Are you enjoying this month of natural remedies and illness prevention? If you've missed any of the posts, you can find them all here.
I was just wondering what you use for your children in place of tylenol and motrin. We typically don't bother treating our kids fevers until they get over 101, and fortunately that rarely occurs. But we have been struggling with managing our children and infants pain for both teething and leg aches/growing pains. Do you have any natural pain killers that you have had success with? We try to use massage and heat for the leg aches and cold wash cloth/ teethers for teething, but they don't always seem to help enough, especially in the middle of the night. Thanks for your advice.
Thanks for the excellent question, Sarah! As moms concerned about health, I think that we all want to find natural but effective solutions for treating our little ones aches, pains and owies. Band-aids and kisses are a mama's best tools, but even they aren't enough all the time.
When it comes to these types of situations, we generally turn to homeopathic remedies for safe and simple treatment. Although they are growing in popularity in recent years, homepathics are still generally unknown and poorly understood.
What Exactly are Homepathic Remedies?
Here is a definition from the Society of Homeopaths website:
Homeopathy is a system of medicine which is based on treating the individual with highly diluted substances given in mainly tablet form, which triggers the body’s natural system of healing. Based on their experience of their symptoms, a homeopath will match the most appropriate medicine to the patient.
It works on the principle of “like cures like” - that is, a substance that would cause symptoms in a healthy person is used to cure those same symptoms in illness. For example, one remedy which might be used in a person suffering from insomnia is coffea, a remedy made from coffee.
Make sense? The idea is that by giving a small dose of the very thing that could trigger the types of symptoms that a person is experiencing, you can actually bring about a natural healing response that will help to relieve those symptoms.
Homeopathics is actually a complex system of understanding exactly which remedy (and there are many different ones!) to prescribe for which types of symptoms. For instance, if you have morning sickness, you need to determine whether the nausea is constant, only when standing or sitting, involves retching, is aggravated by sights and smells, involves cravings, if the woman still has an appetite, etc. Depending on which symptoms are present, you would choose a different homeopathic remedy to treat the sickness.
Using homeopathics to treat more long-term or serious illness is best done with the help of a certified homeopath, naturopathic doctor or other qualified professional. If you don't know how to select the correct remedy, you will not find the relief that you are looking for.
However, using homeopathics for simple, first-aid type treatments is something that anyone can learn to do and offers a wonderful alternative to conventional over-the-counter medications!
Simple Homeopathic Use at Home
To get back to Sarah's question, here are remedies that can easily be used for the usual types of childhood complaints:
Like Sarah, our family does not treat fever unless they are particularly high and/or prolonged. I usually do not treat fever in my children until they go above 102 (or 101 in a baby), or when the fever begins to affect their appetite enough that I am worried about dehydration. I believe that a fever is the body's natural response to illness, a part of the healing process that God created, and shouldn't be messed with until it becomes dangerous (and not just uncomfortable).
For the past 5 years, I have been happily using Hyland's Homeopathic Teething Tablets. I love these tablets and can't imagine going without them. They include 4 different remedies combined: Calcarea Phosphorica (supports dentition), Chamomilla (for irritability), Coffea Cruda (for wakefulness and diuresis), Belladonna (for redness and inflammation).
They come in the form of small tablets that quickly dissolve, either in water or directly in baby's mouth. They must taste good because my babies eyes light up when they see me shaking the little bottle. I use them to help take the edge off on particularly bad days, or give two doses (15 minutes apart) before putting them to bed on days when their teeth have been giving them trouble.
Anxiety and restlessness
A simple remedy to keep on hand for soothing an upset child, or one that is restless and having a hard time relaxing or sleeping, is Chamomilia. It works very well at calming and soothing children, helping fussy babies, or even could even be used for a distraught and anxious mama.
Image by lindsayshaver
Bumps and bruises
Arnica is the perfect solution for all kinds of owies! Useful for pain, swelling, bruising and general soreness, it is ideal to give to a screaming child to take the edge off of an injury.
I would consider either Arnica and/or Chamomilia for aches and pains at night. There may be more specific remedies to try, depending on their exact symptoms, but we have not needed to delve into anything beyond that.
A Word on Dosages
Carefully read the instructions on the particular brand and remedy that you are using. When giving a homeopathic remedy to a child, you will generally want to consider their weight and give them an appropriate dose compared to an average adult dose. For example, if the adult dose is 5 tablets, consider that the average adult may weigh 150 lbs. If your child weighs 30 lbs or less, you would give them 1 tablet.
It really all depends on the strength of the remedy, and who the remedy was made for. Boiron and Hyland's make many child-specific remedies, for instance, and their doses are tailored to children. If using an adult remedy, you will want to ask your own natural practitioner, or seek advice from the store or pharmacy where you purchase your products, or even google the specific remedy that you are using for advice on how to use it safely.
Generally speaking, it isn't easy to overdose on these remedies, and you can usually give a second dose about 15 minutes later if the first dose hasn't been effective enough. Nonetheless, common sense, a bit of research and leaning towards being on the conservative side will go a long way towards safe use of any alternative remedy.
Naturokits: A Simple First-Aid Solution
One of my sponsors this month is a wonderful product called Naturokits, created by two moms, who are also naturopathic doctors. These kits include 9 different remedies (homeopathic, botanical/herbal, floral essences, and activated charcoal).
I'm currently test-driving a kit of my own and I am just in love with it! Each kit comes with an extensive list of various types of injuries, sicknesses or symptoms that you might want to treat, and then tells you which of the 9 remedies to use to treat it.
Rather than needing to research and purchase a whole range of different remedies yourself, these moms have done the work for you, and all you have to do it open up your kit, find the treatment you need and feel confident as you tend to your child or family member.
I had been eager to set up a natural first-aid kit of my own this year, but discovering this kit has totally solved that for me. Having all of these remedies that cover a wide range of symptoms in one place is such a good solution. I would really recommend looking into getting a kit for your own family. Right now Keeper of the Home readers can purchase a Naturokit and get $5 off with the code "DCKEEPER".
Do you use homeopathic remedies? Which ones and what do you use them for?
Disclaimer and Disclosure: I am not a certified medical professional of any kind and am not qualified to give you medical advice (yada, yada, yada...). My goal is to help to educate and inspire you to take responsibility for your own family's health and make informed choices of your own, not to consult you on medical treatment. As well, I did receive a Naturokit for the purpose of review, but all the nice things I've said are my real opinions and I was not paid to say them. There are also some referral links in this post, on which I make a small kickback when you make a purchase, which helps to support this site (thank you!).