Being a mom is hard work, whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or a working mom. Moms have to wear so many hats from teacher, educator, administrator, project manager, lawyer, judge, psychologist, nurse, and doctor, and the list goes on. To help with your Dr. Mom duties (or Dr. Dad for that matter) here are some home remedies and natural treatments that I have found useful in my home.
Sore Throat and Coughs
The simplest solution to help ease a cough is a spoonful of honey. (Unless your child is under the age of one, in which case they should not consume any honey or honey products.) It not only coats the throat to alleviate pain, but also has antimicrobial properties, which means it can kill and inhibit the growth of microorganisms. Another great option is a spoonful of coconut oil. It helps stop a sore throat in its tracks!
Natural treatments to avoid mosquito bites are repellents made from various botanical extracts including citronella, lemongrass and geranium oil. My favorite brand of repellent called Badger can be found on Amazon.cn. I find the anti-bug balm to work very well. In recent years citronella bracelets have come on the market. These didn’t seem to work as well with my kids, but I think it really depends on the brand. The bracelets can also be purchased online.
Stomach pain can be caused by minor issues (think constipation and indigestion) or more serious concerns like appendicitis. When evaluating pain consider its intensity and if in doubt see your doctor. For minor pains I always turn to a hot water bottle. It’s soothing and really seems to comfort my kids. For pain from gas and indigestion a warm cup of tea can help, especially chrysanthemum (菊花) or peppermint. You can buy a mint (薄荷) plant at any of the larger flower markets and use the leaves to prepare a fresh tea. Ginger can also be taken as a tea. It helps ease nausea, which is great for stomach flu. All of these herbs are safe for children to take.
Being well hydrated during a flight may not prevent jetlag, but it definitely helps deal with the symptoms. Some people experience headaches with the time change that can often be attributed to dehydration. The well known natural cure for jet lag is melatonin. Melatonin is actually a hormone that our body produces in response to our sleep-wake cycle. It is naturally produced in the evening and helps ease our body into restful sleep. Melatonin can be purchased as a supplement, but I would caution against giving it to children. Older teens could take some at a very low dose, ideally only 1mg in a sublingual form, 1 hour before bed. Melatonin should only be taken for a short period of time to adjust to the time change.
Got a question?
Dr. Melissa Rodriguez is a naturopathic doctor and mother of two, who works at Beijing United Family Hospital. To find out more, check out her website at www.drmelissarodriguez.com.
This article originally appeared on p. 26 of beijingkids March Issue. Download a copy here.