February in the South is cold and flu season. Or perhaps more accurately, it’s weakened immune system season brought on after months of high sugar foods and cold temperatures.
Regardless, I hate seeing my kids miserable with coughs and runny noses. Sickness is everywhere. And I’m smart enough to know that the typical antibiotic I’d get from the doctor’s office doesn’t touch viruses like the common cold or even influenza. So what’s a worried mom to do for her sick little ones?
I turn to mother nature, and my arsenal of tried and true all natural remedies to pull us through this horrible season. Here is a list of my top 10 favorites thus far.
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You’ll notice on this list that a lot of these products are for babies, or rather, they’re for children but safe for babies.
As I have children that range in age from 10 to 2, I normally go with products I know that are safe for my whole family, which includes my two year old. It’s what works for my family. Safe for babies ensures it’s safe for my older ones, too.
This Maty’s All Natural Baby Rub is not something you want to leave down where a little one can eat it, since it has eucalyptus, but it is petroleum and menthol free so it’s great for babies as young as 3 months on their skin. Yay!
I personally put it on my youngest one’s feet before bedtime, then cover her feet with socks so she doesn’t accidentally get some on her hands and put said hands in mouth.
For my older ones, I do either feet, or a small spot on their chest. The lavender scent is the strongest, despite hints of eucalyptus and chamomile, too. And while I wouldn’t recommend it as a daily lotion, I have used it on the backs of my hands when they’re really dry to the point of cracking in this cold weather. And it helps alleviate some of that pain and dryness.
The texture of Matys Baby Rub is similar to Aquaphor, if you’ve ever used that, but I would NOT recommend using Aquaphor as it does have petroleum. Hence the thick, waterproof feel- and why we choose Maty’s over Aquaphor any day.
These pops taste amazing! And they’re flat, which I personally like since it makes it easier to crunch them between your teeth, if you so desire. Although it’s preferable to suck on them since they are Organic Throat Soothing Pops for Kids.
Made with organic honey, these pops come in three flavors, watermelon, strawberry, and orange mango. And yes, they do say for ages 3+ but I’ve given them to my two year old.
They’re the kind of lollipop you can feel good about giving your kids because they’re made with 100% all natural, organic, NON-GMO ingredients, plus they’re gluten free which means they’re also WORRY free.
Personally, I love the Lolleez more than I do the Little Remedies version, because they come in more flavors and they’re organic.
But, I’d take Little Remedies over anything with synthetic medications any day, if those were my only options. Still, if you have the opportunity to get Lolleez, I would.
My next pick for cold and flu season is the Manuka Honey cough drops.
These organic manuka honey drops with ginger in them taste just like gingerbread! My kids love them.
The manuka honey drops are slightly gooey chewy when you first put them in your mouth, but then they have a crunchy texture towards the center.
So why all the organic honey remedies for sore throats? Glad you asked. Traditional, i.e. synthetic cough syrups have actually been shown to have very little effect on coughing. Ironic and sad, right? Especially since they’re not being taken off the shelves. And in fact a couple of years ago, it was put out that traditional cough remedies were NOT to be given to children due to possible harm/side effects.
That’s a big deal. So again, why the honey?
Honey actually HAS been shown to have an effect on coughing. By coating the throat. Hence, the organic honey products you see above.
Of which they have both a night time and daytime version for cough syrup. And a mix for cough syrup and mucous relief.
But when it comes to honey? Not for their baby line.
In their baby line, it’s actually agave syrup (and ivy leaf).
The reason it’s agave syrup instead of honey is that honey is not considered safe to children under the age of two. That’s because of the fear of botulism. For the most effective, pure quality honey, you’re looking for raw, organic honey. But to play it safe with infants and those under two, stick with a honey free remedy, just to be safe.
A relative and I recently had a discussion on the Zarbee’s products, as she’s not a fan. She prefers Hylands.
Me, I’m right the opposite. I’d choose Zarbee’s over Hylands. While both are said to be homeopathic, and the Hyland’s Baby is said to have no artificial flavors, dyes, or parabens (all things to avoid so go Hyland’s for that!) I go with Zarbee’s for one simple reason.
If I flip the products I just mentioned with Zarbee’s over, I can read and understand their ingredients. Organic Honey. Organic Agave. Ivy Leaf extract. Awesome. Hylands products may work, and may be homeopathic, but I don’t always know what’s in them. Which is why I personally avoid them.
Saline spray. Code for salt water drops.
When a little one, or even adult for that matter, is having difficulty breathing through their nose due to seasonal mucus I use this. And an aspirator.
I’ve had several blue aspirators through the years that I received from the hospital when I brought home my newborns. But what I like about this clear one is that you can see what is (or isn’t) inside. It’s incredibly helpful to be able to open it to wash it, too. Whereas the blue ones I got from every hospital I gave birth in gave me one that was a mystery. Was it clean? Was it dirty? Who knew. It was blue!
Bear in mind that over using the aspirator can cause irritation and inflammation. So only use it when necessary. And squirt some saline in each nostril first to loosen it. But definitely go with the saline over anything medicated with baby.
Yes, coconut oil. Fractionated coconut oil to be exact.
