My toddler is showing signs of getting sick… now what?
I get so much joy from hearing my daughter say: “mommy will fix it” whenever someone gets a boo-boo or isn’t feeling well. It has made my journey as an herbalist even more meaningful. Moving from the realm of helping yourself to helping others is truly fulfilling.
So when my baby has red watery eyes and a runny nose I have to jump into action. I am pretty conservative when it comes to giving my children anything, the same way I am with myself when I’m pregnant. What I mean by that is I’m careful. Whether it is over the counter medicine or herbs, less is best for everyday issues. And aways check with your pediatrician first.
I love elderberry. At the first sign of sickness the whole house gets some — except for the newborn, she gets mama’s liquid gold. I will put a bit of elderberry syrup in water with lemon or lime juice for my two year old. I found giving it in an open cup helped my toddler drink it faster but sometimes it goes right in the sippy cup. You could go the syringe route but personally my daughter wasn’t a fan and she takes medicine well.
**It is important to note that you should use elderberry syrup that is formulated for children and discuss with your pediatrician before using. Homemade elderberry syrups typically contain honey which is not safe for children under one year old.**
Elderberry can greatly reduce the duration of cold/flu as it helps to keep a virus from replicating. It also has antiviral, expectorant, and anti inflammatory properties.
Simple homestyle herbs provide powerful support for our health. There is a reason they are popular and taste so good. I’m talking herbs like thyme, rosemary, basil, marjoram, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, paprika, cayenne, and garlic. The easiest (and certainly ancient) way to drink a hot infusion of these herbs is to put them in your soup broth. But if you have a picky toddler, they’re eating the noodles and nothing else. I had to come up with a creative way to incorporate some of these staples.
If your child is anything like mine, a nice warm bubble bath is a relaxing day at the spa — or a fun day splashing at the pool. Either way, mine loves a good soak. When she isn’t feeling well and the snot is running, a bath is a great source of comfort. Hot baths can promote sweating which may help release toxins and ease aches and pains. The steam may also help loosen mucous and pressure..
To take her bath to the next level I decided to try an herbal soak for colds. I put thyme, rosemary, calendula, plantain, chamomile, lavender, and a couple of juniper berries in a tea infuser and put it right in the bath. You could also make it into a large cup of tea or infuse in a French press and pour it into the tub which will allow you to make a stronger brew. Just be mindful of temperature.
Along with plenty of water and rest, this simple regimen has stopped colds in their tracks in my home. To reiterate — be sure to consult your pediatrician when your child is sick and before giving them anything new. Some herbs react with medication, some can cause an allergic reaction like members of the Aster family that are related to ragweed. Simple can be effective!