Thursday, January 30, 2014

Herbal Remedies for Infants

The last few days I have found myself intrigued by herbs and its natural healing abilities. For the last few months my 8 month old baby has had congestion. I do believe a big part of the problem is an allergy to cow's milk so I have switched his formula to soy. I wish I could wave a wand and speed up this process but he's only been drinking it for about 2-3 weeks so I won't be seeing any results until a few more weeks of consistency. 

On top of this annoyance my baby along with my other two kids have suffered stuffy noses, running noses, and coughs with this crazy weather change. If you are a mother of an infant you know then that you have very limited resources to help them out. Today I'd like to share with a you a few of my favorite remedies that seem to be helping my kids out (especially the little one).

*Please note, like anything else please use caution, do your research, and/or ask your physician. *

1. Gaia Kids Sniffle Support Herbal Drops
This one has been great for my infant. The label gives instructions on how many drops to use based on the age of the child. I add the suggested amount into his bottle and I do that 2-3 times a day. So what's in it? 7 herbs, water, and pure vegetable glycerin. That is it! They are all words I can pronounce and easily research. Here's what I've found about them and believe me there is so much more benefits to each of them.

 - Elderberries
Used for its antioxidant activity, to lower cholesterol, improve vision, boost the immune system, improve heart health and for coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections and tonsillitis. 

- Elderflower
It has been used in traditional medicine all over the world in many different cultures due to its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. The most common uses are for colds and flu, sinus infections, and other respiratory disturbances. Elderflower has antibacterial and antiviral properties and may also help alleviate some allergies and boost the functioning of the immune system. 

- Eyebright

It is used as an anti-inflammatory for hay fever, sinusitis, upper respiratory tract infections, and catarrh (inflammation of the mucous membranes). As an astringent, it is used for dry congestion. There is an herbal smoking mix of the dried herb that is used for bronchial colds. It also can be used for seasonal allergies and other nasal irritations.

- Plantain
The leaves as well as the juice have been widely used as topical substances for treating sunburns, stings, insect bites, snakebites, poison ivy breakouts, rashes, burns, blisters, and cuts. But it has also been used for many centuries in treating sore throats, coughs, bronchitis, tuberculosis, and mouth sores.

- Fenugreek seed
Its seeds have been used in many traditional medicines as a laxative, digestive, and as a remedy for cough and bronchitis. 

- Anise seed
Anise preparations are an excellent remedy for asthma, bronchitis cough as well as digestive disorders such as flatulence, bloating, colicky stomach pain, nausea and indigestion. Anise seed water is very helpful in relieving running nose condition in infants. 

- Thyme Leaf
Throat gargling with tepid thyme water or drinking few sips of thyme tea may help relieve coughs, sore throat, and bronchitis symptoms.

- Vegetable glycerin
This can be used as a substitute for ethanol — the chemical commonly called “alcohol” — in making botanical extracts, such as herbal essences. It acts as a solvent that dissolves the substances of interest from the raw plant material. There are also medical uses for vegetable glycerin. It is a common ingredient in cough mixtures, due to its soothing properties. 

2. Herbal Rub
Make your child an herbal rub by mixing 4 tablespoons of olive oil and 8-10 drops of Rosemary essential oil. Rub the child's chest or back and then cover or swaddle. 

Rosemary is a great natural remedy for respiratory problems. Breathing in the scent of the essential oil may help with congestion due to colds, allergies, respiratory infections, and the flu. You may also boil fresh rosemary in a pot of water, place it in a bowl, and breathe in the steam to help clear the lungs and throat. This will also help with any sinus or head pain associated with respiratory conditions.

3. Cool mist vaporizer at night with Eucalyptus essential oil
I use one of these on a dresser where my kids can't reach. You don't want it to close to the infant or child because the machine creates a steam and it could cause burns to their face.

4. Steam baths
If congestion is present with the cough then take the child into the bathroom, run a hot shower until the room gets steamy, and sit in the steam with the child to help loosen lung congestion. I like to put a few drops of Eucalyptus oil on the floor while the bathroom is steamy. By the way I've also used J.R. Watkins Natural Apothecary Relief Mist for my showers. You spray away from face toward center of room or shower and the vapors bring relief especially during cold and allergy season.

5. Herbal Bath
Give the child a warm bath with essential oils of Eucalyptus, Sage, or Rosemary.

6. Chestal Honey Children's Cough Relief
Due to the fact that this has honey in it I've only used this on the two older kids. 

So what do you use for your little ones? Curious to know if there are more remedies out there that you'd like to share.

*The following links are resources I've found helpful during this research process.*

Holistic Mamas

Green Med Info

Wellness Mama

Herbal Wisdom

*The above products are my own personal reviews and opinions. I did not get paid for this advertisement. *

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