Fall is here and that means sickness season is back in full swing. As much as we try to keep our kids healthy during cold and flu season it’s inevitable that they will get sick at some point. Below are my top 10 must haves for your medicine cabinet.
Top 10 Natural Cold and Flu Must Haves
Elderberry syrup: This is something we try to give the kids daily–as often as we can remember. You can read all about it here. It’s an amazing immune boost, very simple to make (if you choose) and PROVEN to help the body fight cold and flu. If you want to buy it I would recommend this one.
Dye and alcohol free pain medication: Dye and alcohol are two things kids just don’t need. So when you feel like they need medication choose something that doesn’t contain unnecessary ingredients. For acetaminophen I like Little Remedies and for ibuprofen I get the berry Motrin. Acetaminophen last 4-6 hours and ibuprofen last 6-8 hours. Make sure you only use ibuprofen (the active ingredient in Motrin) for children over 6 months of age. Also, always consult with your pediatrician before giving any medication to your little one.
Chest rub: Maty’s chest rub is my go to because it’s made with all natural ingredients vs the standard Vick’s. We use this on the chest and throat, and also the feet (and then cover with socks).
Snot sucker: You can either get the popular Nose Frieda (I can’t handle that–too much of a gag reflex) or my favorite the OCCObaby I like the OCCOBaby because it’s battery operated so I don’t have to actually suck out snot and it does seem to get way more gunk out than the Nose Frieda.
Saline nasal spray: I recommend getting the value pack! This stuff isn’t just for congestion. It’s amazing for coughs too. It helps move everything along. Our pediatrician recommended doing it 5-6 times per day during a virus that presented with a nasty cough. I thought it was excessive but it worked! We usually spray this stuff, wait a few seconds and then do our snot sucker.
Stomach remedies: Ginger tea, probiotics and Activated charcoal!! All these are medicine cabinet necessities. Stomach viruses are my biggest fear. And it’s almost inevitable that someone (and likely all of you) will come down with a stomach virus during sick season. They are SO ridiculously contagious and just literally the devil. Ginger tea helps calm the stomach and is great to give kids if they are having trouble keeping fluids down (add some honey, try it iced if they are wanting something cold–sometimes cold drinks are best when the stomach is upset). Probiotics help bump up the good bacteria in your gut to help fight the bad stomach viruses/bacteria making you sick. I do like Mary Ruth’s spray but it is pretty expensive so if you are looking for a less expensive option try this one. Activated charcoal may absorb the bacteria or virus that is causing stomach issues .
Sore throat relief: Propolis Throat spray for dry cough and sore throats or good old honey–especially if you have Manuka honey–are my go to things for sore throats. I also make my kids a “medicine water” that is 2-3 ounces of hot water, a pinch of cinnamon and a big squeeze of honey. They love it and it helps soothe their sore throats.
Ear infection relief: Ear infections are often caused by viruses and thus will not respond to antibiotics (antibiotics are strictly for treating bacterial infections). The standard of care USED to be to automatically prescribe antibiotics for ear infections but it not anymore because we are over medicating and developing resistance. Often times ear infections go away “after antibiotics” because they would have gone away anyways on their own. Remember it takes a few days for antibiotics to work, and it takes a few days for the body to natural fight off viruses….That said, Garlic drops for ear pain and infection will go a long way to speed up the process. We also use a warm compress on the ear and take the kids to the chiropractor (no they don’t adjust their necks….).
Epsom salt: Baths are so relaxing for kids (and adults!). I love to give the kids baths to help them relax, if they are having a hard time going to the bathroom, if they are sick or cranky. Really warm water is an amazing–and underrated–healing treatment. Epsom salt helps rid the body of toxins and relaxes muscles. I love Dr. Teals for myself and they have a kids version that is made with lavender essential oil to help soothe and promote sleep.
Magnesium: Getting good sleep is one of the BEST ways to allow your body to fight illness. Most of us are lacking magnesium so we give a magnesium gummy and if they are having trouble sleeping or feeling sick we also use magnesium lotion.
Other medicine cabinet favorites (that aren’t necessarily cold and flu related)
“Antibiotic” cream made from Manuka honey–great for cuts, scrapes, burns, and splinters.
PATCH Bamboo bandaids— bandaids made from a natural material that are compostable and biodegradable. I love that they have multiple versions based on the type of boo boo you’re dealing with.