The Inevitable Winter Curse
It seems like there is no escaping the cold and flu season when you have 3 kids who are magnets for germs. Especially during the colder Winter months. What’s a natural mama to do? Well, I am not completely opposed to using some medication when necessary. After all, there is nothing worse than watching your baby cry and moan with discomfort and having nothing to offer them. Motrin does make an infant drop Ibuprofen that is at least dye free for times when medicine is necessary to make your little one as comfortable as possible. That being said, of course, I would prefer to have a natural source to remedy their discomfort that actually works with their body to help fight off whatever nasty germ or virus has gotten them in this condition to start with.
One of the most painful, aside from the raging headaches and body aches, as well as longest lasting, conditions of the flu, is the ever present sore throat. Gosh. Aren’t they just the worst? And what the heck? They just linger and linger and linger! Generally speaking, the sore throat is the first symptom to creep in and the last foe to go, usually a few days after all other symptoms have finally dissipated. Because it goes on for so long, this is the enemy I tend to focus on. A day or so of some Ibuprofen for aches and pains isn’t nearly as concerning as a week or more of a sore and painful throat! My daughter literally just said that it feels like she is swallowing a fire ball every time she swallows! Ouch.
Everyone knows that a warm tea with lemon and honey is great for the throat. But did you know ginger is also an ultra superstar when it comes to aiding the body in kicking an unwelcome intruder to the curb? A few benefits of ginger;
- Induces sweating, helping detoxify and aids a fever in running it’s course
- Boosts the immune system
- Helps the tummy by aiding digestion
- Helps the tummy by breaking down proteins which rids the intestines and tummy of painful gas
- Relieves the feeling of nausea
While ginger is a key component, it doesn’t taste so great to a kid. Luckily raw honey is another helpful throat antidote, is delicious, and has so many wonderful benefits. It has been found to be very effective as a cough remedy (a common sidekick to our buddy the sore throat). Raw honey has wonderful antibacterial and anti fungal properties. Honey has been used for centuries as a remedy for throat aches and pains, so this is nothing new for humanity, just a sweet reminder (get it…sweet? Har, har, har…). Here is a great article, written by Leah, over at Freedom and Coffee, that goes into greater detail about the many benefits of ginger, and more great ways to incorporate it into your family’s health regime.
Last, but certainly not least, is the almighty lemon. Side Note: did you know, that squeezing fresh lemon juice into your drinking water first thing in the morning is one of the best ways to help alkalize your body’s Ph? Preeety cool, eh? Alright, back to the issue at hand. Ahem. How lemons can help, specifically, with a sore throat.
- Lemons have a high amount of anti-oxidants and vitamin C, which helps support and boost your body’s natural immune system
- Lemons have a wide range of vitamins
- The citric acid in lemon juice helps naturally break up the mucus that causes sore throats
- Lemons have natural antiseptic properties which aid in killing the bacteria or viruses in the throat
Putting it All Together
Great! Now that we have all of our whys about the key ingredients to this sore throat elixir, let’s put everything together so that we are prepared for the next wave of cold or flu to run through our families. Here’s what you will need:
- 2 organic lemons (organic is important here because the skins will be remaining on)
- A good sized chunk of fresh raw ginger
- Raw, unheated, honey (unheated is extremely important! If the honey has been heated most of the benefits explained here will be lost.)
- Glass jar with a lid
- Peel ginger root, slice lemons and portion out your raw honey into the glass jar
- Coarsely chop your ginger
- Add the chopped ginger and slices lemons to your jar.
- I add warm water (not hot) to top off the jar. This helps the honey warm up and mix with the lemon and ginger, but does not hurt the properties like boiling hot water would!
- Give it a good shake and stir
You’re done! Now let the mixture sit for at least 12-24 hours so all of the ginger and lemon can infuse into the honey. Next time your little one (or you!) complains of a sore throat, give them a spoonful of this yummy elixir, or mix it into warm ( not boiling hot) tea or water.
A few other ideas that have proven helpful in times of sickness and sore throats;
- Gargling warm sea salt water is a time honored tradition around our house. It is amazing how much relief this little trick gives to sore throats! Obviously, this will only work with older children and adults.
- Sucking on frozen fruit
- Homemade fruit popcicles
- Sucking on ice cubes
- Lots of water! Don’t underestimate the importance of keeping hydrated when sick! And please, try to stick to water…juices have so much sugar I’m not convinced that they actually do more good than harm.