Winter weather comes with a variety of fun side effects, like colds, flu, and dry skin. Thankfully, there are many safe and effective remedies for such ailments, and you might even have the ingredients for some of them in your own home.
1. Stuffy Nose
- Nose Frida: Cold weather produces more mucus and can inflame delicate tissue, resulting in congested sinuses. For kids, this can mean irritation and sleepless nights, which in turn can prolong sickness. If you have a baby with congestion, the Nose Frida will be your best friend. This hygienic snot-sucker works better than any bulb version you’ve tried.
- Steam: Another option for stuffy nose in children is a hot shower in a steamy bathroom. This naturally loosens phlegm and allows for better breathing. Doing this before bed can help with a good night’s sleep.
- Neti Pot: This one only works on a child who is willing to have their nose flushed with salt water, but it’s an excellent remedy for adults and any kids who can be talked into it. The Neti Pot is a teapot-like vessel used for “nasal irrigation.” The salt water soothes the nasal passages, and in my experience when used at the first sign of congestion, cough, or sore throat, can stop sickness in its tracks.
- Essential Oil Diffuser: A humidifier would work as well. An essential oil diffuser disperses vapors of potent essential oils into your environment. Many of these oils are antiviral and can help clear up congestion. Be sure to find kid-friendly oils to use around children.
Related: Essential Oils for Children
2. Immune System (Cold and Flu)
- Oregano oil: The immune system can use extra support during cold and flu season. Getting sick helps build the immune system, but it’s not always convenient, and supporting the immune system can help lessen the severity and duration of illness. Oregano oil is a powerful option. It is naturally anti-viral and strong enough to work as an antibiotic. It is not for young children, nor pregnant or nursing mothers, but it can help keep other family members healthy during cold and flu season.
Related: What Are Essential Oils?
- Elderberry: Elderberry syrup is clinically proven to bind to the influenza virus, which can shorten the duration of the flu. Elderberry can be given regularly throughout the cold and flu season, or intensively as directed when illness hits. You can find this at your local health food store, online, or make your own!
- Garlic: This popular seasoning is also a powerhouse of antiviral awesomeness. Garlic has documented antimicrobial effects, and including it in your daily diet during cold and flu season can help prevent and treat illness. Add garlic to your soup, guacamole, stir fry, etc. You can also chop garlic into pill-size pieces to swallow for intensive use.
- GOOT: Garlic Olive Oil Treatment (GOOT) packs the power of garlic into a topical treatment that can be applied to children. GOOT can be made in your kitchen, with a couple of ingredients — fresh garlic and olive oil and/or coconut oil. The oil is infused with the antiviral properties of garlic, and when applied to the skin, is absorbed quickly and effectively.
3. Dry Skin:
- Coconut Oil: This miracle oil is considered such for a reason. Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which provides deep penetration and moisturization. Slather it on after bathing to seal in moisture.
- Milk Bath: Milk has been added to bathwater for decades to provide a quick and easy treatment for dry, itchy skin. Milk contains lactic acid and fats, which help exfoliate and moisturize.
- Hydrate: Drinking plenty of clean water during winter offers multiple benefits, one of which can affect your skin. Research shows that drinking 2 liters of water per day can have a significant impact on the physiology of your skin.
Tell us about your favorite home remedies for beating the winter blues below.