Thursday, March 12, 2009

Earache, cold, diaper rash, cradle cap-- Natural Remedy Thursday

One of the things I love most about living a naturally inclined life are the health benefits.
While I was not exactly "granola" growing up, my mother was very much into using herbs and homeopathy for healing ailments of all kinds. To this day my body responds better to things of the earth than to western medicine's interpretation of healing. Nature is wise.
Homeopathic and Naturopathic medicine have played a huge part in my parenting philosophy and I find that mindset has helped inform a lot of my parenting decisions.
I want to share a few of my favorite Natural Remedies, and will continue this series every Thursday. Enjoy! Doesn't it seem that kids are more prone these days to earaches (medically termed otitis media)? Factors that contribute to Otitis Media are a blockage of the Eustachian tube from a cold, allergy or some foreign particles in the ear as well as nutritional deficiency and other infections. Polluted air and smoke can exacerbate an ear infection.
Here are a few things I have found to work well in treating an earache.
-A few drops of garlic extract into the infected ear. (Studies show that garlic is nature's antimicrobial).
-Use blow dryer from about 12 to 15 inches from your head, this will remove any water trapped in the Eustachian tube.
-Put some olive oil on the warm spoon; put 2 to 3 drops of this in each ear.
-Put few drops of lobelia extract (found in most health food stores like Sprouts or Whole Foods) into the infected ear and rub it gently.
-Wash your ear using colloidal silver--another natural antibiotic.
-If you are nursing, a bit of breast milk in the ear does wonders-- for adults and children alike!
The Common Cold and Cough can surely dampen your and your baby's spirits. Because it is a virus, it pretty much has to run it's course. There are however treatments that will help shorten the duration and decrease the intensity.
Ginger is an excellent remedy for colds and coughs. To make a fresh ginger tea, about ten grams of ginger is cut into small pieces and boiled in a cup of water. It should then be strained and honey added to taste. This should be drunk while still warm and may be taken twice daily.
I also love a ginger bath. Draw a hot bath and use fresh cut ginger or 2 Tbs ginger power. It soothes aching muscles and sore throats.
Ginger is fabulous for aiding in so many ailments (nausea and diarrhea to name a few), so I purchase it in bulk from an online store but you can find this spice at most health food stores.
Garlic extract on the back of the throat helps as well as lemon tea.
While battling with a cold it is best to avoid meat, fish, eggs, cheese, and starchy foods.
Ahh the diaper rash. There are several factors that contribute to rash. One is diet. The child may have an allergy to something he has eaten. Feeding baby one new thing at a time can help pin point the culprit. Wet diapers that chafe the skin are another cause of rash and the plastics used in Disposable Diapers do not allow skin to breathe.
The best thing for diaper rash is air and sunlight. Let baby run diaper less in the yard and make sure skin is completely dry before replacing a diaper at changes. Cod liver oil or Udo's Oil (flax oil) taken orally can aid in repairing the skin and corn starch patted on the affected area will absorb excess moisture.
Cradle Cap is caused by oil glands making excess oil.
The first thing to check is that your baby shampoo/wash does not have harsh detergents which can strip the skin of the natural oils, thereby encouraging excess oil production. My favorite for baby is Burt's Bees Baby Bee Wash. It contains no parabens and is gentle enough for extremely sensitive skin. After washing, it helps to apply a little olive oil and comb through to remove the dry flakes.

I hope you found some value in the first installment of the Natural Remedy series. Join me every Thursday and feel free to make requests! email me at


Mary said...

Thank you so much for this great info. Udo's oil..much like cod liver oil is another wonderful source to add into the diet when the immune is down. i will put in on my kids pancakes, in applesauce or in their drink. it doesn't have the strong smell/taste that cod liver has. can be found at health food stores in the refridgerated areas. heard of it?

Emily Ruth said...

Absolutely Mary! Udo's oil is great and I use it as well. It is fabulous for so many reasons--a big one being that kids don't taste it quite like fish oils! The major reason I still incorporate them in addition to plant-based oils are that fish oils contain anti inflammatory properties--but Udo's oil is great for so many other reasons. If fish oil is not derived from a trustworthy source, it can be contaminated with chemicals that can damage the skin. I always recommend purchasing the highest quality of either Udo's or fish oil.
Thanks for bringing up that point!

Christie said...

I loved this post, I'm very interested in natural remedies and can't wait for Thursday's now for more posts like this! Thanks!

Emily Ruth said...

Christie- I am happy to have you here around these parts: ) Feel free to suggest any ailments you want addressed!

Beth said...

I too loved these natural remedies. I remember my mom putting warm olive oil drops in my ears and how soothing it was. (I thought it was magic oil). I of course do the same for my kids now. Sometimes I infuse it with garlic, which seems to help. I would love to hear some natural remedies for teething, my kids have all had a hard time with it, and I read somewhere that orajel is actually really dangerous. (that doesn't surprise me!)

Kara said...

So excited to hear about your experiences with natural remedies. I have been using a lot of essential oils and have had great success (or a lot of coincidence as my husband would say). Either way I love feeling like a million bucks. There is a blog I have fallen in love with and wanted to share:

Emily Ruth said...

Beth--I'm so glad to hear of your experience with natural remedies. I will definitely post some more info and include a cool remedy for teething as well. Thanks for the input!
Kara--I love that you use essential oils. I've used them a bit, but haven't had as much experience as I'm sure you have. I'll have to check out that blog and pick your brain a bit: )

Kara said...

Forgot to mention my teething trick--electric toothbrush. The vibration soothes and eventually numbs.

Emily Ruth said...

Great idea Kara! I hadn't thought of that.

ash said...

I followed a link from your blog to The Good Lookin' Cook, who sent me to The Enlightened Homemaker (still following me?) who talked about her children coughing at night and rubbing Exchange Oil (like Vicks Vapor Rub) on the balls of their feet. I didn't have the oil at the time, but tried the Vapor Rub and it WORKS! No medicine, no preservatives, no sugar, just an amazing natural remedy!

I am so ready to try out the suggestions on this post and so excited for your other natural remedies!

Emily Ruth said...

Awesome Ash! I love that remedy: ) I've personally never used it so that is cool to hear it worked for you!

Rodriguez said...

My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

Baby Cradle Cap