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.
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?