Friday, April 4, 2008

Natural remedies for babies and children

As I have said already Bella and James have both had bad coughs and colds this week. The house, infused with garlic or cloves depending on which room you are in, is strewn with little pots and jars, each containing olive oil and some combination of essential oils. I have broken the lemon squeezer and grated my fingers in with the ginger. And we are out of honey. I thought I may as well share a few natural remedies I am using. I do not have very many so would love to hear your ideas as well. And, for those of you reading from Cambodia, I have to tell you about PP’s only and most wonderful homeopath, Sally Anne Matthews, who also gave me many of the ideas below.

Ok, here is a (rather hurried, sorry) description of what poor Bella’s has been made to endure every day this week. Thanks to all this and the wonders of homeopathy, we have managed to avoid antibiotics or drugs. Hope you find some of it useful and look forward to your ideas!


Bella had fluorescent green and yellow gunge oozing from her eyes for seven days. I managed to get rid of it eventually by cleaning her eye every few hours with cooled boiled salt water and cotton wool, followed by dropping or squirting (!) breast milk in her eye.


Each morning Bella has woken full of green mucus and snot, which is making her cough a lot. I have held her over a steaming sink full of boiling water and cloves. I would add eucalyptus and lavender if I had not used them all up in another remedy, but cloves works brilliantly on its own actually. I have held her in a towel so that she does not put her hands in, lying face down in my arms, with her head over the sink. She does not exactly enjoy this experience but it works wonders and is a lot less stressful for her than the nose sucker which she hates. Doing this once a day has got all the night’s build up of snot out of her system.

At her next feed I then drop or squirt breast milk up her nose. They say to do this at the beginning of a feed because they sniff it right up. Not sure why, perhaps in anticipation of the drink to come!

Chest rub

I have then rubbed a mix of eucalyptus, lavender and cloves in olive oil onto her chest and back. This is replacing the usual massage she gets, with citronella and olive oil to ward off the mossies.


Because she occasionally rubs her ear as though it might be sore or slightly infected, I have been sticking garlic down there. I chop it up with olive oil and drop into the ear. You can stop up with cotton wool if necessary. Do not push it far into the ear! It really helps with any pain and seems to prevent the development of an ear infection.

I have been giving Bella ginger water to drink and garlicky vegetables – ginger and garlic are tow great natural antibiotics. Have filled her up with citrus fruit and tried to keep off wheat and dairy, though not exclusively. She has had oat porridge made with fresh orange juice which Jemima now loves too so that’s a good way to cut down her intake of milk. (Here we buy long life milk generously donated by some poor hormone pumped cow. As a breast feeding mother I am feeling solidarity with dairy cows! If it were not for my daughter’s love of everything dairy I would consider going vegan. Maybe when she is a bit older. I do miss British organic milk! It may be very expensive but milk is something I really think is worth buying organic.)

I also came across this this on natural remedies which has taught me a lot about using diet to prevent and cure almost everything. Trouble is, change is hard! James looked at me as though I were trying to torture him when I told him he needed to go on a fruit juice fast for two days and then only eat fruit. It is true that on his metabolism he would probably die if he did not eat a good meal every few hours, but I bet he would have fought off his cold before he did (die of starvation that is).

Jemima never gets ill. She gets run down and shows signs of getting ill, but she never seems to succumb. But just in case, this week she has feasted on 3 daily doses of echinacea, two daily spoonfuls of olive leaf tonic and a one a day probiotic!

Now it’s time to get Jemima and I have not told you about my homeopath, Sally Anne. Actually she needs a post of her own so I will write more next week. But suffice to say she has treated me and Bella twice now and it has been a wonderful healing experience both times. In a country where the kids get sick so often, having a homeopath in town is totally brilliant. Three times now we have avoided antibiotics (which we fell back on rather too often last year) thanks to Sally Anne’s remedies. I will tell all next week. Have a good weekend!


Gayle said...

GOsh! Does the garlic ever come out of the ear?

Georgie said...

yes! but don't push it in too far, just let it sit in there for a bit! It really really works!

maddy said...

One I use for sore throats and/or coughs is Japanese daikon radish (the big white radishes), peeled and diced, then drizzled with honey and left for a couple of hours in the fridge - the honey somehow brings out the radish juice - I put an inch or 2 in a beaker and give it to the kids to drink ('daikon medicine'). The juice keeps coming out over a couple of days.

I must say I'd be nervous about the garlic in the ear - after a particularly horrid ear infection (me) last year that saw the end of me breast feeding Dylan :( I was told never put anything bigger than your elbow in your ear....!

kasia said...

I actually read the other day that you can place a piece of raw garlic in the nose to ease congestion (of course you would want to make sure it wasn't small enough to inhale too far and don't keep it in there for more than 10 minutes:) I have not tried it yet. The garlic idea in the ear is interesting. My friend uses garlic oil for her kids when they have an ear infection. Our 3 year old has never had an ear infection but I give him a bit of garlic oil when he has a cold. He even likes eating the garlic I take out of the garlic oil and always asks for more (I put a tiny bit of honey on the spoon which is probably what he really likes). You can place raw garlic in olive oil or sautee or roast the garlic first. I also read that you can rub the garlic oil on someones back, armpits and the bottom of their feet to ease a cold. I have yet to try that one too.I can't imagine the smell would be great but may be worth it.If you ever make garlic oil, make sure to keep it in the fridge for no more than 10 days. There have been botulism cases.

I grew up on an old Polish remedy for coughs. I make this for our little guy and it seems to help. I chop up some onions and cover them with sugar and leave covered or in a jar on the counter. After a few hours the juice from the onions can be drunk. It is very sweet because of the sugar which is probably why my son likes it:) I discovered a Portugese friend does the same thing but she adds carrots to the onions. I recently read a recipe for another cough syrup made from honey, onions and garlic. I believe they cooked the onions in the honey for a while and then added the garlic. Make sense when I think about the healing qualities of onions and garlic.

Hope your family gets better soon.

Georgie said...

brilliant ideas, thanks guys! I totally forgot about honey, which we have been eating and drinking in huge quantities. Actually it is Jemima's fave food and when she coughs at night I give her a spoonful with some lemon juice squeezed in and she stops coughing. Bella is too young (wait one year for honey) but yes we drink it with ginger and lemon when sick and eat the ginger afterwards. Better to add garlic as well but it taste foul. Though great idea about roasted garlic, yummy and not so smelly. Re in ear, the way I put it in there was no chance of it nit coming out, it just sort of sat in the dip. But you could use garlic infused olive oil drops if more comfortable.

Thanks guys!