I read a great article from What to Expect.com that discusses home remedies for ailments your baby or toddler may get. Here are few alternative medicines and treatment you can try to avoid running out to the pharmacy.
Chamomile. If you’ve got a toddler who can’t sleep, give him a small cup of chamomile tea (let it cool down first). The tea has a calming effect, and some experts say the herb also relieves an upset tummy and can ease the torment of teething. Chamomile in cream form may even treat skin irritations and itchiness.
Aloe vera. Slice open the thick leaves of an aloe vera plant, and you’ll get a clear, gooey gel that’s been used for thousands of years to soothe cuts, sunburns, and skin infections. Direct from the plant, dab the gel onto your toddler’s skin so that it covers the entire boo-boo. Not good with plants? You can find aloe gels and creams at the drugstore.
Peppermint. Like chamomile tea, a lukewarm cup of peppermint tea may help soothe a bellyache. Peppermint can also ease skin itchiness. So if your toddler is itching for a cure, pour a cup of peppermint tea into his bathwater (the mint creates a cooling sensation on the skin).
Ginger. If your child tends to get carsick, a cup of ginger tea before hitting the road may help prevent his nausea. Mix a quarter teaspoon of grated gingerroot in hot water and add some lemon juice and honey. Your tot’s not a fan of teatime? Offer him a cookie made with real ginger instead. It may not be as potent as ginger tea, but it may offer him some relief and a sweet distraction!
Oatmeal. When it comes to treating skin conditions such as rashes, hives, and eczema, oatmeal may be your best bet. Not only does it seal in moisture and relieve irritation, oatmeal also contains anti-inflammatory properties, which decrease swelling. Simply mix uncooked oats with water to make a paste, and place it on your toddler’s itchy skin. Or fill a cloth bag with half a cup of oatmeal and add it to your toddler’s bath.
Honey. How sweet it is! Research shows that when your child has a sore throat, a spoonful of honey before bed cuts down on nighttime coughing. The syrup coats the throat and eases soreness. Plus, the sweet taste actually increases salivation, which thins mucus and alleviates the urge to cough. (But remember, don’t give honey to babies younger than a year old because it can cause infant botulism — a rare, life-threatening illness.) Another use for honey, ironically, is to prevent irritation after a bee sting. If your toddler is stung by a bee, dab some of the very honey the insect makes onto the boo-boo — it will cover the sting and keep the air out to prevent the area from getting irritated.
When giving any alternative medicines to your child, keep in mind that natural does not necessarily mean safe. Like drugs, herbal remedies can be toxic and interact with other medications. So talk with your pediatrician before giving your child any complementary or alternative medicine.