Coughs and colds are to winters what Pimm’s and strawberries are to summers – inevitable. Our children are particularly vulnerable. When hours of outdoor play are reduced and class room heating turned on – germs spread like wildfire. And as much as we try to boost our immune system with good food and supplements, sometimes it’s simply not enough. The bugs win. Still, rather than running down to the nearest pharmacy to stock up on synthetic drugs which will at best do nothing, I suggest trying something altogether more natural.
HONEY + LEMON
Natures own cough medicine that soothes the mucus membranes and suppresses coughs.
- use raw or manuka honey which has not been processed, filtered or pasteurized. Amber coloured and pollen rich honey can also be used for tissue healing, cracked heels and infected sores. Raw buckwheat honey is renowned for its cough suppressing abilities. Talk about natural medicine.
- honey can be given neat on a teaspoon to soothe a sore throat or irritable cough.
- mix honey with lemon to make a tea – most children love the sweetness of this mixture and so will you. Use warm water instead of hot to make sure you don’t kill off the beneficial enzymes in the honey.
- make a lemonade with plenty of juicy lemons, sweetened with raw/manuka honey to sweeten. Refreshing and tons better than any shop bought variety.
- lemons, natures own antioxidant, are packed with vitamin C, vitamin B and phosphorous and are great antioxidants. It can heal throat infections, indigestion, strengthens immune system and constipation too.
- Beware of commercial honey found on the shelves of our supermarkets as they tend to have been pasteurized way beyond the point of no return and filtered to remove everything of benefit. Avoid if at all possible.
Colds and coughs create A LOT of mucus in our bodies, just like dairy. Even if you and your kids are avid dairy lovers – stay off it during periods of illness to give your bod a chance to recover. A body clogged with mucus will not heal as quick as one without.
My children love chai and peppermint tea which I serve with lots of honey. They associate it with the comfort and recovery of childhood illness and still request it today. When I’m under the weather I guzzle down the herbal teas. Any flavour will do although chai and roiboos tend to top my list.
If you tend to reach for the petrochemical laden Vicks vapour rub during a particularly chesty cough, then perhaps consider making your own version using essential oils mixed with olive or almond oils. Eucalyptus, peppermint and sage oils mixed together with a bit of oil can be rubbed on a congested chest or back and you can rest easy knowing no chemical has entered into you or your child transdermally.
If you’re hit by the winter bug, try to stay as close to natural remedies as you can. Drink plenty, eat green vegetables and try to help your body heal itself. I wish you a wonderful, healthy day. x