Kids have a knack for spreading germs and picking up illnesses. But if your kids come down with common ailments, you don’t have to immediately turn to over-the-counter medicine. Try these natural remedies for common mild ailments.
Make Natural Ear Drops
Ear drops are commonly prescribed to treat ear infections, but you can save money (and go au naturel) by making your own natural ear drops at home. Place two drops of garlic liquid, diluted tea tree oil, St. John’s wort oil or brewed mullein (steep one teaspoon of mullein flowers in a half cup of water) into the infected ear. These plants and oils have antibacterial and antiviral properties that can help fight the infection and lessen the pain. (Do not use this remedy, however, if the ear drum is perforated or if the ear is leaking fluid.) Read more natural remedies for ear infections.
Honey for Coughs
Among honey’s many health benefits is its ability to soothe sore throats and suppress coughs. Most versions of homemade cough drops or cough syrup will call for this natural remedy, and a study at Penn State College of Medicine showed that honey reduces nighttime coughing in children with respiratory infections. Add a spoonful to a cup of hot tea or take it straight. Opt for raw honey, which has more medicinal benefits than processed honey. WARNING: Do NOT give honey to children under 1 year old. Honey can contain botulism spores that adult bodies fight easily, but that babies’ developing immune systems cannot. Read several additional natural cough remedies.
Soothe Bee Stings
Bee stings contain formic acid, so applying a paste of alkaline baking soda and water helps to neutralize the sting and its side effects. (If your child is suffering from a wasp sting, which is more alkaline, apply vinegar, which contains acetic acid, to the sting instead.) Applying calendula cream to the stung area can also reduce swelling and itching. Because calendula has antiseptic properties, it can also help prevent infection. Read several other natural remedies for bee stings.