Natural Parenting

Natural pregnancy, birth, and parenting: healthy, happy and ecological ideas from a mother's personal experience.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Natural remedies for all the family

Many minor ailments can be simply relieved and cured at home, my family have been using these remedies ever since I can remember. It is advisable to research remedies for yourself, or ask your local health food shop for advice if you are unsure. The majority of natural remedies are very gentle and perfect for taking care of your family health.

Burns: break off piece of aloe vera and apply gel to burn; apply lavender essential oil for quick healing.

Colds: olbas/eucalyptus oil at night in a plug-in vaporiser or on bedding; finely chop garlic, cover with honey for a few hours, consume small teaspoonfuls; honey (soothing, but not recommended for under 2’s), lemon (high in vitamin c) cyder vinegar (cleansing), ginger (stimulating) all in hot water.
Prevention of colds/immunity: elderberry liquid remedy and echinacea for immunity; vitamins/minerals; Aborigines of Australia have used eucalyptus for thousands of years to help fight colds/flu (the oil is also antiseptic and antibacterial).

Colic: protective acidophilus powder/capsules; chamomilla powder/tablets.

Constipation: increase liquids; orange juice; prunes soaked/cooked or in porridge; prune juice; tummy massage; pysllium husks; camomile tea; whole meal food/roughage.

Cough: thyme tea (just pick and infuse).

Conjunctivitis: breast milk is commonly used for this in babies worldwide; bathe eye with boiled water/camomile tea.

Cuts and wounds: garlic (antiseptic), onion (antibacterial), apply either to small cuts to keep clean/germ-free; apply lavender essential oil for quick healing.

Earache: onion poultice (boil onion, wrap whilst hot into tea-towels, lay on it); warm olive oil, prick a garlic clove, leave to soak in oil, pour into ear, plug with cotton wool.

Fever: homeopathic belladonna; elderflower; peppermint; nettle tea.

Headaches: Peppermint, rosemary, and sage teas help to relieve.

Hay fever: local honey.

Insect bites: apply 1 teaspoon baking soda mixed with water or vinegar to sting; rub neat lavender oil onto affected area; bee sting, neutralise with bicarb of soda; wasp sting, neutralise with lemon or vinegar.

Insomnia: camomile tea; few drops of lavender in the bath.

Nappy rash: Air babies bum (outside in the sun if possible); poo and wee together cause more upset; use fleece liner with cloth nappies; rinse babies bum under tap after change; wash baby in diluted camomile tea and a drop of lavender/tea tree oil; chamomilla and camomile tea apparently neutralise the acidic urine from teething; natural non-petroleum creams are available; calendula cream; zinc and castor oil cream (it can be used as sun block too).

Nits: Neem oil/shampoo; aromatherapy; tea tree oil/shampoo along with a nit comb.

Rashes/chicken pox/eczema: porridge oats in a tied sock/camomile tea bags in the bath really sooth; neem oil for eczema; calendula cream; comfrey cream; avoid chemical soaps/products; frequent washing (especially with soaps/products) of newborns not recommend.

Shock: arnica.

Teething: chamomilla; camomile tea; chewing on licorice root.

Tummy upsets: acidophilus powder (also in live bio yogurt); porridge; camomile tea; fresh lemon/lime mixed with water; ginger tea or root; black tea.

Vomiting and diarrhea: glass of water with 1 part salt/2 parts sugar prevents dehydration; cinnamon and coriander; porridge.

Most of these remedies you will already have at home, can be sourced at your local health food shop, online or at some chemists/supermarkets.

There are alternative treatments available for most conditions, including childhood illnesses such as chicken pox, and homeopathic alternatives to childhood vaccines are available.

Natural Baby by Janet Balaskas (includes excellent tips on natural care for newborns, breast feeding/bottle feeding, co-sleeping, slings etc).

Websites:, homeopathic kits from this website have a wide range of remedies that are great for dealing with everyday illness, problems or emergencies in the family.

(as published in Halstead/Sudbury NCT newsletter winter 07)