Nothing scares a mom like the flu! With this year’s influenza rate higher than ever, keeping our family healthy is a major priority! Last year Santa Claus brought all five us the legit flu, and after we recovered I vowed I’d never let that happen again! Since it looks like this year’s flu season is never going to end, these natural cold and flu remedies are more relevant than ever!
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Whether your child has a sore throat, runny nose, cough or congestion, and fever, or is suffering from nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, I’ve got a natural remedy to help!
Natural Cold & Flu Remedies: 23 Tips to Keep Your Kids Healthy
NATURAL REMEDIES FOR A RUNNY NOSE
A saline rinse is a fantastic home remedy for a runny nose. By loosening up mucus, it becomes easier and more comfortable to expel.
You can DIY a saline rinse by mixing table salt and boiled water, but it’s important to note that tap water is not safe to use. (Tap water isn’t adequately filtered and could contain harmful bacteria.)
Your best bet is going to be a product like Boogie Wipes Saline Mist, which is 100% safe and pediatrician approved.
And SO much easier!
NATURAL REMEDIES FOR CONGESTION
Decongestants and nasal sprays are not recommended for kids, so saline is once again the way to go! Studies have shown that kids ages 6-10 who receive nasal saline drops recover faster from colds or flu.
If your child is unable to blow her nose, use a nasal bulb or aspirator to suck the mucus from the nasal cavity.
You can loosen mucus and soothe a cough by using a Cool Mist Humidifier.
Don’t have one handy? Use your crockpot!
Elevating your child’s head may improve drainage and allow her to rest more comfortably.
DIY Congestion Relief
Get natural relief from congestion with a homemade Congestion-Relief Sinus Bomb
The OTC Homeopathic medication Coryzalia may ease help ease symptoms like a runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, and rhinitis.
NATURAL REMEDIES FOR A SORE THROAT
Honey is a natural cough suppressant, wound healer, and it may speed healing for sore throats.
Homemade Honey Cough Syrup Recipe
You’ll need one cup of local or organic honey, 3-4 Tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, and a Teaspoon of cinnamon. In a medium saucepan, mix organic honey, fresh lemon juice, and cinnamon powder. Add low heat for around 30 seconds then add 1/4 cup water. Bring this mixture to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Transfer to a glass jar with a lid and store the refrigerator.
Dosage: 1 Tablespoon Warmed As Needed
*Caution* Honey is not safe for babies under one year!
Gargling with salt water (isn’t fun at all) but it can kill bacteria in the throat while loosening mucus and helping with discomfort.
The menthol in peppermint helps thin mucous as well as soothe sore throats and coughs. While giving peppermint oil directly to a child is harmful, soothing peppermint tea or steam is safe to use to relieve their symptoms.
Marshmallow root contains a substance that coats and soothes a sore throat. Sipping a tea made of a bit of dried marshmallow root and water a few times a day can help!
HOW TO HYDRATE
Water: We all need to drink 8 eight ounce glasses of water per day. Hydration is critical to rebalancing electrolytes. If your little one prefers a flavored beverage, try one of these healthy infused water recipes! Stay away from sugary juices and caffeinated drinks, which do not aid in hydration!
NATURAL REMEDIES FOR FEVER
When your child has a fever, your first instinct may be to reach for the medicine cabinet, but that isn’t entirely necessary. Reducing the temperature isn’t doing a thing to treat the underlying sickness or cause. Remember, a fever can help your body fight infection. But if your child’s temperature is making them uncomfortable or dehydrated, you do have options to help at home!
Give your child a lukewarm bath. This should be enough to bring her temp down. Contrary to old wives tales, a cold water bath does not lower body temperature. (But it can cause a child to become so cold she shivers, which will trigger a rise in temperature!)
DO NOT USE RUBBING ALCOHOL! Yes, so it looks like we are debunking old wive’s tales today! Using rubbing alcohol can also cause temps to rise and may cause alcohol poisoning! Stick with regular tap water.
Nature’s best fever reliever. Keep the water intake high and consider popsicles and hydrating fruits like watermelon and grapes to keep it as fun as possible.
Still Worried About Fever?
Click here to read what Dr. Sears says about when to worry about fever if you’re second guessing yourself.
NATURAL REMEDIES FOR STOMACH FLU
Both vomiting and diarrhea cause dehydration. Once your child can hold anything down, slowly reintroduce clear fluids like water, tea, cranberry juice, broth, and popsicles. Avoid acidic beverages like lemonade and orange juice.
Oral Rehydration Solutions
Drinks such as Pedialyte, Infalyte, and Revital help with dehydration by quickly hydrating the body with electrolytes and are available without a prescription.
What to Eat
Stick with the BRAT Diet which is strictly bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast.
What to Avoid Eating
There are some categories of foods you should avoid feeding your family when the stomach flu has infiltrated your home. These include foods high in sugar, dairy, tomato products, caffeine, and greasy, salty, and spicy foods.
Ginger helps soothe the digestive system acting as an antiemetic to stop vomiting.
Ginger Tea for Nausea & Stomach Flu Symptoms
Ginger Tea Recipe
- 4 Cups of Water
- 1/4-1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Freshly Grated Ginger Root
- 2 Tea Bags
- 2 Lemons
- 3 Tablespoons Honey
In a large saucepan, mix 4 cups water with 1/2 cup freshly grated ginger root with 1/4-1/2 cup brown sugar until boiling. Reduce heat and allow it to simmer for about 20 minutes on low heat. Add two tea bags and steep until desired strength. Next, add lemon juice and honey to taste and stir. Strain and serve hot or chilled.
Cinnamon is a natural remedy for the stomach flu. It is a powerful, fast-acting antibacterial. Try cinnamon stick tea. To make it boil a couple of cups of water with a few cinnamon sticks and after it reaches a boil turn off the heat and let the mixture cool for about fifteen minutes.
Hopefully, these tips will help you keep your kids healthy and feeling better again in no time! While I love a natural remedy, these are not meant to take the place of medical advice! Always exercise caution when treating any ailment at home!