BSc, DHMHS, Homeopath
We spend more time indoors during winter, which means everyone in the family is at greater risk for bringing home plenty of germs. The common cold is a leading cause of missed days from school. I advise parents to spend time going through what they already have in their medicine cabinets and restocking with the most effective solutions. Having remedies handy, exactly when you need them, will help relieve the stress of caring for yourself or a sick child. Here’s what to include, and avoid, in a medicine cabinet makeover:
Bruises & muscle strains:
Arnica, available in tablets or gel, is a homeopathic remedy that can be used for treating minor bruises and muscle strains. It can reduce pain and swelling and speed healing. Keep a flexible cold pack handy to manage pain and swelling from an acute minor injury such as a strain or sprain. Ibuprofen can help treat aches and pains.
This year, you may want to stock up on black elderberry. It contains flavonoids called anthocyanins, which have a remark - able ability to stimulate the body’s immune system. Black elderberries have nearly double the amount of anthocyanins found in any other fruit. But unfortunately, you won’t find black elderberries at the grocery store. What you will find is a marvelous extract of black elderberry, sold over the counter as Sambucol Gummies. They are great for kids, because they are pectinbased and contain no artificial flavors or colors. They are also free of all major allergens, including gluten, nut, soy and dairy. Because this extract is the original and has been scientifically studied, I trust the natural power of the elderberry found in Sambucol to strengthen my patients’ immune systems, and I use it to help keep my family healthy all year long.
Throat sprays with echinacea, sage and peppermint can help, as well as lemon in water with maple syrup.
Oatmeal baths can help relieve dry, itchy skin. Add 2 cups of ground colloidal oat - meal (not breakfast oatmeal) to a tub of warm water (hot water can further dry out and irritate skin). Then apply a moisturizer with soothing and hydrating ingredients such as vitamin E, aloe and lavender.
Nausea, upset stomach:
Studies show that the very potent antiinflammatory compounds called gingerols found in ginger can help relieve motion sickness, dizziness, nausea and gas, and soothe the intestinal tract. You can find supplemental ginger in chewables and gummies in pharmacies and health food stores. You can also boil slices of fresh ginger in your tea.