As I mentioned above, it destroys all the good stuff in it.
Lemon has antioxidants that help strengthen the immune system and also help with clearing mucus.
NOTE: This recipe is not suitable for kids younger than one. Honey should not be given to babies if they are under the age of one as honey causes botulism, which is a type of food poisoning.
Common flu symptoms such as a runny nose, sinus congestion, coughing, and a sore throat often make breathing feel like work. Humidifiers help moisturise your nasal, throat, and lung passages, making it easier for air to pass through and making you feel more comfortable in your indoor environment.
6. Blowing nose/Baby nasal suction
Get that mucus out as much as you can. As soon as the nose fills with mucus, your kid should blow it out. If their nose tends to get dry, spray a few drops of clean nose spray to moisten the nose. A cold can cause blood vessels and tissues in the sinuses to be swollen and inflamed. Nasal spray can help loosen the tissue and help you breathe.
7. Gargling salt water + turmeric
If you have a sore throat, this awesome, super-powerful mixture will be your go-to every time you're sick. Mix half a spoon of salt and half a spoon of turmeric in a full glass of warm water. Take a sip and start gargling. The goal is to gargle till you almost swallow it. It's OK if you do swallow some, but continue the process till the glass is empty. Do this three times a day until the inflammation is gone. Turmeric reduces inflammation and salt will reduce swelling in the throat and loosen mucus. Older kids are perfectly able to do this. With younger children, you can start practising with just water as a play when they're brushing their teeth.
8. Rubber hot water bottle in bed
Sheets get cold this time of year. There is nothing worse than lying down on cold sheets while sick and in need of warmth. This is such an easy step that brings sooo much comfort. Just heat the water, fill the rubber water bottle, and drop it in bed a few minutes before bedtime. You can also put a blanket in the dryer for a few minutes to warm it up.
Make sure your child gets plenty of rest, cuddles, and let their/your body do its thing.
Also, if you know other natural cold-fighting strategies? Do tell!