Inside: Natural remedies for kids have been used to treat minor ailments for 100s of years. Herbs, spices, oils and even musical instruments, duct tape and more can be used to help your kids and family with pesky problems. Read all the details below.
Natural Remedies for Kids Come in Handy!
When you’re a parent, it’s essential to have an arsenal of things on hand when your child falls down, gets a scrape, has a fever or headache, touches something hot, gets a bad blister, can’t sleep, and the list goes on and on.
I’m sure you have a medicine cabinet and first-aid kit filled with things to help, but did you know that your kitchen can act as its own medicine chest? It can do double duty as remedies for all kinds of common ailments. What’s more, there is scientific research to back some of these do-it-yourself treatments.
However, note that natural remedies for kids may help in the short-term, but for persistent issues, take your child to a doctor!
Natural Remedies for Kids
Here are some homeopathic remedies that will help when your children when they experience the following issues:
Remedy #1: Didgeridoo for Kids With Sleep Issues & Sleep Apnea
Children can and do get sleep apnea. The symptoms can include:
- They snore loudly most nights
- They can actually stop breathing and snort, gasp for air, and pause in their breathing
- Sweat heavily during their sleep
- Sleep in strange positions with their head in strange positions
- Restless sleep most of the night
When it’s undiagnosed and untreated, it can contribute to daytime fatigue and behavioral issues at school. A recent study in CHEST, the journal of the American College of Chest Physicians found that children who snore loudly were twice as likely to have learning problems.
To complicate matters, when children experience a night of poor sleep, they are more likely to be hyperactive; have difficulty paying attention and show signs of attention deficit disorder (ADHD). Sleep apnea in children may also be associated with delayed growth and cardiovascular issues.
If your child has sleep apnea, be on the lookout for some of these symptoms:
- Difficulty waking up in the morning
- Have headaches when they wake up and during the day
- Be irritable, cranky, aggressive and experience anxiety
- Social and behavioral problems at home or school
- Have a nasal voice and breathe through their mouth
Remedies for Kids with Sleep Apnea
The first thing to do is to get your child to a doctor and have him/her tested. It may be your son or daughter needs their tonsils removed or other things may be obstructing their airways. The doctor can also prescribe a child-size mask for him/her to wear at night called a continuous positive airway pressure device (CPAP).
Natural Remedies for Kids with Sleep Apnea: Learn the Didgeridoo
Okay, so this probably isn’t something you’ve got lying around the house. You may not have heard of it either, but if your child has sleep apnea, this strange-sounding Australian Wind Instrument called a Didgeridoo may help in the short-term.
According to a study from Switzerland, four months of learning to play the didgeridoo worked well for patients with moderate sleep apnea, made for a better night’s sleep, and reduced daytime sleepiness.
How does it work? Playing the instrument will strengthen your child’s upper airway, and prevent it from narrowing as the child inhales. Learning to play a musical instrument to help with breathing and lung capacity has been used for children and adults for hundreds of years.
Remedy #2: Listerine for Blisters
Blisters hurt and can cause discomfort to your child. A quick remedy? Well, you know it as a breath freshener and an antiseptic, but Listerine can also dry out blisters your kids may have.
It’s easy to apply: dab the antiseptic on a cotton ball and apply it to your child’s blister three times a day until it dries and the pain vanishes.
Integrative medicine pioneer Andrew Weil, MD suggests applying petroleum jelly on a blister for temporary pain relief.
Remedy #3: Lemon Balm (Melissa officinlis) for Cold Sores
Teens and even younger kids can get cold sores and they can be very painful. They’re caused by the Herpes simplex virus which enters tissues in the body when a child is young; lies dormant and then can appear later in life as a teenager, etc.
Sometimes cold sores are a result of too much exposure to the sun, respiratory infections or most commonly…emotional stress.
Lemon balm (Melissa officinlis) to the rescue! It is also known as Melissa, a European herb and a well-respected herbal treatment for cold sores. It is high in polyphenols which have an antiviral effect and best of all it has a pleasant taste and smell.
Lemon balm is a member of the mint family and packs an anti-viral punch that can provide pain relief within 8 hours. A study in Germany found that once treated with lemon balm, not a single cold sore recurrence occurred.
Try this lemon balm salve. It is amazing and can be used for your kids’ cold sores, cuts, scrapes, minor burns, and chapped lips. It’s a great salve to have in your family’s first-aid kit! It also contains St. Johnswort flower which also helps get rid of cold sores.
Remedy #4: Duct Tape for Warts
Using duct tape to get rid of warts, sounds like an old wives’ tale. However, it’s not—it really does work! Using duct tape to remove warts on your kids may have been shown to work better than freezing them off. In one study, duct tape eliminated 85 percent of patients’ warts in two months (freezing eradicated only 60 percent).
Here’s how to use it on your kids’ warts:
- Make sure the wart and surrounding skin are clean
- Cut a piece of duct tape a bit larger than the wart and press into place.
- Remove the tape every three days and rub the wart with an emery board or pumice stone, and repeat until the wart is gone.
Remedy #5: Banana Peel for Warts
If you don’t have duct tape handy for that pesky wart, try using a very ripe banana peel. Rub the inside of the peel on your wart a little each day. This is what we used to get rid of warts in our family and banana peels for warts do the trick!
Remedy #6: Ginger for Motion Sickness
Taking your kids on a cruise this summer? Make sure you take along ginger tablets in case they get motion sickness.
