Natural medicines – for tree-huggers, Moms or both? 

I grew up pretty skeptical of natural remedies. My doctor never recommended them and my parents weren’t exactly the earth-lovin’ hippie types that come to mind when you think of herbal medicine.

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It wasn’t until I faced Lyme disease and the resulting chronic GI & nervous system issues in 2006 that I finally gave natural medicine a chance. The probiotics I tried worked like a charm. Then I moved on to elderberry syrup — I didn’t get sick once that entire year even with the Lyme disease doing a number of my immune system!

Slowly but surely I’ve worked my way into the world of natural healing and I’m never looking back! Of course, there are plenty of diseases and infections that require modern medicine interventions and I am completely thankful of our access to modern medicine. But, we are an overmedicated society. I believe as moms we owe it to our children to teach them they have the power to heal their own bodies with food and natural remedies before resorting to a chemical-laden pill that comes with side effects and undesirable complications.

So here are 5 key reasons to build a natural medicine cabinet to prepare your family for this year’s cold and flu season:

1. Don’t simply mask the problem. OTC products don’t get to the root of what’s causing the symptoms. They don’t fight off the bacteria or virus. Also, they fail to provide essential vitamins. Though they allow you to function in the short term, they don’t help your body stay strong throughout the rest of the cold/flu season. Simply put: they mask—not treat—your symptoms.

2. Begin natural healing. How do you treat these symptoms then? Natural remedies help calm and comfort the body, but they also strengthen the immune system to better fight off the infection. Choosing the right remedies for your child will not only allievate symptoms, but will often shorten the duration of an illness and reduce the severity of the symptoms.

3. Lay off the sugar. Would you give your kids a handful of candy when they’re sick? OTC medicines are often loaded with artificial or processed sugar that can really wreak havoc on their already weakened immune systems.

4. Beware of chemicals. Do gasoline or coal tar sound like good cold remedies to you? These are just a couple of the chemicals often found in OTC medicines. These toxins tax the liver, thus leaving your body with less fuel to fight off the infection. Tylenol’s Children’s Cold & Cough Nighttime Liquid, for example, is chock full of artificial colors and sweeteners, including D&C Yellow no. 10.

5. There’s a better, simpler way. With the hundreds of nutritious foods, herbs and natural medicines available, there is almost always a natural remedy to pair with your kid’s cold/flu symptoms. We turn to over-the-counter medicine because it’s familiar and readily available, but most natural remedies are too. The solution to your little one’s cough might already be sitting in your kitchen cabinet! Are you skeptical of natural medicines? What makes you most nervous? Let us know in the comments! 

Stay tuned for an upcoming post on which simple remedies I include in my natural medicine cabinet…

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