Along with the start of the school year and the beginning of cooler weather, the winter also brings along the beginning of cold season. However, even though it is tempting to reach into the medicine cabinet the minute your little one falls ill, it is also important to remember that there are lots of ways to help control your child’s symptoms that don’t involve pharmaceuticals. Read on to find out more.
Although your kids will not be too happy to hear it, one of the best remedies for a cold is simply to rest. Why? Because it takes an enormous amount of energy for your body to fight off an infection, which is one of the reasons why fatigue is so common for people when they come down with this infection. Resting allows the body to focus on its immune response to kill off the viruses that are causing the cold to begin with.
Try making it easier for them to rest by providing books, crossword puzzles, board games or other forms of age-appropriate entertainment.
Another natural way to help treat your child’s cold is to humidify the room. This can be done with a vaporizer that you place in your child’s bedroom or by having your child sit in the bathroom while you run hot water to get the place steamed up. This steam can help reduce swelling and inflammation in the nose and throat and make it easier for kids to breathe. A similar effect can be had by using saline nasal spray.
Hydration is probably one of the single most important things you should keep in mind when you are fighting off a child’s cold. For one thing, it can help to reduce swelling and pain in the nose and throat, two things often made worse when a child is dehydrated. It also help to loosen the mucous and phlegm and makes it easier for your child to cough up, thus easing chest congestion.
The best beverages for keeping hydrated are water, clear juices, clear broth (see below to learn about the benefits of bone broth) and clear tea. Be sure to avoid any beverages with a milky base, caffeine or carbonation.
Bone broth – or broth made from boiling bones, often with vegetables, herbs and other healthful ingredients to make a soup – can help to strengthen the immune system. It does this by keeping the gut and digestive system healthy and by helping to activate many important parts of the immune, including natural killer cells. It can also help treat a cold because of its anti-inflammatoryeffects. This is because many of the most uncomfortable symptoms of a cold, including pain and swollen nasal passages is part of the body’s inflammatory response; bone broth can help soothe these symptoms down.
Click here for a great recipe for chicken bone broth.
There are many spices that moms can use in their cooking (including their bone broths) that can help a child get over a cold. These include:
● Garlic. Garlic has a wealth of active ingredients, including a chemical called allicin, which can help to strengthen in the immune system and in one study, it was shown that those who took garlic reduced the length and severity of both colds and flus. It is believed that, among other things, garlic helps to stimulate the natural killer cells in the body immune system to help fight off the viruses that cause colds to begin with.
● Ginger. Ginger has also long been valued for its ability to boost the body’s immune response and, even better, has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties to help reduce cold symptoms and shorten recovery time. It is also a very warming spice, which can help if your child has the chills.
● Turmeric. Turmeric is botanically related to ginger and shares many of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It also can make it easier for the body to fight off infection by activating important parts of the immune system, include T-cells and natural killer cells that help defend the body from microbial attacks.
In short, when your child comes down with a cold, there are plenty of ways that you can make them comfortable and ease their symptoms without having to reach into the medicine cabinet. These simple methods can help you – and your kids – get through the cold season in a much easier and more comfortable manner.
Guest post provided by Healthline