Anything that has ginger in it can help: Crystalized ginger, ginger tea, ginger syrup, or capsules of ginger powder can combat motion sickness and nausea in general (ginger ale or even ginger snaps may help, too). If you use essential oils (Young Living or dōTERRA), rub the ginger oil on the bottoms of your children’s feet for quick relief.
One study found that ginger worked better for motion sickness than anti-nausea medication. Danish researchers report that ginger helped quell seasickness in naval cadets better than a placebo.
Remedy #7: Papaya for Smoother Skin
Teens want smooth skin. It’s tough because their hormones are raging and out of whack and achieving perfect skin in the teen years can be challenging. However, exfoliating dead skin cells can help and papaya can act as a natural exfoliator for teen skin.
The active ingredient in papaya is papain, an enzyme that dissolves dead surface cells that give skin a dull, rough look.
Have your teen try this fruity facial to soften and smooth their skin:
- Wash and peel a ripe papaya
- Put about two tablespoons in a food processor and blend well
- Add a tablespoon of dried oatmeal and mix together into a paste
- Apply to your freshly washed face and leave on for 10 minutes.
- Remove with warm water or a wet washcloth.
Remedy #8: Banana Bonanza
As I talked about in another blog, you can do a lot more with a banana than slice it on your cereal.
Here are some quick fixes that a banana can help with children and teen challenges:
- Rub a banana peel (the inside part) on an itch caused by a bug bite or poison ivy; this will dial down the inflammation and relieve the itch.
- Use a mashed banana as a facial–it’s great for moisturizing dry skin as well as tightening the skin
- Banana peel also has anti-acne properties: just rub the inside part of the peel over your clean face to get the anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial effects.
Remedy #9: Mustard, Egg White and Lavender Oil for Minor Burns
Does your child or teen enjoy cooking and baking in the kitchen? If so, you need to have some remedies available for the inevitable minor burn (they always happen). There are several things that work:
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil is fabulous for putting on a burn. It soothes the burn; takes the pain away in minutes and if put on immediately it will eliminate any blistering. This is our family’s favorite essential oil. We keep it in the kitchen!
Slather mustard on the seared skin. After an initial sting, the mustard will relieve the pain and prevent scarring and blistering. No science to tell us why this works, but lots of enthusiastic testimonials.
If you get a burn, quickly grab an egg, separate the yolk and egg and slather on the skin—it will take away the sting, heal the skin and prevent scarring
Remedy #10: Stings & Bites
Kids can’t through childhood without a few stings from bees, wasps or insects. And then there are bites from animals, and other humans (there are a lot of kids who bite). Stings and bites can be serious—even life-threatening. Some are so severe, they require medical attention. If their bite or sting is accompanied by clammy skin, itchy rash or shallow breathing—get them to a doctor asap! For minor stings and bites, there are several homeopathic remedies that work. For instance:
When I was a kid, we used two things for bee stings: mud and sodium bicarbonate mixed with a little water to form a paste. We slapped either the mud or soda onto the bee sting and within a few minutes the pain was gone and the bee sting was hardly visible.
There is controversy over using mud because it may have other things in it so stick with the sodium bicarbonate (baking soda).
They require a little more than sodium bicarbonate. Use vinegar or lemon juice applied directly to the skin undiluted on a cotton ball. It will neutralize the poison.
Poison Ivy Stings
Believe it or not, onions will eliminate the pain and swelling associated with poison ivy stings.
- Cut the onion in half and rub it on the affected area. I don’t know what is in the onion (except maybe the sulfur) that helps—but it works like a charm.
- Then wash the area with soap and water
- Apply a paste of water and sodium bicarbonate to the area
Remedy #11: Vitamin C and Echinacea for Swollen Glands and Colds
From time to time, your child will get what my doctor called, “swollen glands.” They can be at the front of the neck, or on either side of the windpipe (which can cause a sore throat) or wherever there are lymph glands.
Persistent swollen glands will require a trip to the doctor, but there are two homeopathic remedies that can help:
Vitamin C helps with both the common cold and with swollen glands.
Give your child between 1000-3000 mg of vitamin C each day. If you want to avoid a cold or if you want to kill the cold dead in its tracks do this:
- Squeeze the juice of 2 lemons.
- Drink it down without diluting it.
When I moved from sunny California to cold Utah, I was constantly getting colds. So, I started drinking the juice of 2 lemons each day. It was nothing short of a miracle. I haven’t had a cold since.
If you squeeze the juice of one lemon and give it to your child to drink straight, they will get 1000x the amount of vitamin C than if you gave them the juice of one orange. This is my favorite way of getting large doses of vitamin C. If you’re concerned about the acid on your child’s stomach, lemon juice is an acid, but changes to alkaline once it hits the esophagus. Also, you can follow it with a chaser of water.
Remember, vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin which means the body will eliminate what it doesn’t need. That’s why you need your child to take it daily.
Echinacea is an herb that builds resistance to infections of the immune, respiratory and digestive tracts. It contains water soluble polysaccharides which stop the attacks of various microbes and allows the body to heal. In terms of swollen glands, echinacea has been shown to be an anti-viral.
There are many ways to take echinacea: lozenges, ointments and in teas and they all work for children.
Do you have a favorite homeopathic remedy that you use for your kids for certain illnesses, etc.? Please share them in the comment section below.
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