Natural Cough Remedies for Kids and Adults

It seems like everywhere we turn, people around us are sick. It’s no wonder why my children and I have been more sick this season than anytime before. Although it’s never fun to deal with a cold, one of the hardest symptoms to cure is a cough. A cough can linger for several weeks, and, if the condition worsens or becomes more serious, for months.

When you have children that are coughing, it can affect your entire family. My little ones can stay up at night because of the dry cough that simply will not stop. Some kids even throw up because of the coughing spells that will not let up. Most cough medicines are not suitable for children, and even if they are, they have chemicals and toxins that are not beneficial for anyone. In this article, I will share my tried and true natural cough remedies for kids and adults. Start with tons and tons of fluids, such as water or tea, and add the suggestions below into the mix.

Natural Remedies for Cough

1. Honey – Honey is one of the best known remedies for cough that has been used for centuries all over the world. In addition to being great tasting, honey has amazing medicinal properties to soothe the throat. Although many people do know about using honey for treating coughs, they go to the store and pick up a processed jar of honey with virtually no nutritional benefits and no power to treat a cough.

manuka honeyIt is important to purchase 100% raw and organic Manuka honey to treat a cough. This honey is made by New Zealand bees that pollinate the manuka bush, and has many healing, antiseptic and antibacterial properties. This product is expensive, and there are a lot of fakes on the market. When shopping, choose a brand that is UMF certified and is rated 10+.

Remember that honey cannot be given to children under one years old. For older kids, either give a spoonful of honey, or dilute in a cup of water, and dispense it every few hours.

2. Onions – My little one kept waking up in the night from cough, disturbing the entire house until I found this remedy that has been used in Europe and around the world for centuries. This natural cough remedy is an onion, which has antiviral and antibiotic properties. Healthy Bliss recommends using a white onion; if one can’t be found, a red one is acceptable, as well.  I would peel and cut up an onion in quarters and place it in a plate next to his crib on the floor. That’s all it took to help him get a good night’s sleep when he was coughing or was stuffed up. Although unpleasant, the odor that onion emits helps sooth the throat. And the good news is that when you’re sick, you probably can’t smell it, anyway!

3. Steam – Steam works great to loosen phlegm and mucus in the throat and nasal passages. When I can’t breathe or have a violent cough attack, I boil water in a pot and place my face over it, covered with a towel. I proceed to steam my face for as long as I can without overheating. Another option is to take a hot shower, letting the steam ease your cough. These options, however good, can’t be used to treat children, so I recommend purchasing a humidifier to place in their room at night. Everyday Roots recommends adding essential oils to the humidifier to help treat the cough. The website shares this recipe:humidifier

“You will need…

-3 drops of tea tree oil
-1-2 drops of eucalyptus oil
-A bowl of water
-A soft, clean, towel

Directions

Bring enough water to a boil to halfway fill a medium size-heat proof bowl. Pour the water into it, let it cool slightly for 30-60 seconds, and add the essential oils, giving it a quick stir to release the vapors. Lean over the bowl and get as close as you can while still being comfortable. Remember that steam can seriously burn! Use the towel to cover your head like a tent, trapping the steam, and breathe deeply. Ideally, do this for 5-10 minutes 2-3 times a day.”

Try to abstain from taking any over the counter cough medication. Even natural remedies for cough at the store have honey as their main ingredient, so save your money and try these cough solutions first. Simple Natural Solutions is your source of tips, tricks, recipes and advice for a healthier lifestyle. Sometimes, making a few small changes at home will make dramatic differences for your and your family’s health. Visit www.simplenaturalsolutions.com for more information.

Natural Sleep Remedies For a Good Night

United States citizens are some of the most under-slept people in the world; approximately 48% state that we do not get an adequate amount of sleep, according to The Better Sleep Council. Not sleeping an adequate amount of time – anywhere from seven to nine hours for most people, can lead to negative effects on health, such as a lack of attention and memory; depression; and even weight gain. There are medications that people can use to promote sleep, but these often come with a significant risk of side effects. However, Natural sleep remedies are a great option to consider to help individuals to fall and stay asleep with a much lower chance of side effects than traditional medicine.

