5 Holistic Remedies for Back-to-School Sniffles

Sniffles and coughs might seem an inevitable result of our children heading back to school, however it doesn’t have to be that way. With a few boosters for our immune systems, we can stay healthy and happy throughout the school year.

Though we may usually reach first or Tylenol or other symptom-reducers, it’s helpful to remember that conventional medicines all have serious side effects, especially with long term usage. The holistic and natural remedies listed below have no known side effects, and are all relatively easy to include in your daily routine.

The science on the benefits of probiotics is well-documented: improving our gut health through the use of “good” bugs, aka probiotics, helps our immune system to battle the “bad” bugs.  There are many probiotics out there, so you’ll want to make sure that the one you choose is designed for a child’s smaller stomach, and is preferably kept refrigerated (and is refrigerated when purchased).  Only live probiotics can help to change our gut flora.
You might also try introducing naturally fermented foods like sauerkraut, fermented veggies, or Kefir (all of which contain probiotics) to your children. My kids will occasionally eat sauerkraut, but it’s taken a while to get there.

Though the studies on Vitamin C and immunity are mixed, with no definitive outcome, lemons have been used for many years to help fight off colds. Also called nature’s antibiotic, lemon also has the benefit of just making us happier, according to a study showing we can reduce our need for anti-depressants just by inhaling the scent of a lemon. As a natural immunity booster, they’re easy to keep on hand in the fridge to be squeezed into water bottles.

A deep, satisfying bone broth (made from any type of animal bones and fat) is an incredibly healing and nurturing superfood. Studies show broth has an anti-inflammatory effect, which can help to ease the symptoms of coughs and colds. Since broth isn’t easy to whip up on a busy weeknight, try making a big batch on the weekend (especially easy using a Crockpot) and then store individual servings in the freezer. If you can, have your kids drink a cup or so a day. If that doesn’t work, or if you’d like to add even more, try using it as a base for any type of soup, or using it to cook rice or vegetables.

A recent meta-analysis of studies have confirmed ginger’s amazing healing potential. Antioxidative, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial, this little root packs a powerhouse punch of healing for use in everything against cancer to the common cold. Steep in hot water for a tisane or use in cooking. For little ones, a tea made with a little bit of ginger, local honey and lemon can be a powerful immunity booster (and help to soothe little throats, too.)

Salt Nasal Rinses
Though these are a little bit tougher for the little ones, using a Neti Pot or other nasal rinse really helps to keep nasal passages clear and make it easier to breathe with a cold, as well as helping to break up any mucus. Rinsing the nasal passages with salt water restores our pH balance, and studies show that usage of a nasal rinse will keep down the incidences of respiratory infections. We use the NasoPure bottles at my house and have had pretty good success. After demonstration and help, allow your little one to control the flow of water to their nose, and never force them to use it. Otherwise, they’ll start running every time you bring out that bottle (not that I know…)!

Of course, as with big people, it’s also important for our kids to get lots of sleep and get out in the sunshine each day. With our hectic lives, it’s sometimes hard to squeeze it all in, however our birthright is health and happiness, and it might be possible—with a few little tweaks and a couple of nature’s remedies—to attain that birthright for ourselves and our children.

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Sonia Minwer Barakat Requ

Thanks for sharing

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Carole R.
Carole R3 years ago


Jim Ven
Jim Ven3 years ago

thanks for the article.

Hussein Khalil
Hussein Khalil3 years ago


Teresa W.
Teresa W3 years ago


Janis K.
Janis K3 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Aaron Bouchard
Aaron Bouchard3 years ago

thank you

Julie Cannon
Julie C3 years ago


Vikram S.
Vikram S3 years ago

Thanks for sharing.