Illness can come on suddenly, and that means we rush to the doctor, unless it's an emergency. I'm sure you can recall rushing to the all night pharmacy in the middle of the night over-the-counter medicine that may or may not be effective. Often the next best thing is right around the corner in our kitchen or pantry.
With illnesses, I prefer to try the natural route first. I believe in modern medicine, but in a lot of cases it doesn't eliminate the root cause of the problem, and only treats the symptoms. Since drugs are a foreign substance in the body, it can cause other unwanted side effects that may lead to dependency on the drug or other unexpected consequences.
I was lucky to have one child you hardly ever get sick for 15 years now. Maybe, once every 5 years. I wasn't lucky with my 2nd child, and in the beginning she was sick at least once a week. What did I do differently? Not much that I can identify as the root cause.
Thankfully, her bouts of illnesses have decreased significantly as she's growing up, but I always have stuff on-hand, just in case.
There are 3 natural products that I cannot live without for addressing illnesses fast or easing the symptoms until you can make an appointment with the doctor. In most cases, I need not follow up with a doctor's appointment.
The worse part of a cold cycle is the beginning when you feel weak, feverish and congested. It's difficult to sleep when you have the sensation that you can't breathe through your nose.
I learned a few tricks along which have been helpful in relaxing the body and allowing it to rest:
Elevating the head slightly, with pillows, to allow air to pass through the nostrils
Applying mild pressure to the bridge of the nose and lift push upwards, opening up the nostrils, has a relaxing effect and sleeps comes quickly
Coating the bottom of the feet with Vapor Rub, Vicks or any other brand, then covering with socks to protect the sheets as cooling and soothing effect, bring relaxation and relief from congestion
It's not recommended rubbing Vapor Rubs to the back or chest area of children under the age of 2. According to Web Md, it can cause a rash when applied to the skin or constrict breathing.
For this reason, I only applied the salve on the bottom of my little one's feet and it worked wonders
Note: The main ingredients commercial Vapor Rubs are Eucalyptus Oil, and Menthol. Natural vapor rubs contains other essentials oils beneficial in relieving symptoms of cold and flu.
Apple Cider Vinegar 'With the Mother'
The number one staple on my kitchen shelf is Apple Cider Vinegar. It's my go-to for almost anything. If one of my kids feels a tickling in their throat, the first thing I give them is a tablespoon of ACV. It burns and tastes god awful, but it knocks out the symptoms of whatever is encroaching in the body. It's not a cure, but it seems to stop the virus in its tracks. Some ailments I've found ACV to be useful for are:
Nasal and Chest Congestion
Releasing Pressure in the Ear
Note: The ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) found in grocery stores do not contain 'the mother', unless it has it written on the label. They remove the bacteria 'the mother' responsible for the conversion of apple to vinegar. Pasteurized ACV won't be as effective as the one containing 'the mother' which produces Acetic Acid. It's the Acetic Acid that has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
If I'm looking for a natural pain reliever, stress reducer or general relaxant, I reach for the nutmeg. It is anti-inflammatory and analgesic which makes it natural alternative for swellings and relieving joint pains. After consumption, the feeling you get is that of a sense of well-being. A few other benefits of Nutmeg are:
Antioxidant(guards against free radicals)
Controls Blood Sugar
We can also use nutmeg a spice in recipes in coffee, tea or warm milk.
Note: According to Web MD there may be side-effects of nutmeg with excessive use or dosage.