I really need to break down and just write an entire post, or two, dedicated to how coconut oil should be used in every room of your home. Not just the kitchen for cooking, but for moisturizing, skincare, and aromatherapy. In a pinch, it’s also amazing for getting tiny fingers out of bubble blowers and plastic tops (personal stories, yes!). But in regards to cold and flu season, you need coconut oil for aromatherapy purposes.
When combined with pure essential oils, like those I buy from Young Living– and yes, I’m a distributor and you can buy all kinds of amazing essential oil infused products here– coconut oil is a life saver.
Consider the Maty’s Baby All Natural Chest Rub I mentioned earlier. With fractionated coconut oil and essential oils, you can make your own in any scent you choose. Since essential oils all have their own unique properties, some can be used topically on the skin, others can be breathed in for relief, it’s always good to have a carrier oil like coconut oil on hand to dilute them and make use of them. No matter what sickness enters your home. Which brings me to a good point.
I distribute Young Living Essential Oils because I fell in love with them and the entire Young Living Line of products. They have something for everyone, truly. And the tiny bottles of oils are just part of it.
My journey with Young Living began with me buying a Premium Starter Kit, which includes about 11 oils and a diffuser and several samples, from a friend from elementary school. Yes, we’ve been friends forever. She’s amazing. And I’m so thankful she got me into oils because we use them daily in my home, for everything.
I use them for cleaning my home without chemicals. Young Living makes an amazing cinnamon scented cleaner with hints of lemon called Thieves that has replaced every chemical I once had under my kitchen cabinet.
I use them for calming emotions with lavender in the baths of my children. We put them in coconut oil and make foot rubs for them in the evenings and when they’re not feeling well. I put oils in the diffuser that doubles as a humidifier at night to help them breathe easier. It’s the desert mist diffuser pictured in the PSK above.
And while none of the above products or statements to my knowledge have been evaluated by the FDA, I know how I use my oils and what an impact they’ve had on my family. Therefore we’ll continue to use them. So in regards to what Young Living products I’d consider starting with during cold and flu season?
A Diffuser, like the desert mist that doubles as a humidifier. This helps get moisture into the air to help you breathe easier. During cold and flu seasons past, when I would take my little ones to the pediatrician, they would always tell me that I needed a humidifier. The dryness in the air isn’t good for us in the winter. Add some water to the desert mist diffuser, which also acts as a very beautiful night light if you want- or you can keep the light off if you’d prefer- and add your oils. So which oils?
Young Living Peppermint oil is a must have during cold and flu season and I’ll tell you why. It helps with nausea. And my God, I wish I’d known about it with all of my pregnancies because I had awful morning sickness every time. And this oil truly helps. For example-
Beginning of January, I had some really big goals for my business. As a stay at home mom who really only gets to work in the late evenings (because my family comes first) I started staying up really extra late early January. And what happens when we don’t get enough sleep? Our immune systems suffer.
Sleep is so very important! And I wasn’t getting enough of it. Then my kids got the stomach virus. And yes, I got it, too. And it was… awful.
I was so sick. I’d count it up there with top 5 worst times I’ve been sick as an adult. And the nausea was horrible. But this Peppermint Oil? It helped me so much! As in, one evening my husband saw me jump up during the worst of the virus and run into the kitchen to grab our oils off the top of the fridge. And I only barely made it to the bathroom (TMI, I know). And this Peppermint Oil? SAVED ME. Saved me from making a huge mess that I’d have had to have immediately cleaned in the midst of my sickness. And God knows I did not feel up to doing that.
So get some Peppermint Oil for nausea. My oldest boy suffered from migraines for the longest, until we started a strict diet and lifestyle change. But Peppermint Oil has been part of our prevention plan and has made the times he gets sick from his headaches far fewer this past year. Definitely a blessing.
Young Living makes two kinds of Peppermint, both Vitality which you can add to water and food as it’s considered safe to ingest and a regular Peppermint for aromatherapy and topical purposes.
Note*Young Living Vitality is the ONLY brand of essential oil I trust when it comes to putting essential oils in food. The cheap essential oils you get from Walmart or the drug store? Do NOT eat those!
I do put the Peppermint Vitality in our diffuser, I put some carrier oil like the coconut on my wrist with a drop or two when I’m nauseated, and I also put some of the Peppermint Vitality in my water to give it added flavor.
And my second must have oil for cold and flu season-
Honestly, I could list off every essential oil Young Living carries and tell you that you need it and then make a convincing argument as to why you needed it years ago and should start using it immediately. Really.
But I’ll end my list with Lavender. Because lavender is how we end our day at my home, whether in a bath, a foot rub, or the diffuser. Because it calms. And when sick babies are irritable and miserable, the best thing they can do is get comfortable and get some sleep. Sleep can be so welcoming and healing. So sleep.
A couple of drops on their pillow, or some coconut oil and a foot rub with a drop of lavender and a story. All good things for sick babies.
Which of my top all natural cold and flu remedies have you tried? Or which ones will you try? Comment below. And remember, prevention is key. Don’t wait to get these when you get sick- have them on hand so that if you do, heaven forbid, you’ll be ready to knock out those viruses and get some rest.