alternative medicine · children · health · Herbs · homeopathy · kids

Homeopathy

Years ago when I worked at a natural foods store, there was confusion over that word, ‘Homeopathy’. Some used it in reference to all alternative or traditional forms of healing, when it is in fact, a very specific form of medicine. Homeo, just like homo, means same or similar to,  while pathy means disorder in the body, which is exactly the theory behind homeopathy know for action based on “like treats like”. In other words, homeopathic medicine uses substances that would create the same symptoms that one is trying to treat. Sound crazy? It should actually sound familiar, because this is the same theory behind vaccines~ small doses of a trigger element inspire the immune system to kick in and heal the body. While herbalism is best used as a daily practice to maintain balance and work to fix issues long-term, homeopathy is in its element when something is in need of immediate attention, such as when you fall and bonk your head, or come down with a cold despite the fortress of herbal walls you’ve built around yourself (like I did).

There are several homeopathic remedies I always carry with me, especially since I have two young boys who tend to collect bumps and bruises like others collect Star Wars paraphernalia. Arnica is for bumps, bruises, falls, sprains, anything that surprises your body with unwelcome force, including surgery. It works incredibly well, especially for kids who are usually surprised at putting little pellets under their tongue after falling down and they forget all about being hurt.

Arnica30C_Pillow-shadow-300

Another one that is always in my purse is Hyland’s Motion Sickness for obvious reasons. If I’m not in the driver’s seat, I’m sick, and my boys tend to get sick on long trips too, especially when they can’t keep from reading in the backseat. This stuff really works well and even though everyone says ginger or peppermint will help motion sicknesses, I’ll stick with homeopathy over herbs on this one.

hylands-motion-sickness

To ward off flu symptoms, nothing beats Boiron’s oscillococcinum. It’s a homeopathy remedy with a nearly unpronounceable name and yet during flu season it sells off the shelves like candy at Halloween which is proof this stuff packs some serious power. Oscillococcinum

When my kids get a cold I use Hyland’s Cold n’ Cough (if they are coughing) which is a liquid and works quite effectively. It is similar to over the counter brands where you give a dose every 4 hours or so but it isn’t toxic in any way and it doesn’t make kids tired or feel drugged at all.

cold-n-cough-4kids_0

I also like Hyland’s Defend Severe Cold and Flu packets that you add hot water too and drink like a tea. They work really well and don’t have that weird suppressing feeling where the cold has been temporarily buried deeper while I walk around in a lethargic daze extending the time the cold resides in my body.

defendTea with lemon and honey works great too, but the homeopathic boost is a great addition to the winter virus battlefield. After all, the more tools in your toolkit, well, medicine cabinet, the better.

alternative medicine · children · essential oils · health · Herbs

Essential Oils for Colds

My son woke up yesterday with a nasty cough. It was the middle of the night when he first started coughing (isn’t that always the case?) so I put some lavender on his pillow to help him sleep and help him fight off the cold. He did sleep but the cold set in unfortunately, although it isn’t a bad one with only a cough and runny nose keeping him home from school. He is full of energy and doesn’t have a fever which make it especially hard for him to just sit around the house sniffing and coughing. He’s been using a sinus rinse but his nose just fills back up immediately, so I went in search of my Eucalyptus oil.

sinus rinse Of course, I found all kinds of old oils that I haven’t used in probably a decade, in fact some are labeled in Czech so I must have bought them when I lived in Prague 15 years ago!

Czech essential oils

They have been stored in a cool dark place though and still smell vibrant and active. Of all the oils in the box though, I could not find the one I wanted, Eucalyptus, and my son said it is kind of like trying to find the right Lego in a box of loose Legos. You just never find the one you want…

Essential oil box These aren’t all the oils, just the ones not in heavy use. I have some in our bathroom and several in our kitchen in two different holding areas. But after checking all those places, there was no Eucalyptus to be found, BUT, I did find a combination that works just as well~ E-M-C, which stands for Eucalyptus, Menthol, and Camphor. After put some liberally on the front of his clothing I added it to our diffuser and we both found ourselves breathing easier. It is such a fresh scent and it is amazing how it works through the gunk that likes to clog sinuses and allow for deep breathing. E-M-C is also great for sore muscles. If you have ever used Tiger Balm or Ben-gay, you’ll understand why. We will rotate oils throughout the day and happily I found a handy old essential oil chart which lists oils I hadn’t even thought of as good for colds and coughs. Here are the lists with the ones good for both in bold:

Colds: Angelica, Basil, Benzoin, Black pepper, Camphor, Cinnamon, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Garlic, Ginger, Marjoram, Peppermint, and Tea-tree.

For Coughs: Angelica, Aniseed, Benzoin, Bergamot (drink Earl Grey Tea!), Bois de Rose, Camphor, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, Frankincense

We all could use help remembering to breath deeply and easily. Having essential oils around is a good way to remind oneself to do just that.