Some of you might have an encyclopedic knowledge of natural remedies for health and healing – you’re basically witches. For others that awareness might extend no further than a vague recollection that aloe vera does something good for burns…or something…? Right?
My own forays into natural healing are still in their infancy, there’s so much to learn, but I’ve found most natural remedies incredibly effective, environmentally-friendly, and safe – something that becomes even more important when you have kids. Not only are our children tiny and innocent and pure, but they also put almost everything in their mouths, all the more reason to keep it as natural as possible.
(Obviously a trained medical professional will be your best source for treating serious ailments, and you should never ignore sound medical advice in favor of something you read on the internet. I know this goes without saying, but I am saying it, OK?)
Anyway, regardless of where you are in terms of amassing your own natural healing skills, there are four fabulous basics you’ll need to begin putting together a natural medicine cabinet for kids.
1. Coconut oil
As a balm for chapped cheeks or diaper rash on babies, used for a soothing after-bath massage to ward off dry skin and aid sleep (ha!) or as a carrier oil in tinctures, there’s a reason coconut oil is the new darling of hippies everywhere. This is a fantastic staple to have on hand and does double duty as cooking oil, too. (Just make sure to decant some into a separate container for cooking to avoid cross-contamination!)
2. Essential Oils
These concentrated essences of plants and flowers have immense healing effects on the body – from mood-boosting aromatherapy to powerful anti-bacterial properties. I like lavender to soothe and relax, as well as disinfecting cuts and scrapes, tea-tree oil as a powerful anti-septic and treating skin rashes, and for the prevention and treatment of lice, and Eucalyptus in a humidifier or chest rub when those winter colds set in.
Do remember to use caution with essential oils however, and make sure you know how to use them safely. Like any other medicine, they can be quite powerful and some oils (like eucalyptus) aren’t recommended for use on kids younger than ten, doing some research beforehand will make sure your natural remedy doesn’t do your kids more harm than good.
Raw, natural honey does so much more than sweeten your morning coffee, it’s a fantastic treatment for those life-ruining teen acne issues, and an easy-to-swallow throat soother (either dissolved in a bit of hot water with lemon, or simply taken plain). If you get the good stuff like pure Manuka honey – not the little plastic squeeze bear from the grocery store – it has even been proven to be more effective than antibiotics in some cases – as though we needed another reason to save the bees!
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Anyone who knows me, knows that this was bound to make an appearance at some point. In my opinion, apple cider vinegar cures everything! Because of its slightly bitter taste it might be tough to convince your little ones to ingest it, but they can still benefit from its healing properties. Two cups diluted in bath water can be effective at tackling eczema, and diluted 50/50 with water it’s great for soothing sunburns or itchy skin. Like any of the other remedies mentioned here, what you get in is what you get out – so get the good stuff! With apple cider vinegar you’re looking for a brand like Bragg, with a thick sediment at the bottom appealingly called “the mother”. That’s where the magic lives.
These four remedies can form the base of a fabulous intro to natural healing. Simple and straightforward, most will be readily available at your local health food store and are a cinch to apply or administer.
If you’ve used any other gems from Mother Nature to treat your kids’ ailments, throw your suggestions my way in the comments – I love learning new things to add to my medicine cabinet.
Feature image courtesy of Aikawa Ke