Natural Sleep Aids

There are three natural sleep aids that are very popular because there exists significant research backing up their ability to promote sleep. It is important to understand how these work before using them for optimal benefit.natural sleep aids

Melatonin For Sleep Melatonin is a hormone naturally produced by the pineal gland in the brain. When darkness occurs, this activates the gland to secrete melatonin for sleep, which tells the body that it is time for bed. During the day, melatonin is not produced, allowing the body to stay awake.

A study by Vanderbilt University found that a group of elderly people who took melatonin for three weeks at a dose of two milligrams experienced a significant improvement in their sleep. The subjects fell asleep faster, and woke up faster in the morning. These benefits occurred without significant side effects.

Melatonin supplements are common for treating insomnia in adults of all ages. These natural sleep remedies are meant to be taken before bed to increase melatonin levels in the body to promote sleep. The dose of melatonin for sleep supplements ranges from one to 10 milligrams.

Lavender Essential Oils for Sleep – Lavender essential oils are commonly used as natural sleep aids because they induce relaxation and alleviate anxiety. This essential oil increases the levels of very deep sleep where the muscles relax and the heartbeat slows down. This allows for a more restful sleep to ensure better energy levels during the day.

There are studies that suggest that a massage that uses lavender essential oils may improve the quality of sleep, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Applying lavender essential oils to bedding may also promote a deeper state of relaxation to induce sleep.

Valerian for Sleep – Valerian is one of the most popular natural sleep aids, but scientists are not completely sure how it works to promote sleep. It is believed that this herb works to increase gamma aminobutyric-acid (GABA) levels in the brain. This chemical works to regulate nerve cells that are known to have a calming effect and reduce anxiety. The best dose depends on the individual, and there are a wide range of doses available.

Those taking Valerian often remark that it takes about two weeks of regular use to start noticing the sleep-related effects of this herb. This may require dosage adjustments throughout the time period to get the most benefit.

A study published in Psychopharmakotherapie, a German medical journal, examined 121 patients over the course of 28 days. Those who did not receive a placebo were given 600 milligrams of dried Valerian root in the form of a standardized commercial preparation. This study used multiple assessment tools to determine the overall tolerance and effectiveness of the Valerian. At the end of the study, those who received the dried Valerian root experienced a significant decrease in their insomnia symptoms.

Before using any of these natural sleep remedies, it is important to talk to your doctor to ensure safety. Your doctor can also help you to determine a dose that will be the most effective and safe for you. You should only try one remedy at time because these remedies may impact each other and lead to oversleeping.

Simple Natural Solutions is your source of tips, tricks, recipes and advice for a healthier lifestyle. Sometimes, making a few small changes at home will make dramatic differences for your and your family’s health. Visit www.simplenaturalsolutions.com for more information.

Advice and Healthy Recipes for Picky Eaters

I recently attended a great event held by Allya Orlov, Health Coach at Organic Life Wellness on pleasing picky eaters. Having two small kids myself, a five and a one-year old, I know all too well how hard it is to not only feed, but feel good about what you are feeding your kids. Throwing two kids into the mix makes it even harder, with having to figure out what each one will eat. Allya provided some great advice and recipes for picky eaters, which I now want to share with you.

ADVICE FOR PICKY EATERS

1. Hide – A great tip that I took away from Allya’s events for picky eaters is to hide the healthy and nutritious food that your kids may not like in other food. She recommends sneaking nutrients into their diet. For example, making a delicious and sweet smoothie recipe, but adding super foods like chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, maca, or cacao. Most of these additions are flavorless, but will add omega-3 fatty acids, protein and fiber. Cacao will turn your smoothies into chocolate ones, which each kid is sure to love.

Aside from smoothies, Allya instructed to hide healthy ingredients by adding items like sweet potato and butternut squash to mac n’ cheese, marinara sauce, or grilled cheese. If you don’t add too much, your kids will not be able to taste the additional nutrients. Finely chopping veggies, such as spinach or peppers, into small pieces and adding them to omelets, pasta or as pizza toppings is another tip.

