Tuesday, October 9, 2012

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Tips for avoiding & fighting colds in parents, kids and babies


It's cold and flu season for many parts of the States and currently, I'm in the process of trying to stave one off myself. I'm turning to my old trusty natural methods I've used with relative success over the years and thought I'd share with Blog readers who would prefer to avoid the traditional medicinal route.


For adults, teens and small children

Echinacea – Taking 15 to 20 drops of an Echinacea in liquid form dropped into warm water four or five times a day (or as directed on the bottle) could help stave off colds

Ginseng - A 2005 study conducted by Canadian researchers found that taking ginseng every day  could reduced the severity and duration of cold symptoms, and appeared to prevent colds as well.

Nasal rinse – A nasal rinse, daily if possible, is great for fending off coughs, sniffles and does wonders to relieve a soar throat. Recent studies found that, children who rinsed with a saline nasal wash six times a day had an improvement in cold symptoms and fewer recurrences.  But don’t rinse for prolonged periods of time as it can deplete the nose of protective mucus, and actually increase your risk of getting a cold and other infections.

Tea Tree Oil – This essential oil infused with natural camphoracerous odor is great for opening nasal passages for fighting a cold or dealing with allergy symptoms. Apply a dab on pressure points: the temple, bridge of noise, behind ears and maybe a little under the nose to breathe in the humectant. You can also put a couple drops while taking a steam bath to enable the oil to go through the nasal passages.

Vitamin C- In tablet form is easiest, but this vitamin is said to have the effect of reducing or helping stave off a cold. In foods, the vitamin is found in citrus fruits and some green leafy vegetables. 

For Infants and Babies: 

Natural Chest Rub - A salve or balm like Maty’s all natural baby chest rub would work. It doesn’t have the same active ingredients as in brands like Vicks. Instead, it contains just sunflower oil, coconut oil, shea butter, lavender and eucalyptus.

Natural cough medicine – Given recent warnings against giving infants traditional over-the-counter cough remedies, brands like Maty’s makes cough with all natural ingredients like Buckwheat honey, apple cider vinegar, Olive oil, Grapefruit seed extract and Marjoram. 

Humidifier – Remove all allergens from a baby’s room including stuffed animals and stored blankets that can collect dust and run a cool mist humidifier in the room to help her nasal passages clear. 

Mint – To quiet a persistent cough, place a couple sprigs of natural mint leaves in a bottle with warm distilled water and give to baby. Shake bottle a bit to “steep” the mint.  It is like a mint tea and can be soothing to baby’s throat.

We if we plan and be prepared, we may be able to escape this fall and winter's cold and flu season with more time up and healthy than down and sick! That's my plan anyway! Who has time to be ill?




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