When the actors in the musical, “Oklahoma” first sang about the ‘wind sweeping down the plains’, they were most likely not experiencing allergy season. For the rest of us, it can be a nasty time of year especially for children. The maladies can be mild sniffles and sore throat or it can infest itself into a pricey trip to the doctor when left alone.
Worse than that is the pharmaceutical companies preying on our misery with all sorts of expensive mixtures and concoctions to ease our young one’s woes. There are no assurances that it will help at all. When you think about it, the term ‘pick your poison’ comes to mind.
So, what are allergies? This is a reaction that your immune system has to normal and harmless substances. This can be pet allergens, food or even medicines. However the type of allergens that most of us get every warm season is usually of the outdoor variety such as the combination of wind, dust, pollen and pollution. This results in sneezing, coughs, runny noses, itching, hay fever, red eyes and or hives. Children get these type of allergies more often than the adults since their immune systems are not as strong.
There are, however, remedies that can be made at home that are more effective and less inexpensive (or even free depending what is in your kitchen cabinet). Children can benefit from these recipes as they are not the harsh or the one-size-fits-all mixtures sold in the stores.
This is not recommended for the really young children as the harshness may be too much for them to handle. Older children between the ages of nine and up could do well with this method.
Use warm salt water in a dropper and place a few drops in both nostrils. This helps reduce inflammation and will remove the inflammatory cells. Mix 1 teaspoon of salt and baking soda in warm water. This should be used 1-3 times a day. Teenagers can manipulate it on their own. If your child is asthmatic, please refer to their doctor first.
Another warm salt water method would be gargling with the same mixture for a minute or two. The method of gargling with the same mixture can also be beneficial.
Other natural methods to help with allergies
This tea is wonderful because it can be consumed on a regular basis. It helps clear up stuffy noses and irritated mucous membrane. You can put a spoonful of honey in the tea for those who don’t care for the taste. Also, organic peppermint discs are an excellent choice for children who are old enough for small pieces of candy and don’t like peppermint tea. Remember not to give them the sugared version when they are ill. This will create more mucus instead of less.
Any fruits and vegetables that contain Vitamin C are great when combating allergies. Any citrus, strawberries, and green vegetables(if the kids will eat them) help block the histamine and reduce the allergy symptoms. If the kids don’t like green vegetables, try making them a fruit smoothie. But make sure to blend up some fresh spinach before adding their favorite citrus fruits. Remember, this needs to be fresh fruits and not ‘citrus flavored’ as these products don’t have the healing agents nor the amount of Vitamin C that is needed.
It’s important to take one tablespoon of honey daily for those children that can take honey. Honey is known for its healing properties. Store bought is good but local honey is much better. Local raw honey does not go through a heating process therefore killing the antioxidant properties. You can also put two tablespoons of honey in a cup of orange juice to help relieve coughs. Remember that honey is dangerous for very young children.
Want to know more about honey?
There are some things that children should avoid during this time because it will aggravate their throats, they are:
- anything sour such as lemonade, pickles, salt, or lemon.
- cold drinks or chilled products like ice cream.
- anyone that smokes or large crowds since their coughs may still be contagious
Allergies aren’t any fun for either parent or child but using these home remedies may help your children heal faster and save your pocket book as well.