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, click here for how to avoid colds and flu in the first place:
An important disclaimer:
I’m not telling you what 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!
Natural Home Remedies for Cold — Ear Ache — Flu, and How to Avoid Ear Infections and Antibiotics
There are a few things we do when one of us first begins to have a cold or any upper respiratory symptoms…
In the past I would usually give over-the-counter decongestants right away when one of the kids came down with cold symptoms, because the goal was NOT ending up on antibiotics (have you read “How we dodge antibiotic bullets“?), but these days I try other things first (especially since we’re homeschooling now and I can keep an eye on them here) — if we have to go that route, okay, but at least I give the natural stuff a good shot before hitting the pharmaceuticals…
- These are the homeopathics I use for cold or flu symptoms (click the word for the link). The kids don’t even complain about any taste! I keep them on hand because you never know. Here’s a specific post on which essential oils & homeopathics are best for ear infections.
- Last fall, our daughter had a little cold and then developed a low grade fever. Remembering what the WAPF says about the potency of cod liver oil and butter oil from together for healing (read more about CLO benefits here), 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.
- If there is any ear pain, I’ll start giving them topical drops Colloidal Silver as soon as the symptoms start, too. It’s a natural antibiotic. Read more here about colloidal silver and my top uses for it. Or click here to read specifically how we use it for earaches.
- Also, onions and garlic are powerful, 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. Oregano oil is another healing oil. (A couple readers raved about mullein garlic oil for ear infections. Has anyone else used this? Mullein is a medicinal herb. This mullein garlic oil was very highly rated.)
- 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.
- A good friend of mine drinks Apple Cider Vinegar (2 Tablespoons in a coffee cup full of hot or cold water, add a bit of raw honey if needed) and it always knocks out her cold FAST. That stuff is powerful. (You could mix that with the honey.) Also you could get a free printable by clicking here: Top 25 Simple Ways to BOOST Your Health with Apple Cider Vinegar.
- 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. And if you don’t have a safe source for local pastured meats, click here for a good online source for healthy meat.)
- If symptoms aren’t improving I might give a dose of an over-the-counter decongestant at night before bed if I absolutely have to — if I think they’re not getting better, in order to avoid an antibiotic. This usually dries up the drainage (at least some anyway), so it doesn’t settle in their chest, ears, or throat all night, which can lead 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. 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.
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 the above ideas 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!
- Here are more remedies for various ailments (lice, allergies, ringworm and more)
- Which essential oils & homeopathics are best for ear infections
- What a difference 10 years makes: How we dodge antibiotic bullets and prevent antibiotic resistance
- My top 3 uses for colloidal silver
- 10 steps to building a healthy immune system
- Here’s where to buy Colloidal Silver online, which is usually cheaper than buying it at the health food store.
- Suggestions from the Nourishing Gourmet on Nourishing a Sick Child
- How to make your own elderberry syrup for a natural cold and flu remedy
- Great post from Sarah on NOT giving meds to lower your child’s temp.
DON’T FORGET to get your free printable by clicking here: Top 25 Simple Ways to BOOST Your Health with Apple Cider Vinegar!
photo by wordnerd411