Saturday, November 19, 2011
Arsenal for kids' colds
As I am sitting here, I am listening to the odd cough and sneeze coming from a few of my six children. Colds are never pleasant, but they are even less so in a large family, where it seems to take three weeks for a virus to work its way through the ranks--just in time for the one who had it first to pick up the next round of illness and pass it on.
There isn't much you can do. Limit contact with others, keep antibacterial wipes in the van and hand sanitizer in your purse and use them diligently, remind the kids to wash hands, try to limit sugar and get enough vitamin C and D3...but inevitably a germ will infiltrate.
When the colds strike, I have certain things I rely on. I make lots of tea, decaffeinated green tea and black tea, for it's antioxidant properties. When there is a cough involved, I really really love Stash's Ginger Lemon Tea--with a good bit of honey (in the summer I love to make iced tea using green tea and this one together). The combination is a good one, and I also slice peeled ginger root and put it in a jar and cover it with warmed raw honey. Just let it sit for 12 hours and then you can put it in the fridge. A spoonful of this works on coughs at least as well as the cough medicines I have used for the children.
Homemade chicken noodle soup with a good bit of garlic is very good for mucous membranes and loosens the mucous. For myself, I love garlic capsules. I take vitamin C, garlic capsules and zinc at the first onset of a cold, and I can't tell you how many times I've routed the foe with that combination. Just be aware that zinc on an empty stomach can make you violently ill, so take it either with a meal, or just before going to bed.
Unfortunately, it is hard to get those things--other than the vitamin C--into little ones. I do have zinc drops, but they are so very horribly bitter that I can never use a full dose for the children; instead, I try to slip a few drops into undiluted white grape juice (which is sooo sweet!) or in pretty syrupy chocolate milk. Garlic just has to be added to foods.
We use GSE here every day for sterilizing our milking equipment. It doesn't need to be rinsed off and has health benefits, so it is what we use to wipe down cutting boards, counters, baby toys and high chairs. I have put a drop or two in my juice when fighting a cold, and I can't tell you whether or not it has done me good, because I always use multiple things when attacking a cold, but I do know people swear by it.
One unconventional thing I have done for keeping colds at bay is using hydrogen peroxide in the ears. Let it remain in the ear for half a minute or so, then do the other ear. My sister uses this a lot more than I do, and she says it has kept her free from many a developing cold. Just use it at the first sign of a cold; better yet, do it weekly and you will have the added benefit of very clean ear canals (my ENT doctor recommends this for cleaning your ears).
Anyway, here's hoping that you have little need for any of these remedies this winter!