When your child is really sick, you should seek professional medical help. However, there are some minor problems that can be taken care of at home safely and naturally. The following organic remedies will help you treat some of the most common problems a child can face.
Hives and Itchy Skin
Many kids have sensitive skin. If your children have a tendency to break out in hives or if they just suffer from dry or itchy skin, you can make your own soothing bath potions. Oatmeal-based baths are particularly effective. You can make your own oatmeal bath mixture by combining a handful of rolled oats with a 1/4 cup of chamomile, a 1/4 cup of lavender, and a 1/4 cup of calendula. Mix all of the ingredients together and place them in a large, double-ply square of cheesecloth. Pull the corners of the square together and bind them with a string so that you have a pouch. Place the pouch into a bath full of warm water and let your child soak for 10-15 minutes. Make sure the water is not too hot, as this will only make the problem worse. Squeeze the wet pouch over your child’s irritated skin occasionally to provide additional relief from the itching.
Just as oatmeal baths can help with itchy skin, cool baths can help to bring down a fever. The water shouldn’t be ice cold, but it should be as cool as the child can stand. Soaks should last for 10-15 minutes and can be repeated throughout the day and night. Encouraging your child to ingest plenty of cool fluids in between baths can help as well. It is also important to make sure your child is dressed in clothes that are light and breathable. One light blanket is okay as well. Anything too heavy will only help to hold the heat in.
Children can get an upset tummy from a lot of different things. It may be a flu bug, a disagreeable dinner, motion sickness, or simple excitement that is causing nausea. To provide some relief, give the child a piece of crystallized ginger to suck on. It is sweet and tasty and strong enough to help moms-to-be with morning sickness. If the child is under three or you are worried about choking, you can mix a tummy-soothing beverage for them to drink. Simply combine the juice of one lemon with a cup of boiling water, two teaspoons of honey, and a crushed sprig of peppermint. Strain and cool slightly before giving it to your child to sip.
Over-the-counter medicine can help to suppress a cough, but it contains a number of active and inactive ingredients that your child doesn’t need. You can make your own cough syrup that works just as well but without all of the unpleasant side effects. Start by finely dicing one onion, two cloves of garlic, and two tablespoons of fresh ginger. Put the diced ingredients in a small pot and add enough honey to cover everything. Then, cook the mixture over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Place the mix in a clean bowl and mash everything together. Cool and strain the mix. Give your child one teaspoon of the medicine every 30 minutes. Store leftovers in a tightly covered jar in the refrigerator.
Congestion can make your child feel very sick and uncomfortable. There are two things that will provide instant relief: an herbal steam treatment and a chest rub. You can make an herbal steam treatment by heating four cups of water to a boil. Place the water in a large clean bowl. Add 5-6 drops of eucalyptus essential oil. Have your child sit with their head about 8 inches from the water. Drape a towel or a light blanket over your child’s head so that it forms a makeshift tent. Tell your child to breathe deeply and inhale the steam until the water cools. Be very careful about where you place the bowl so that the hot water doesn’t accidentally spill and burn your child.
You can make a congestion-relieving chest rub by combining 10 drops of eucalyptus essential oil with 20 drops of carrier oil. Carrier oils can include everything from almond oil to grape seed oil to olive oil. Rub the mixture on your child’s chest and encourage deep breathing and rest. Apply several times throughout the day and night to keep the congestion in check.