When my 9-year-old sees me headed his way with my homeopathic flu kit he always says the same thing: “Here comes mama to poison me.”
Of course, I’ve no intention of poisoning him. I’m just consulting the contents of the bag my husband (lovingly) calls my witch doctor kit. The nerve. Just because it’s full of tiny vials with weird, unpronounceable names like gelsemium and ferrum phosphoricum. There’s nothing threatening about it. It’s not like I’m making my kids choke down castor oil or chant strange incantations. (OK, I admit, there’s a little chanting.)
But I don’t think of it as witch-doctoring. While I admit to a general suspicion of pharmaceuticals, I believe there are natural ways to boost health, particularly when you’re dealing with minor ailments. Why not see what you can do with gentle remedies before you haul out the prescription pad?
Of course, I seek medical attention when it’s needed for things like fevers, injuries, or mystery rashes. Why, I’ve been known to show up at urgent care twice in a single day with two different kids! But if I can get someone on the road to recovery with painless (and even pleasant) alternatives, why not do it? Here are some I swear by:
- Peppermint essential oil is great for clearing a stuffy nose.
- Lavender essential oil is a sure fix when my boys are restless at night. A couple of drops and they’re asleep in minutes (and it might be the only thing that smells more pleasant to a kid than peppermint oil).
- Hot lemonade with honey and ginger soothes a sore throat.
- We have a homeopathic remedy that has headed off more stomach ailments in my house than I can count. At the first sign of nausea or cramping, I haul it out. Nobody throws up around here.
- I know you’ve heard it before, but homemade chicken stock. A huge vitamin boost and a nice, steamy meal. I think people perk up at just the thought of a hot bowl of homemade soup.
Placebo effect, you say? Maybe. But I am a person focused on outcomes. If I get the outcome I want, who cares?
I know some of you are reading and shaking your heads. And I admit, some of my methods seem a little odd. Last night’s was a good example. After attending a fabulous Accu Yoga workshop I made my daughter sit down and do some accupressure to combat a bad head cold. She played along. My husband avoided us. He found the accompanying music – a yogic chant – a little disturbing. But guess what? This morning she felt better. A lot better. And went off to school with a smile on her face despite another day of bone-chilling cold.
What more could a mother ask?
Any favorite home remedies? You know me, I’ll try anything.