• Julie Messina

7 Remedies to Help Our Kids Recover Quickly

We are in the transition of winter to spring and the weather is all over the place here in the Northeast. During the month of March, colds, viruses and allergies seem to run rampant for a few weeks. Coughs, runny noses, itchy eyes, lethargy come on and can unfortunately last a few weeks.

No matter what might be going on with your child, it can cause anxiety when our little one's come down with something. A few years ago when my kids would show any sign of illness, I would instantly feel myself getting anxious, thinking; How long will this last? What if it progresses to RSV? What if they can’t sleep tonight and we all lose rest? What if I get sick and can’t care for them? Especially with COVID amongst us the past 2 years, it is reasonable that parents get nervous when our kids get sick. But I’ve learned that arming yourself with a “medicine” cabinet of remedies can help ease anxiety in parents and symptoms!

We have tons of different things in our “medicine cabinet," from essential oils, to vitamins & minerals, to herbal tinctures, teas and more. Here are my TOP 7 things that we use in our house when our little ones come down with a runny nose. They are the more common and general remedies we turn to when we are exposed to illness or feeling under the weather.

1. Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry Syrup has been a game changer for our family. We’ve noticed a huge shift in our family’s health since we started taking it a few years ago. Elderberries are a great source of antioxidants, Vitamin C and fiber. Elderberries contain flavonoids, which are phytonutrients that are beneficial for the body. The flavonoids in elderberries; anthocyanin, quercetin, and rutin, occur naturally and are known to act to support the immune system, protect cells, reduce inflammation, and have other benefits on the body. Studies show that Elderberries are effective at combating cold & flu symptoms.

My biggest concern with mainstream brands of Elderberry Syrup has always been the junk and artificial ingredients that is added. I recently checked the shelves at my local health food store, hoping there had been a shift from years ago, but so many brands still contain unnecessary and cheap sweeteners like glucose syrups, sugar, fructose, which are totally unnecessary and unhealthy, especially for children. Many reputable large brands still contain artificial flavors, stabilizers, additives and more. Not only do the ingredients frighten me, but I question their manufacturing practices if they’re using less than favorable ingredients. Choosing a small batch brand like ours ensures quality, ingredients you can trust, and that each ingredient in the bottle has a purpose.

2. Vitamin D

Many people are deficient in Vitamin D, especially here in Connecticut. Vitamin D is important for growth & development, supports immune health, regulates hormone production, and so much more. Recent data showed that people with Vitamin D deficiencies had worse outcomes with COVID. We know that Vitamin D is helpful for keeping the immune system strong.

The best, most natural and most efficient source of Vitamin D is the SUN! That’s why we try to spend time outside, with our face in the sun, as often as possible. However, when we are not able to get into the sun (mostly in the cold/winter months) we supplement with a good quality Vitamin D. For brands and dosing, contact your doctor or support your local health food store, both of whom can help point you in the right direction.

3. Zinc

Zinc is an essential mineral that is present in our cells throughout our bodies. Zinc is necessary for growth & development and is needed for our immune systems to function properly.

We personally do not take Zinc every single day. We get what we need through foods (like meat, beans, nuts, broccoli, etc). However, since we know Zinc is a helpful component in supporting the immune system, we use supplemental Zinc when we’ve been directly exposed to illness, feel sick, or when we have had lots and lots of exposure to people (during an uptick in viruses).

4. Homemade Bone Broth

Bone Broth has become a staple in our house over the last two years. Homemade bone broth is loaded with vitamins and minerals and has many different benefits. Some of the most common reasons people use bone broth include weight management, increased hydration, for nutrition, and for skin, muscle, and joint health.

We usually make chicken or beef bone broth every other week in our house. When choosing bones, use organic and grass fed (for beef). I love broth because it is the most soothing food when you’re under the weather, don’t have an appetite, or need a non-caffeinated pick me up! Bone broth is extremely easy to make. When I started, I referenced a few recipes online and then made up my own. I always use onions (with skins), carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaf, peppercorn, ACV, and then I will throw whatever else I have on hand (star anise, root veggies, greens, herbs, etc.). Broth is SO forgivable, you CANNOT mess it up! Pick a day where you will be home all day and simmer it for a minimum of 8-12 hours on low, strain, store in glass in the fridge or freezer, and enjoy!

5. Epsom Salt Baths

Magnesium (in Epsom salt) has lots of benefits and is one of the “remedies” we use all year long. About once a week (or more if needed) my kids take an Epsom salt bath. We fill the bath with warm water and add ¼ to ½ cup of Epsom salt (you can also add baking soda) and the kids bathe for about 15-20 minutes. We typically do not use soap on Epsom Salt bath days.

Epsom salt is one of the most gentle detoxes, which makes it a great option for children, even babies. It contains magnesium and enters the body through the skin. It is known to relax and sooth muscle tension, promote calm, and helps promote a good night’s sleep. When choosing epsom salt, go for one that has no added ingredients, especially one without any fragrance.

6. Homeopathic Remedies

We have been using homeopathy in our house for able 3 ½ years. Homeopathy is a medicine/practice that is based on the belief that the body can heal itself. It is widely used in India and many European countries.

Some homeopathic remedies are more commonly known and used, like Chamomilla (in Camilia) for teething, Belladonna for fevers, and Arnica for cuts & bruising. But there are tons out there. We have been building our Homeopathic Remedy stash for a few years and now have about 30 remedies that we use for acute conditions. Homeopathic remedies are so helpful when you find the right match.

When you find the right remedy, homeopathy can been a really useful tool when experiencing a myriad of issues. For example, when my daughter is struggling emotionally (tantrums & overtired) we use Chamomilla and it helps tremendously! When our baby is teething, and crying/clingy, we use Pulsatilla, and within a minute he seems to feel relief.

7. Outside Time

GET OUTSIDE as OFTEN as you CAN, even when you’re feeling sick! Not only do children thrive in the outdoors, it is important for them to get the sun on their face, their feet in the grass/dirt (I know, I know, but it’s WORTH it), promotes exercise, exploration, creativity, builds immunity, and so much more.

You've got this, mama!

Now each and every time my kids come down with something (which is very rare), I am prepared, confident, and ready with my cabinet of natural essentials. I am comfortable letting them rest and treating them at home for a few days instead of rushing them to the pediatrician. 99% of the time any viruses that hit our house come and go in a few days and we are able to avoid the doctors office.

**Disclaimer: This information is solely based on my family’s personal experience. I am a mama, not a doctor, nor a professional in any of the remedies above. I am just passionate about what works for my family and enjoy sharing it with you! None of this information is intended to treat or diagnose any illnesses. Always consult with your family’s doctor when you have any questions or concerns regarding illness or any remedies listed above. **

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