Things I Use When My Kids Get Sick
If you have read my first three articles on dealing with sick kids, you must be ready to get to the nitty-gritty of finding out what I give my kids when they’re sick. In case you have not read my first article, you can read, When Your Kids Get Sick an introduction I wrote back in 2014! In my second article, The Duas I Say When My Kids Are Sick I share the first step of dealing with illness, i.e., turning to Allah SWT and the duas to say for healing and cures.
My third post, Things I Do When My Kids Get Sick, I delve into how I comfort my kids when they get sick, so it is a prequel to this post. This article will be the conclusion to my series on dealing with sick kids and covers the products I use when my children are sick. All these articles are written from my research and experience of having six kids who have gotten ill numerous times over the years - 16 years and counting!
Please be advised that my recommendations are for children and not for infants or toddlers. Also, I am not a physician, so all my tips are from my experience with my children and should not override advice from a professional. Some links in this article are affiliate links, and you can read more about that below the section. Now let’s get started with the first and favorite product on my list of remedies.
My main go-to during illness is honey. It is a sunnah food and both the Quran and Hadith refer to honey as a healer for mankind. Allah SWT Says,
“And thy Lord taught the bee to build its cells in hills, on trees and in people’s habitations… there issues from within their bodies a drink of varying colors, wherein is healing for humankind. Verily in this is a Sign for those who give thought.”
The Prophet PBUH said,
“Honey is a remedy for every illness and the Quran is a remedy for all illness of the mind, therefore I recommend to you both remedies, the Quran and honey.”
Honey offers incredible antiseptic, antioxidant and immune boosting properties for our body and health. It not only fights infection and helps tissue healing, but also helps reduce inflammation. Raw honey is the best form of honey as it is unheated, unpasteurized and unprocessed. It is in its purest form as it comes straight from the honeycomb and placed into a honey extractor.
I will give my sick children a teaspoon of raw honey a few times a day, or make them drink honey in herbal tea, remedies, or in warm water like the Prophet PBUH would. Ibn al-Qayyim stated that the Prophet SAW used to drink honey and water on an empty stomach for health preservation. You can read more about honey and other remedies in his book, "The Prophetic Medicine”.
Honey is also one of my must-have ingredients in my homemade cough remedy!
I find it best to begin giving my children the necessary supplements before a season change or before flu and cold time is in full swing. When we are prepared in advance, it limits how often we get sick and some of us have avoided getting ill altogether. There were many seasons I didn’t prepare in advance and sickness had already hit our home. When that occurs, I immediately begin to give my children supplements at the first sign of any sick symptoms.
For my younger kids, I give them supplements in the form of liquid or lozenges, or I’ll grind the pill into a powder for them to drink in a little water. For my older kids and my husband and I, we take the tablet or capsule form, though I’ll usually choose capsules with halal or kosher gelatin, but my preference is vegetarian capsules. All my recommendations are the actual supplements we have used and checked. Here are the supplements we take as a family and works for us:
Vitamin C is the best for colds and flu as large amounts of this vitamin can greatly speed recovery and boost energy levels. I prefer drinking vitamin C, but usually use the capsule form or lozenges for my kids. I love the fizzy drink formula of Emergen-C which gives us such a boost. It also helps a lot when I feel tired or drained as a mom and I’m in need of energy fast.
Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid, it is necessary for the growth, development and repair of all body tissues. It's involved in many body functions, including formation of collagen, absorption of iron, the immune system, wound healing, and the maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth.
This vitamin can reduce the severity of a cold or flu and help shorten the duration of your illness. To make it easier or more cost-effective, you can purchase vitamin C with zinc. I have tried the Zicam Rapid Melts and it worked really well for us during sickness. Taking zinc supplements is also excellent for proper immune function, skin and hair health, and wound healing. You should look up the pros of zinc as we take it throughout the year due to it’s benefits.
Vitamin D3 can help prevent illness if you take several thousand IUs a day while sick. It can also help speed up recovery. Vitamin D3 is the natural form of vitamin D that your body makes from sunlight. According to 2010 research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vitamin D3 helps to reduce your likelihood of developing the flu. It also is known for decreasing depression and boosts weight loss.
We take this vitamin throughout the year for it’s amazing benefits, so research it more to find out if it is good for your family too.
I cannot say enough good things about this berry! If you cannot take anything else for sickness, take this! I have witnessed first hand how it has made our illness go away in a short span of time, and after the first dose of elderberry, we already begin to feel relief. You can make a homemade elderberry syrup using dried elderberries if you have the time, as it is the cheapest long-term (recipe in my ebook). You can also purchase the syrup for ease or in a pinch.
We also take elderberry capsules when I don’t have time to make the syrup and it works out cheaper for our big family instead of purchasing the store-bought syrup. It’s easier to take for teens and adults, though I believe that the homemade syrup is the most effective form of elderberry.
You don’t need to take garlic as vitamins, but I cannot stomach garlic in any other way except cooked in food. So if you or your kids can handle raw garlic, either crush a clove or two in water or have it like that. Alternatively, we will have a lot of garlic in soups, and as a busy mom I use ready-crushed garlic in a jar for my cooking, or as a supplement during illness.
I know many moms recommend rubbing garlic on their sick kids’ feet at night and putting socks over. I admit that will be a wonderful way to absorb garlic fast and be very effective for sickness. However, I confess that I can’t handle the smell and work involved in doing all that as a mom of six, but I’ve heard it is excellent to fight colds and flu.
