7 Natural Remedies for Children

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Being the mom of four kids, I have plenty of opportunities to use natural remedies. Between taking care of boo-boos and the occasional illness, I feel very comfortable pulling out the necessary remedy to fix the problem.

Natural Remedies for Children

I use all these remedies now, but there was a time when I had no idea what I was doing. Was I supposed to use herbs or essential oils? Was it safe to use remedies on my kids that I used on myself? What was a good dose? (We also dealt with illness a lot more then, which has seriously decreased since we started eating a real food diet).

Thankfully, I learned as I went along and using natural remedies is now second nature. So much so, that my kids often know what they need to use on themselves (my crunchy mama heart is beaming with pride).

Here are my favorite kid-friendly remedies:

1. Lavender Essential Oil

Have you ever been in a houseful of small children? It gets loud. And a little chaotic. Enter lavender essential oil. If I notice my kids are getting a little too crazy (sometimes before then), I’ll give them some lavender essential oil. We keep some in a handy roll-on bottle and they apply a small swipe to their foreheads. Thankfully, it doesn’t take long before they calm down.

We also use this marvelous oil at bedtime to help everyone sleep. Lavender essential oil helps promote rest and calm, making it a fitting remedy to use when you or your kiddos are feeling a little restless. (Find 100% pure lavender essential oil here.)

2. Tea Tree Essential Oil

While I use this oil on my kids, this is one that I don’t let them apply themselves. Tea tree oil is quite potent and it’s important to make sure kids don’t accidentally ingest it (you know, by licking it). That said, it is a great remedy for ear aches.

When my kids have ear discomfort, I apply a small amount around that ear – where it attaches to their heads. I use a pure essential oil that I have no problems with applying neat (not diluted), but if you have any question over the purity of your oils…dilute. Use 1 drop essential oil per 1 tbsp carrier oil like coconut oil. (Find pure organic tea tree essential oil here and unrefined coconut oil here.)

3. Lemon Balm

I fell in love with lemon balm a few years ago because of its ability to soothe both the digestive and nervous systems. Someone has a tummy ache? Lemon balm tea. Can’t sleep? Sleep EZ tea – which contains lots of lemon balm. Feeling anxious or upset? Yep, lemon balm.

When I make the kids any kind of herbal tea, like lemon balm tea, I steep 1 tsp herbs in a handy brewing basket in 1 cup of hot water. I take out the basket, add a squirt of honey and give it to them. They decide when it’s cool enough to drink. (Find lemon balm here.)

4. Sleepy Tea

A lot of my remedies seem to revolve around helping my kids rest. I attribute this to the fact that my kids are go-go-go, all day long and I know that adequate rest helps the body heal and maintain health.

One of my kids’ favorite remedies is my Sleep EZ tea (with honey, of course). It consists of lemon balm, catnip and chamomile, herbs that soothe the tummy and the nerves and help promote rest.

5. Arnica Balm

Bumps and bruises are inevitable in our house. Thankfully, we have arnica balm. My toddler alone could use a whole tin for himself, what with the way he always leads with his head – into walls, sidewalks and other inanimate objects. Arnica is a great herb not only for healing bumps, sprains and bruises, but it also helps to alleviate pain.

6. Fermented Cod Liver Oil

My kids don’t love this remedy nearly as much as I do, but they’ll take it, as long as it’s in capsule form (my 3-year-old has no problem with capsules – he’s probably swallowed bigger Legos).

We use about ½ tsp dose on a daily basis (at least, that’s my goal) to boost their immune systems and prevent illness. Should they start getting a cold, I’ll up their dose to 1 tsp for a few days until they feel better. (Find high quality fermented cod liver oil here.)

7. Epsom Salt Baths

Epsom salts are excellent at providing your body with magnesium, a mineral that many people are deficient in today. Inadequate magnesium levels contribute to insomnia, muscle cramps, irritability and headaches (among other symptoms). In addition, Epsom salts also help to detoxify the body.

My kids love taking baths, especially when I make them more “special” with Epsom salts and essential oils. These baths are great before bed because it really helps to calm them down and transition to sleep easier. I’m using natural remedies to keep them healthy and they feel extra loved. Win-win. (Find Epsom salt here.)

What are your favorite remedies for kids?


About Nina Nelson

Nina is a writer, student midwife, and mama of four. She blogs regularly at Shalom Mama and loves helping others create wellness through simple living. Check out her website for more simple wellness tips.

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    • Michelle says

      Try 1 drop each of lemon, lavender and peppermint in a gelatin capsule. I’ve been using this for the last few weeks myself and it helps control the sneezing and runny nose wonderfully. The big bonus is it doesn’t make me sleepy like conventional antihistamines.

