Caring for your family’s health can be a daunting task, especially during seasonal changes and stressful periods. But the good news is, you don’t have to ring the doctor every time your child or partner has a stuffy nose or tummy ache. Check out these expert-approved natural remedies for your family, courtesy of Mother Nature.
Here are our top 8 natural remedies every mother should know about:
Ginger: The anti-inflammatory
Ginger is a time-honoured natural remedy for mucus congestion, sore throats, tummy aches, nausea, motion sickness, coughs, asthma and indigestion. Studies have shown its powerful anti-inflammatory benefits, says nutritionist and wellness expert, Desi Horsman. Ginger drops are ideal for kids, as they can be diluted in a little juice.
Camomile and fennel: The tummy soothers
Camomile is a natural sedative and anti-inflammatory. It can help to relax abdomen muscles and ease stomach cramps and/or reflux. For older children and adults, chew or crush fennel seeds into a cup of hot water to relieve gas or indigestion. Both camomile and fennel are available in tincture form, where the drops can be diluted in water, adds Horsman.
Arnica: The natural healer
Arnica is the number one homoeopathic remedy for bruises, sprains and strains, says homeopath, Dr Vicki Compere. It’s also excellent for shock, injuries and concussion. It can be taken orally in a 6/30ch strength or applied locally to a bruise in ointment form. Just avoid applying arnica to open wounds.
Turmeric: The potent antioxidant
Known for its powerful anti-inflammatory effects, turmeric is a strong antioxidant and antiseptic. The chemical curcumin in the plant helps to fight infections, asthma, allergy symptoms and coughs. Turmeric is also a great mood booster for adults, says Horsman, as it’s believed to inhibit enzymes in the body linked to depression, while raising levels of serotonin and dopamine.
Valerian: The calming sedative
Thanks to its mild sedative effect, valerian has been used for centuries to treat anxiety and insomnia. A number of studies suggest that it not only helps people fall sleep, it also improves the quality of sleep, making it ideal for new moms longing for some good-quality shut-eye! Safe for little ones from three years of age, valerian can be taken in tablet form or tincture drops diluted in a little liquid.
Probiotics: The gut healers
Probiotics, found in yoghurt and fermented foods, contain “good” bacteria that create balance in the digestive system, boosting immunity. “About 70% of the human immune system is located in the digestive tract, which is why a healthy gut is vital,” says Horsman. Probiotics help with diarrhoea in babies and children, as well as irritable bowel syndrome, abdominal pain, cramps, bloating and constipation in adults. They also play a role in treating and preventing urinary tract infections and fungal overgrowth.
Echinacea: The immune booster
Echinacea is an effective herbal tincture for any infection including tonsillitis, sinusitis, cystitis or bronchitis, says Dr Compere. It’s a potent immune stimulant for both children and adults, and acts as an anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal. It also can speed up wound healing.
Coffee: The daily protector
Enjoy your morning cuppa, guilt free. Research shows that a cup or two of pure, ground coffee a day does more than provide an energy boost. The coffee bean contains vital antioxidants, which can help to reduce the risk of liver cancer, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and heart disease.
Need more advice from Desi Horsman or Dr Vicki Compere? Visit www.desihorsman.com or call Dr Compere on 011 465 8895 for more information.
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 .