This post is by Guiomar Campbell TCMP, Dpl. Sh. RN:
Colds, allergies and flu season is here. Nothing is more painful than to see your lovely ones sick and suffering. Before you choose drugs, try a preventative approach. Kids are very strong and with a tremendous ability to heal themselves, as they do not carry as much emotional and mental stress as we do. They can run up and down the stairs with a fever and a running nose and still have lots of energy.
If your child has no history of asthma or severe allergies there is no reason to panic. Try to help them naturally. I have been treating my two kids 8 and 12 years old with natural remedies such as hot compress, teas, massage with essential oils and acupressure. They hardly get sick and if they do get colds, it only lasts for a couple of days with mild symptoms.
As soon as you notice the first symptoms such as lack of appetite, low energy, mood swings, slight headaches, gas and sore throat, begin a preventative approach: cut all sugar, from simple sugars to complex ones; reduce or cut dairy foods and processed food. Stay with oats, whole grain bread and cereal, lots of soup (lentils, chick peas, squash, vegetables, and chicken soup, if you eat meat).
Below is what I use as home remedies for my clients and family, however, you also need to consult with your Doctor if the symptoms persist.
What to do when kids get colds or flu?
Most important of all give them comfort and make them feel very special (read stories, massage their bodies, talk to them, draw uplifting pictures, write in big letters “I LOVE YOU”, make teas, offer water regularly, put soft music on or other quite activities), lots of REST.
For fever symptoms:
1. Monitor the fever so it does not get higher than 37.5C
2. Soak a towel in warm water and place it on forehead and feet to cool down the body
3. Hydrate – offer a sip of water every half an hour, or if they can drink a full glass every hour that is great
4. Offer home made tea: boil 2 cups of water with 3 slices of ginger for 15 minutes, then add 2 slices of lemon and 1 tbsp honey or agave nectar.
Use aromatherapy grade “A” oils derived from plants with antiviral, anti fungal and antibacterial properties such as oregano, eucalyptus radiata (more gentle for kids), peppermint, lemon, tea tree, cypress, thyme, ravensara and rosemary.
You may use these oils separately or you may also blend them to make a very powerful formula. Below is the blend I usually prepare based on Dr. Gary Young Book “Aromatherapy reference desk:
2 drops of lemon
4 drops of eucalyptus radiata
5 drops of rosemary
4 drops of peppermint
3 drops of cypress
Dilute this blend in 2 Tbsp (30 ml) of sweet almond oil and use this blend for massage, inhalation, bath. You may also dilute in warming oils such as sesame oil as prescribed in Ayurvedic medicine to calm cold symptoms.
Add a few drops of the blend in the palm of hands and massage the body.
How to massage the body for Colds and Flu:
- Get the little ones to lie down on their back with a small pillow under the knees and neck.
- Massage belly first in circular movements, draw I Love U (make the shape of a capital L and U) on the belly starting on the left side of the belly going down, across and up the belly on the right side.
- Gently move hands to the bottom of the throat area.
- Massage chest from breast bone out, drawing small circles below the clavicle bone.
- Massage arms, especially the inner arms which are related to Lung energy in Chinese medicine. Press and hold points between thumb and index fingers.
- Have your child lie on their stomach and massage the upper and lower back, moving from top of spine in the direction of the tail bone. Gentle movement and firm strokes. Spend some time between scapula around T3- T7 vertebrae.
- Lastly, massage the bottom of the feet, especially below the toes in the lung reflex area.
- You may also soak a warm compress in the essential oils and place it over a the lower belly and covers with a dry towel.
Beginning symptoms of sore throat or congestion:
1. Gargle with 1 drop of tea tree, 1 drop of lemon in one glass of warm water 3-6 times daily. You may also use celtic sea salt 1/2 tsp in one glass of warm water.
2. It is beneficial to heat rice milk and sip slowly for more soothing relief 2-4 times daily
3. Direct inhalation – apply one drop of any essential oil listed above in the palm of hands and inhale deeply. It prevents the germs from descending down the bronchus to the lungs.
4. Inhalation through vapor- add 2 drops of eucalyptus and rosemary in a bowl of hot water, cover head with a blanket and breath in the warm steam. Clear germs from throat and upper airways.
5. Oral ingestion – I usually give my kids 1-2 drops of oregano oil (diluted in a ratio of 50/50 in sweet almond oil) in 1 Tbsp of juice( my kids like passion fruit or orange juice). You may also use rice milk instead. Give the oil to them three times daily during acute symptoms, than twice daily for another week.
6. Echinacea tincture three times daily, two full droppers.
7. Take vitamin C, preferably a natural form such as camu berry powder or açai berry powder.
Guiomar Campbell, Dipl. Ac Dp. SH Tel: 416-986-9270/ 416-922-7200 www.lotusartswellness.com/blog e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org