The flu was not messing around this year. You probably already knew that because it seems like no one was safe. In a home that rarely relies on medication (over-the-counter or otherwise) dodging even the common cold can be tricky. I was raised in home that didn’t turn to modern medicine unless it got unbearable. In those days, our family was not yet aware of some of the great natural treatments that we experience today. Now that we have a little one around, we do what we can holistically to support our immune systems and prevent getting sick. It’s not always the case for the little one though, his immune system is still developing and therefore susceptible. So, he does get sick. That’s okay. We have ways to support respiratory wellness in my little guy without turning to medicine or even having to run to the doctor at the first fever.
Here are 6 alternatives we rely on in our home:
1. Colloidal Silver
Colloidal silver is micro-particles of silver suspended in a liquid, usually water that’s been demineralized. Colloidal silver has been said to be helpful in treating various bacterial and viral infections as well as supporting your immune system. My preferred brand is Sovereign Silver, which you can find at Sprouts and natural grocery stores. I pour it in a bottle and just spray a mist on his face. For me, since colds usually come in the form of sinus infections, I use a nose spray. I want to add that it important to do your own research on how colloidal silver works to make sure you are using it effectively and safely.
2. Salt Therapy
I recently learned about salt therapy when doing research about a nagging cough Ethan had. Also called halotherapy, this ancient treatment involves hanging out in a room with floor to ceiling salt for 45 minutes while tiny particles of salt are pumped in to the air. Salt therapy is regularly used to aid in respiratory and skin health. OCSaltTherapy in Irvine is currently the only dedicated salt therapy facility in the Orange County area. They are kid-friendly and reasonably priced. Salt therapy was a key component in getting through this last cycle of the cold virus that ran through our house multiple times.
3. Essential Oils
We use essential oils for everything so of course we would use it in place of conventional medicine. I like to use a respiratory blend as well as a cold-busting blend. Both oil blends are diffused or heavily diluted and used topically for Ethan. The grown-ups in the house ingest immune-boosting blends as well as oregano oil. Once again, it’s very important that you only use essential oils made by a company whose purity you can trust. My preferred brand is doTERRA. Always dilute oils when using them on children and persons with sensitivities.
You may think that dry air would be helpful for a runny nose, but it’s actually the opposite. Snot is a response to irritation in the nasal passage, irritation caused by dry air. Keeping the air humid can give relief to the symptoms of cold and flu. I have no specific recommendation on a humidifier. There are many on Amazon that are inexpensive and have great reviews. Just make sure you keep in clean. I even put a few drops of tea tree oil in ours to prevent molding.
5. Whole Foods / Antioxidant Foods
Fruits, vegetables and bone broths are a great ways to get your little ones body back on track. These foods are nourishing and high in healing vitamins and minerals. Bone broth can be purchased but it’s also very simple to make at home with some quality meat bones and veggies. As Hippocrates said,
Let food be thy medicine.
6. Homeopathic Remedies
We occasionally turn to homeopathic cough and cold syrup. Mainly because Ethan can’t really communicate specifics with me and rather than him going through some of the uncomfortable symptoms, I would like him to have some relief. He will also not be as cranky if he is not feeling horrible. Homeopathic remedies treat the symptoms, which is actually what I am looking for. We currently choose to use Hyland’s. Given our very little experience with bad coughs, I haven’t had the opportunity to use many different brands and I hope to not have to.
These are the methods that work for our family and it’s important you do what works best for yours. We choose this because sometimes the side effects of traditional medication, both long-term and short-term, are not worth it. Especially, when we know we have other options for respiratory wellness. Many people look at alternative treatments as a last option, but lately more and more families have been turning to these treatments first off or using them in conjunction with more conventional treatments. If you feel your little one needs attention from a medical professional though, please do not hesitate to seek one out.