      Michelle @ On A Wing And A Prayer

        • Michelle says

          Sorry Ruth, I wasn’t thinking. For small children mix a drop of each oil with a few drops of a carrier oil (fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond oil, etc) and rub on the bottoms of their feet. That area contains the largest pores on the body which allows the oils to be absorbed the quickest. This oil blend can also be used in a diffuser. The oils are atomized along with water into minute ion particles and active oxygen ions, which are more easily absorbed into the body.

          I hope that helps.

          Michelle @ On A Wing And A Prayer

  1. Andrea says

    Thanks for the great info! Just wondering if there are any good natural remedies for “growing pains”? My boys (5 and 3) both complain of leg pain regularly and I hate to give them OTC pain medicine. We’ve tried a heating pad and that works for my 5 yr old most of the time but I can’t get my 3 yr old to sit still long enough for it to ever really work on him….

  2. Ruth says

    This may sound like a silly question but is there a herb or oil that anyone knows of that helps with frequent urination in children and bedwetting?

        • Michelle says

          Cypress and Balance are great suggestions. I would combine a drop of two of cypress with fractionated coconut oil and rub over the tummy/bladder area of your child before bedtime. If you use the Balance oil blend, I would suggest massaging that onto the bottom of their feet. The essential oil and carrier oil can be mixed together and also applied with a roller ball bottle.

          ichelle @ On A Wing And A Prayer

    • Angelica says

      There is also Dr. Christopher’s Kid-E-Dry that has White Pond Lily, Slippery Elm Bark, Catnip Herb, Corn Silk, Hydrangea Root, Scullcap Herb & Parsley Root in a base of Vegetable Glycerine.

      We use this on our little one who was diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease, and believe it to be very helpful. 🙂

      • Ruth says

        Thanks for this information. My son has frequent urination during the day and night times are crazy. He doesn’t want any type of diaper and doesn’t bother getting when wet anymore so some days when I wake him he is wet from head to toe. Really hoping these suggestions plus managing his bowels will help.

  3. Loretta says

    I love that I already have most of this stuff! I just have to be better about remembering to use it I guess. Especially the lavender and epson salt baths. Thank you for the reminders!

  4. Lisa says

    Love the article. I NEED the lavender for my very active 5 year old. She has a hard time calming down during the days and falling asleep at night. How do I dilute it? I will apply with a cotton ball. Is water okay or should I use olive or coconut oil? Thank you very much.

    • Michelle says

      Essential oils can be diluted with fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond oil or any of the carrier oils. Lavender diluted with fractionated coconut oil in a roller bottle is great for children. Roll on the feet before bedtime. Doterra essential oils are 100% pure which means they are also effective used in a diffuser. Lavender is a great choice to diffuse in a child’s bedroom at night.

      Michelle at On A Wing And A Prayer

  5. Renita Kuehner says

    Do you mix the essential oils directly into the bath with the epsom salt? Would it be ok to mix in lavendar essential oil?

  6. Kate says

    What is the oil in the picture for? The Melaleuca? I have heard of that before, I think there is a whole company named after it that has “all natural” stuff. Can you use the garlic oil in dog’s ears too for infections and yeast?

  7. Christy says

    Lemon balm is also an excellent canker sore remedy. Chew a fresh leaf, then put it on the sore and leave it for as long as you can.Do this several times and the pain recedes, healing is hastened. I also use Lemon balm to fight colds. A poultice of warm raw chopped onion has helped heal several earaches for my children. Thanks for listing some useful things that I haven’t tried yet. I grow a lot of my own herbs, or wild harvest them, but haven’t worked with essential oils much due to their costliness and lack of equipment for obtaining them from my own herbs.

  8. Kristi says

    Love LOVE lavendar for sleep and calm. My kids ask for oil on the soles of their feet at bedtime.

    Liquid calcuim is another sleep aid we use (although my kids hate the taste – think drinking chalk) but it really helps them stay asleep.

    We live in the Northwest with little or no sun during the winter. Vit D is one of our essential minerals/vits we take to help our systems through the dark days.

    Peppermint is great for cooling down on hot days (and equally wonderful to mommy for cooling down during those pesky hot flashes!).

    Lemongrass mixed with water in a squirt bottle is sprayed in their rooms to freshen up the “stinky kid” smell.

    I use a drop of orange in the wash for fresh smelling clothes without using perfumed laundry soap.

    Eucalyptus on the chest and throat for coughs and breathing easier during the cold.

    Remember to use coconut oil (or another kind) to cut the oil in case it’s too strong for your kids’ skin. NEVER use water to remove the oil; water makes it hotter. Use the oil again to help reduce the intensity.

    *as a side note: be sure to thoroughly wash off the oils before taking out your contacts. I made that mistake only once with peppermint on my fingers. I figured the first wash was enough. I was wrong. 🙂

  9. Sarah Holtz says

    Stuff my grandmother used, she also used warm garlic, olive oil & lavender for earaches, for colds I use elderberry syrup at first sign of the sniffles.

