Once upon a time, we used to turn to our parents or grandparents when something was wrong with our little ones. More often than not, now we turn to our doctors. Unfortunately, our doctors were never taught what our grandmothers learned from their mothers, methods that have been tried and true for centuries. Here is a not-so-complete list of some of my favorites passed down from my Grandma.
ADD – Grandma didn’t call it this back then, but that’s probably what it was. Aside from some good discipline, Grandma made sure her kids ate lots of fish to improve brain function and behavior. She knew that feeding us fish was a great way to boost the brain cells. Another way to get essential fatty acids (that key ingredient in fish) into your children is to mix liquid Flax Seed Oil with real butter to make a spread. Use this on toast or pancakes and waffles in the morning and on potatoes or veggies at dinner.
Asthma – Apply lobelia (either liquid or mixed with a carrier such as aloe vera or massage oil) to the chest and rub in.
Bed Wetting – “Don’t give those children sweets before bed!” Grandma would always say. She believed bed wetting was caused by too much sugar at bedtime. I know now that this relates to blood sugar spikes and may have some basis in fact. Grandma would also use Goldenseal for about a week to clear up any possible kidney infections.
Bites & Stings – Grandma would make a paste using black cohosh and aloe vera and apply to the area. It always helped to take out the sting.
Chicken Pox – If we came down with this, Grandma would insist on getting us into a warm bath to help cause the pox to break out and speed recovery. Pau D’ Arco applied externally may help with discomfort and cause quicker healing.
Colic – Grandma knew that colic could be the result of an allergy. If mom is breast feeding, she should avoid chocolate, onions, caffeine, garlic, broccoli, sugar, cauliflower and dairy. If she is not, the baby’s formula should be switched. Grandma would tie lavender flowers to baby’s crib. Today you can use lavender essential oil diluted with aloe vera or massage oil and applied to the bottom of feet and on abdomen. A few drops of Catnip can be given every couple of minutes until crying stops.
Diaper Rash – Grandma used to use yogurt on a baby’s bottom when this would occur. Today you can open a capsule of probiotics, mix with a small amount of water and feed to baby. This can also be applied to the bottom by mixing with aloe vera.
Diarrhea – Another possible culprit of that darn milk. Make sure neither baby nor mom (if breastfeeding) is receiving any cow’s milk. Goat’s milk can often remedy the situation by itself. You can also try Red Raspberry, a couple of drops every 3 to 4 hours.
Earaches – Use garlic oil or tea tree oil as drops inside the ear.
Fever – Infants under 3 months should be taken to a doctor if they run any sort of fever (defined as temperatures above 101 degrees) however, for infants older than that, a fever can be beneficial as it helps to burn off the infection. Unless a fever is approaching 105 degrees or has been over about 103 degrees for more than a few hours, it should be left to do it’s job. When there is need to reduce a fever, either because it has met one of the above criteria or because the child is not getting any rest due to discomfort, then Grandma would always grab her catnip and make a tea mixing it with chamomile.
Whooping Cough (and other coughs) – Grandma knew that formula thing wasn’t good; no one did that in her day. Milk and other dairy products can cause or aggravate whooping cough. Lobelia applied to the chest and/or a few drops of Blue vervain internally would often be enough.
I didn’t know it when I was growing up but Grandma was pretty smart. Try some of these natural health suggestions and your children and grandchildren may someday think the same of you.