Monday, March 30, 2009

Natural Remedies for Babies Colds

Colds are caused by hundreds of different cold viruses. Babies are particularly susceptible because they have yet to build up immu­nity to the many viruses in circulation. Breastfeeding gives babies a degree of protection, especially if mother already has some resis­tance to a particular cold virus.

Children often get one cold after another when they first start nursery or playschool, as they are constantly coming into contact with different strains of virus.

Bouts of sneezing and a blocked or runny nose are tell-tale signs of a developing cold. A sore throat, headache dry tickly cough and general washed-out feeling add to the misery of a typical cold.

Babies cannot blow their noses, so breathing and feeding can be difficult.

Natural remedies can be very effective at keeping colds at bay as well as relieving their symptoms.

Natural Remedies for Babies Colds

* When the first symptoms appear, try giving your child a warm tisane of Lemon Balm and Chamomile
flowers sweetened with honey.

* Garlic is a natural antibiotic which helps to combat colds. During the winter, give 1 to 2 capsules a day as a preventative measure. Many children like the taste of garlic, so use liberally in cooking.

* Warming ginger tea soothes a sore throat and eases congestion. Add 1 teaspoon of fresh grated ginger root to 1 cup (240 ml) of boiling water, allow to steep for 5 minutes, strain and add 1 teaspoon of brown
sugar. Give your child sips of this drink throughout the day.

* The mineral zinc plays an important role in maintain­ing a healthy and efficient immune system. New research from a New York university suggests that zinc supplementation can reduce the time-span of a cold by half and, if taken early enough, can stop a cold very quickly. The best way to take zinc for colds is in the form of suckable lozenges.

* Vitamin C is renowned for its ability to ward off colds. At the very first sign of symptoms, give vitamin C with bioflavonoids to enhance absorption (500 mg 3 times a day for children over 3 years old; 250 mg for those under 3). If you are breastfeeding, increase your own intake of vitamin C (1 g 3 times a day).

* The following vitamin C-rich fresh juice blend can be helpful: 1 grapefruit, 1 orange and 4 ozll20g of straw­berries. Give 5 fl oz/150 ml daily.

* Echinacea helps to prevent and relieve colds by strengthening the body's immune defences. Add 5 to 10 drops of Echinacea tincture to warm water, fruit juice or milk, depending on preference. Give 3 times a day.

* Apple and cinnamon tea can help to soothe cold symptoms. Cut a whole apple into chunks and boil for 20 minutes with a stick of cinnamon, then strain and give to drink when still warm, sweet­ened with honey.