In capsule form, ginger can greatly help with nausea and vomiting associated with the flu. It can also help with a high fever and headaches. Fresh ginger is wonderful in hot water or in a tea for sinus symptoms and congestion. I will also use ginger powder in herbal teas or when I make my homemade cough mixture (recipe in my ebook).
Echinacea is a well-known season-long preventative measure against colds and flu. Many people find that their colds are shorter and less frequent. You can find echinacea for kids in liquid, chewy drops, or tablet form. Some doctors say that you should take echinacea for some days, stop and then start again for maximum effect. For example, take echinacea Monday through Friday and then stop on weekends to prevent your child from building up a tolerance to it.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can be used as a gargle rinse for sore throats from colds and flu. As a drink, I find that it tastes awful, and may be hard to get your child to take. If you or your child can manage it, have a tablespoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in water at the first sign of illness and repeat often. This alkalizes the body and helps kill viruses and bacteria. I prefer taking the tablet form, as I find that ACV burns my throat and my children do not want to take it raw. I hope you have better luck getting your kids to take it in liquid form as it is much more effective.
Probiotics are strains of friendly, beneficial bacteria and yeast, like Lactobacillus plantarum, that populate your gut and naturally boost your immunity. Studies have shown that a daily supplement of probiotics may reduce the incidence of cold and flu-like symptoms in children by 50 percent! We take the capsule form and drink kefir during sickness.
Probiotics are good to take year-round as the benefits are immense. It helps balance the friendly bacteria in your digestive system, it can help prevent and treat diarrhea, and certain strands can improve some mental health and heart conditions. It also reduces the severity of certain allergies and eczema, it can help reduce symptoms of certain digestive disorders, it can help boost your immune system, and helps with weigh loss - especially belly fat.
Many moms haven’t heard of colloidal silver as a remedy for sinus infection or a cold. Though you will find it at many food stores and pharmacies and Amazon has many brands. If you search up information about colloidal silver benefits, the information out there is confusing, as many sources have conflicting opinions. Many people claim how beneficial it is for practically every disease,but some well-known health sites warn about safety concerns. Like anything you use for your family, it is best to research and then make an informed choice.
Personally, I haven’t tried colloidal silver as I write this post, but I really want to as soon as my kids need a new remedy. I’ve heard it is a good for immune support but so far, what I’m using has helped a lot and I did not want to overwhelm myself. However, I am recommending it because I have done the research on it and my sister swears by it, so I wanted to inform you to look into it as a good remedy as well.
This is a new one that I am currently researching and sounds amazing! Plus it is from my hometown South Africa so I will be biased :-P! I was asking my brother about it and he mentioned that this is in many of the South African medicines for children, though it is under a different name. It is known as pelargonium sidoides and it is a medicinal plant native to South Africa and referred to as the African geranium or South African geranium.
According to Wikipedia, the root extract of Pelargonium sidoides is used as cold and flu medicine under various brand names including Umckaloabo, Kaloba, Umcka and Zucol. It is new to the US and on Amazon the reviews are great so I really want to try this next. Take a look too!
There are some medicines on the market that I use and always have on hand when my children or I are already sick. Which mom wants to see her child suffer and wait for the remedies to take effect. So I turn to homeopathic medicines to allow my child to rest and for all of us to get some sleep. It really works for us, as I know of some homeopathic medicines that did not work well at all.
I will also take these medicines when I can’t rest and need to keep up with mom life as I do not take OTC medicines that have bad side effects. Of course, I have a higher dose as an adult and it has worked extremely well when I’m sick. I am sharing the links for the ones we have tried and always stock up at home.
Natural Ear Drops
If my children have ear infections from their cold and flu, the last thing I do is go to the doctor to get a prescription of antibiotics. I have successfully used natural ear drops and garlic ear oil as a remedy. You can make your own with olive oil and crushed garlic (recipe in my ebook), or you can buy it online.
It is important to ensure that the ear drum has not ruptured before using these remedies inside the ear canal. Typically, the presence of pain can indicate that the ear drum is still intact. Lack of pain may mean that the ear drum ruptured plus you will see oozing liquid out of the ear. I’ve read up on this and there is not much that can be done besides keeping the ear dry and letting it heal naturally. Though take your child to the doctor if you have doubt and you do not feel confident in using remedies.
Herbal Tea Bags
If my child has red, irritated eyes due to their sickness or maybe they’ve developed pink eye, I turn to my faithful herbal tea bags. My first choice is rooibos tea and my second choice is chamomile tea. I will let the tea bag steep in hot water and then place the cooled-but-warm tea bag on my child’s eye. It gives relief to their symptoms and calms them too. I use chamomile tea bags if many of us are sick as it is cheaper than rooibos tea bags and works just as well.
Last but not least, I will make my children some of my homemade cough remedies (recipe in my ebook), warm honey water, warm lemon water, freshly squeezed orange juice or buy pure 100% orange juice. I will make them drink the orange juice once a day and give them the soothing teas twice or thrice a day. Without a doubt, children should be constantly hydrated, so continuous water intake is a must. I will give them a water bottle that only they will use and keep it by their side to sip. If they are very sick and weak, I will make my homemade electrolyte drink and this works great.
There you have it, my mega list of products I use when my kids get sick from years of trial, error and research. I hope my tips will help you to know that there are alternative ways to deal with illness without side effects, and that work! Don’t forget to refer to my other articles on sickness for additional help, all the links are below. Stay healthy!
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