Natural Remedies for Children: Building Your Natural Medicine Cabinet

I often have parents ask me what I keep in my medicine cabinet for when my little guy gets sick or injured. There are many great remedies to have on hand for whenever your little one is under the weather. If you are looking to build a natural medicine cabinet for your children, consider keeping the following in stock.

apothecary bottle herbal medicine

  1. Homeopathic Remedies:

    Homeopathy is a parent’s friend. Easy to administer, safe and effective…plus, your child will most likely take them. These are the 8 I like to keep on hand.
    Arnica: Bumps, bruises and soft tissue trauma. (Note: homeopathics do not replace the need for professional medical care.) I keep an Arnica cream in my diaper bag for trips to the park.
    Apis: Bees, wasps and anything else that stings or bites.
    Belladonna: High fever, earaches.
    Aconite: Fever that comes on after exposure to wind or a fright. A good one for earaches too.
    Nux Vomica: Diarrhea, vomiting, constipation.
    Veratrum album: Diarrhea that leaves a child weak.
    Pulsatilla: Thick green or yellow mucus that is thick.
    Chamomilla: Teething pain, difficulty sleeping, diarrhea with teething. Very irritable.

  2. Probiotics:

    The bugs in your gut help keep your immune system functioning at its best, not to mention your gut itself. Getting a good daily dose of probiotics through fermented foods or supplementation can help your child be a little more resilient to the colds and flus, can help decrease allergies and even help their mood.

  3. Vitamin D3: 

    While you may feel you are getting plenty from the sun, low vitamin D is quite common, especially during the winter months. Among the many roles vitamin D has, optimizing immune function is among them. Getting tested is the best way to know how much vitamin D your child actually needs, but during acute colds you can dose vitamin D for a short period of time to help raise immune function.

  4. Essential Oils: 

    I love using essential oils for respiratory congestion and upset stomachs. Peppermint, thyme and eucalyptus are great to use in a steam inhalation for sinus pressure/ pain, congestion and coughs. When my little one is having gas pains or an upset stomach, I give him a gentle abdominal massage with peppermint oil into a bit of castor oil.

    Echinacea is most effective when used at the first sign of a cold.

    Echinacea is most effective when used at the first sign of a cold.

  5. Castor Oil (never taken internally):

    Massage over the abdomen to promote digestion and healthy immunity. It is a great carrier oil for essential oils and increases circulation of lymphatic tissues.

  6. Elderberry Syrup:

    Effective in helping your little one get over colds and flus quicker. You can also use it at the first signs of sickness to help prevent illness or at least give the immune system a little boost to fight it.

  7. Echinacea:

    If your little one comes home with runny nose, cough and other symptoms of a cold, Echinacea given early can help their immune system get through it quicker.

  8. Vitamin C: 

    There are so many ailments our little ones get where daily vitamin C can be of benefit. Of course, fighting viruses and bugs are a familiar use for this vitamin, but it is also effective in helping tissue heal from injury and can be beneficial with urinary tract infections.

  9. Calendula Salve: 

    2 words: Diaper Rash! This is soothing and healing to irritated tissue. I recommend figuring out what is causing the diaper rash (e.g. food allergies/ sensitivities, yeast, moisture, etc.), but using this to get your little one some relief until you can see your doctor.

  10. Calendula is antimicrobial and aids in tissue healing.

    Calendula is antimicrobial and aids in tissue healing.

    Honey:

    I use honey for homemade cough syrups, rashes (can be very useful with eczema), acne and many other ailments. Remember to wait until your child is at least a year before you let them eat honey.

 

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Natural Remedies for 5 Common Childhood Ailments

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About The Author

Dr. Jolene Brighten

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Dr. Jolene Brighten is a Functional Medicine Naturopathic Doctor and the founder of Rubus Health, a women’s medicine clinic that specializes in women's hormones. She is recognized as a leading expert in Post-Birth Control Syndrome and the long-term side effects associated with hormonal contraceptives. Dr. Brighten is the best selling author, speaker and regular contributor to several online publications including MindBodyGreen. She is a medical advisor for one of the first data-driven apps to offer women personalized birth control recommendations.