It's starting to get colder here in Sydney now, and with the inclement weather come the first rounds of colds. The little man 'caught' one at the indoor playcentre and now has the sniffles. So I thought I'd share some tips on simple things you can do to help your kiddo to get over a cold.
- For difficulty breathing due to a stuffy nose: Mix equal parts of 100% pure essential oils of tea tree, lavender and eucalypt. Add 3-5 drops of this mix to a bowl of hot water. Close all doors and windows and make sure little hands can't reach the bowl to prevent scalding. This will help to disinfect and humidify the air and unblock your little one's nose. I recommend you place a bowl near your child's bed at bedtime (but obviously not so close that they can reach it). Ideally, replace the bowl with a fresh one just before you go to bed for a longer lasting effect.
- To help with general debility, a low fever and a mild cough, mix equal parts of the following loose leaf teas: yarrow, elderflowers and peppermint tea. Add one teaspoon of the mixture to one cup of boiling water and steep for 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool to a safe temperature for your child to drink and let them sip on it throughout the day. For a baby over 6 months, dilute the tea with equal parts of water. For toddlers and older children, give up to 3 cups a day, indiluted. You can sweeten the tea with honey, unless your child is under one year old. Children under one should not consume honey due to the risk of botulism.
- For a sore throat, give your child a teaspoon of Manuka Honey with a UMF rating of a minimum of 10+. It will help soothe inflammation and is also antibacterial.
- For a great natural cough remedy that also soothes sore throats, pack a glass jar with freshly peeled and cut (preferably organic) onions and cover with honey. Cover with muslin or cheese cloth, or any other clean loosely woven cotton fabric and allow to stand on overnight. Strain the mix through a sieve and fill the strained honey back into the glass jar. Replace lid and discard onion. Don't keep the onions and throw the honey! Use like any commercial cough syrup, giving up to 4 teaspoons a day, one at a time. Again, honey is not suitable for children under one.
- The herb Echinacea is excellent for strengthening immunity and resistance to colds. Under the guidance of a professional herbalist, you can give the mothertincture. However, dosage should be determined carefully and hence self-administration is not recommended. Instead, buy some natural lozenges with Echinacea and Vitamin C. You can obtain these inexpensively from most health food stores and kids usually love them.
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Ps: Photo sewing tutorial and pattern for little baby boy pants (size 1) coming soon.