2. Freeze – Making extra ingredients to sneak into your recipes for picky eaters is time consuming, which is why Allya proposed a great tactic to freeze and store them. Using a Baby Beaba, which you likely already have from making homemade baby food, you can easily steam and then blend healthy vegetables to later freeze. Try this technique with sweet potato, squash, zucchini, cauliflower, etc. To freeze the veggies, remember to use safe and BPA-free containers, such as Beaba, or glass storage containers, like Sage Spoonfuls. These allow you to make small batches of frozen purees and then add them to your recipes for picky eaters when you need them. Allya doesn’t recommend keeping the frozen items for over two weeks, as she says that fresh is always best.

Allya Orlov, Health Coach

Allya Orlov, Health Coach

3. Involve – Another piece of advice for picky eaters that I picked up at this event is to involve your kids into the cooking process. This strategy should start at the store. You can play games in the produce department, asking your kids to find vegetables of one color, or picking their top three favorite fruits for you to make a smoothie for them later. At home, let your kids help out with dinner, even if it takes you longer to make it and then twice as long to clean up their mess. Allya believes that kids will be more likely to eat if they know what’s in their food. Also, she says that they’ll be so excited and proud of helping with the cooking, that they will want to try their own creations.

RECIPES FOR PICKY EATERS.

Below are three recipes for picky eaters that Ally provided:

1. Kale Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • Two kale leaves (stems removed & discarded)
  • One frozen banana
  • One small apple
  • One tbsp of chia seeds
  • One tbsp of flax seeds
  • One cup of coconut water

Instructions:

  1. Peel and cut up the apple, kale & banana.
  2. Place all ingredients in a blender.
  3. Blend and serve.

2. Kale Scramble

Ingredients:

  • One fourth of a red bell pepper, diced
  • One half cup of sliced mushrooms
  • One fourth cup of red onion, diced
  • One half tsp salt
  • One large kale leaf, ripped into one inch pieces (stems removed and discarded)
  • Two eggs

Instructions:

  1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Once hot, add the red pepper, onion and mushrooms; cook until veggies are semi-soft.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium.
  4. Add kale, and stir.
  5. Add salt to taste.
  6. Cook for another minute and reduce heat to low.
  7. Add eggs and stir until eggs are cooked.

3. Kale Stir Fry

Ingredients:

  • One half cup of broccoli florets
  • Four large kale leaves (stems removed and discarded), cut into pieces
  • One half cup of snow peas
  • One half cup of carrots (julienne)
  • One half cup of green beans
  • One half cup of red bell pepper (sliced)
  • One half cup of onion (strips)
  • Two tbsp of coconut oil
  • Soy sauce (or preferred stir fry sauce)

Instructions:

  1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. When it’s hot, add all the ingredients other than kale and sauce; cook until veggies are semi-soft.
  3. Add kale and stir fry sauce.

By following this advice and making healthy recipes for picky eaters, you will regain your control over making sure your kids are getting vital nutrients they need for proper physical and mental development. Remember that kids need to eat every three-four hours, and should have three full meals and two snacks a day. A vital thing to keep in mind is that children’s’ stomachs are as big as their fists, which means that they likely cannot eat as much as you want them to. Allya recommends never to make your kids eat more than they can, and to allow them to stop eating when they say they are full.

Simple Natural Solutions is your source of tips, tricks, recipes and advice for a healthier lifestyle. Sometimes, making a few small changes at home will make dramatic differences for your and your family’s health. For more information about eating healthy, visit Simple Natural Solutions.

 

Healthy Dinner Ideas: Zucchini Fritters

Gallery

This gallery contains 1 photo.

When you have kids to feed, you want to make something quick, easy and healthy. I don’t know about your little ones, but my four-year-old is not a fan of zucchini. However, when I make these delicious zucchini fritters, he … Continue reading

Homemade Baby Food Basics

Gallery

This gallery contains 5 photos.

When I had my first baby, I was so proud of myself for purchasing only organic baby food. You live and you learn. Upon more research, I realized that the expensive little jars often contain sugar and salt, and, sometimes, … Continue reading