Do you know of some effective home remedies for a cold or ear ache? How do you avoid colds, flu, ear infections and antibiotics at your house? I’ll share my tips, and I hope you’ll comment with yours, too, so we can learn from each other.
For the most part, our family has slipped through without getting sick this winter, but everyone around us is missing work and school like crazy. What should you do if you get a bug?
Before reading more, have you seen this about how to avoid colds and flu?
First, the disclaimer:
I’m not telling youwhat to do, and I’m not a doctor, I’m just sharing what has worked for us. Use your OWN judgment when illness hits your family!
There are a few things we do when one of us first begins to have a cold or any upper respiratory symptoms
- Everyone may not agree with me, and it may sound odd as much as I complain about all the meds being pushed on us these days, but keep in mind, my main goal when we have a cold is avoiding an antibiotic – more below on why this is important. So when the symptoms first appear, and until they’re obviously on their way out, I give an over-the-counter decongestant at night before bed. This is usually only about 2-4 doses total (once a day for 2-4 days or so). This dries up the drainage (at least some anyway), so it doesn’t settle in their chest, ears, or throat all night, which leads to irritation, inflammation, infections, and usually a sore throat and/or an ear ache, too. A year ago in the fall, our youngest woke up from his nap really crying and holding his right ear and then laying it on me and snuggling. He never cries, so I thought for sure he had an ear infection. I didn’t want to rush him right in to the med center, knowing that if he did have a little redness in his ear, they’d want to immediately put him on antibiotics. The next day was Thanksgiving, so we decided to just hit him with the cold meds and pain meds and wait. I’m sure many of you who are more knowledgeable about natural remedies wouldn’t have done that, and instead would’ve tried some different options, but as rarely as my kids are sick, I’m OK with giving them when needed. Thankfully we didn’t run right in, because by the next morning he was fine. The meds must have dried him up, so the fluid didn’t run into his ears all night and cause more pain and inflammation. (This same exact thing actually happened again a few months ago, and with our other kids when they were younger, too.)
- Last fall, our daughter had a little cold and then developed a low grade fever. Remembering what Weston A. Price said about the potency of cod liver oil and butter oil together for healing, I gave her a dose of cod liver oil, and then made her the following chocolate milk “concoction”. (This went over much better than giving her butter oil when she was younger – she threw up every time.) Maybe it was a coincidence, but I don’t think so, because it has happened a few times like this: her fever was gone within a couple hours and hasn’t been back since. So here’s what I make, and the amounts don’t have to be exact… mix together the following ingredients very well so there are no egg yolk floaties for the kids to complain about:
- 1 raw egg yolk (from pasture-fed chickens – don’t do this with eggs from the grocery store)
- Don’t forget the benefits of a good bone broth/stock! You could put it in recipes, or get it lukewarm and drink it with a little sea salt – for healthy minerals! My kids love this.
- I start giving them Colloidal Silver as soon as the symptoms start, too. It’s a natural antibiotic. Tastes like water.
- Also, Cheeseslave reminded me of how powerful onions and garlic are, so be sure to add those to your broth. My friend Sue gave garlic oil to her son and his ear infection went away without antibiotics.
- Another time when one of the kids had a little cold or sore throat, I let them drink “honey juice“. (They’ll ask for it other times, too.) Just put a little raw local honey in some warm water, and it must soothe their throats at least a little. ***I’ve read that you shouldn’t give honey to kids under 2, but haven’t looked into it, if you have researched this let us know.
- Most of you probably do this already, but when kids cough & sneeze, we teach them early to put their face into their arm, not to cover with their hand. I could be full of it, but this must cut down on the germs that get spread around.
- Good handwashing is another no-brainer to keep germs from spreading, but I don’t use antibacterial soaps. As I said above, my goal is always limiting their exposure to antibiotics. This is why we avoided milk with antibiotics before they took it all out of the milk supply, and we buy our meat from farms that don’t inject the animals with antibiotics. This is all so that if we ever really need an antibiotic someday, our bodies will not be resistant – they’ll still respond. (Read more about how our environments have become too sterile from The Maker’s Diet.)
If they do get an infection and are prescribed an antibiotic, depending on the situation (sometimes you just have to bite the bullet), you may want to try some of these things before filling the prescription, but use your own good judgment.
Most importantly, if you seem to catch everything that comes along and you always get it bad and end up on an antibiotic, read about how to heal your immune system!
There have been stories in the news in recent years about cold meds not being safe. Most were harmful because the child was given too much. I still feel OK about giving cold meds the way we do (rarely).
However, if any of you disagree with me, or you have more reliable home remedies to try for drying up drainage, bring it on! I’d like to hear from those of you who are further along the “natural” path than I am, and I’m open to trying new remedies that really work.
- Here are more remedies for various ailments (lice, allergies, ringworm and more)
- Suggestions from the Nourishing Gourmet on Nourishing a Sick Child
- Ann Marie’s top 10 remedies for cold & flu season
- I’ve also heard great things about Elderberry
- Does anyone use some of these home remedies that I found?
- Great post from Sarah on NOT giving meds to lower your child’s temp.
photo by wordnerd411