Back to school time brings its own pressures with homework, after-school activities and early bedtimes. But for many the start or re-start of school can mean minor illnesses such as colds, snuffles, sore throats and tummy bugs.
There are a couple of core herbal remedies and essential oils you should consider having in your first aid cupboard for such eventualities.
Chamomile and Lemon Balm
Chamomile tea is one of the staples in my cupboard for children. Most like the taste, or you can add a little honey if necessary. Chamomile is great for colds, sore throats, upset tummies, will calm a child and will help them sleep. It’s also good for those days when your child comes home a bit under the weather and you are not sure what to give them.
Another great tea for children is lemon balm – antimicrobial and calming, most children love the taste of this tea too.
If they are old enough you can give them the tea, or alternatively make up 500mls with two teabags and allow to cool. Put it in the fridge and then give it to your child adding it into whatever they would normally drink.
Eucalyptus, Lavender, Tea Tree, Thyme
Essential oils can also be used with snuffles and runny noses. My toolbox includes eucalyptus, lavender, tea tree and thyme. All of the essential oils are anti-microbial. They are not for drinking, just mix with a base oil, for example almond oil and then use. For a very young child one to two drops is enough; for older children use 4 – 5 drops. A mixture of lavender, eucalyptus and tea tree, made up with almond oil and rubbed on the chest at night will help with sleep if they are very congested. Inhaling eucalyptus oil dropped into a basin of hot water can also help with stuffed noses.
Food – Simple back to school medicine
Finally in terms of colds, don’t forget the importance of diet. A healthy diet is important for the immune system and for promotion of good bacteria in the gut. It doesn’t have to be too complicated. Chicken soup has been shown to be an effective cold remedy and vegetables of all colours will help to support the mucous membranes, the main area of attack in colds. Add thyme, rosemary, mint or any of the culinary herbs to stews and sneak some goodness into their meals!
Tinctures and formulas for all of the above are available from Fresh Perceptions Health. As naturopaths, we work with you to find healthy solutions for your child’s individual needs, based on diet, herbal solutions and common sense!