8 natural home remedies you can use right now to help your children through the flu.
A NOTE FROM RENEE:
I am extremely honored to introduce Jessica from Simply Healthy Home to you! She is my “go-to” natural remedy expert, and she is just a wealth of knowledge in this arena (just take a look at our daily texting log and you’ll see how often I pick her brain 🙂 ). The flu can be downright exhausting to manage in anyone, let alone a child, and I am hoping this resource will be useful in the event you need to use it this season. (Also note product links in this post are affiliate links and help maintain this site and free information for you! Thank you for your support!)
I’m going to keep it real here, folks. I cannot stand throw up. Just the thought of it makes me want to gag. And then when I start to think about cleaning up throw up from someone else, well, that is enough to send shivers down my spine.
I thought being a parent I’d naturally just be able to deal my kids throwing up without being grossed out but that hasn’t happened. (It’s like that rumor where they say you’ll become a morning person when you have kids and that is so not true!!)
Needless to say, I do all I can to make the process as short and as easy as possible for all of us. Yes, there are things you can do to shorten the life of a stomach bug! I’m going to share with you a few of my favorite remedies.
Activated Charcoal is something that should always be around your house. Not only is effective at helping with a stomach bug (both ends) it also works for food poising or if you accidentally get glutened.
It works by binding with the ick that is going around your digestive track and helping pass it. Make sure your child is also getting plenty to drink to make sure things are passing through their system.
Charcoal is messy so I use caps as soon as my kids are able to swallow them. If not, I mix the charcoal in some applesauce or yogurt.
According to the Mayo Clinic, for children less than one you can dose .23-.50 grams of charcoal per pound of body weight. I tend to start with lower doses. I dose after the child has had an episode of diarrhea or vomiting.
The syrup from canned peaches not only tastes good for those with icky tummies but it also helps stop diarrhea. I like to water it down and make it in to popsicle. Popsicles seem to be an easy way to keep up fluids when the kids are sick.
Cell salts are remedies that help the body use the minerals that are already present in the body. What I have found in particular with stomach bugs is that they help keep the minerals balanced and help prevent dehydration.
EPSOM SALT/MAGNESIUM BATHS
Epsom salts or Magnesium flakes are a great addition to a bath any time the kids are sick. Magnesium helps the body detox and reduces muscle aches that are common with colds and the flu. (They also help soothe sore behinds when diarrhea is an issue). Baths aid in hydration as well.
Slippery Elm is a great, gentle herb that does a bang up job of helping to soothe an inflamed digestive tract. Slippery elm contains large amounts of tannis which is an astringent so it can help ‘dry up’ diarrhea.
Keeping the gut full of probioitcs is going to help lessen the severity of a stomach bug. Yogurt, kefir, beet kvass, and kombucha are great because small amounts contain loads of good bacteria.
If you don’t have any cultured drinks, a powdered form of probiotic can also be useful. Just stir it into some applesauce – even just a spoonful if they aren’t eating much. If your child is really having trouble keeping things down, you can also apply probiotic powder to ‘the back door’ gently with a q-tip to get some good bacteria quickly into the GI system. (Not a fun picture but I have heard from some parents this can be enough to stop a bug in its track)
Quality gelatin is also good for the gut and homemade gummies and jello can help sooth an upset stomach as well as provide nutrients. You can also add anti viral herbs like elderberry to your gummies like in this recipe.
If you can get one thing in your child’s system while sick, it should be bone broth. This is a rock star because it will help with hydration, provide minerals and nutrition and is very healing.
Renee has some great posts on how to make stock and many soups that are kid friendly. (Click HERE and look under “lunches” and you will find many simple soup purees to try!). There are also some fantastic soothing and nourishing food staples that can be helpful as children work back to eating after active throwing up and/or diarrhea. You can find those HERE.
SAFE ESSENTIAL OIL USE
I am a big fan of Plant Therapy’s KidSafe “Tummy All Better” synergy for tummy aches – the oils chosen for this blend were specifically chosen to be safe for kids as well as effective. You can get a ready made roller bottle which is really nice for those middle of the night tummy aches! It is diluted perfectly for you and you can just roll it right on their tummy. They also have it in a undiluted essential oil bottle you can dilute yourself.
If you have older kids, another option would be diluting peppermint oil down in a carrier oil, and rubbing it on the feet and stomach. If your child is sensitive to smells, don’t force this one on them. I find it is very individual.
A FEW NOTES ABOUT ACHES, ICKS, & FEVERS FROM THE FLU:
Fevers feel scary to most moms, but know that they do have a job to do. I like to support the body while a fever is going on and luke-warm epsom salts baths are great for that. There are some herbs that work fantastic for fever. Here is where you can read more about very simple methods for how to use yarrow and elderberry for fever. Gently bringing the fevers down without causing the body to be overloaded are key.
If you have chest congestion going on, you can find my favorite ways to deal with it, HERE.
While there are many, many more herbs and supplements to help stomach bugs, these are my tried and true ones that I pull out for my kids. I have been able to keep a stomach bug from being passed around the family and lessen the severity of it with the above remedies.
If you are interested in more home remedies, you can check out this page on my blog, HERE.
I’d love to hear from you, tell me what are your favorite home remedies for stomach bugs are?
Jessica loves to learn and share about natural living, from whole foods to herbal remedies. With a desire to take care of her family through natural means, she has spent a lot of time researching and experimenting to find what fits best in her lifestyle. Struggling with her health for a few years after a miscarriage she tested positive for Hashimoto’s and is currently working on healing through diet and natural supplements. Jessica started her blog Simply Healthy Home to share her family’s journey to being healthy and happy. You can follow Jessica on Facebook and Pinterest.