This is the stuff that has worked for me and my family. I have been studying and practicing the art of nutritional healing on my family for years but I am NOT a certified practitioner. Please use common sense and research things for yourself before implementing them on your family. Seek out a health practitioner if your child is very ill or mama intuition tells you your child needs extra help. If you are on medication take extra precaution, especially with herbs, because of drug interactions.
Cod Liver Oil: I double our daily doses in times of illness. I give my 4 and 7 year old kids 10,000 iu of vitamin A from fish liver when sick. The husband and I take 20,000 iu + if we feel unwell. Here is important information on cod liver oil and vitamin A. Green Pastures brand high vitamin cod liver oil is best thing to take, but I have been priced out of that. I use a combination of Twinlab Cod Liver Oil and Country Life A and D3 (from cod liver oil). If your children cannot swallow pills carefully puncture a soft gel and squeeze contents into their mouth or on a bite of food.
Vitamin C: One half (500 mg) to one gram every hour until loose bowels. I use this if the illness seems persistent. I use 1/4 teaspoon powdered sodium ascorbate mixed with a little orange juice (it is salty). Here is more information.
Vitamin D3: I double our daily dose in times of illness. I give about 3,000 iu a day total to my bigger kids (ages 4 and 7) when they are sick. I take 10,000iu a day when they are sick (to protect myself!) or when I get sick. Drops are easy to give children. The Vitamin D Council has more information on supplementation. Only use D3 not D2.
Basics you may be missing: An overall nutrient dense diet, sleep/rest, stress management, moderate exercise and fresh air. Pray for wisdom,healing, and strength when trying to help your family through illness.
Ear infections: Cut out all dairy get mullein and garlic oil like this one from the health food store to use in the ear. Generally ear infections do not need antibiotics. One of my children is very prone to ear infections and limiting cow milk has been very beneficial.
Fever: Generally, I try not to use Tylenol or other fever reducers so the body can fight off the infection. I will give an overnight dose if my child cannot rest at all because I need some sleep to stay sane and take care of my other kids. Fevers deplete vitamin A in the body so be sure to supplement with cod liver oil. A high fever in a very young child can be dangerous so exercise more caution with them.
Cough: I give warm tea with 1-3 teaspoons of honey (raw is best) and some coconut milk if desired. Honey has been reported to work better than cough medicine. (Do not use honey in children under age 1). I choose lobelia tincture for moderate to severe coughs and it works quite well but must be used with care. My midwife recommends these doses: 1/2 dropper full for kids 3-8 years. Adults 1/2 – 1 dropper full every 2 to 4 hours as needed for cough. Use the lowest effective amount. Bigger kids and adults can use elderberry and zinc lozenges. Both components support the immune system. I let my seven year old have 4 a day (an adult dose is 8).
Body aches from a virus: This seems to be due to mineral depletion. Helpful minerals are calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Bone broth and avocados or bananas would help. Epsom salt baths allow your body to absorb magnesium through the skin and are comforting. Epsom salts are even available at the grocery store. A magnesium supplement that we use is Natural Calm in lemon raspberry. Magnesium can also help with headaches.
Intestinal Illness: Let it run its course. The main danger is dehydration. We use Recharge natural sports drink for this (It is available at Raleys in our area). Broth, fermented drinks, and gelatin also work well when it is time to try food again. Higher doses of probiotic supplements can be effective for stopping diarrhea as well.
One of my favorite books on this topic is How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor by pediatrician Robert Mendelsohn.
I have also found the article “Traditional Remedies for Childhood Illnesses” by Sarah Pope very helpful.
Have a happy rest of winter!