This is Part 1 of my series on Home Remedies. Part 2 can be found HERE.
When Jia was a toddler, she was allergic to so many things. My dreams of going to picnics with her (with woven picnic baskets, red and white checkered cloth, and me in my sundress! hahahaha!) was crushed the first time we went to UP and Jia was bitten by an insect. By the time, we got home, she was nursing a fever and was having a hard time breathing! At 18 months, Jia was prescribed with maintenance medicines. It broke my heart but what could I do? Maintenance meds for allergies (she had allergic rhinitis and asthma) were the lesser evil.
When Joya was born, he was more allergic than Jia! I remember pressing a cologne atomizer with my hand. I made sure that none of the cologne actually went to my hands. Hindi nabasa yung kamay ko at all! Then I touched Joya’s forehead and hair. In a few minutes, his skin was blotchy! I was shocked! One time, I told his yaya to bring Joya outside for a walk as he was just cooped up inside the house (we lived in a busy street). They were gone for 15 minutes. When they got back, Joya had hives!
When Joya was less than one year old, we found out he had asthma. In fact, he had atopic triad – asthma, allergic rhinitis, and atopic dermatitis! I realized that sooner or later, Joya would also be on maintenance meds. That realization my search for an alternative. I did not want my kids to grow up swallowing medicines left and right. I had a kidney concern for a time and my MIL passed away from kidney problems so if I could do anything to lessen the chances of my kids having kidney problems, I would.
My search led me to homeopathy. In a few months’ time, my kids’ allergic attacks lessened considerably. Whereas we used to go to the doctor every month for medicines, when we switched to homeopathy, we seldom had to do so. I became a believer!
Let me make this clear – I am not anti-doctors. I love my doctors! It’s just that I believe that we should use natural remedies as much as possible as some (if not most) pharma meds do have side effects.
From homeopathy, it was a natural progression to other natural remedies and because I am very, very blessed to have friends who are into anthroposophy (Velvet and Mec), I was introduced to the world of home remedies! Velvet was the one who first introduced me to poultices with garlic poultice and Mec was the first to explain why, when someone has a fever, it is important not to use cold compress on the person’s forehead.
DISCLAIMER: The home remedies I would enumerate below are the remedies I use for MY family. I am, in no way, a medical practitioner. Use the following home remedies with caution and at your own risk. This is not meant to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. My home remedies do not apply to infants. Please also always remember that natural/whole food does not mean no overdosage or no side effects. Practice prudence when employing natural home remedies. Garlic, for instance, seems to act as a blood thinner which prevents heart attacks but this also means that it should not be given up to a week before a surgery. Consult your doctor or medical practitioner.
I use this for ear infection and for deep-seated cough and to relieve lung congestion
This is my newest discovery. Months ago, I read up on onion because the kid’s homeopathic med for colds with clear mucus is called allium cepa (read: onion) and I got intrigued so I read up on its numerous uses. I have never appreciated onion as much as I did that day. LOL!
Jia’s ear ached in the middle of the night two weeks ago and I had to google how to make one. Planet Herbs explains how best to make one by steaming finely chopped onions and combining it with corn flour (I used all-purpose flour as I do not have corn flour in my pantry) and apple cider vinegar to hold it together. After a few days of using this recipe, I got lazy and just steamed the onions and used that.
- Finely chop onions. Red is preferred but the white variety can do.
- Steam onions for a few minutes until it is a bit transluscent in color.
- Spread onion on a natural fabric (size of spread depends on the chest size of patient). I used a flat diaper… otherwise known as lampin! Hehe!
- Fold cloth and press a bit with your fist until you can see the juice seep through the underside.
- Place the poultice on the base of the neck and chest.
- Let stay for 30 mins.
I do this with my kids two times a day when they are sick with cough and so far, it has proven to be very effective. After two uses, cough softens and phlegm is easier to expel. For ear infection, it also worked wonders and, according to her, Jia’s ear ache lessened considerably after using this.
Raw garlic and honey/coco nectar
This is my kids’ supplement everyday. Yup, my kids can take raw garlic! When they are sick (like fever or colds which happens when I get complacent with their diet), I make them take this two times in a day. I discovered this when Joya was a baby and he got colds. Because I could not give him garlic, I took it. That time, all I had was the Taiwan variety. I took it 3x a day and breastfed him more than the usual. He recovered after two days!
Raw garlic has so many incredible health benefits. It is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal. When Jia had a series of styes, I think it was garlic which helped her fight finally fight it off.
My kids usually take garlic with coco nectar (one of nature’s wonders!) but I took this picture when I was the one taking it and that time I was taking it with manuka honey (isa pa itong magic!). If you can take it without anything, yey for you!
- Mince raw garlic. Ilocos variety strongly recommended.
- Let minced garlic stand for 5 minutes.
- Take as you would normal medicine.
To make it easier for my kids to take it, I put coco nectar or honey on the spoon, sprinkle the garlic on top of it, and then top it with coco nectar/honey.
If your kids cannot take raw garlic, then garlic poultice is the next best thing. I use this for any infection or colds and cough. There are so many variations of the garlic poultice (google is anyone’s best friend:) ) but I make mine like this.
- Get Ilocos garlic and pound using a mortar and a pestle.
- Pour virgin coconut oil (or olive oil).
- Let stand as long as you can wait. Some say to let it stand for 10 days.
- Strain to remove the garlic bits.
- Apply the oil on the soles of the feet. Cover with socks.
When the kids are sick, they have this 24/7. LOL! Truth be told, it is better to have the garlic in the oil (kaya nga poultice eh!) but if you decide not to strain, make sure that the garlic does not touch the skin (use a cloth just like in the onion poultice above). I learned that the hard way when I first used this. Because I wanted it to be as strong and as effective as possible, I put the garlic on Jia’s soles and covered it with socks for the night. The next day, Jia had burns in the shape of the garlic and she could not walk for a couple of days. 🙁 Because of that, since the kids can take raw garlic anyway, I just strain the garlic out.
I love Manuka Honey! Three tablespoons three times a day on empty stomach (which means at least two hours after eating 30 minutes before eating) and with the normal precautions (no cold water or food, reasonable clothing) will make cough and colds go away. I use the Manuka Health brand with MGO 550. As this is expensive though, I just use this when the kids have particularly stubborn phlegm. (Reminder: Honey is not allowed for babies younger than 1 year old as the threat of botulism is very real.)
Oregano and ampalaya leaves
I seldom use these now because my current go-to are the garlic poultice and Manuka Honey (and I think the onion poultice will be added to my list) but just in case these are the ones you have available at home, these are the old reliables.
- Steam oregano and/or ampalaya leaves.
- Take juice.
With this, I nomally give my kids a couple of teaspoons 3x a day. If I have to be honest, I cannot take the taste of these leaves. I gag just at the smell of the ampalaya leaves juice but my kids can take it so all is well. These are NOT for pregnant women! Let me say that again, these are NOT ALLOWED for pregnant women.
I did not realize this would be so loooong!!! Will make a series instead. 🙂
Part 2 can be found HERE.