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Cold and flu in kids

It's that time of the year when we have cold and flu season. As a mom of 3 small kids it's not unfamiliar territory for my kids to all get sick with the cold/ flu at the same time, actually it's relatively normal given the fact that they are exposed to one another apart from exposure to other kids in daycare and school. Its a good sign that their immune system is responsive and also good practice for their immunity. Yes, it gets hectic but it can be managed. We need to acknowledge that every child is different and so are their immune functions. This post is mainly about my personal experience as a mom and what helps with my kids.

So things I keep on hand for this kind of situations is a herbal electuary, also a called a majoon in Unani tibb medicine composed of a combination of powdered herbs with honey. Some of the herbs I commonly use would be Blackseed, Thyme, Ginger, Aniseed, Chamomile and others depending on their specific symptoms. Sometimes I would add some blackstrap molasses for added nutrients which contains a number of minerals and vitamins.

Keeping them warm and comfortable is important as exposure to the cold can make it harder for them to recover. So warm baths with some epsom salts and a few drops of eucalyptus oil is definitely a go to in our household. This also helps loosen stubborn phlegm and relieves body aches. After a warm bath you can apply some vapourub to their chest and under the feet with some warm socks. I also use a humidifier in their rooms with added peppermint or eucalyptus essential oils which act as a decongestant for them to breathe a bit better.With sinus congestion, a good nasal flush kit helps to flush out mucous and clear the sinus cavities.

It is also vital to make sure their diet is supportive to their condition. So adding herbs and spices like ginger, garlic, turmeric, black pepper , Thyme, cinnamon to your soups and foods gives that added benefit. I like to add these to their rooibos tea but in small quantities and strain the herbs out before drinking. A family favourite is some chicken and vegetable soup. Lighter easily digestible foods are preferred and a healthy dose of fruits and vegetables especially those that are high in vitamin C e.g. naartjies, oranges, berries. Avoiding any cold refrigerated foods and drinks, especially ice lollies/ice cream, cold drinks, cheese and other dairy, chocolates and sweets would be best as these will worsen their symptoms and slow down recovery. Maybe stock up on some nuts, dates, raisins and other healthier snack options instead.

When their chest becomes tight or phlegm is difficult to expectorate (cough out) then I would also do some light cuppjng therapy which really helps loosen the phlegm so that they can cough it out easily. This is obviously done with caution depending on their age as well.

So have no fear, you can nurse them back to health and ride the wave. Hopefully you will find this helpful in your household. Remember to see a doctor if their symptoms become more severe so they can get the help that they need.


The information and other content provided in this blog, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. Please consult a qualified practitioner if you suffer from any of the conditions mentioned and do not use any medications, herbal treatments and supplements without advisement from a qualified practitioner.

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