Natural Remedies for Common Childhood Ailments: Part Two
Continued from August Natural Nutmeg online at:
Children are as individual in their healthcare needs as adults, and there is never one answer for every condition in every child. Knowing what works and what doesn’t work for your child is the key to being able to successfully treat them with home remedies, and to knowing when to get medical care. It’s a balance that parents need to figure out for each of their children.
In this digital age, there are many ways for parents to research and make informed decisions on child care topics such as childbirth, breastfeeding, wellness, vaccination, circumcision, nutrition, discipline, and education, among others. But deciphering what is real can sometimes be a challenge. Parents should consider seeking information from practitioners they trust who are well versed in the many aspects of pediatric healthcare.
Alternative practitioners offer the least invasive options that most conventional or western medical practices are not well versed in. Alternative and holistic practitioners include naturopathic doctors, advanced practice nurses (APRNs) specializing in pediatrics, midwives, and practitioners specific to children’s treatments such as chiropractors who are certified in pediatrics, nutritionists, counselors social workers etc.
Many natural remedies can help treat conditions at home and prevent a trip to the doctors.
Let’s discuss some of the most common childhood health issues and the natural remedies.
Ear Infections, Upper Respiratory Infections (URI’s) and Sore Throats
The swelling and buildup of fluid in the middle ear can cause the Eustachian tube to block and not drain properly to the back of the throat and can lead to pain. Common causes are allergies, viruses, bacteria or inflammation in the sinuses, throat and neck. Ear infections often resolve without the use of antibiotics.
Tips to use at home: 1) warm compress to the affected ear. 2) Cut back on dairy products because they can cause excess mucus production. 3) Several drops of a good quality garlic-mullein oil to the affected ear repeated up to 2-3 times day. 4) If necessary, acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain relief.
If pain persists, especially with fever despite home treatment, call your PCP.
Chronic ear infections in children often improve with chiropractic adjustments or cranial sacral therapy to help increase drainage of the Eustachian tube.
A good herb for URI’s, bronchitis and sinusitis is Pelargonium (Umcka cold care). For cough and flu like symptoms, try elderberry syrup, or make an Ayurvedic tea with ginger, licorice powder, black pepper and raw honey.
- Homeopathic Aconite napellus and Homeopathic Belladonna are both great for ear infections with fever.
- Homeopathic Chamomilla homeopathic remedy is always indicated when pain is unbearable and the child is angry, impatient and cannot be pleased. The child will usually feel better when they are continuously carried or rocked briskly.
- Homeopathic Calcarea carbonica is a great remedy for ear infections that follow a cold, usually with kids that sweat very easily, especially during sleep. Kids that need this remedy can have anxious worries about the future and will try to avoid milk.
- Homeopathic Kali bichromicum is good remedy for ear infections when kids complain of stinging pains, and/or intense itching or tickling inside the ear that doesn’t stop.
- Homeopathic Hepar sulphuris is for chronic ear infections with extreme sensitivity to touch and cold air. They like to have their head covered to keep warm and complain of very sharp pains. Often the ear will have foul-smelling discharges.
If pain persists with ear infections, especially with fever despite home treatment, or if you see bloody discharge coming from the ear(s) call your PCP.
First Aid Remedies
Bumps and minor rashes:
- Calendula, comfrey and chamomile salve promotes healing and has anti-microbial properties.
- Ayurvedic neem oil can help with a variety of minor skin rashes.
- For bug bites always think of Apple Cider vinegar to help remove the itch.
- The aloe plant is great to have around because of its healing properties.
- Homeopathic Cantharis vesicatoria is a good remedy for too much sun and the pain associated with 2nd degree burns.
- Homeopathic Apis mellifica for stinging bug bites that are red swollen and hot.
Benadryl is always good to use if the itch is particularly itchy and /or if there is associated swelling.
Bumps and bruises:
- Homeopathic Arnica Montana is good for the first 24 hours of any injury to help reduce swelling, bruising, soreness and promote healing. There are oral and topical formulas of Arnica.
Rashes and Poison Ivy:
- Homeopathic Rhus Toxicodendron is good when the skin is red, swollen and extremely itchy. Most kids who need this remedy love to take hot showers.
- Homeopathic Sulphur is great for rashes that are extremely itchy but kids frequently feel worse after a bath or getting the skin wet.
Warm Sock Therapy, also known as Magic Sock Therapy
Warming sock therapy is a simple but powerful support for immune system and is easy to do yourself. Before going to bed, drench a thin cotton only socks in cold water and then wring out the excess water so the thin socks are damp, not dripping with water. Place them in the refrigerator. The next step is to take a 20 minute hot bath or just soak your feet in hot water that you can comfortably handle, make sure that the water is not too hot to burn your skin. After the bath, dry yourself off and put the thin cotton socks from the refrigerator on your feet, before putting on the socks consider massaging your feet with an essential oil to help the circulation. Then place a dry pair of 100% wool socks over the cotton socks. Lightly massage your feet and then go to bed. The goal is to warm the sock up, which helps stimulate circulation, causing blood and lymph to balance in the body and stimulating our immune system.
Trust your instincts. Anytime you feel worried or uncomfortable about your child’s health, if the condition is getting worse, or persists despite your home treatments, it is always appropriate to call your primary care provider.
Submitted by Dr. Summer McAllister and Lara O’Neil, Pediatric APRN. Dr Summer McAllister blends homeopathy with detoxification, clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, and acupuncture to address the root cause of illness. ProNatural Physicians Group is an integrated group of practitioners including naturopathic doctors and acupuncturists, APRNs and massage therapists. The practice is growing to include more medical modalities and to offer more family treatment options including vaccinations. Schedule your child’s back-to-school physical now with pediatric specialist, Lara O’Neil, APRN. For more information, www.ProNaturalPhysicians.com or call 860-829-0707.