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Skip the Meds: Natural Cold Fighting Remedies for Children

Do you ever stop to think if there is a safer, more effective natural remedy for your children’s winter sniffles? If not, I’m glad you’re reading this, so together we can break that routine of going straight to the medicine cupboard for the regular ‘cures’. Let’s look at powerful and effective natural cold fighting remedies proven to strengthen our children’s bodies when their immune systems are low.

We’ve compiled some of our favourite natural cold fighting remedies for you to try this winter, and here they are…

Invest in a humidifier or an essential oil diffuser: A humidifier helps ease cold symptoms or another respiratory conditions by moistening the air. An essential oil diffuser can also be used to diffuse fine particles into the air. We recommend using eucalyptus essential oil to diffuse – it helps open up the airways and allows kids to breathe easier.

Hydration and Rest: If the body is fighting an illness the best support you can give is to stay well hydrated and rest as much as possible. Try encourage your kids to drink lots of water – and sleep. You can always reschedule that playdate!

Nasal Irrigation: Try a baby and kids non-medicated saline spray to help unblock the nasal passageway.

Elevate the Head of the Mattress, or prop up your child’s sleep position with pillows. This helps drain the mucus away from the head and eases discomfort.

Natural Chest Rub: Try a natural chest rub which doesn’t use petroleum and menthol, and is safe for the appropriate age of the child. ENTER, Pure Beginning’s Natural Chest Rub with Eucalyptus and Lavender... (it’s brand new! What an incredible addition to the PB range).

Chat to a Homeopath about homeopathic remedies and herbs such as elderberry, echinacea, mint and honeysuckle. Do your research, make sure they’re safe for kids, and be consistent in your use if you want it to be effective.

Simple habits: Don’t forget to wash hands (using a safe and effective wash such as Pure Beginnings’ Fun Time Hand Wash). Also encourage the habit of coughing into your elbow to keep bugs from spreading.

Honey, Lemon and a Honey-and-Lemon Hot Toddy!

Honey: Make sure it’s local and raw (and that your child is over 1 year old). Honey has wonderful antioxidants, antiviral and antibacterial properties. It also boosts the immune system and soothes sore throats and coughs – and kids love honey!

Lemon: Vitamin C has long been known to support the immune system and fight off colds. Fruits and veggies high in Vitamin C are lemons, oranges, kiwis, red peppers, guavas, strawberries, dark leafy greens, papaya, broccoli and brussels sprouts. So stock up! 

Familiar with the Hot Toddy? Mix your own combination lemon and honey in hot water to sip on. This is a firm favourite in many households. Or try this more potent recipe if you need a serious help!

Lastly, change your children’s diet!

An easy way to remember this one, is to stop them eating white foods: At the first sign of illness, remove white foods from your children’s diet (dairy, white bread, etc.). Foods which are rich in vegetables, bone broth, whole grains, fermented foods and essential fatty acids (like fish oil & coconut oil) are the way to go. 

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Pure Beginning’s new Baby & Kids Natural Chest Rub with Eucalyptus and Lavender. This 100% natural chest rub is the perfect addition to your winter medicine cabinet. Free from petroleum and menthol, and with 100% of the ingredients from natural origin, the chest rub is safe to use on babies as young as 3 months old. Incorporating the powerful healing properties of eucalyptus, tea tree, lavender and frankincense, the chest rub provides a gentle and effective way to ease congestion.

How to be an awesome human this winter

One of my least favourite days of the month, is the day I (okay fine, hubby and I) get that bill from the City of Cape Town telling me how much we’ve spent on ‘living’. Oh rates and taxes, water, electricity and garbage disposal. You cost me a small fortune.

If you’re living in Cape Town (like I am), surely you’ve already whittled down your water useage. But now that we’re mid winter and it’s FREEZING, is it possible to save money on electricity as well? Well of course it is!

Obviously, it’s not all about saving money – it’s about considering our (often unknown and unintentional) abuse of our environment. Here are a couple ideas, to make your home more cost-efficient and eco-aware this winter.

Use existing insulation

As soon as the sun begins setting, close curtains and blinds to keep warmth inside your bedrooms and living spaces. It will mean your interior stays warmer for longer and you’ll only have to switch on heaters if it is essential. Or install a fireplace… (bucket list!)

Replace and switch off

Replace all light bulbs with LED. Turn off lights, plugs and especially electric blankets and heaters when not using them. Just these few things can reduce your home’s electricity consumption by 15%. Last night I woke up to my scale beeping (weird, I know) and saw hubby’s side of our electric blanket was still on. He got a scathing reprimand at midnight.

Fill it up

Run full loads in your washing machine or dishwasher. And use the eco/short cycles.

Off at the wall

What sits on standby? TV/Wifi/chargers etc. By turning off appliances or electronics which sit on standby for hours on end, you can save up to 6% of your electric bill.

Lose 1 degree

While going solar is the gold-star goal, turning your geyser down by 1 degree and switching it off during the middle of the day can really make a difference. This can provide estimated savings of around R100 a week. We recently bought a geyser blanket but are interested in installing a timer too.

Consider buying a Spindel

As a family of 5, we can’t live without our tumble dryer. I cringe every time we put it on, because I feel like it takes foreverrrrr to dry our clothes and the electricity it uses is nausea-worthy. My recommendation: only wash what is in desperate need of a wash, and investigate using a Spindel (esp if your washing machine is not a super fancy pants one – which ours is not).

If you’ve never heard of it before – a Spindel is an innovative dryer that uses spin power instead of heat to remove up to 80% of the leftover moisture from clothes. On average – one load in a spindel draws out around 1 cup of water from my washing (and it takes only 3 min to do so!). If I need to pop my clothes in the tumble drier, it takes a fraction of the time to dry completely, after being ‘spindeled’. A Spindel saves TONS of time and electricity.

Inspired? What else do you to save money, electricity and the environment? I’d love to know.

Happy end of winter all xxx