Suffering a headache? Or does your little one have a chesty cough? Stock your medicine cabinet with these home remedies containing safe, everyday ingredients and you can effectively treat yourself and your family with minimal cost and effort. Bonus!
Ginger for headaches and nausea
If morning sickness and headaches are getting you down during pregnancy, stock up on ginger. This superfood works wonders on both ailments. In fact, according to studies done at the University of Maryland Medical Center, ginger has been a popular medicinal plant for thousands of years, especially for nausea as it has a soothing effect on the digestive system. Researchers found that in a small study of 30 pregnant women with severe vomiting, those who took 1g ginger daily for four days reported more relief from vomiting than those who didn’t take it. If you’re suffering from severe nausea and vomiting, speak to your doctor before taking more than 1g ginger per day.
To relieve a headache or any head tension, simply mix two tablespoons of ground ginger with a little water and warm gently in a saucepan. Press onto a lint pad or facecloth and place on your forehead, recommends author of Organic Home, Rosamond Richardson.
Bicarbonate of soda for heartburn
Whether you’re suffering from heartburn during pregnancy, or your partner wakes up feeling uncomfortable after a spicy meal, don’t reach for conventional medicine, try bicarbonate of soda instead. It’s an effective antacid, says Rosamond. This is because it contains sodium bicarbonate, one of the main ingredients to treat acid reflux. All you need to take is two teaspoons mixed into 50ml water. Although you might feel immediate relief, it’s important to speak to your doctor if the heartburn persists, especially during pregnancy.
Apple cider vinegar for coughs
If your child’s coughs are keeping you all up at night, a cup of warm water with two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar is an effective way to soothe a chesty cough. This natural medicine acts as a decongestant without irritating the throat, says Rosamond. If your little one protests at the flavour, mix a teaspoon of honey in it. Honey has been proven to be another effective throat soother and antispasmodic. Honey is only safe for use in children over one year.
Echinacea for the common cold
The good news about this ancient medicinal plant is that it can be used by the whole family (look for safe tinctures for children at your nearest health store, but consult your doctor first if you’re pregnant). “It contains active substances which help to stimulate the immune system to fight colds and viruses when under attack, and is particular useful to bring down fevers,” explains Rosamond. Scientific research shows that people who take it as soon as symptoms arise report feeling better faster with less severe symptoms. It’s also effective at treating cold sores.
Camomile for tummy troubles
Tummy pains are common in children and can either be dull and achy or sharp and persistent. A cup of camomile tea is an effective remedy for mild stomach upsets and cramps linked to food, stress or growing pains. This is because it possesses anti-inflammatory and sedative properties, says Dr Andrew Weil, a leader in the field of integrative medicine. Anything more serious should be seen by a doctor. Infants younger than six months should never be treated with herbal remedies, warns Rosamond.
Tammy is a wife, mom and freelance writer with 15 years’ experience in the media industry. She specialises in general lifestyle topics related to health, wellness and parenting. Tammy has a passion for fitness and the great outdoors. If she’s not running around after her daughter, you’ll find her off the beaten track, running, hiking or riding her bike. Learn more about Tammy Jacks .