Falling ill is evidently a part of life and there is no escape from it.

Once the little one is ill , there’s always the case of natural remedies or antibiotics. What’s a mum to do ?

There isn’t much information available on natural remedies, and most folks I know take their kids to the doctor’s office for every fever and sniffle, accepting whatever medication was handed out as the solution.

I know that there is a healthier way to treat my son rather than to treat every symptom with an antibiotic.

I remember feeling anxious and vulnerable treating that first fever and upper respiratory infection he had, choosing not to use conventional therapies. How would I know if my little one was really sick and needed a medicine? Could I really trust my intuition in decision-making around health care issues? Could I really trust herbs and foods to help?

Now these natural remedies are part of our life and I really trust my intuition to know if my bubs is really sick or not.

Antibiotics are often given unnecessarily because doctors think that parents want or expect them.

I’ve listed a few home remedies that we follow and have proved to be very effective.

1. GOOT – GOOT stands for Garlic Oil Ointment Treatment and is a herbal remedy consisting of unrefined coconut oil, cold-pressed olive oil and organic garlic.Garlic is a superfood , antiviral , antibacterial and anti-fungal. Rubbing raw garlic on the soles of the feet transfers its properties directly to the bloodstream providing instant relief and benefits. GOOT Recipe

• Warm 3 tablespoons of unrefined, virgin coconut oil in a small pan until melted and warm (don’t heat it too much).

• Add 3 tablespoons of extra virgin, olive oil and mix well.

• Remove from heat and add 3 tablespoons of freshly chopped organic garlic. Allow garlic to “rest” for at least 3 minutes after chopping and before blending into oil.

• NOTE (warming and heating are optional. All raw is fine too)

• Put mixture in a blender and blend at slow speed, and then at high speed for 2 minutes.

• Strain the mixture to remove chunks of garlic that the blender may have missed.

• Pour into a wide mouth jar and keep in a refrigerator.

GOOT will turn into a thick soft paste after 1 hour. After two weeks, discard and make a new batch.

2. Ajwain potli or pouch – Ajwain or carrom seeds play an important role in curing various ailments. It is used in home remedies for cold, cough and chest congestion in babies and adults alike.The thymol, present in ajwain gives it the antimicrobial properties and thus helps to relieve congestion. You can make a potli or pouch of dry roasted garlic and ajwain (carom seeds). Frequent rubbing of this potli on baby’s chest or under feet can help to reduce the congestion levels. Each time you use this pouch just heat it on a tawa.

How to prepare

Roast 2 tablespoons of ajwain and some garlic on a tawa or heavy bottom pan for a few minutes until the smell emanates.

Transfer the roasted ajwain to a clean muslin cloth and make a potli or tight pouch. Apply this potli on your child’s chest as hot pad. Do make sure it is not very hot, first test on your palm.

The ajwain potli helps to counter congestion in chest and stuffy nose too.

NOTE: Do NOT keep or rub hot potli over baby’s chest or feet. Babies have delicate skin and hence using a hot potli will cause burns. Before you use the pouch on the child, ensure that you test the temperature of the potli, to avoid burns.

Keep it on your palm or inner wrist, if it feels too hot, wait for it to cool down a bit. If you can’t feel any warmth at all, then heat it up again. It is just like testing the temperature of the bath water.

3. Vaporizer or humidifier

Add a vaporizer to your baby’s room. It helps to add the required moisture to the nasal tract of babies which reduces the breathing difficulty associated with chest congestion. It also prevents the mucous from drying and blocking the nose. It also helps to loosen the mucous so that it gets expelled faster.

4. Frequent nursing:

Breast milk is the best solution to all the ailments of your little one. Frequent breastfeeding helps to prevent the solidification of mucus inside baby’s nose and chest. It also addresses the hydration needs of your little one and provides him/her with the anti-bodies to fight the germs and get well soon.

5. Raise the head of your baby while sleeping

Maintaining this angle helps to drain out the mucus from nose and chest relieving baby from congestion. Raising head of the baby can be done by using pillows. You can also allow the baby to sleep sideways to ease breathing. Some babies like to sleep on their tummies, it is better to avoid this position when he or she has a cold.

6. For babies above 6 months, SOUP and extra fluids !

Soups are excellent to help reduce chest congestion. It is also easy on the tummy and easy to feed. It ensures that your little one’s energy levels don’t drop and also provides nutrients that are required for bouncing back.

7. Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil is used as a natural therapy to treat pneumonia, bronchitis, cough, cold and other respiratory diseases.

It stimulates immunity too. It improves respiratory circulation and has antioxidant properties. Cineole present in eucalyptus oil is an organic compound that has a lot of medicinal benefits like reducing pain and inflammation.

You can use eucalyptus oil to soothe and open the airways of the baby’s nostrils if you take a few precautions.

• To use eucalyptus oil for baby cold, put two drops of the oil on a tissue or cotton ball and keep it at a distance from the baby

• For a blocked nose, add three drops of oil to a bowl of boiling water and place it under the baby’s crib. The rising steam releases the essential oil and gives the baby comfort

• The oil should not be applied directly near the child’s mouth, nose or skin as it has side effects.

8. Hot water compress

This loosens the thick mucus that is blocking the nose, throat, or the baby’s chest. Use a small cotton cloth dipped in hot water and squeeze out the excess water. Apply the hot water compress on the affected area to give the baby some relief from congestion. The cloth should be mildly hot so that it does not burn the baby.

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