  10. sage_brush says

    For the frequent ear infections that my son and I both get (the girls don’t get them) I have always used a garlic/mullein compound directly in the ear. It comes with a glass dropper, which I hold under hot water until the oil feels comfortably warm, then squeeze dropper into ear. Then – the patient lies down on the side that doesn’t have the oil, of course, with a heating pad set on low, held over the ear and the surrounding swollen lymph nodes. The warmth of the heating pad will help the lymphatic fluid circulate and do its job. This treatment and vitamin C, lots of fluids, and rest, has gotten us through some very painful ear infections in just a day or two.

  11. Loretta Mitchell says

    Thanks for sharing these great tips. Love the lavender and epsom salts. Will definitely try these. This time of year kids are prone to plenty of colds. We all take Bragg organic apple cider vinegar, organic honey and cinnamon daily which really helps fight of infections. If we do get the sniffles, a tea spoon of organic honey every four hours does the trick.

  12. Susana says

    Nice! I’ve been treating myself with natural oils for a long time now since my family, specially my mother, use all kind of natural remedies to relief pain, aches, infections and more.
    Tea tree oil is amazing to treat minor infections. You can use it diluted in water (to or three drops per glass) to help with sore throat due to an infection.
    Melissa is another good thing to get rest and also to help relax some sore muscles.
    Thyme is good for headaches! Apply two non diluted drops to your head temples, forehead and back of the head and it’ll do.
    I’m a “natural remedy child” myself and I know it works 🙂

  13. Elaine says

    Lavender is amazing for burns. I am just shocked at how quickly it kills the burn pain, stops the blister from even forming if you treat immediately, and heals the residual would.
    For my last oven burn on my thumb, I simply ran it under some cool water from the tap for about 30 seconds and then coated the burn area with lavender oil. All the pain faded and then stopped in about 2-3 minutes and that was it. No blister….nothing. :0) Love it.

  14. Anna Johnson says

    LOVED this article!! My question is regarding allergies though, which you may or may not know the answer to. My 16 month old has fairly extensive allergies, including some that are very severe. We are helping boost her systems with black licorice and red clover – that aside, with the remedies above, do you know anything about potential allergic reaction? I know about honey, but with the actual essential oils, I am new to the game and curious. Thanks so much!!!

    • Amanda says

      Lavender, lemon, and peppermint doTERRA essential oils for allergies. My five year old daughter has food allergies and we use this combination for her if she starts to have a reaction.

  15. gabrielle says

    Hi, I was wondering how much Epsom salt do you use in the bathtub?
    Thanks. Great advice!

  16. Stacie says

    I really appreciate this. I have started using oils, but it’s difficult to know what to use them to do. The comments with other natural remedies are also helpful. Thanks, everyone!

  17. Sapphire Dragon says

    Although I don’t have kids now, this is a great article for me to keep saved for the future! Thank you!

    As for colds, there’s one remedy that works every time and extremely quickly in my house. Simply boil either kale or mustard greens (or both!), add a little sea salt to the juice, and drink down. If you have those pre-cold sniffles, they disappear. If you have a cold at the time, within the next day or two it’s gone. This remedy has even abated the flu in my mother before within a couple days. It’s definitely worth a try! Thanks again for the great article.

  18. Jennifer says

    Thank you so much for this. My son 13 months old is on round three of antibiotics for what was a double inner ear infection and is now just in one ear. As an adult who suffered from ear infections as a child I am excited to take these ideas and keep stuff on hand for those ever so notorious middle of the night ear aches. Also my daughter 2yrs still doesnt sleep all night up 3-4 times a night lavender oil here I come also the sleepy time tea (once my non gmo seed herbs grow)

  19. Ruth says

    I give my kids cooked garlic with coconut oil to drink when they have a cold. All I do is cook some garlic in coconut oil and let it cool down and give a tsp by mouth. I also put some drops in affected ear for ear infections and warm and apply to throat and around outside of ears.

  20. Emma says

    Thank you so much for these ideas. I will have to go on a shopping spree.
    Last night my daughter complained of an earache so I soaked a small piece of cotton with Mullein Garlic compound (in olive oil). She loves it because it makes her ear “nice and smooth”. lol This is my go to ever since she was 26 months and had a double ear infection with 3 rounds of antibiotics. The doctor referred us to an ENT 4 days later. I was fearful that he would tell me she needed tubes. I started using this oil 3 times a day combined with rubbing it behind her ear for 5 minutes at a time. After the 4 days, we walked into the appt with ENT. After testing her and checking her ears. He asked why we were there because her ears are perfect. What a relief! There is no doubt in my mind that natural remedies work. Thank you again!

    • Julia says

      Hi Emma! I’m wondering, do you make your own garlic mullein tincture, or is there a certain brand that you buy? I would love to be able to have/make this, too!