Gentle Winter Remedies for Babies and Children

In my practice, babies and children love sucking on tiny sweet tablets called “tissue salts” or “cell salts”, which are essential minerals prepared with an extra boost of homeopathic energy. I call one of them “Nip It in the Bud” because you can take it before you get sick, to ward off colds and flu. These twelve tissue salts are gentle yet powerful remedies that have been used for generations but almost totally forgotten in an the age of antibiotics.

Among the best kept secrets in your health food store, tissue salts give us the best of both worlds. They act like nutritional supplements in the form of easily-absorbed minerals, plus they are homeopathic medicines transmitting information to our body’s healing energy. So they can act like a tonic to strengthen our foundation, or work like a remedy to heal our ills. Each of the cell salts is a blend of two essential minerals, and each one has multiple uses. Here are the most effective ones for colds and flu.

Ferrum phos., the “nip it in the bud” remedy, is one of my top choices for every medicine cabinet. You know that under-the-weather feeling, when you’re rundown, you have no energy or appetite, and that scratchy feeling in the back of your throat makes you go “Uh-oh, I’ve got a cold coming on”? That’s the perfect time for Ferrum phos. Two pellets dissolved in the mouth four times a day can stop that cold in its tracks. It works for the flu or any infectious illness. You’ll also know when to give it to your kids: when they’re cranky and whiny, with no appetite, bored with their usual favorite video game, and maybe they have a mild fever but no other real symptoms. Ferrum phos. can help them snap back to their usual high-energy self.

 

But what if you start the Ferrum phos. too late and the cold comes on anyway? There’s a special cell salt for the first stage of a cold: Nat. mur., which is made from table salt and affects the flow of water in and out of the cells. You can use it for dry skin, dry lips, dry mouth — any feeling of dryness — or for watery discharges, like a cold with a runny watery nose. If the discharge is like uncooked egg white, that’s an even better match for Nat. mur. You know that goopy goop that comes out of a child’s nose!

Let’s say you forgot to stock up on your cell salts, though, and by the time you get to the health food store your child’s nasal discharge is already thick and yellow. Calc. sulph. could be your best friend at this point, because it’s good for thick, yellow discharges anywhere in the body. (Try it on your teenager’s acne, for example.) If it’s not strong enough to budge that thick discharge, try Calc. sulph.’s friend, the homeopathic remedy Hepar sulph (it’s stronger and might work better, especially if your child is extra-sensitive and extra-irritable with the cold).

How about if your child’s ears are blocked up with fluid that just won’t drain? Kali mur. will come to her rescue, whether the fluid is from a cold, an ear infection, or swimmer’s ear.

Or if your child’s cold descends into his chest and turns into a loose, rattly cough? Calc. sulph. and Kali mur. can help with the secretions – so can their cousin Kali sulph. Coughs are tricky, though. There are so many possible cell salts and homeopathic medicines for coughs that I advise my clients to simply use elderberry syrup, a tried-and-true cough syrup and antiviral. It tastes delicious, especially when in a honey base, and kids love it.

Directions: There are many ways to take tissue salts and you can’t go wrong. If you give your child too many, he won’t get side effects. (You’ll just waste some of the tablets, but don’t worry – they are  inexpensive.) You can dissolve a couple of tablets in your child’s mouth (they taste like sugar pellets) or put a few in her water bottle to sip on throughout the day. Put a handful in a warm bath, or dissolve a tablet in a little warm water to dab on a baby’s lips (a very safe way to give them to babies).

If your local health food store doesn’t have cell salts, you can easily get them online as 6x potency tablets. They are so inexpensive, you might want to get a kit of all 12 so you have them on hand (search “cell salt kit” online for various brands). You’ll find dozens of uses for these little gems.

This was adaped from Burke Lennihan’s Your Natural Medicine Cabinet: A Practical Guide to Drug-Free Remedies for Common Ailments and may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes with attribution and a backlink to this site.

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