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Fall and Winter Guide to Natural, Drug-Free Home Remedies

Updated on October 15, 2008

We’ve been hearing recently not to give cough medicine to our children. The rest of the over the counter concoctions probably aren’t much better. And why should we use them? Our grandmothers never did. They knew what to mix up to make kids feel better. And guess what? It was inexpensive and non-toxic. Take your kids’ health and comfort back into your own hands with these easy and natural home remedies for winter’s ills.

Lemon and Honey for Sore Throat

Although Strep routinely makes the schoolyard rounds (and requires medical attention) a lot of sore throats are caused by the dry air in colder weather. Fill a tablespoon halfway with honey and squeeze a lemon to fill the spoon. (I use the bottled juice if I don’t have lemon on hand. It’ll do!) Have the child put the spoon in her mouth and suck on it slowly.

Ginger for Indigestion

Whether it’s too much Halloween candy or overindulging at the other winter holidays, tummy aches are common during fall and winter. Instead of reaching for the pink stuff, hit the produce aisle. Ginger is great for indigestion. Grate some fresh ginger into a cup of warm water to make a tea to soothe sore stomachs. Add some honey to help it go down better.

Rice Water for Diarrhea

Stomach viruses and food poisoning can cause diarrhea. Good thing there’s an ancient and highly effective remedy to stabilize the bowel. Rice water is hydrates and soothes in an all natural way. Cook a pot of rice using twice as much water as necessary to actually make rice. Strain out the rice and let the water cool before drinking.

Pesto for Constipation

My kids love ‘green noodles’, which is what we call pasta with pesto. Turns out it keeps them regular! The herb basil helps relax the body, including the bowel. You can make your own fresh pesto in summer from basil, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and nuts. I’ll be picking up mine in the grocery store. It’s usually next to the spaghetti sauce. I add it to all kinds of noodles, but my kids like it best with those tiny alphabets! 

Mustard for Cough

Ground mustard does a great job at loosening dry, croupy coughs. You’re going to make a compress for the chest. Combine 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground mustard with 1 cup of flour. Add warm water gradually until you have a thick paste. Spread it over a piece of old t-shirt. Protect the skin on the chest with a layer of olive oil and place the pack on the chest, cloth side down. Put another cloth or towel over that and cover with a warm water bottle or warmed rice-filled sock.

How often do you use home remedies?

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Photo: StephenWitherden,Flickr
Photo: StephenWitherden,Flickr


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  • RainbowRecognizer profile image

    RainbowRecognizer 9 years ago from Midwest

    Nice hub, Lela ... lemon and honey is a favorite at our house for any ailment - or just a sweet warm or cold drink with tart twist :o)