As a practitioner of natural medicine, I am a true believer in naturally assisting the immune system to protect and defend the body against pathogenic attack. I also believe anti-biotics and antipyretics are valuable, life-saving drugs. However, I do not believe in using them repeatedly to fight conditions that can be resolved with natural therapies first. Each time your child naturally fights off a cold, flu, or an ear infection, the foundation for a stronger, more effective, immune system is being built. Here are some useful, natural childhood remedies:
Fever is the body’s first line of defense against the attack of a pathogen. When the body’s temperature rises, viruses and bacteria can be literally “cooked” and killed. Your first concern is to keep your child as comfortable as possible without jeopardizing the therapeutic effect of a fever. Use a mentholated oil, such as the Tao of Wellness Tonic Oil or Olbas Oil. Apply to the skin on the top part of the child’s back, and gently scrape with a spoon until the skin becomes red. This technique is called gua-sha and is part of the TCM pediatric treatment protocol. Gua-sha helps release heat and fever and will help your child feel more comfortable.
If the fever persists for more than 48 hours or rises above 103-104 degrees Fahrenheit, please consult with your child’s pediatrician immediately.
Ear infection – If you suspect your child has the beginning of an ear infection, try using garlic and mullein oil. Gently warm the oil in a spoon and place a few drops of it in your child’s infected ear. Then seal the ear with a little cotton wool. Also, use some Olbas Oil or Tonic Oil to massage the area behind the earlobe to open the Eustachian tubes that help the ears drain. Massage down the neck with even strokes. If this treatment does not relieve discomfort within 24 hours, you may need to resort to antibiotics.
Colds and flu – Watch for the first signs of an impending cold, such as a scratchy throat or a headache. If you cannot bring your child in to see a practitioner, assist your child with some cold and flu tincture from the Tao of Wellness. This formula is easy to administer and should be given at the first signs of a cold to support a healthy functioning immune system. An increased dose of antioxidants such as Vitamin C, beta-carotene and zinc will further boost the immune system.
Sprains and bruises – The Tonic Oil, with eucalyptus, wintergreen and fennel essential oils, has traditionally been used to stimulate and activate the flow of energy and blood. It provides relief from minor aches and pains. Rub it on for headaches, sore or stiff neck and shoulders, muscle pain, back pain or joint aches. Another excellent option is Arnica, a homeopathic remedy that can be administered either as a cream/gel or orally as sugar pills.
Rash / burn / skin irritation – For this I recommend having calendula cream, aloe vera gel and Tao of Wellness Regenerating Cream in your medicine cabinet. I hope this helps your little ones.