Now that I am a mother, I have found myself making adjustments and apologizing repeatedly to my parents. Join the club, right?
I remember during one sleep-deprived episode in New Hampshire, exploding at my grandmother and parents for giving a colicky five-month-old Ari chamomile tea. He ended up sleeping contently afterwards, and as it turns out, chamomile tea is an excellent remedy for colic, according to a health column in Parents magazine.
Peter Rabbit’s mother fed him soothing chamomile tea in Beatrix Potter’s classic tale, and you can give it to your infant to relax her intestinal muscles and calm her down, says Dr. McClafferty, a pediatrician in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Steep tea for four to five minutes, let it cool to room temperature, and then put one to two ounces in a bottle. Don’t give your baby more than four ounces a day so that she’ll be sure to have plenty of room in her tummy for breast milk or formula.
The magazine recommended the ubiquitous honey and lemon juice for a sore throat. But here are a couple other natural remedies I have never heard of:
Baking Soda for bug bites.
“My nana used to make a baking-soda paste for me when I was a child, and when I tried it on my own kids, they said that it stopped the itching better than store-bought products,” says Estelle Whitney, M.D., an ob-gyn in private practice in Wilmington, Delaware. The alkaline baking soda helps counteract the acidic swelling, she explains. Mix a teaspoon of baking soda with just enough water to make a thick paste, smear it on the bites, and let it dry.
Cayenne pepper for nosebleeds.
This spice helps blood clot, and it has been used medicinally in cultures around the world, says pediatrician Lillian Beard, M.D., author of Salt in Your Sock and Other Tried-and-True Home Remedies. Keep your child’s head upright and pinch his nostrils together for several minutes. Then sprinkle a pinch of ground cayenne pepper on a moistened cotton swab and dab inside the nose on the area of the bleeding. “It seems like it might sting but, surprisingly, it doesn’t,” says Dr. Beard.
In my house, we would also gargle warm water and salt to take the edge off a sore throat. Chamomile tea and vick’s vapor rub — we would call it mentol — were and still are fixtures in our home. What other natural remedies did you learn from your parents and grandparents? Please share!