Inside: Natural remedies for kids have been used to treat minor ailments for 100’s 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
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, needs an immune system boost and the list goes on and on.
You probably 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, for persistent issues, take your child to a doctor.
Natural Remedies for Kids Come in Handy!
Here are some homeopathic remedies that will help when your children with the following issues:
Remedy #1: Immune-Building Herbs, Supplements & Homemade Hand Sanitizer
During cold and flu season, it’s important to keep the immune system running high. And it’s equally important to have your children wash their hands frequently. Here are some herbs and supplements that are powerful immune-builders and a homemade recipe for hand-sanitizer
Immune-Building Herbs and Supplements
- Oregano Oil
- Black Seed Oil
- Golden Seal
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- 5-10 drops Lavender essential oil
- 30 drops Tea Tree essential oil
- 3 oz. high-proof Vodka
- 1 oz. Pure Aloe Vera Gel
- ¼ tsp. Vitamin E oil
- Combine essential oils in a small glass bowl. Mix
- Add alcohol, mix again
- Add aloe vera gel, mix
- Shake mixture gently before each use
Remedy #2: 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 #3: Listerine & Petroleum Jelly 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.
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 #4: Lemon Balm (Melissa officinlis) for Cold Sores
Teens and younger kids can get painful cold sores. 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
- 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. A study in Germany found that once treated with lemon balm, not a single cold sore recurrence occurred.
Try lemon balm salve (see below). It can also be used for kids’ cuts, scrapes, minor burns, and chapped lips.
Remedy #5: Duct Tape for Warts
Using duct tape to get rid of warts, sounds like an old wives’ tale. However, it works and does a better job 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 #6: Banana Peel for Warts…and more
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.
Bananas can also help with:
- 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
- Banana peel also has anti-acne properties: just rub the inside part of the peel over your clean face for anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial effects.
Remedy #7: Ginger for Motion Sickness
Taking your kids on a cruise? Make sure you take along ginger tablets for motion sickness.
Anything ginger can help: Crystalized ginger, ginger tea, ginger syrup, or capsules of ginger powder can combat motion sickness and nausea in general. 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 #8: Papaya for Smoother Skin
Teens want smooth skin. 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 teens try this fruity facial to soften and smooth their skin:
- Wash and peel a ripe papaya
- Put two tablespoons in a food processor; blend well
- Add a tablespoon of dried oatmeal; 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 #9: Mustard, Egg White and Lavender Oil for Minor Burns
Does your child or teen enjoy cooking and baking in the kitchen? If so, have some remedies available for the inevitable minor burns:
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil soothes burns and takes the pain away in minutes. If put on immediately it will eliminate any blistering.
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. Stings and bites can be serious—even life-threatening. Some are so severe, they require medical attention. If a bite or sting is accompanied by clammy skin, itchy rash or shallow breathing—get them to a doctor asap! For minor stings and bites, try these homeopathic remedies:
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).
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.
- Wash the area with soap and water
- Apply a paste of water and sodium bicarbonate to the area
Remedy #11: Essential Oils & Herbs for Headaches
Are you or your children susceptible to headaches? Headaches can be triggered by cheese, alcohol, chocolate, caffeinated drinks. Plus there are many kinds of headaches—hormonal, migraine, cluster, vascular, and tension.
And very young children may have a difficult time verbalizing when their head hurts. If you suspect that your child has a headache, here are some natural remedies that use herbs or essential oils. However, some headaches are very serious and require more than a cup of tea or essential oils. If you suspect your child has a serious headache, consult your pediatrician.
The following therapeutic-grade essential oils are amazing for headaches and can be used with young children:
My favorites are a combination of lavender and peppermint. Here’s how to use them:
- Take 3 drops of lavender oil (or any of the oils mentioned above) and rub them into the temples on the side of the head.
- Take another 3 drops and rub them into the back of the head at the base of the head behind the ears
- Repeat with peppermint oil. Peppermint oil will increase the strength of any oil you use.
I would highly recommend Young Living or dōTERRA oils. Here is an infographic of various childhood health issues and the best essential oils to use. Notice the oils for headaches.
Herbs for Headaches
Herbs also work for headaches. Use them in a tea or capsule form. For teens, mix the tea with a little honey. It is NOT recommended to give herbs to young children unless you are working with a trained herbalist.
The following herbs are excellent for headaches:
- Feverfew leaf: a flowering herb most noted for its use in treating migraine headaches. It’s used to treat most of the same disorders treated by aspirin.
- White Willow Bark: Aspirin is a close relative of the active principle in white willow bark.
- Wood Betony Herb: useful in treating headaches
- Chamomile: Excellent for treating nervous headaches; use as a tea and combine with passionflower for added benefits.
Remedy #12: Vitamin C and Echinacea for Swollen Glands and Colds
What do you do to treat a child’s cold naturally?
Vitamin C helps with both the common cold and swollen glands. As mentioned above, give your child between 1000-3000 mg of vitamin C each day in fresh-squeezed orange juice or straight lemon juice. 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. As mentioned above, it contains water-soluble polysaccharides that 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.